Our room was very spacious with an enormous quadruple bed, the mattress was very firm , which we soon got used to. Waiting in our room was a bottle of red wine, and the fridge was full of soft drinks and beer, all part of the all inclusive package. There was no bottle opener or corkscrew, but one phone call and we had them within 5 minutes. Bottled water was plentiful and free, replenished daily. We had chosen a garden room, which faced south, so was in full sun all day.
Our 'private' garden, was actually a private patio, divided from neighbours by a screen, if you entered the garden, then you could see the other patios and the balconies on the floor above. Our room was immaculate and well cleaned daily, all towels replaced if dropped on the floor. It had a safe, tea and coffee making facilities, 26 channel HD TV, and superb WiFI. In fact WiFi was available outside too, in all areas broadcast by sister hotel Melia Llana Beach , it was fast too.
In case you are interested, the swim up rooms on the opposite side of our building, faced north, so the sitting area outside was shady, depending on time of day, time of year, but at noon just a few feet were in shade, but the swim up pool was always in full sun.
The 2 main pools were not much used, due to time of year, they were cold. There were plenty of sun beds all day long, no reserving necessary. The cushions were still awaiting delivery, so people were borrowing cushions from comfy seats in the bar area. There were about 6 sun pods around the pool, in high demand, only early risers got those.
All activities, be that bars, shows, or dining were semi alfresco, meaning that you had a choice, indoors or out for whatever you were doing., but it was mostly outside under shade. In the evening, a cool breeze may make you want to wear something appropriate, if you are outside. The entertainment was OK, nothing brilliant, but that's par for the course.
The main buffet restaurant was good, it didn't have as much choice as I'd hoped, and the food combinations one ended up with on a plate were not what I would ideally want. One could always find something tasty, especially in the soups, salads and desserts department.
There are 3 specialist restaurants, two of which are free once a week, the Italian and the Mediterranean. You have to pay extra for the Asian. We tried both the free ones, the Italian relies on a self service buffet for both starter and dessert, with less choice than one would have had in the main buffet, so it was a disappointment. The Mediterranean was even more of a disappointment especially as it was our wedding anniversary, and I had told both reception and Thompson Rep when booking it. The restaurant staff didn't speak much English, the waiter didn't know it was our anniversary, didn't understand and it was a non event. Memorable only because I ordered Fillet Mignon and it was inedible, and was sent back uneaten. Their second attempt wasn't much better unfortunately. Maybe Cape Verde Fillet Mignon is a different cut to the UK one. Serves me right for not forking out for the Asian restaurant.
There is a very good pool bar/ snack bar, best place for lunch where you can get set meals from a menu cooked to order. Their spring rolls were lovely. Beef burgers, hot dogs etc. Were available.
The hotel staff were all very good, including bar staff, who patrolled the pool area serving drinks. In the afternoon, they delivered a surprise treat to bathers, might be a cocktail, a slush or jelly dessert.
The beach has plenty of sun beds, each with wicker windbreaks which are welcome, as the island is constantly subject to a breeze. This week may have been windier than the norm, since only a handful of people used them. There is a protective man made 'cove ' in front of the hotel to create a safe bathing area, since the waves can be powerful, and the red flag flew all week we were there.
One day was particularly spectacular for massive waves, which was fun to see.
Overall, the hotel is a good class, we had a quiet room, and it was a quiet holiday, I think the age demographic was mainly 50 plus, which suited us. There are still a few teething problems they are working hard to rectify, it can only get better.
Travel operator: Thomson
Hotel tip: The ocean view rooms faced directly at the sea, and South West, good for sea view and sunset. Take towel clamps for your sunbed, the warm breeze would be a problem without.
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