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“the hotel is divine”
Review of The Vine Hotel

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The Vine Hotel
Ranked #15 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 January 2011

the hotel's design is superb, very quiet and staff very helpful

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank PauloTorrao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 January 2011

The Vine Hotel is an oddity in Madeira. It sits above a fancy shopping mall. The facilities are lovely and modern. The main color is gray with some accents. The public spaces are comfortable, and the restaurants are good. The flagship restaurant, UVA, on the roof has a great view and a good menu. The rooms are of a good size and comfortable. Many travelers will find the rooms to be odd. There is no bathroom. The tub and sink are essentially in the living space. There is a small toilet room and a large shower that are behind smoked glass colored walls. You can look into the shower from the toilet and vice versa, but you cannot see into these room from the rest of the suite. The light controls are a big confusing since they reside on panels either on the wall or by the bed. This is more complicated than it needs to be. One feature that might be considered desirable or annoying is the automatic light that comes on when you get up from the bed. This illuminates the room for about 30 seconds. Not bad, but distracting if someone else is trying to sleep.

I cannot say enough about the fantastic staff at The Vine. They really were flawless. There was a high level of friendliness but also professionalism. I cannot think of a single problem that they did not solve. Everyone is a concierge. The valet parking is a bit confusing, but again, they could not be nicer about it.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank PierTom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2010

This bills itself as a "Design Hotel", in fact is part of the German-based chain of the same name. First impressions were excellent. Convenient central location (top floors of a shopping centre). Strikingly decorated minimalist lobby, beautiful 360 degree rooftop terrace, funky bathrooms. However the first imperative of good design surely should be usability and functionality and this is where the rooms fall short:

-Lights, curtains and blinds in the room are all electronically controlled via touch panels. It takes a while to work out how to switch all the lights either on or off. Ease of use should have come before fancy buttons.
-The room is dark! Very dark indeed! The area behind the front door, by the safe, has no light source at all so even with curtains open and all other lights on, you poke about in your safe in practically complete darkness. Not good.
-The floor of the room is motion sensitive, which means if you get up in the middle of the night, a small light under the bed comes on to show you the way, even if lights are set to off otherwise. Problem is this light also comes on if your duvet happens to touch the floor while sleeping.
-Nowhere in the bathroom is there a hook to hang up your towel for showering. How can a designer overlook such as basics? You're forced to leave your towel somewhere by the sink then traipse out of the shower cubicle to retrieve it, dropping water all over the floor.
-Handles of wardrobes are tiny and impractical. Takes unnecessary effort to open. This is simply BAD design and hence even more noticeable in a self-styled "design" hotel.

The hotel seemed pretty much deserted the day we were there. I think we may have been the only guests. Staff were efficient if not overly friendly, on a par for Madeira and Portugal in general where people don't seem to like to smile very much even in hospitality and you're usually made to feel like an imposition on the staff's free time.

Breakfast was of very good quality. Small but very good selection unlike some buffets that offer miles of choice but poor standard of product quality and freshness.

Dinner in the restaurant was fine but obscenely overpriced.

Plus points in summary are: excellent location in city centre, no car required. Stunning roof terrace with 360 degree views of Funchal. Comfortable beds.
Negatives: Poor usability design spoils the shiny surface of the rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank alexb2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2010

Uau!! is probably the best expression to describe this hotel, i was trully astonished with this not very know diamond in the center of funchal city. I heard about it from a friend that advised to try it because of the wine theme and the location and surroundings. I, being from Bordeuax am a very big wine lover and have a special passion about the madeira wine found my perfect retreat in this great hotel and great island. i have travelled to many places and always look for a trendy and modern hotel to stay in and this one corresponded to perfection to my requirements in terms of the confort, design & decoration and quality of the materials of the rooms (great beds and linen and great shower), at least comparing with the best ones i have stayed ( unique in Sao Paolo and the gansevoort in new York). i read the review posted before me and don't understand it, was this sir not in the same hotel as i was 2 months ago or maybe he just isnt the type of customer for this kind of hotel, i agree with it being a bit darker than it should but the rest is just being plain mischievous. I went with my fionce for 5 days and it seemed so little time. the spa treatment for couples with the wine products was amazing and the pool area is great with nice view of the city and really pretty pool, besides the fact that we were sun bathing in the middle of ocober. Also, not vey far away is the madeira wine company shop where you can go to some wine tastings and buy good reserve bottles for good prices. I cant forget to mention the rooftop restaurant of the hotel, inbcredible food and good wine list with good advices about the portuguese wines, the waiter was very helpfull in helping us choosing and pairing with the food and get to know more about the country local wines - the french are better but it is also good to try new things once in a while :) . to finish, i would strongly recommend this piece of paradise to anyome looking for a confortable stay, and if food and wine influences your travel decision this is the perfect place for you, specially if your travelling with the wife or girlfriend, which can turn to be very romantic.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Antoine_Saint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2010

This calls itself a “design” hotel. Surely the idea of good design is that it’s beautiful, stylish and practical. This place is drab, dismal and highly impractical. I found it the most unpleasant, depressing claustrophobic place ever, and ended up having to cut my stay in Madeira short, as I just couldn’t bear to spend any more time in this horrible environment. Everything is decorated in dark brown, dirty purples and grey. Why would you want to come to a beautiful sunny island and stay in a dark hole of a place with little natural light?

I thought the room was very small and cramped for a 5 star luxury hotel – there was no sitting area – just a bed, desk, and wardrobe.

The “design” elements are on the whole just annoying and unhelpful:

- Everything in the room is electronic including the curtains, blinds and lighting. It is very complicated and even for someone like me who is quite fast with technology it took me 10 minutes on the first night to work out how to switch out all the lights. Whether staying on holiday or on business, you just don’t need this stress – you just want to arrive and be able to switch lights on and off with ease and relax and open and close curtains as you wish.

- On my arrival the electronic blackout blind failed to function and after spending 30 minutes with 2 people banging around in my room, when I had just arrived and wanted to relax, I then had to move to another room. Why wasn’t this checked before I arrived?

- The blackout blinds are rather pointless when all the silly electric switches everywhere have quite bright pilot lights that stay on even when the lights are switched off

- As well as the drab depressing décor the lighting is very poor in the room – and it was almost impossible to get enough light to shave.

- The handles on the wardrobe doors are so small and badly placed it is incredibly hard to open the doors.

- The fitted furniture is generally mdf/melamine – looks cheap and is already badly stained.

- The air conditioning was noisy and very unreliable – however much you adjusted the settings it either blew freezing cold or boiling hot. You couldn’t open the windows during the day as the hotel is on such a noisy street.

- The taps and controls for the bath are so far away that you really have to step into the bath to turn them on and off and adjust the bath/shower settings

- The bathrooms and much of the common parts of the hotel have unpleasant black cobbles on the floor – which are not nice to walk on with bare feet in the bathroom, and in the shower room leads to ponding with stagnant water sitting there between the cobbles and not draining away properly

- The bathrooms are open plan – with the bath in the bedroom and the shower/toilet in cubicles with doors that don’t close properly and see through walls. Who wants to see or hear their partner using the toilet????

- Neither of the Jacuzzis by the rooftop pool, or in the health spa was working.

- The TV had a very poor choice of channels and most of the time a good proportion of them weren’t available. The previous week I stayed in a very good 4 star hotel in Madeira which had full satellite TV with all the mainstream UK TV channels available – yet this supposedly luxury five star hotel only had BBC World.

- There were no tea/coffee making facilities in the room. This is standard in a bed and breakfast nowadays – surely a 5 star hotel should provide it as a matter of course?

The housekeeping was very poor:

- On the 2nd day I was out all morning and left the “please make up the room” sign outside my door. When I came back 4 hours later the room hadn’t been made up. In the afternoon I needed to work in my room, but the chambermaid interrupted. The room ended up being cleaned after 6pm which wasn’t acceptable.

- I told the reception I was leaving early, but the next day when I popped out for a coffee I came back to find the chambermaid cleaning the room, and making the bed even though I was leaving soon.

- The glasses in the mini bar were dirty and one had a huge lipstick mark on it.

- Updating and replacing toiletries was poor and when I arrived one of the body lotions was half used by someone else. One day the separate shower gel and shampoo bottles in the shower had been replaced by two shampoos and no shower gel.

The breakfast was ok – but inconsistent. The service was annoyingly attentive – with staff constantly hovering around and re-arranging things on the table. The waitress poured my tea immediately, even though the teabag tag coming out of the teapot said “brew for 4-5 minutes” – which meant I was served a cup of dishwater. The breads are all tough artisan loaves that you have to slice yourself – a few softer bread rolls would be nice. Only white toast was available – no brown. Hot (and greasy) scrambled egg was served with cold lettuce with a balsamic dressing – disgusting!

I had totally had enough of this place and informed reception that I would be leaving the next day. However the next morning when I confirmed my checkout time to the receptionist she had no record that I was leaving.

The only good things about this hotel:
- The beds and bedding are very good
- The concierge is very friendly and helpful
- The bar/pool on the roof is spectacular but small
- Fast & free internet access

Otherwise it’s a nightmare – stay away. The hotel seemed deserted – I only saw 3 other guest in total – and with good reason – it’s a truly unpleasant place to stay. A hugely disappointing experience.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled solo
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24  Thank RichardBLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2010

This is, hands down the best hotel I have ever had the pleasure of staying in.The service, the staff, the modern design, level of comfort all are truly exceptional.
We stayed for 3 nights, and got lucky in finding this place as we had decided to travel without making any prior reservations. I would have preferred the hotel be nearer the water, but being on top of a shopping center does have it's advantages. Several times we went downstairs during the middle of the night to acquire some small but necessary item from the shops. It was nice to be able to go from the mall to your room without leaving the building.
When visiting Madeira, treat yourself to a stay at The Vine.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Farmboy70x7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2010

The hotel is stunning, the roof top bar is excellent, with service and views to match. If you are looking for bustling nightlife Funchal would not be ideal, but if you want a very relaxing holiday, with great service, in a luxury hotel then we would recommend The Vine to anyone. It would be particularly good for a long weekend break (if you're from Europe).

The food at the restaurants, in the town, is aimed at the older crowd (70+) and nearly all restaurants have the same menu. However, we ordered lunch at the poolside of the hotel nearly every day, and it was always excellent. We also ate at the hotel restaurant which we can highly recommend. The hotel spa is also amazing - we did the couples option which was just what we needed.

We can not understand why people would write a negative review about this hotel. We had a brilliant time and would return tomorrow if we had the chance, and there weren't 1,000 other places on our list that we still need to visit!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank VandTNorth
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

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
#12 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#15 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#15 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £116 - £303 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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