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“Book somewhere else”
Review of Estalagem do Mar

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Estalagem do Mar
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sao Vicente
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Book somewhere else”
Reviewed 4 July 2011

Definitely not 4 star. The north of the island is pretty but limited sun and hence nothing to do when there is constant cloud. Everything about the place is dated. The food is appalling and bland - plan to eat out. We asked about the advertised 'brunch' and were told to go to the bar where we could get a biscuit. Afternoon tea was also just a biscuit.
We checked out early and moved to Funchal - the receptionist did not even ask why we were going!!!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Ilene11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2011

We stayed for a week on the all inclusive Travel Zoo deal at the end of June. Having read the recent reviews on here (after booking!) I was seriously concerned about this hotel.
On arrival, the location of the hotel was breathtaking. The mountains immediately behind the hotel, the nearby waterfall and the hypnotic crashing Atlantic waves were wonderful. The trouble was that the micro-climate of this area was predominently cloudy. Indeed we only managed to sunbathe twice at the hotel all week. Our room (309) was clean and satisfactory (twin beds pushed together) with air con, and a balcony. The shower was unpredictable (water pressure and temperature were random) and the room reminded me of a travel lodge. Thankfully we don't watch much TV, as the only working channel was CNN. Wi-fi was only in reception. The swimming pools (indoor and out) didn't look inviting so I passed and swam in the sea instead (caution, big waves, rocks etc).
The food that we were given as part of our package was poor. All meals but one lunch were buffets and of course the food temperature varied between cold and warmish. Breakfast bacon was interesting. I've not seen bone in bacon since the 1970's. Bread was nice and fresh though, so I tended to have jam and bread for breakfast. Orange juice was the kind of quash that kids drink. Coffee was instant and awful until 11am when you could get a (half decent) espresso from the bar.
Lunch was meat or fish. Dinner was meat or fish. Both with overcooked veg (sprouts one day!), rice (which I didn't try) and potato (chips, fried potato cubes, larger fried potato cubes and boiled spuds one day). Meat tended to be quite flavoursome but sometimes rather chewy. Food did seem to improve slightly during our stay when a large group of french tourists arrived to stay.
Staff were all very friendly and helpful although several looked as though they were shell shocked at getting moaned at by guests.
Beer was satisfactory. Sparkling water was fine. The wine was fairly scary and I'm not a big fan of drinking strange spirits with labels that are made to look like genuine brands.
When we spoke to staff at the local tavernas, on two occasions they mentioned that their business' thrived because of the food at the Estalagem do Mar.
Luckily, we had a hire car for the duration, so we spent a lot of time away from the hotel and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday.
In fairness, and on reflection, we would stay here again if the opportunity arose, just not fully inclusive.

Room Tip: hire a car to find the sun
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank sssshh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2011

Could be a lovely location if the cloud lifted, drive through the tunnel towards the south of the island and brilliant sunshine! Definitely not a 4* - max 2* plus and I feel that is generous. Stayed on an all inclusive deal, personally feel the drinks were watered down, didnt see brunch, buffet choice every day consisted of rice, soggy veg, some potatoes (alot of the time boiled potatoes), meat or fish dish. We asked for some peanuts/crisps late afternoon and they do not have this, we ended up with rubber cheese and stale crackers. Rooms are ok, smelt a bit musty but are clean although very tired looking, all have sea view so do not be fooled when you have been told you have been upgraded. We were also advised we could stay in our room till we were ready to leave, again this is not correct although the receptionist was very good and let us stay till 4pm (our collection was 5.30pm). Indoor pool looked ok, jucuzzi was 'green' looking so not very appealing and you have to book the sauna. Hotel reception and head waitress were good but don't expect any of the waiters to smile! There is no evening entertainment so take some cards or your ipod. This hotel really is in the middle of nowhere although we did find a fantastic restaurant within walking distance - turn right out of the hotel, walk over the bridge, turn left and it is half way down on the right (has fairy lights outside) called Taberna De S. Vicente - excellent food and fantastic hosts also extremely good value for money. Fortunately we met some lovely people at the hotel who had hired a car and let us tag along with them - if you do stay here, hire a car as it can be very dire when the sun does not shine. All in all I was dissappointed and if not for the couple we met that ferried us about I would have moved hotel to one in Funchal. South of the island is defintely better. Also if you are a smoker the hotel has no ashtrays - ???

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank Louise187054
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2011

Advertised as an all inclusive week's package. Sao Vicente is in North of Island and colder and wetter than South. The whole hotel was dated and run down. The bedrooms had no fridges, kettles etc, and the decoration was poor. Most of the staff were surly and the food was unimaginative, bland and with very limited choice. All rooms overlook the sea, but the coast is rocky with remnants of building works. The pool area was run down with no outside bar (or eating facilities). Cleanliness was dubious. There was no entertainment and little information about local area.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ricardo1649
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridgeshire,UK
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2011

We couldn't believe how awful this hotel was and how misleading the descriptions are. No way is it a 4* at best a 2* plus, the downstairs rooms were damp and musty, our 3rd room on the top floor was a little better. It is a shame, as it is situated in a stunning location and could be quite special, unfortunately there does seem to be a permanent cloud over it ,which appeared appropriate to the general mood and air of the hotel,the nicest members of staff are the receptionists who were very helpful .
It is very tired and dated and the food is appalling, i admit that i could of cried on our first night there. Thank goodness we had a car, drive back through the village between the mountains into brilliant sunshine and an all together different experience, we survived by leaving in the morning and returning late in the evening. Madeira itself is a stunning and beautiful island that i would love to return too.

Room Tip: Do not be afraid to look at several rooms.
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hessy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
northampton
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2011

Have to agree with most of these negative comments. Just returned from this hotel & first impressions of it, along with Sao Vicente are not good!
It does need some refurbishment, & our room, on ground floor was a bit smelly, drainage I think.
Food was very bland, over-cooked or cooked too soon, & there was very little choice, a meat or fish dish & veg & that was it.
Breakfast was predictable, same egg & bacon or cereal every morning.
This part of the island suffers from bad weather, in the whole week the sun came out on one day only, yet drive through the first tunnel & the rest of the island is bathed in glorious sunshine!
The island itself is dramatically beautiful & you definitely need a car, but driving is not for the faint-hearted!!
I visit to the caves is a must, excellent value.
Shame about this hotel, staff were fine & best part was copious amounts of beer & wine...well you have to do something !
If you are a sun worshipper, stay elsewhere on the island.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NorthamptonHammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pershore, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2011

Stayed for a week in June and was very impressed. Location is superb and if you go to a mountainous area you should expect some cloud or rain. Staff are excellent, both efficient and friendly.
We stayed on all inclusive package and found meals were very acceptable, though we would have preferred waitress service in the evening instead of lunchtime.
Food is not gourmet but there was always a choice and no one would be hungry, a substantial packed lunch was even provided for days when we were on trips.
Room was comfortable and well equipped
Some areas of the hotel were in need of TLC, however there did seem to be work going on around the sea wall as we left.
All in all a very good value for money break,

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank supergran16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Estalagem do Mar

Property: Estalagem do Mar
Address: Juncos - Faja da Areia, Sao Vicente, Madeira 9240-210, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Sao Vicente
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sao Vicente
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Estalagem do Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 99
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Also Known As:
Estalagem Do Mar Hotel Sao Vicente
Estalagem Do Mar Sao Vicente, Madeira Islands

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