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“ocean view and outside dining - best features” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Vila Gale Santa Cruz

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Vila Gale Santa Cruz
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“ocean view and outside dining - best features”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2014

We have stayed here in the opening weeks back in 2006 and we loved it. It was new and modern and the view of the ocean was a big selling point to us. Room was trendy and fresh and we loved the outside dining on the terrace. Airport was very near, we did get to see airplains landing but no noise pollution at all, very interesting sight. Funchal was a busjourney away and we enjoyed those dauntingly narrow mountain roads where busses and cars have to alert each other with claxons before entering a road bent....scary..... Funchal is great, take also a boat trip dolphins spotting (we only spotted another boats) and don't miss the splendid botanical gardens of Madeira and have chocolate cake in the hill town of Monte!

Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Clippertje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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958 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (195)
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Hull
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

We have just returned from a last minute week at this hotel and can really recommend it. As with any hotel, there are some positives and negatives which I can share with you.

Location: The hotel is literally a stones throw from the airport in a very small village. This means transfer time is a dream, if it wasn't for the fact that I do not pack light you could virtually walk to the airport. Of course this does mean planes fly overhead, but this is really not a problem as other reviews have stated. And there don't appear to be late night flights so no noise disturbance at all. The village itself is very small, with very little to do or see. It has a pretty little square, a church, an impressive looking police station and a promenade with rocky beach type thing. I wouldn't really describe it as a beach to be honest, but the vista over the sea is lovely.

Accomodation: The hotel is clean and well maintained. I couldn't really fault the standard there, and there were many workers painiting etc. I guess gearing up for high season. It is a modern hotel, with two of the three bars open. The one near reception apparently has never been opened in the time some staff have worked there. The room was clean, modern and comfortable with lovely sea views. We were travelling with a baby and a travel cot was in the room. I emailed ahead to confirm this and received a prompt and friendly reply. The cot had the mesh missing at one end, which could be dangerous for a more mobile baby than ours. If she had been crawling I would have had to request a swap.

Food: The food was pretty good throughout our stay. I really think they need to have the cooking station manned at all times. It was frustrating having to stand around waiting and it wasn't the staffs fault as they were busilly runnign around trying to replenish all the food. It did get a bit samey after a week, but that tends to happen in all inclusives apart from those with multiple restaurants etc.

Drink: We were all inclusive and the quality of the drinks was very good, including the house wine which can often be vinegary at an all inclusive. Not here! It was lovely. However, it could be tough at times to get a drink. Often the bars were unmanned and the staff were running around trying to do other jobs in between serving.

Entertainment: This was poor, but we were there for a quiet week so it didn't bother us too much.

Facilities: The outdoor pool was soooo cold, so we couldn't use it. This was mainly down to the weather being a bit dodgy which obviously wasn't their fault. The pool looked lovely though and I can imagine a swim in there on a sunny day would be lovely. The spa was free to use and was great for us, apart from a few issues when it became very busy at the weekend. There were large groups in there being pretty boisterous, so it wasn't really suitable for our 8 month old to use. I think there should be some rules in there about jumping etc. as it is a small area and is meant to be relaxing. It was a lovely place to be throughout the week.

Staff: The staff were wonderful and really looked after us and our baby Holly. I wish I could remember everyones names, but people like Sandra couldn't do more for Holly and fussed over her, making her giggle all the time. It was lovely to be made to feel so welcome and I know they all felt sad saying bye to her yesterday.

Overall I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the hotel. For us it was a shame the weather wasn't so great, but that's life. Thanks to all the staff for looking after us so well...especially little Holly.

Room Tip: Sea view is worth having and doesn't cost much more.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MrBeanHull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, General Manager at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this review, 11 July 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank very much for suach a detailed comment on our hotel.

Expressing your opinio in such a concise way gives us a very good feeling about the way we receive our guests as well as knowing where we still can improve ourselves.

Hope to have you again with us many more times to accompany the growth of little Holly.


Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zug, Switzerland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

The hotel is well situated within minutes walking distance of quaint town Santa Cruz where you can chill for a cold beer or ice cream or go and have dinner. Hotel staff were attentive and friendly. We first had a double room with our teenage daughter but had to change to a suite as it was way too tight - so double rooms are not very large - we were very pleased with our new room however. We enjoyed our week with sea view and breakfast. I wouldn't book half board as eating out is inexpensive and you get to experience a bit of Madeira that way and have contact with local cuisine. Entertainment in hotel wasn't so wonderful, but ok. The only suggestion I would make is to think about hiring a car as taxis into Funchal are expensive at 25-40 euros a time and the last shuttle bus from hotel leaves Funchal at 17.30 so if you want to stay for evening, you need to pay for a taxi. We easily spent 70 euros on just one day on taxis to and from Funchal as the shuttle was too early for us. Santa Cruz is cute but a little boring so it is fun to go to Funchal and enjoy a bit more life. Driving around the island is easy so my advice would be to hire a car at airport and be totally flexible with day trips and sightseeing with just breakfast as this is really enough. Weather in Madeira is very changeable so with the spontaneity of a car, you have total flexibility and can really get too see this tropical island.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lindaZug_Switzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this review, 25 May 2014
Dear Mrs. Linda,

Thank you very much for your comments on the Vila Galé Santa Cruz, it is good to know that we provided you and your Family a good stay.

Hope to have you back on the Vila Galé Santa Cruz, or any other Vila Galé in Portugal or Brasil.

I would also take the oportunity to suggest some of our sister hotels that had improvements to the increase the comfort and well-being of our guests, like the Vila Galé Lagos or the Vila Galé Santa Cruz where there are new Family rooms.


Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014

We stayed for just 1 week, in a double room with a roll out bed for our daughter. The room did not have a sea view, however looked out over the town, catching the sun nicely in the late afternoon. The rooms are an excellent standard, and comfortable for 3 people. We stayed on an all inclusive basis. There was always an excellent selection to choose from, and a grill every night, the service was first class even when busy. The service at the pool bar was good, you can order snacks if you don't fancy a full sit down lunch. The jazz bar that opened about 5 was very nice, the service again was excellent. During the day we used both indoor and outdoor pools, although we never made it to the sauna or jacuzzi. We also enjoyed the table tennis and darts. It's a very nice walk upto the end of the promenade and then back through town, stopping for a cheeky beer in the square.it's worth a trip into Funchal on the courtesy bus make sure you book in advance. We will certainly return.

Room Tip: Our room looked out over the town.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank RLHG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, General Manager at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Dear Guest,

The returning guest is one of the best recognition we get of our efforts to make our guests feel well with us.

We will be waiting for the promise you made and we will be waiting for your return to the Vila Galé Santa Cruz or any other Vila Galé.

If I may suggest, also to visit the Vila Galé Lagos in Algarve where we have new family rooms.


Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chester
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2014

We got off to a poor start but things got a lot better. We had asked for a twin room but were taken to a double. The error was soon put right although we were told our new room was the only twin room in the hotel. The room was spacious and had the benefit of bendy reading lights so that your partner's sleep need not be disturbed if you wanted to read.

The room had a safe for valuables [no charge for this] and the bathroom was well appointed. Our room faced east - affording an excellent view of 'planes landing and taking off from the airport runway. Strangely enough we were not really affected by noise from these operations.

We were B&B as we like to search out local eateries for lunch and dinner. The self-service breakfasts were of an excellent standard, catering for all tastes. A lady made me an omelette one day.

The foyer was a bit Spartan - in line with the modern design of the place. Nice and clean but no atmosphere.

Overall - more positives than negatives.

Room Tip: Our rooms was on the east side and had a good view of the sea, of the old town, the hills behind and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ChesterScrooge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this review, 9 April 2014
Dear Guest,

We were happy that we were able to provide you a pleasent stay and a relaxing quality time.

We look forward to welcome you back to the Vila Galé Santa Cruz and also permit me to suggest you our 5 star Vila Galé Collection Palácio dos Arcos which is in a palace in the Lisbon area.


Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014

We stayed at Hotel Vila Gale in Santa Cruz for a week in March 2014, having booked an all-inclusive package through First Choice. To say we were pleased with the hotel, is an understatement. It is a modern, well appointed, very clean, friendly, professional establishment.

The room (ours was room 2012) was plenty large enough, with a huge double bed, flat screen television, large bathroom, with powerful shower and a balcony which looked over the pool and seafront. Brits beware though, there is no kettle, so take a travel one with you if you like a morning cuppa before breakfast. We mentioned this to the manager, while chatting to him one night, and he did say that they were looking into providing kettles in the future. Coffee and tea is freely available all day from the poolside bar for all-inclusive guests.

The food at breakfast, lunch and dinner was, in principle, a buffet, but it was much more than the name suggests, with a large selection of hot and cold foods, with the menu changed each day and between lunch and dinner - no re-worked leftovers here - and waiting staff providing drinks and promptly clearing the tables.
The one downside of the restaurant was that the Teutonic contingent flocked in at opening times, which meant tables were hard to come by. However, leave it for half an hour and the rush had gone and a comfortable meal could be enjoyed. It was credit to the hotel that, whenever you went in, there was always plentiful hot food with supplies being replenished all the time.

The bar was quiet and friendly - the all-inclusive drinks, wines and spirits, were of good quality and served in good measure. There was some entertainment on some evenings, which was enjoyable, but perhaps went on too long sometimes.

We didn’t try either the internal or external pools, but they looked clean and well maintained.

We hadn’t realised how close we would be to the airport. It was literally within walking distance. But we felt no irritation from the planes landing and taking off. They don’t fly at night and even during the day they are infrequent audible intrusions.

The staff, without exception, were so friendly and helpful and really seemed genuine in their desire to make everyone’s stay the best. And of course they all speak excellent English.
The manager and his deputy stood and chatted to us for over an hour one evening, not only about the hotel, but about life in general. They made us feel so welcome - far beyond what their job description would require.

Our only complaint was down to my own mistake. On arrival we were given two tokens for additional towels for the pool. I mislaid one and was charged 20 Euros on checkout. Look after them.

Santa Cruz itself is a very small quiet town. If you want nightlife, don’t go to Santa Cruz. But if you want a quiet, relaxing place, this could well be what you’re looking for.
The hotel has a bookable free shuttle bus to Funchal, which runs several times a day, but the local bus service is also good and reasonably priced. The taxis are a bit pricey.

To conclude, if this review sounds gushing in its praise, then that is exactly right. We definitely hope to return sometime soon.

Room Tip: Not aware of any "bad" rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this review, 9 April 2014
Dear Mr. Brian,

Thank you very much for description of your stay with us.

You managed to describe the hotel in such a way that left us very proud and gratified for the daily effort to please our guests.

Hope to have you back with us soon.

Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Funchal, Portugal
Level Contributor
72 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014 via mobile

Another time at Vila Gale, and again very happy for the choice made.
7 times to these hotel and never disapointed!
We checked in around 10 in the morning and we were welcomed by Catia, very friendly and efficient. We were informed the room was ready by that time. Perfect service.
We spent the afternoon on the indoor pool, now free of charge, using sauna,jacuzzi and turkish bath.
We had dinner at the hotel as we have booked half board. Buffet is very good,from cold,hot,desserts and cheese. All staff at restaurant amazing once again and very efficient such as Bruno,Edgar,Duarte,Dionísio,Noemia.
Rooms are perfect and very clean, we had room 4017, with sea view. A Paradise!!!
Looking forward for our next visit.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank MadeiraIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this review, 9 April 2014
Dear Guest,

I do not have anything else to say for your words and joy than lets go for seven more visits (at least).

Hope to see you again soon with us.


Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vila Gale Santa Cruz

Property: Vila Gale Santa Cruz
Address: Rua Nova de Sao Fernando 5, Santa Cruz, Madeira 9100-173, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Gale Santa Cruz 4*
Number of rooms: 262
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This beach hotel in Santa Cruz (Madeira) is situated directly beside the sea. Funchal is just 15 minutes away, while Funchal airport is only 5 minutes from the hotel. The promenade and the aqua park are also nearby. There are also stony and pebble beaches in the area. The hotel, which was built in 2006, has a total of 262 room on 4 floors, where we feature 4 junior suites suitable for families. The hotel offers a fully air-conditioned environment with spacious lobby, lifts, 24-hour reception, hotel safe, three bars, two restaurants and parking facilities. It has congress centre (890 m²), room and laundry services, as well as a kids club and games room. All rooms with en suite bathroom, balcony, air conditioning, individually adjustable central heating, direct dial phone, clock, satellite TV, CD / DVD player, radio, safe deposit box, hair-dryer, fax / modem connection, minibar, electronic security lock and 24 hour-room service. It offers an outdoor swimming pool for adults and children, indoor swimming pool (for a fee) and spa facilities with Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room / Turkish bath, Vichy room, a gym, studio for classes, 4 massage and treatments rooms, physician's office. The nearest golf course is only 10 minutes away and the hotel provides a golf desk and clubs closet. A breakfast buffet is served each morning. Lunch and dinner may be eaten from a buffet or a la carte. The following are all accepted as methods of payment: American Express, MasterCard and VISA. There is a transfer service to Funchal available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vila Gale Santa Cruz Hotel Santa Cruz
Vila Gale Hotel Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Vila Gale
Vila Gale Madeira
Vila Gale Santa Cruz Madeira

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