Madeira is lovely at Xmas time - the town centre is transformed with Christmas decorations and there's festive concerts of some kind every day. The fire works for New Year are amazing. The location of the apartment is great. Didn't mind the walk up the hill but it's quite easy to get a taxi which only cost about five euros. The apartment is on the top floor it has a nice New York apartment feel to it all. All the rooms have slopped head banging ceilings and the windows are all skylights so there is no view - accept of the stars. There's a nice big balcony but you have to turn everything to the left for a fantastic view of the sea, the harbour and Reids Palace. Living Funchal has an excellent gym with great Spin, Pilates and Zumba classes. The pool was too cold to use and looks smaller than the pictures of it. The apartment is nicely furnished. The quality of the mattresses, bedlinen (poly cotton), TV, and washer and dryer, cutlery, plates etc is just average if not cheap (especially the cutlery and mattresses) and I felt that it let this "luxury apartment" down. There was a problem with lots of dogs barking in neighbouring apartments and in the surrounding area so I would recommend ear plugs. Also a common problem with ants which we did everything not to encourage - there's a rubbish bin under the sink with no lid provided which we had to empty continuously and involved going down to a spooky basement to the main bins. Manuel the driver/tour guide is a great asset firstname.lastname@example.org and the housekeeper Amelia was very helpful. Tried the owners recommendations of restaurants all good apart from Mozarts - pretentious, tiny, rude, slow staff and full of retired old ex-pats. Our favourite is Villa Cipriani at Reid's.
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We are a family of four with two mid-teenagers. The apartment is spacious, clean and well equipped with the highlight being a large south/west facing balcony which has beautiful views of the city - a great place to watch the sun go down. The pool area was good and quiet while we were there. The owner, Emily the housekeeper and Manuel the taxi driver were all very helpful. The location in the older part of the city is good - the walk down to Funchal is pleasant but the walk back uphill is more challenging. However the taxi fare is reasonable - approximately 6 Euros and taxis are very easy to find. A return trip is a must.
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