We spent one week at this hotel and we thought to add a few lines that could be useful to prospective clients. I would say the overall ranking class of this hotel is a 4*+, but definitely not a 5*; from what I learnt discussing with other people who have stayed in other hotels as well, there isn't any real 5* hotel in Sal. It has large apartments, comfortable beds, good level of cleaness, excellent lighting, and a good service. Actually, I would give the highest score to the people working at the hotel, who will do whatever they can to help you with a natural smile and politeness. The O' Grill restaurant at the beach has a very good quality of food especially fish dishes. The choice is rather limited but it is compensated by the quality. Try the grilled tuna and the sea-food brochette at lunch (open for lunch from 12.30 till 16.00). In the evening you need to book a table and pre- select the menu (from 3 different menus). We have tried 2 of the 3 menus (one that has as main dish sawfish, and another one which has roast got) and they were excellent, both the main courses and the starters! In my view this is the best restaurant amongst all restaurants of the hotel. However, if you are with very young children you may find more convenient to eat at the main restaurant which is a self- service buffet. Plenty of drinks all day round till very late in the evening...if you are a drinker you will really enjoy it.
You can relax either at the swimming pool or just in front of the O'Grill restaurant where you will find many comfortable benches right at the white (beige) sand facing the sea. However if you want to swim in the sea....forget it! Noway to swim in front of the hotel. This is not the best beach of the island. If you really love the sea, then I suggest you walk for about 15 minutes towards the left side as you watch the sea, and you will arrive at a beautiful velvet sandy beach of turquoise colour where you can walk for a few kilometres at a slow pace enjoying the fantastic view of the waters and the sand. If there isn't much wind (but normally it is very windy) you will be able to enter a couple of meters in the sea. It is really a pity that you cannot swim in this magnificent sea! We were walking between 1 and 2 hours every day at the beach, and it was only one day that we managed to enter the waters.
There is nothing special in the village of Santa Maria to see, but everybody goes there just for curiosity. There is a shuttle bus service from the hotel 4 times a day, otherwise you take a taxi; prices are fixed and you can pay in euros as well as in local currency (there is an ATM machine in the hotel). In the evening the taxi costs 4 euros to go to Santa Maria. All the comments from other people about the Senegalese trying to sell you things from their shops are correct.
The WiFi at the hotel's reception and pool areas (payable) is just OK, it could be faster. my wife tried two times the spa and she was very satisfied (expensive though).
Now, a couple of things that can be improved. The breakfast should include fresh fruit juice, at least orange juice. We would have preferred to have a shower instead of a bath in the bathroom. When we made the reservation, quite in advance, we had asked for a room with sea-view. We never received a response and we thought it was OK, but this was not the case. The receptionist did her best to find one next morning but she did not manage, so we decided to stay in the initial one...which I think it was a standard apartment. The red wine which is included in the AI package is not acceptable for such a hotel. We were also disappointed by the lobster we ordered in the O'Grill restaurant. I do not want to enter into details, but I would strongly discourage you from paying such a price for the lobster, it is much much better to stay with the menus they offer!
Overall, in this hotel you will have calm and relaxing holidays without surprises. However, you may need to think whether you really want to go to an island with nothing else to do than relaxing, an island that does not have much to offer. To us the whole enterprise of development in Sal looks very artificial at the moment, there is no local colour, a bit depressive. You also need to consider that it is a very windy island... However all these have nothing to do with the hotel as such, and I prefer to write another review dedicated to Sal.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
5 June 2012
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Thank you for choosing to spend your holidays at Melia Tortuga Beach Resort & Spa and for having taken the time to write a review on our hotel.
I’m pleased to know that you were happy with our accommodation, and I’m also pleased that you were happy with our staff service, they always strive to offer our guests the best service that they deserve. It’s wonderful to know that you’ve enjoyed your meal at the Ôgrille restaurant, we try to offer our guests meals from the freshest products that are locally available thus the choice may not be as extensive as with the imported frozen products. I’m sorry that we were not able to find you a sea view room, as this is according to availability.
Once again thank you for your comments and suggestions, these are important for us as they will enable us to adapt our services according to the satisfaction of our guests.
We hope that you will return to visit us again very soon in the future for more relaxing holidays.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC