Hilton Sal Cabo Verde Hotel Review – Might Be My New Favorite Hotel
I recently stayed at the Hilton Sal Cabo Verde Resort, and I’m pretty excited to write this review. This might be my new favorite hotel. I’m thinking over all the hotels I’ve stayed at, and I’m struggling to come up with a better experience.
Since Cabo Verde (also sometimes called Cape Verde) is open to tourists and you can visit without a Covid test if you’re vaccinated (or just a Covid test but no quarantine if not vaccinated), I highly recommend going here. It’s a country made up of multiple islands, so any type of beach/water activity is possible. Plus, there’s the Hilton Sal Cabo Verde that you can stay at, so let’s get to the review.
I had a nearly-private experience at this hotel. There are 241 guest rooms at this hotel. If more than 15 of them were occupied during my stay, I’d be surprised. This probably added to how great my experience was, so here it is.
Shocker: I paid cash to stay here.
The redemption price was 37,000 Hilton Honors per night, but the cash price was only $130 with taxes included. The redemption value would be 0.3 cents per point, which is low value, even for Hilton points.
I stayed for 3 nights.
Hilton Sal Cabo Verde Review – The Hotel
So how was the hotel? If you haven’t figured it out yet, I thought the hotel was great. In this part of my review, I’ll cover the facilities at the Hilton Sal Cabo Verde. This includes the many public areas like the pool, gym, restaurants, etc., and it also includes their beach area and then the guest room itself.
The Hilton Sal Cabo Verde is located on the island of Sal in the country of Cabo Verde. It’s an island nation of the western coast of the African mainland. Numerous airlines fly here, including lots of discount airlines from Europe. Your best bet for an award flight is TAP Portugal via Lisbon, which is how I arrived.
The Hilton hotel sits in the town of Santa Maria on the south coast of Sal. It’s on the beach and located right next to a casino, as well.
The SID airport is about 15-20 minutes away by taxi, located in the center of the island. My flight arrived at 11:30pm, and I paid 15 euros for the ride to the hotel.
I loved the lobby. It’s huge and spacious. I think it’s really inviting, as well as beautiful.
To capture the layout and size, I tried taking pictures from different spots and different angles.
As you enter the lobby, the check-in desk is to your right. Past that, the hallway leads to the games area and the restaurant. To the left, you can pass the shops en route to the meeting rooms.
In front of you, there is the spiral staircase and a sitting area, the elevators off to the right, and then continuing straight leads to the pool.
There are numerous public areas that I want to highlight. Each is designed to be very open, capturing the breeze from the ocean and using natural light wherever possible. Since I checked in late at night, I used the elevator to go to my room. After that, I used the spiral staircase at all times. I loved this feature.
Ground Floor Areas
Within the main area, there are shops to the left of the lobby.
Past these, you can go to the meeting rooms.
There are also inside entrances to the bar, gym, and spa.
These facilities also have entrances from the outside, near the pool.
Turning right from the lobby, you will pass through this open area with art and some games near a sitting area. After this, you enter the restaurant.
I had breakfast here each day and enjoyed the transition from inside to outside.
The restaurant had a great breeze and a big, open feel to it.
In this wing of the building, there is a kids club, as well. However, it appears closed right now. That’s probably due to a lack of visitors.
I loved the pool. Blunt truth. It’s beautiful and not freezing cold. It’s not heated, but the sun beating on it all day (plus it’s not super deep) keeps the temperature at a good spot. When I swam, I found it refreshing without being too cold.
There are ample chairs plus a few cabanas around the pool. Given how few people there were at the hotel, I had the pool to myself one day and only shared it with less than 5 people the other 2 days.
At the far end of the pool, there’s a bar you can either walk to or swim to. The bar also has seating, if you want to stay there.
All of the loungers at the pool have umbrellas, but you can’t really tilt them. They’re in a concrete base, so moving the umbrellas is also super difficult. I found it easier to just move to a different lounger as the sun moved, rather than moving the umbrella. During busy times, this might be a challenge.
There is a towel cabana near the pool, but this is closed. Instead, 2 beach towels are in your guest room.
Passing the pool, you go through an open, grassy area and then reach the beach.
It was further from the hotel deck to the beach than I had expected, but it’s still close.
There are loungers and umbrellas for hotel guests. You can also request towels or order snacks & drinks from the nearby hut. Given how few people were at the hotel during my stay, the staff here weren’t circulating. You needed to go to them to order anything.
I really liked the privacy dividers between the sets of beach loungers.
The beach was great. The sand wasn’t rocky—just that perfect type of sand. The ocean was super calm, also. It’s a great, great beach. You can easily swim here without being battered by huge waves. Calm, not too cold, clear water. I had a great time.
And I had it mostly too myself, not fighting for space on the beach or in the water.
The displays by the elevator were nice. Rather than something traditional, the options matched the vibe of the hotel and were on the outside, rather than in the elevator.
The hallways are open and have areas to sit and relax at several points. I passed 2 separate sitting areas on the way from the lobby to my room on the first floor (1 above the ground floor).
One oddity that I will highlight is that the more “closed” areas of the hallway had lamps that only turned on at one part of the day but not at night. This made lighting in this part of the hallway oddly dark, especially at night.
I had room 2097, at the far end of the hallway on the shops/meeting rooms side of the building (left from the lobby).
For my reservation, I booked a basic room, which has a king-sized bed but a view toward the city. I expected and received an upgrade, due to my Hilton Diamond status.
They moved me to a room with a view toward the ocean and pool area. I was happy with this and didn’t inquire about suites.
I loved the room. It’s spacious and has a lot of features without being consumed by them. The bed and L-shaped sofa don’t eat up the room, so there’s ample space to move around.
Additionally, the large sliding doors to the balcony provide lots of natural light during the day.
The balcony has a small table and 2 chairs. Whenever you open the door to the balcony, the A/C automatically turns off. If you have the doors closed, I found that also having the lighter of the 2 curtains closed is a good idea. When I didn’t, birds kept hitting the glass, thinking they could come inside. Closing a curtain made it obvious there was an obstacle here.
The balcony isn’t overly large, but it’s a nice place to sit and relax to the sound of the ocean at the end of the day.
I had views toward the ocean and over the pool area from my balcony.
The bed was super comfortable. I had multiple pillows of different types, so everyone should be able to find something they like.
The sheets were soft, and I slept like a baby here.
Each side of the bed has a night stand with a drawer and a lamp. One side has an alarm clock, while the other side has a phone.
There are also reading lamps on each side of the bed, which is a nice feature.
At the foot of the bed, there is a bench, and this is where 2 beach towels can be found.
Dresser & Drawers
Across from the foot of the bed, there is a large dresser with drawers in the center. On the right side, there is a door that leads to shelves. The right-side door opens to a mini fridge.
On top of the dresser, there is a large TV. Note that the remote had been sanitized, plus there were extra wipes.
Also on top of the dresser is a coffee machine with a few days’ worth of supplies.
The bathroom is large and awesome. I really liked it.
There is a huge mirror over the sink, plus lots of counter space.
The first time I used the sink, the water wouldn’t go down. I thought there was a problem. Turns out you have to push on the silver part, because it’s actually the stopper/drain system. It looked normal, like it was open. Just a heads up.
To the left, there is a bathtub with privacy doors between the bathroom and bedroom that you can close.
On the right, there are separate cabins for the toilet and for the shower.
I will point out that the layout of the shower behind the main door to the bathroom is a bit odd. This means the door to the shower needs to open into the shower. If you turn on the shower to heat up, opening/closing the door will make the door go through the water from the shower. It creates a huge mess, so stay inside while it heats up.
The pressure and temperature were both good, and the shower has both rainfall and handheld options. It was very good.
One thing to fix in the bathroom: there are 2 buttons for flushing the toilet. The “light flush” button got stuck multiple times, and I had to push the “heavy flush” button to un-jam it.
Between the main part of the room and the door, there is a closet built into the wall. Inside there are a safe and an iron + ironing board. One side of the closet has shelves, while the other side is for hanging items.
Room Amenities & Internet
I want to highlight some cool features in the room. First, I like that there are controls for the main lights both by the door and by the bed. I don’t like rooms where you need to walk to the bed, flip off the lights, then find your way to the bed in the dark.
Additionally, the A/C was easy to control and worked as expected.
Wifi in the room was strong and very reliable. I streamed some live sports without issues.
Lastly, the sofa and the table + chairs are nice touches. Rather than hanging out on the bed, you have various options, depending on what you’re doing. The room was really comfortable because of this.
Hilton Sal Cabo Verde Review – The Staff
So far in the review, you’ve obviously seen that I liked the Hilton Sal Cabo Verde as a hotel itself. How was the staff? Bad staff can kill a great hotel.
Luckily, the staff were awesome. They matched the quality of the hotel in every way.
Prior To Arrival
Prior to my arrival, the hotel sent a friendly email thanking me for my reservation and thanking me for being a Diamond member. They also asked what time I would arrive and if I wanted their airport pickup service. I replied asking about prices of their van vs taxis, and they said their van is 40 euros, while a taxi should cost 15. They said if I opted to take a taxi to not pay more than 15, since taxi drivers may try to rip me off as a foreigner.
I also exchanged some emails with the staff asking for information about Covid testing for when I departed. They provided a wealth of information and always replied quickly.
In the end, I opted to take a taxi on my own and let them know of my late arrival time.
The hotel was expecting me when I arrived. I was likely the only person checking in late that night anyway, so they knew who I was and greeted me by name at check in.
I received an upgrade to my room and a friendly-but-quick rundown on information about the hotel. The employee was friendly but also knew I wanted to go to sleep. The check-in experience was simple, efficient, and friendly.
During The Stay
I interacted with multiple staff members throughout my stay and found all of them super friendly. There wasn’t a single bad interaction.
Front desk staff were always friendly, available, and helpful when I had questions about finding a restaurant for dinner or what time I should leave for the airport on my last day.
Even though I used the “do not disturb sign” and didn’t use housekeeping, I saw them throughout my stay. They always smiled and asked if I needed anything.
Breakfast staff were awesome (and there’s a mountain of options!). They were very friendly and asked where I was visiting from, since tourism is down right now. I found the employees very willing to help.
By the pool and the beach, staff were there but had that “don’t want to bug you, here if you need me” approach. I saw them watch me arrive and keep an eye on me, waiting for me to raise my hand to order a drink. However, they let the guests enjoy their peace & quiet undisturbed.
Maybe it’s because the hotel was so empty during my stay, but I found the staff really personable. Rather than just saying hi, they asked what I’d been up to when I returned to the hotel. When going out, they asked if I needed directions or help finding a taxi. It’s the small things.
Check out was great, as well. Throughout my stay at the Hilton Sal Cabo Verde, I had nothing but positive interactions with staff, as I’ve mentioned throughout the review. From before my arrival until the moment I walked out the door, they were friendly, efficient, and helpful. I never found staff overbearing or grouchy.
A quick, efficient check out sealed the deal. I dropped my key, they confirmed that I had no charges on my account to pay, and they flagged down a taxi for me. A great experience with the staff.
Hilton Sal Cabo Verde Review – Final Thoughts
I struggle to think of an overall better experience I’ve had a hotel, but I’m drawing a blank. From before my arrival until after I left, an honest review is that the Hilton Sal Cabo Verde might be my new favorite hotel. I’d go back here in a heartbeat.
The layout is beautiful and inviting. The facilities are well maintained, and there’s a lot to offer. Breakfast was delicious, staff were super friendly, and I enjoyed every aspect of my visit. Looking for a beach destination in a place you haven’t been before? Consider this a recommendation for a fantastic hotel.