Santiago Hotels Praia
Prainha is a small beach, which gets very busy with Cape Verdeans on weekends and afternoons. It is the embassy quarter and also where the president lives and so seems to be better protected from the petty crime that mars visits to Praia. It is a little remote from the town centre on a rocky outcrop and lacking local bars or restaurants. It is also the site of the only two attractive hotels in Praia which have been built on either side of the beach itself.
M from London was lucky to find a room.
"What joy. Not having booked I knew I was in trouble and so I ran from the airport (currently atrocious) grabbed a taxi to the Tropico, one of the two good hotels, to find it was fully booked. Just up the road is the Atlantico,where I got the last room. When the clerk gave me the key, the relief was amazing because en route I had been through the centre of town and seen the 3 stars. It's OK about 3.5 stars, nice pool."
Hotel PraiamarThis is quite a large complex perched on a rocky outcrop, with some rooms looking out over a pebble beach towards the harbour. It is spaciously laid out and has a nice dining area where you can sit outside and enjoy a buffet breakfast including english or continental breakfast. It is well organised and has full conference facilities and good email communications. The Praiamar is located in the Prainha diplomatic quarter, with nice rooms that are air-conditioned. This is a bonus because some rooms in this hotel open onto a pathway and must be kept locked at night. Food is a mix of Portuguese and local dishes rand there is reasonable service, with a very-present manager. Prices from £220 per person for a week, but rooms which overlook the rocks cost more.
Hotel TropicoThis is the other luxury hotel in Praia. It is built in the Portuguese style of an U-shape around a pool with most of the rooms facing into a central courtyard and looking out over the Praia bay. It is more of a holiday hotel and many guests are Portuguese families. It is Portuguese run and efficient with a welcoming manager. The restaurant is exceptionally good with interesting menus offering a wide choice of local and European seafood and Portuguese wines. It also has wifi connections so that you can send email from a laptop in your room. Perhaps it is best for those who want a pool holiday. Prices from £320 per person per week.
M from Kent comments "
"Hotel Tropico I dont know the star rating, but this seems to be used by a lot of businessmen, is apparently the best or one of the best hotels on Santiago, has quite a lot of mosquitoes around the pool, is on a piece of high ground overlooking a former leper colony (apparently to be the site of the new Casino) no good beaches around at all, hotel is ok, pool was full of rubbish, and we spoke to others who were given free accommodation at other hotels when a dust storm filled up the pool with dust. Staff miserable, still I would be if I lived on Santiago. Hotel is surrounded by a high fence, with grubby kids peering in. Rooms are fine, and with the satellite TV, you have something to watch whilst you are waiting to get off the island ".It has improved since M was there. B from Manchester adds
"The Hotel Tropico is delightful: comfortable rooms, airy reception areas, very quiet round the pool, except on weekends. At the moment it seems more geared to business travellers than holidaymakers but has a 'country club' air at weekends when diplomatic families come to enjoy the pool: one of only two in Praia available to the public. The staff seem quite reserved but perhaps this derives from shyness - after a couple of days we soon had them chatting and smiling. Breakfast was cooked to order and now has a new item on the menu: fried bread! The kitchen's first reaction to the request was one of anxious bafflement but after instructions they served it fried to perfection and it turned up automatically on subsequent days."
B and S from Iowa stayed there
"We emerged from the airport in Praia to bright, late-morning sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, which is typical of the moderate climate. The Pestana Tropico, with comfortable rooms and a relaxing seawater pool looking out over the Atlantic, is five minutes from the bustling center of Praia."
I from Sweden had only a short stay
"Back in Praia, the Hotel Praiamar was as good as it can get at this size. I could not really use the big range of facilities because I was forced to leave the Hotel soon as check out is mid day."