The Best Hotels on Sal, Cape Verde

Enjoy sunset views at Meliá Tortuga Beach on Sal, Cape Verde
Enjoy sunset views at Meliá Tortuga Beach on Sal, Cape Verde | Courtesy of Melia Tortuga Beach /
Glynis Horning

Cape Verde’s beach-lapped island has something for everyone, from salty waters and extinct volcanoes to stand-out stays with spas and water sports.

The snow-white beaches of Sal may look like salt, but this stunning Cape Verde island actually takes its name from a former salt mine – centre of a once-booming trade – set in an extinct volcano. Today, you can still float at Pedra de Lume in water saltier than the Dead Sea (and reputedly as therapeutic), but there’s little more healing than just chilling on the sands, at one of the top resorts on the island, and frolicking in the warm, turquoise sea. Here’s our pick of the best stays on Sal.

1. Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort


Modern room with four poster bed and balcony with view of ocean at Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort
Courtesy of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort /

One for sybarites, the lush contemporary suites at the Hilton are set above the soft sands of Santa Maria Beach, and a slew of water sports lies temptingly beyond your bare toes. After a day full of action (or not), chill at the stylish bare-brick Cize Bar, sipping cocktails under a mural of Cape Verdean singer Cesária “Cize” Évora while her soulful sounds wash over you.

2. Hotel Sobrado


Living room area in room at Hotel Sobrado with blue cushions and a balcony
© Hotel Sobrado

For those with a penchant for a personal touch, this sleek white hotel was built only in 2018, so the suites have every convenience, from wifi to climate control. Better still, staff know the charm of discovering a classic turn-down after a long day on the beach or exploring the island’s sites in a car that you can hire from the hotel. There’s even a small pool for an after-dinner dip.

3. Robinson Club Cabo Verde


Outside seating area on deck at the beach at Robinson Club Cabo Verde
Courtesy of Robinson Club Cabo Verde /

Though its name nods to Robinson Crusoe, there’s nothing wrecked about this sophisticated, extended adults-only resort, above 8km (5mi) of blindingly white sand. Ideal for desert-island fantasists, it’s a great place for castaway couples who are into kitesurfing, mountain biking and savouring the sunset over a glass of grogue (from the English “grog”), distilled from local sugarcane.

4. Halos Casa Resort


Lawn surrounding swimming pool in courtyard at Halos Casa Resort
Courtesy of Halos Casa Resort /

For the young at heart, vibey staff give a special lift to the stylish Halos Casa. They will guide you through watersports, from windsurfing to paddling and diving, organise a quad-bike dash to the Pedra de Lume salt crater or the natural pools of Buracona or steer you to the hottest restaurants and bars in the happening little town of Santa Maria.

5. The Budha Beach Hotel


Outside lounging area with four poster sun beds, swimming pool and view of ocean at The Budha Beach Hotel
Courtesy of The Budha Beach Hotel /

For those into Zen and the art of island living, the chill ambience at Budha Beach begins in the uncluttered white suites, with their sprinkling of freshly cut flowers, and flows outdoors, where Balinese daybeds and loungers invite you to meditate above an infinity pool and the sea. The food focuses on fresh local fish and tropical fruits with subtle Asian flavours, and there’s an impressive selection of wines.

6. Sol Dunas

Resort, Chain Hotel

Large curved swimming pool and a smaller pool outside Sol Dunas
Courtesy of Sol Dunas /

If you like to keep busy, the curved white façade of Sol Dunas embraces not only a variety of family and couple rooms, four bars and three restaurants (Italian, Asian and a barbeque buffet) but also an amphitheatre for shows. There are themed games areas with activities programmes for kids and a mini disco, while grown-ups can take dance classes, workshops and excursions and spend a day at four splendid pools or on pristine Algodoeiro Beach.

7. Meliá Tortuga Beach


Terracotta roofs and white buildings with path leading down to ocean at Melia Tortuga Beach
Courtesy of Melia Tortuga Beach /

If you fancy a home from home, Meliá Tortuga Beach feels more like a private village than a resort – its cheery red-tiled and white villas are set in tropical gardens, dotted with pools above a truly sensational pale beach. There are four great restaurants, but look no further than the local redfish at Pasta Nostra. It’ll be the perfect end to a day of swimming and watersports or of exploring this interesting little island by bike.

8. Hotel Riu Funana

Resort, Chain Hotel

Covered outside dining area with waitors setting up the tables at ClubHotel Riu Funana
Courtesy of ClubHotel Riu Funana /

For modern-day dreamers, the Riu Funana could be a forgotten African-cum-Asian kingdom, with its arches, carvings and thatch above a stretch of unspoilt beach. But rooms have satellite TV and a minibar, as well as a balcony or terrace above the view. Take a local art or fitness programme (RiuArt or RuiFit), and, when the sun sets over the Atlantic, get moving to hot island sounds at Cape Verde’s outpost of Pacha nightclub.

9. Riu Palace Cabo Verde


Double bedroom at Riu Palace Cabo Verde with white and red colour palette and doors leading to outside
Courtesy of Riu Palace Cabo Verde /

This luxurious all-inclusive hotel is big on everything, especially food. Three restaurants offer a wide variety of flavours, with international, Italian and island-style fare, and buffet breakfasts and dinners have live-cooking stations. Snack on fine appetisers at six bars, including a pool, a beach and a sports bar. But, best of all are the Cappuccino Patisserie and ice cream parlor. Better still, at this adults-only hotel, you don’t need to share with the kids.

10. Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea


Sand coloured building of Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea with balconies overlooking the pristine lawns and the beach and ocean in distance
Courtesy of Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea /

An energetic young animation team will get fitness junkies going at whatever you love most or want to learn – from aerobics, football, volleyball and Dance Club on the idyllic beach to hydrogymnastics and water polo in a pool and workshops in traditional dancing and capoeira. The team will even set up sports tournaments and games.

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