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“Five Star Hotel, Six Star Staff. Shame about the furniture!”
Review of The Vine Hotel

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The Vine Hotel
Ranked #17 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Five Star Hotel, Six Star Staff. Shame about the furniture!”
Reviewed 10 October 2010

I recently stayed at The Vine in Funchal for 7 nights with my partner.
The location is excellent, you are right in the heart of the Marina area, literally two minutes' walk from the marina and restaurant areas, no need for taxis.
(Most of the other 5 star hotels are in an area called the "Lido", which is a good 5-10 min bus/taxi ride from the city centre).
The facilities are excellent however we were advised that due to maintenance, the rooftop jacuzzi and spa is unavailable until Nov 2010. The pool is good for a leisurely dip rather than a swim due to its dimensions, or for cooling off from the sun and heat of the day.
The rooftop bar has friendly staff, is well designed, with great decor and moderately priced but the rooftop restaurant "UVA" is expensive, the prices put myself and my partner off somewhat when there are enough restaurants elsewhere to accommodate us.We could not fault the substantial breakfast though, all hand-made by the hotel, cereals, fruit,yoghurts,cheeses,bread,sweet pastries and warm food also, with first class staff who are only too happy to make sure your stay is a pleasurable one.
The only (very) minor 'faults' (i use the term loosely) i found were in the design of furniture in the bedrooms. closets and drawers with pencil-thin handles that looked good but did not assist in opening them. We also had a problem with the air con. we could not alter the temp-it was set at 20 degrees, and all we seemed able to do was turn the fan off/on.
This meant that we had to sleep with the window open most nights...and due to the location you get the sound of the city drifting in at unhelpful times.
Of course this is not down to the staff, so to criticise them i realise is unfair.I will just have to mark The Vine 99, not 100!
I would recommend it to all, however it may well appeal to the younger age groups simply through its design and decor.
Be warned, the taxi drivers in Funchal we used were not aware of where the hotel is unless you tell them the name of the shopping precinct, Dolce Vita!

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mike1973Lancs_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Romsey, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2010

I cannot say enough good things about the Vine Hotel. We stayed for 12 nights and in all that time cannot find anything negative to say. The staff were all superb, from the chamber maids, doormen, receptionists, restaurant and bar staff. I have never met such helpful, friendly people anywhere and we would thank them all for making our stay so wonderful. The location is also brilliant, being on the border of the old and new town, so within easy reach of all areas. The roof top pool and bar is a perfect place to relax and the view from their at night it stunning, seeing all the twinkling lights across the town and surounding hills. Would recommend this hotel to everyone!

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank CarolineRJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo, Norway
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 August 2010

I searched and found the perfect hotel for complete relaxation. Madeira was not in my mind, but when I saw the hotel on the internet and read the reviews I decided to give it a try - and I'm glad I did. It's the most relaxing holiday I've had in years. And the reason? The Vine! I stayed there for seven nights, a jounior suite at the winter (4th) floor and it was, as they promise, a devine experience! The design of the hotel is organized aorund vine - and it's carried out to the smallest detail. At the same time it captures important Portugese charactersitics, like the pebbles, and the material that are used exquisite. It is a pure pleasure to go to bed in the evening, lay down in an always perfectly made bed and let the soft Egyptian cotton of the bedding surround your body. It's also a pleasure to wake up, take a shower or a bath before going down to breakfast (or order it to your room) where an always welcoming staff attend to your needs in a professional and discrete way.

The rooftop with its pool, jacuzzi, sunbeds and 360 bar is a great place to chill out during the day, it's a really realxing environment, a quiet place with astonishing view and excellent service. It's also a great place for having an aperitif before dining at the UVA or a coffee after dinner. I dined at the UVA twice, and especially the first time when I had the tasting menue with the reccommended wines was a great experience. The second time, the first course was a bit overflavoured to my taste, but all in all a very good experience. It is truley a gourmet restaurant, but as most restaurants there is room for improvements regarding the combinations of flavours in some of the dishes. All the wines, except the champagnes of course, are from Portugal. If you are not so familiar with Portugese wine the sommeliers help you make excellent choices, the desert wine that was reccommended with the peaches was a heavenly combination I'll never forget. Considereing the quality of the food, the wine, the combination of tastes and the service, the prices are reasonable. I strongly reccommend to try it out, and do reserve a table because UVA is becoming quite popular. If you want to try out other restaurants in Funchal and the surrounding area, the staff at the UVA as well as the reception will give you excellent advices tailord to your whishes - the best way to avoid the worst turist traps that you'll also find in Funchal.

At the spa I had a very good masage and an excellent facial. The staff is welcoming, professional, discrete and very helpful. Since I'm allergic, and very sensitive to smells, I found some of the scents a bit strong to my taste. However I informed the staff, so they used relatively neutral products in my treatments.

For me the location was excellent - allthough I only left the hotel on four occations - two for dining out and two for exploring the town. I'm probably a very lazy tourist, but I was at The Vine to wind down - and I did. When you get in to the rythm of things at The Vine, the relaxing athmosphere, the pleasent environment where things are in perfect balance regarding shapes, sounds, colours, tastes, even smells. And no stress - not from the staff, not from the other guests - how can you not relax?

The service was excellent all around. The staff is really outstanding - there when you need them, attentive but not importunate, always friendly and helpful - a six star staff in a truely five star hotel.

I had a wonderful time at The Vine, and I will definitely be going back - as soon as I can.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Konjakk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2010

The Vine is a good choice if you want somewhere in Funchal rather than up the hill in hotel village. Location is perfect for exploring the city and is only a two minute walk from the harbour, and 10 minutes to the old town and funicular.

You enter the hotel from the entrance of the shopping centre immediately below, from a bright well-lit atrium into a world of dark colours and very modern design. While it is certainly striking, and will certainly give you something to talk about when you get home, the design is often quirky rather than chic, and often leaves you wanting the practicality of ‘ordinary’ fittings in the room.

Service was first class from the first minute to the last – the best we have experienced outside Thailand and Sri Lanka. It’s not overdone or overattentive, just spot on.

It’s not a hotel for families unless the objective to spend your time in the city. The rooftop pool is more for dipping than swimming, but it is a very cool place and does give you great views. Breakfast is very good but the gourmet (apparently) restaurant (next to the pool on the roof – an odd location) is expensive, and was mostly empty, but access to the city’s restaurants is so good that it doesn’t matter – unless you are after a full/half board package. However, pick your restaurant wisely, and treat guidebook reviews with scepticism. If you go for an old town establishment, which are mostly all together in quite a small area, expect to be coaxed in by the smiley touters but then treated, if our experience was anything to go by, like tourists to be fully exploited. To the manager of O Tapassol, I hope you read my separate scathing review.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Glebetrotter17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2010

We spent four nights at The Vine at the end of July for a birthday treat for my fiance - it was simply divine.

Breakfast was included and was a great spread of fruits, cheeses, meat, bread, sweet pastries, selection of fruit juices & sparkling wine, plus a hot food menu as well - a welcome start to each day. The breakfast staff are extremely attentive and friendly.

This is a design hotel and the rooms do not disappoint. The shower itself was almost the size of our bathroom at home! The only frustration were the light controls, which took a bit to master and then remember.

The rooftop terrace bar, pool and jacuzzi was superb! We loved returning to the hotel in the late afternoon making sure we had enough time to chill out here before heading out for dinner.

We also ate at Uva restaurant one night, with beautiful views of the hills around Funchal. The meal itself was lovely - a mix of Portugese and French fusion, however the portion sizes for the price was disappointing. The sommelier did recommend a great Portugese wine, which we managed to find elsewhere during our stay, saving us having to decipher the mostly Portugese wine lists in Funchal.

Having seen the 'hotel area' of Funchal, I would highly recommend a stay at The Vine. It's central city location makes it easy to get to all Funchal attractions and restaurants. It has design and class, which many of the other hotels seemed to lack.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank FushNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2010

Almost everything in The Vine is about great design and good materials. You can feel the details almost everywhere. hard to understand the room lights though...to many envonment lights and up and down courtains... it took us 10 minutes of laughs just to figure out how every light and courtain commands worked out.

It's not the typical Madeira island hotel! Its location in the city center is not close to the beach or the mountains, but in the other side it allows you for great walks in the old part of Funchal.

Great rooftop. Quiet, relaxing, astonishing view, huge jacuzzi, horizon view swimming pool.

huge room, confortable XXL bed, nice bathtube in the middle of the room. romantic, well designed- perfect.

Nice staff, professional and discrete.

We didnt tried the restaurant, but we were told the best things about it. The spa is like entering in heaven... :-) my wife just came out of there in pure zen mood.

we highly recomend it!

Enjoy!!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fmoreira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

We stayed for one week at the end of March, 5 weeks after madeira had the worst flooding and mudslides for many years. The town was recovering well and the hotel had just reopened. It had closed because of damage to its water supply and IT infrastructure, there was no damage to the public areas or the rooms. Its in an excellent location within an easy walk of all parts of the town - including the 'old town' where many of the good restaurants are located. There was occasionally some noise from the street at night but this was not too disturbing. We travelled through the west of Funchal where most of the hotels were located and we were glad to have made the choice we did.
Our room was comfortable but was a bit 'gimmicy' in that there were too many buttons for lights/curtains/ blinds etc. We had no cold water one morning but this was quickly rectified and compensated by a complimentary and unexpected bottle of wine from the hotel. Service is very attentive - to the point of being over fussy particularly at breakfast. However, the hotel having just reopened was still very quiet and the staff were probably just over eager to please.
The rooftop pool/bar are a real asset. The view must be one of the best in Funchal and, being quiet we occasionaly had it all to ourselves. We did not eat in the 5 star restaurant 'UVA'. Firstly, we thought that eating in a restaurant where we were potentially one of few diners would not be very enjoyable. Secondly it is very expensive. A 3 course meal for two with a bottle of wine will cost at least £150 and more likely nearer £200. We spent the same in the older more historic Reids Palace Hotel which was very enjoyable.
The spa, like the rest of the hotel was quiet and booking treatments was easy. Again, its not cheap but fairly typical of high end European hotels.
The hotel is 25 minutes by taxi from the airport (28 euros), 4 minute walk from the sea front, 15 minutes from the cable car terminal and 15 minutes walk from Reids Palace.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank topdoc55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Vine Hotel

Property: The Vine Hotel
Address: Rua Aranhas 27 A, Funchal, Madeira 9000-044, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Funchal
#8 Family Hotel in Funchal
#14 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#15 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#17 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Vine Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 79
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A hotel with soul, just like a good wine. The Vine is sophisticated and luxurious. With a touch of simplicity and discretion, just the way you like it. A dip in the panoramic pool, a vino-therapy session in the spa or a gourmet dinner with a view over the city: these are just a few of the pleasures awaiting you at The Vine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Vine, a Divine Hotel Hotel Funchal
Vine a Divine Funchal
The Vine Hotel Madeira/Funchal

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