Just a fifteen minute taxi ride from the airport, as we pulled up at the resort itself our initial impressions were that we'd definitely made the right choice. As we made our way to our apartment, we could see that this was certainly a cut above - the grounds and pools are immaculate and obviously well looked after.
Once we were in to our new home (well, for a week), we discovered a generous welcome pack had been left (a nice touch). A lovely apartment, which was spotlessly clean and well furnished; the kitchen contained everything you might need and the living area was stylish and comfortable.
We didn't actually eat at the resort itself, choosing to go into Santa Maria each evening. This is only a short taxi ride away - taxis are reasonably priced and plentiful, so would highly recommend using them.
We were supplied some info from the owner about various restaurants that we could try, we also discovered some ourselves. Had some great (and very reasonably priced) meals and really enjoyed the atmosphere of Santa Maria at night.
In short: Lazy days by the pool, comfortable surroundings, great food and fun nights out - what more could you ask for when it's cold and wet back in the UK. Will happily return if and when we get the chance.
My husband and I had a very enjoyable 2 weeks at lux 5 dunas beach resort apartment, we highly recommend it, the apartment was beautiful, clean, fully stocked, with washer/dryer and way cheaper than a hotel, it was also nice to have the extra space like a living room, and a dining table. I get claustrophobic when cooped up for a whole week in a hotel. cooking was one of the reason to rent this apartment. While eating at good restaurants is an essential part of travel, it can be more memorable and pleasurable to buy local food and eat it at your own quiet table, next to an open window, with a bottle of wine at hand while looking at the pool.
We were looked after very well, both by our hosts and by the hotel staff, who were very attentive. They were mainly local people which was nice in these 'new' islands. Good food from a variety of restaurants on site plus lots of different cuisines in Santa Maria. Also, must go on a tour of the island to see some of the typical villages and their markets plus the salt pans which give the island its name. The beaches are gorgeous, whether busy with beds and umbrellas, near the hotels, or quiet and deserted with just an odd fisherman in view. Actually the fish brought to the pier in Santa Maria is brilliant - lots of choice if you're self catering or just to look at the variety. Deep sea fishing too if you want it, jet skiing, diving, kite and wind surfing. Closer to home is a gym and a spa, plus tennis courts. We overlooked a pool that had a coloured fountain at night, or we could watch the sun go down with a drink on our terrace, then go down to the amphitheatre to watch the local dancers/actors performing local dances and music. They put on the Lion King at one stage which was very entertaining. There were separate areas for children - their own pool and play areas and a creche if needed. Everywhere was very clean, neat and tidy, sometimes more staff than guests it seemed. The owner gave us lots of info before we arrived and having the airport pick up and welcome pack was a nice touch. The apt was comfortable, nicely decorated and the kitchen facilities were great and included a drinking water filter which saved having to carry heavy bottles. Many different nationalities and age groups with plenty of space for everyone of all types. Made several new friends. All in all a great holiday, would go again.
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