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“Luxurious hotel on a beautiful island”

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Vila Gale Santa Cruz
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Luxurious hotel on a beautiful island”
Reviewed 16 June 2009

Arrival at Madeira airport was quick and easy. I have an electronic passport so I was through passport control in about 2 minutes. Our bags were already off when we got through so within about 15 minutes of landing we were on the minibus to our hotel. The trip took only 5 minutes.
We were very impressed on arrival. Check in was smooth and easy. We didn't opt for a sea view room but it didn't matter really as we had a gorgeous view of the mountains from our balcony, also we could watch the world go by on the street below. The room was large and comfortable with a TV, DVD player and excellent air conditioning system. You can buy movies on your TV (although we didn't), also the TV gives weather and flight information - however the weather information was never accurate! The bathroom was large and clean with a good shower, a large mirror and a little shaving mirror. A note of caution - there is a random little switch next to the light switches with a picture of a cleaner on, if you press this it turns on a red light outside your room which means you don't want it cleaning. We pressed it by accident and then wondered why our room didn't get cleaned for 2 days!
We were on a bed and breakfast basis and the breakfast was excellent (although I didn't try the hot food), there was plenty of choice and it was all good quality. There is even hot milk provided so you can make the very strong coffee more milky without making it cold.
The pool area was wonderful and the sunbeds very comfortable, they don't tip up when you sit on them like most places I have been! It is also very clean, an army of cleaning staff mop the floor around the pool morning and evening. I agree with most other reviews though - the pool is very cold although once you have braced yourself to get it in it is worth it. You can get pool towels from reception which you can have changed everyday.
The drinks and snacks at the hotel are very expensive, you can get them much cheaper at the little snack bar down the road!
Santa Cruz itself is gorgeous, so unspoilt by tourism. It is lovely to take walks around. We ate several times at both the Bilheteira restaurant and Bom Jesus restaurant in the square and found the food there to be excellent and very cheap. I would recommend them both.
We went in to Funchal twice. The hotel provide a courtesy bus although the last bus back is very early so you can't use it in the evening. However you can get a bus from Santa Cruz to Funchal for 2.30 Euro. You just have to pay the driver. The journey gives you amazing views of the island although the driving can be very scary sometimes!
Restaurants in the old town section of Funchal are lovely and most do a set 3 course menu for about 14 Euro where you have about 4 choices in each course - great value for money.
It is true that being so close to the airport the planes do fly pretty low over the hotel however we found that this did not bother us at all although I can see how it might annoy some people.
We ate at the hotel buffet twice in the evening - the price is 22 Euro but they gave us a 20% discount voucher on arrival. I have to say that while there was plenty of choice and the food was nice it was much better to eat at the cheaper restaurants in the village.

If you are looking for nightlife however this is not the place to come to!
We loved Madeira and would return in the future.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank EuroCorrespondant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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UK
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2009

Close enough to Funchal but the village is quiet and great value. No chavs in the Hotel and all facilities are very good. Best to have bed and breakfast only as other food is not the best and eating out is much better. Although it is very close to the runway there are very few planes and they do not bother you. We will go again

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Properjob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2009

We really loved this hotel, its a 5 star value in my opinion. The only reason I gave it 4* is that we had to return our card key to the desk at least 5 times in 5 days which became frustrating. Maybe just our door.

Rooms are large, clean and newly updated. Bathroom is huge. Upgrade to an ocean view for 10 or 15 bucks a night and you can see/hear the crash of the surf as well as get a great view of the pool and Santa Cruz. Bus is 25 minutes into Funchal and a hilly, beautiful ride.

We were checked in and waiting for our flight in less than 15 minutes from the taxi picking us up. Awesome, since we left at 5AM. We also arrived after midnight to find a long line of taxis, so not a worry for late flights.

The meter was different in the AM, not sure if it was a scam. 6.50 Euros on the way there, 10 on the way back to the airport.

We did not have all inclusive, just breakfast, which was fine, not great.

Eat at the Bilheteria by the church, very friendly people and a great value for seafood. The SEafood and Rice for 2 (19 euros total) was enough for about 4 and jam packed with seafood. Tried 3 other places around there with poor results, though.

Also recommend InterTours Western Island trip, full day for 44 Euros-with lunch, which was great. Our own trip to Santans on bus was not so great, found the town less than advertised.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jeff R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Funchal, Portugal
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2009

I have been in this hotel four times, and this is really a good choice. Clean and large rooms, better than many 5***** with very good facilities. Staff very pleasent and a very good choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner ( Mainly Buffet), so it´s a lot of choice. In case you prefer something more private or different choise they also have another restaurant at the hotel. Room service also on dutty for 24h.
Outside large pool and also very relaxing, with superb view to the ocean and to Santa Cruz Village.
The SPA you have to pay to aceed to it. ( Interior Pool/Sauna/Jacuzzi/Turquish Bath).
Very good Bar with good a atmosphere.
In case you like to go to to city center( Funchal), you can get a bus next to the hotel.
If you choose this hotel, you will see it really worths it.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MadeiraIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincolnshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 May 2009

We have just returned from a two week holiday at this hotel. We really enjoyed the holiday. Very modern and stylish, the rooms are mostly facing the sea. We had paid extra for a sea view so when we got to the room and looked out. we were dissappointed to find that we were right in a corner and had to lean out over the balcony to see the sea. I complained and was immediately moved to a room at the front of the hotel overlooking the sea. GREAT!!!! There are just a couple of small things that I would say. The pool was the biggest disappointment it was FREEZING !!!!!!!! so most of the time there was no one swimming which was such a shame because it really looked inviting....The meals were lovely very well presented and replenished all the time. We were all inclusive and thank goodness we were because the price of the food and the drinks were really expensive. The only thing I would say was that the plates were cold...but almost at the end of the 2 weeks we did discover that hot plates were available you just had to look around to find them (clue: they are situated just to the left of the main entrance to the restaurant) hope you find them. the only other comment I would make is that if you like a walk after your meal there is really only the broadway the rest of the village is very small and quite. lovely though!!!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Felix693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hertfordshire
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2009

Stayed at this hotel for 10 nights in April this year. It is a very sleek,modern hotel which is ultra comfortable and clean. Rooms lovely,spacious with a balcony. Location wise we loved, as it is right next to airport (but this isn't an issue with noise,we enjoyed doing a bit of plane spotting) and Santa Cruz itself is a charming little village with a handful of restaurants and pavement cafes. It is mainly a local's place so not full of tourists which was lovely. The best restaurant we found for food and service was a little italian place, it is well hidden so you will have to look for it,its tucked away inside a doorway directly opposite 1 of the other pavement cafes,the 1st litlte road you come to when you enter the main centre bit. We hired a car and visited most of the other resorts and can honestly say we were pleased we stayed in Santa cruz, the others were either in suburban places with nothing around or in Funchal which is far too built up and busy for our liking.

Spa in hotel is good,indoor pool lovely and warm. Only prob we had was on Good Friday it got extremely busy with young children which meant it was more like a splash pool than a tranquil spa,and having paid 7.50 Euros to go in we weren't impressed...
Also,the outdoor pool is FREEZING, I mean like ice. Impossible to get in , I got in once and had to get straight back out because I felt so ill, my whole body went numb! It is such a shame because it looks lovely and there are plenty of sun beds etc, but a complete waste of a pool in my opinion.
Breakfasts were nice but only the continental bit. The hot selection was pretty dire, omelettes were ready made out of a carton and the scrambled eggs were powdered egg, the beans and bacon all luke warm and hardly cooked. But the other bits were good, large selection of meats,rolls, croissants,fruit etc.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank evian1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sevenoaks
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2009

Can't fault this hotel, and found it great value. Rooms are large, modern and spotless, most with sea views. The breakfast was excellent - and the service impeccable. The hotel is near the airport but the rooms are so well soundproofed that you don't hear the planes, or indeed your neighbours in the adjoining rooms. The hotel is not on the bus route to the hotel so the best option is to get a taxi (6-7 euros) or it's walkable in 20 minutes if you're travelling light! Would definitely go back there.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JanetDSevenoaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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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