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Reviewed 2 April 2018

A hotel of reasonable standards but in need of some updating. The reception areas are pleasant but the once expensive elegant furniture requires recovering etc. The dining rooms are good and the food acceptable if you like fish or pork! The dining staff however are courteous and efficient and the décor fine here. Views over the bay from the dining areas are spectacular. The bedrooms are of reasonable size and furnishing but we were in the garden view rooms which although ok were not the panoramic rooms that the travel agent suggested. Our week here was of almost constant rain and winds most unlike Funchall weather we have experienced in the past. Indeed the hotel exhibited several leaks in the public areas.
The gardens are well maintained and very nice with beautiful views across the bay. The distance to the centre of town was somewhat of a handicap as due to the nature of the steep roads and availability of bus services. The hotel has a limited shuttle bus which has about a 12 person capacity which quite often was booked up. We therefore spent quite an amount on private taxis to visit town and connecting services therefrom.
All in all,the week was otherwise pleasant enough we feel that there should be tea/coffee making facilities in the bedrooms and this is the first hotel on the island where there was no shop within the premises.The entertainment was limited to one hours piano playing on one night during the week.

Stayed: March 2018
1  Thank neale208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

We booked a 5 day half board break.
Despite having seen some of the negative past reviews I was actually was pleasantly surprised at the standards of the hotel . Ok a 5 star UK it’s definitely not but 4 star Portugal it maybe is.There are some good points and some bad points for me so here goes and I admit I’m being picky with some of the points .

The good points for me :-

Super view over Funchal Bay from a balcony we were in room 308 (East side)
Beds and room very
Room temperature great and controllable
Staff very helpful, if you you can find them, in the most with one exception see later.
Clean and tidy and rooms kept spotless.
Very quiet at all times of the day
Pool great and quiet most of the time we were there.
Bus stop very close but see bad comment below
The food was good for normal folk but those needing special dietary food changes it’s limited.
Breakfast was ok but nothing to write home about.Note that if your not too keen on dried scrambled eggs ask for something else , the omelettes were good.

The bad points:-

No tea/ coffee making facilities in the room or free coffee at reception.
The food at night from the Half Board selection is a set menu, which is a bit limited especially for me as a coeliac needing gluten free meals . Some of the hotel staff ( who thought they knew what they were talking about) tried their best to help me out with some meal adjustments but being served noodles one night wasn’t a good sign at all and a fruit salad as a dessert every night gets a bit boring .
The road from the hotel to the public bus stop from a pedestrian safety point of view is a total nightmare and my tip is either pre order the hotel minibus which doesn’t run that often , order a taxi or turn right at the hotel entrance and just run to the bus stop about 100mts away - DON’T WALK IT TO TOWN you likely not to make it there alive !The bus ride down to town is also something well worth the 2euro , Alton Towers take note.
Wi-fi coverage is only in the public areas shame really as it should be in the rooms as well.

Mealtimes at this hotel can be poor on some days especially a Wednesday which is the so called 5 course tasting night ( don’t get too excited though it not that good ) . Seems to me that there is a rush to the dinner table on that day at around 1900hrs and if your nose isn’t at the trough by that time you might well have to wait an couple of hours at least for the next troughing opportunity - not good ( as most of the guests seemed to be German maybe this is a Germanic thing to do and us Brits get left behind ).Has anyone thought of a table reservation system at this hotel which might also help the staff out by spreading the pain - see next point ?

From a service level point of view most of the staff do their very best but as others have pointed out they are obviously massively well under resourced . It’s obviously a big problem on busy nights and at breakfast time especially , I don’t think I have every seen guests in a 5 star hotel clearing tables themselves in order to sit down to breakfast ! Some of the staff are super helpful especially the English chap who works very hard to keep guests happy but the counter to that is the one member of staff,who was one of the more older local senior waiters,was super super surly ..... two points for owners to note
1) why employ him and 2) why is the hotel manager invisible at busy times especially breakfast time.

Would I return and really only because the service levels are not as good as they should be.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
4  Thank wp12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018

We stayed here for 7 days and it was really lovely. True the hotel could do with a bit of a smartening up, but that didn’t put us off! The rooms are bright and airy and the views from our room (211) were spectacular. The breakfasts were superb and although as other reviewers have mentioned the Dinner service was slow, we didn’t mind - we were on holiday!! The pool area is clean and a real sun trap. The staff are friendly and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. On our last night we went to a sister hotel for a ‘traditional’ folk night and had a great time. We took advantage of the hotel shuttle to go into town - the hotel is some way from the town centre and a taxi was only 8 euro! Overall, we considered the hotel and half-board package great value for money!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank dwparkes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2018 via mobile

The hotel reception and restaurant is on the 3rd floor accessed by a large flight of steps.
The disabled room is on the second floor with ramped access to the outside.
If you are totally dependent on a mobility scooter this doesn’t fit into the lift and therefore you are stranded with no access to the dining and public areas.
The food and staff I cannot fault but by British standards this is not a 5 star hotel. There are no tea or coffee making facilities but when requested they obliged.
Pedestrian access is difficult as the hotel is high on a steep hill with a very narrow road with no pavements and fast traffic, making it dangerous for mobility scooters
There is a limited shuttle service into Funchal (10 minutes away) which drops you off at their sister hotel (the Santiago) which is also situated in a narrow busy street and steep making it difficult for pedestrians with limited mobility and dangerous for scooters.
As far as disability is concerned it is not suitable area to stay with inclement weather as you are marooned.
If you are fit and able this is a suitable hotel.
My comments are purely from a disabled persons view and room 217 is large and well equipped.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Betty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

We stayed for a week at this hotel as part of a Travelsphere excursion package - we had prepaid for half-board as we had read that this hotel is not located close to any restaurants and we did not wish to have to go far in the evening to eat. The hotel itself was lovely but the location is not ideal if you like to be able to walk out of a hotel and explore the local area easily as it is located on a very steep hill with no pavements - the hotel entrance is also concealed so in our opinion very dangerous for pedestrians. Our tour manager was so concerned that she arranged for us to have a smaller bus provided for our excursions instead of a standard coach so that it could drive into the grounds. The restaurant was spotlessly clean and waiting staff very friendly and helpful. The choice of food and beverages (including sparkling wine!) at breakfast was incredible and some items could also be cooked to order (see menu cards on tables) eg pancakes, eggs, omlettes etc. The outdoor terrace was usually open for breakfast service and it was lovely to be able to eat outdoors overlooking the ocean and Funchal harbour. There was a set menu for dinner that was displayed earlier in the day and there was the opportunity to request an alternative if you did not like the set choice. The area around the swimming pool was very comfortable and bar snacks could be ordered during the day from the pool area - we enjoyed the hot tub and indoor pool as well. The grounds are on a steep hillside but have been well cultivated and we enjoyed looking at the trees and shrubs. We had paid for an upgrade with a balcony and we had our own private garden. The gardeners work hard and we did find one day to our cost that the grounds are watered regularly as we had taken our own pool towels away and these got soaked whilst supposedly "drying" on our patio when the automatic watering system came on! Wifi was only available in the public reception areas but it worked well. There were some beautiful flower arrangements in the public areas of the hotel and staff were very friendly and keen to be of help. Our bedroom was very comfortable and the bathroom facilities were good. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Room Tip: the hotel is set into a hillside - our room was at ground floor level at the side so below reception which is at the front on ground floor
  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank 628K_K628
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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