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Family holidays in Cape Verde: a stay at Melia Dunas Resort in Sal

HELLO!'s Executive Head of Fashion and Beauty, Gila Polak, goes on an adventure with her family to Sal, Cape Verde

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We love going away as a family and had always thought about the possibility of Cape Verde as a destination. For our 2017 Christmas holidays we were chasing winter sun and decided to take the plunge. With a two-year-old daughter we wanted to avoid the dreaded jetlag and long haul flight - Cape Verde provided the perfect opportunity for just that. After deciding on the Melia Dunas on the island of Sal we were excited to finally get there. Having never been to Cape Verde we weren't sure exactly what to expect....but we were blown away.

With golden sandy beaches and the most radiant blue sea the location felt like we arrived in paradise. The island itself is very small with only 40,000 inhabitants, but it is home to some of the most beautiful views we had ever seen. The Melia Dunas resort was the perfect choice for us, with its own private beach and all-inclusive package, we did not need to worry about anything. With seven pools, six restaurants and 14 bars, the complex had everything we needed! The resort is also only a short 15 minute ride from the airport (which is on the other side of the island). This made transfers easier to and from the airport which can always be relatively difficult with a very active two-year-old!

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Gila and her family stayed at Melia Dunas on the island of Sal, Cape Verde

MORE: Where to stay in Cape Verde

With a young family, the most important aspect of planning any holiday is that our daughter will have the opportunity to really enjoy herself. If that doesn't happen that will have a knock-on effect for our holiday enjoyment. The Melia Dunas from the outset at the planning stages looked like the perfect place for her – it's safe to say we were not disappointed. The place is child heaven, from the kids' club to the adventure playground, our daughter had the time of her life. This was complemented by the approachable and kind staff who were always looking to make her laugh and always said hello to her when we walked past. The staff's attention to detail cannot be mentioned enough, a perfect example being that despite the complex being so large with so many young families, the staff remembered our daughters name from day one. It's sometimes the small things like that which really make the difference.

Once we knew our daughter was entertained we were able to sit back, relax and enjoy all the amazing things Cape Verde has to offer. Whether taking in the gorgeous sun by the fantastic pools on the resort is your type of thing or if you prefer the action, from water sports, quad biking and island hopping, Cape Verde caters for all.  

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The resort had plenty to offer for Gila's two-year-old daughter

RELATED: See all of our family tried-and-tested reviews here

As a family we can tend to have very specific dietary requirements. Therefore, it's always a slight concern when we go away. However, when we explained this to the management they were fantastic in terms of organising the foods we could eat and ensuring there was always something for us to have. They were extremely flexible with food times as well allowing us to come in early for lunch and dinner in order to keep our daughter in a good routine. The hotel, its management and other workers could not have done any more to make us feel as comfortable and as satisfied as possible. The food itself was also delicious!

Our room was spacious and clean and had everything we would need. We had a spacious two bedroom suite, which made sleeping easier for everyone, with a lovely balcony overlooking one of the pools. The stay was perfect - we had no complaints. Overall the holiday was fantastic, we can’t recommend it enough to families with children – baby, toddler or teenagers!

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There were plenty of activities on offer for all the family

FAMILY TRIED AND TESTED CHEAT SHEET

When to go: Cape Verde has great weather all year round. July-December is the hottest time of the year with the most amount of rain, whereas October-June is dry season with bearable temperatures!

Where to stay: Melia Dunas resort is only a 15 minute drive from the airport and has everything you need on the resort!

What not to miss: Zumba sessions by the pool, indulging in the Yhi Spa, a horse riding excursion on the beach – just to name a few.

What to avoid: Drinking the tap water!

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