Sunday, 8 March 2015

Boa Vista all inclusive

I've never been on an all inclusive resort holiday before. But this was the first year that my boyfriend and I had enough money to just say 'fuck it, let's go on the laziest holiday possible'! This all came about because I wanted to take my boyfriend to New York to celebrate his 30th birthday, but he managed to entirely put me off by mentioning occasionally that we couldn't do NY together as he would want to be out at all the jazz clubs and jazz jams all night and then sleep all day. So that was my plan of the last two years out of the bloody window! I came clean and we decided to go on a beach holiday instead. Initially we thought the Caribbean might be a good choice, but then I started making a list of our requirements....

  • We wanted temperatures of at least 20 degrees
  • The BF didn't want to do anything. Not even wash up a spoon, so I wasn't allowed to go self catering!
  • I only had 7 holiday days available so there was no point in going somewhere interesting from a natural or historical sights point of view (that would require 2 weeks at least!)
  • If we were going with a budget airline we didn't want to be on a 10 hour flight - too uncomfortable!
  • We didn't want to go over £2000 (including spending money!)
So then, with this in mind I started looking at a map of the world while at my sisters after Christmas. I adored Lanzarote last year and it would certainly be warm in the canary Islands in February, but not necessarily swimming weather, so I just looked closer to the equator. The Caribbean became too expensive if we wanted to go with a decent airline, and Mexico's Caribbean coast looked AMAZING but I would certainly want to be there for longer than one week so I could explore. In fact, I think that both Mexico and the Caribbean have so much to see that I'd want at least two weeks in each and we would have to spend mega bucks to go with Virgin / all inclusive. Then I noticed a little group of Islands off the coast of Africa, under the Canary Islands called Cape Verde. Never heard of it, but it's location surely meant that the weather would be pretty lovely, and Islands generally have beaches right? So I googled 'Cape Verde Holidays' and up popped Thomsons. It seemed possible to go on a week long all inclusive holiday to Cape Verde for under £700 each. Not only that but the weather would be around 22-24 degrees and the flight just 6 hours from Gatwick. Oh and did I mention that there's almost nothing there? We wouldn't have to feel even slightly guilty for not exploring the Islands because no matter what Cape Verde Lovers may claim, there really isn't much of interest to see! So there you have it, I chose Boa Vista (for the best beaches) and the Riu Touareg Hotel because it is the newest and most remote on the Island. Good decision as the other hotels are right under the flight path of the airport! So here we have the first of my two holiday posts! This part is going to be about the hotel and my daytime outfits (swimwear mainly!) and the next will be about Boa Vista Island and my evening outfits!

Early start

 4am start for us to get to Gatwick in good time. I layered it up!
My boy in his birthday jacket and the trainers he bought to match. He's become more and more like me over the years when it comes to in-your-face colours and clothes. You should have seen how much we stuck out on the bus with the black & grey 5am folk!

Riu Touareg

The plane was pretty old and small. My boyfriend said he thought they were the smallest seats he had ever sat in on a plane (and we've flown many economy airlines!) so the 6 hour flight was just about all I'd be prepared to do in such discomfort. It's also the first flight I've ever had to request a belt extender on too, but everything other than the seats were fine. Worth the flight when we arrived here though....
Glorious sunshine in what looks like a giant sandcastle!
Bedroom with extra swan! The bathroom is open plan with a big wardrobe and enclosed toilet with a door. You'd have to be quite close with whoever you go with if you want to use the loo here if you know what I mean?! I have never worked out why hotels abroad always have twin beds pushed together rather than proper double / king size beds. It's really annoying if you're in a relationship where you might actually want to have sex! I'll never get it frankly.
Now then. This is described as a luxury resort and I think it's classified as a 5 star hotel, but I know from experience that a 5 star hotel outside of the UK is not what I would call 5 star. These are the kind of beds that you'd get in a good hostel, not a 5 star resort. Having said that I wouldn't moan too much about them because everything else was fine. Clean and tidy. I did have to get one of the beds replaced because the leg was broken on it and I nearly went arse-over-tit when I sat down near the headboard, but there was no faffing and the staff sorted it out straight away. Almost all the staff were really good at the Riu Touareg in fact, which is not always the case in hotels as I'm sure many of you know!.
  Lil' Balcony.
Right on the beautiful beach.
It looks like an entire village from the beach huh? I actually found it really easy to navigate despite it's size, and it didn't feel massive when you were in it.... or particularly busy despite there being LOADS of other people. The beach is proper golden sand. No pebbles here!
Lots of sun cream on!
Swimsuit 42DD - Very
Shorts 24 - Asos Curve
Flip flops - crocs
Sunnies - Primark
I love all the plants scattered around.....
.... and the architecture was so cool. My sort of place even if it is brand spanking new!
Oh my god the pools!
In the centre of the main pool there's a outdoor jacuzzi. I loved it, but it's perfect for kids too as it's heated fresh water.
Sunbeds in the pool is what initially excited me about this hotel!
Ahhh.... beautiful sunrise from our room.
Swimsuit 22 - BHS
Plazzo pants 24 - George
Bag - Primark
We know how to have fun!
Drying off after a swim.
The staff often came out and played games at the pool and danced - I kinda loved them!
The best place for relaxing was the spa (if you find it - I think not many people did so it was fabulously quiet), it's a little oasis of calm!
I couldn't cope with the steam room (too hot for me whereas my boyfriend LOVED it) but the cool jacuzzi was delicious!
The Sea here is really rough so it's not safe to swim in unless you're a strong swimmer, but it's extremely beautiful and stretches as far as the eye can see in both directions. The red flag was up so those people shouldn't have been in the water, brave souls.... or possibly just stupid!
Pool fun!
The pool is cold but lush, and it's salt water rather than chlorine which was much nicer in my opinion.
Pina colada in the pool miss Parsnips? YES PLEASE!
Being obnoxious in clashing prints and colours.
Swimsuit 22 - BHS
Shorts 20 - Primark
We could often see the moon during the day, and in the evening the night sky was so beautifully clear. It was a real treat for a couple of Londoners and we spent quite a bit of time just looking at the sky together.
Told you the sea was rough!
As were the winds, but still lovely and hot though! Dress 24 - Asos Curve

I thought I'd try out a tasselled swimsuit from ebay....
It was fun but a little high cut on the crotch and I think I might have flashed my bush at some of the other guests!
Probably shouldn't have worn it in the jacuzzi huh?!

Ahhh the joy!
It was pretty much buffet at all times, and compared to most hotel food I've had in the past I was quite impressed with the quality of the grub. The breakfasts in particular were great and the choice was immense. Vegetarians would be just as happy as meat eaters - they had fresh waffles, pancakes and french toast as well as a massive variety of really nice eggs, cereal and breads. The fruit was wonderful and sweet (as you'd expect anywhere with a nice climate!) and I got obsessed with papaya!
 I liked sitting outside the main restaurant as it was a bit calmer.
Lots of sunbeds were always available on the beach and at the pool, and lots of shade for us pasty types who don't want that horrid dark mahogany burnt tan that British folk often end up with!
Swimsuit 22 - BHS
Swimsuit 22 - Very
The snack bar next to the pool was always quiet and relaxing and I liked looking at the gardens.
Too lovely!
There's not much more to say about the way we spent our days.... we spent quality time with each other, read books, swam, drank, ate, sunbathed, laughed, talked, listened to history podcasts and just generally lazed about. It was glorious! This is not the sort of place to come if you get bored easily, but if you want to get away from the daily grind of work, commuting, cooking, cleaning and just generally have lots of responsibilities then a holiday in Boa Vista is absolutely the best value all inclusive winter break you could imagine. I'll be back soon with part two, showing you the island outside the hotel and our evening activities!


  1. It looks so lovely there! Glad you had a great time!!
    Ruth xx

  2. We looked at this resort for our Xmas holiday -wish we'd gone there now, looks amazing! Glad you had a great time

  3. I found this post so interesting for two main reasons: one, because I love reading about your holidays as it always sounds like you've had a wonderful time, and two, because in a few weeks' time I am going on an all inclusive holiday with my brother and his family, so you've given me a few pointers and things to think about. I can't stand chlorinated swimming pools so I really hope the pool at our hotel is fresh water, like this one. And I REALLY hope it has sunbeds in the pool, wow, that is such a good idea! Can't wait to read your next post x

  4. A lovely post! I always love reading people's holiday posts. :) Those sunbeds and seats/tables in the pool are amazing. My brother- and sister-in-law went to Cape Verde last year and now I can see why! xx

  5. Thanks Ruth, it was so deliciously relaxing!

  6. It was pretty fantastic value for a winter beach holiday so I'm really glad we went there. Of course I am now pining for summertime and am already thinking about a late summer jaunt somewhere (which is probably not going to happen since my BF's work seem to be completely collapsing!) but hopefully this break will tide me over for a while! xx

  7. All inclusive is a bit of an odd thing to me (unless you have kids in which case I totally get it!) because I like to try out local restaurants and wander around different towns. That's why Cape Verde was so perfect - there's bugger all there really so it makes total sense to just stay in a big hotel where you eat and drink. I think it was our only chance to go all inclusive and it was a great thing to experience! I'll get up the next installment asap. Where are you going on your hols?! xx

  8. It looks lush and I love the idea of the fresh water swimming pool as you don't end up stinking of chlorine!!! I just needs some funds now so I can jet off somewhere!!! xx

  9. It was really nice for swimming, but it was possibly our last blow-out holiday (BF works indirectly for the oil industry which means he may well be out of work soon!) so it was worth the money on this occasion. I think the best value holiday I've ever been on though was last years to Lanzarote because Playa Dorada beach is nicer than any pool I've ever been in! I quite want to go back on a cheapo holiday at the end of summer and just spend everyday in that little bit of sea because it was BLISS! I hope you get a chance to go on a lovely break honey! xx