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“Very welcoming and charming stay - but some improvements needed”

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Belmond Reid's Palace
Ranked #4 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We booked 3 nights at this 5 star palace expecting the creme de la creme of hotels. Some mixed reviews highlighted below...

We were shown the large cocktail and tea rooms which had an opulent, formal character but as we made our way down to the 5th floor, it lost that feeling. The hallways became stale and dated and started to resemble a retirement home. There was an old musty smell that lingered in the 'billiards room'. Some people may like it that way - but we just felt it was sparse, the hotel stuck in a time warp with an urgent need of a facelift. Not a great start.

Our room was smaller than expected. The decor with a faint charm, but I felt it was chintzy. Was not expecting a room like this at the price we paid for. The room (and in fact most of the hotel spaces) had an unusual dusty layer which triggered my dust allergy. Also lots of noise above the room at 8.30am every morning. Tables and chairs were being scraped across the floor.

Bathroom was very good size - clean and well serviced. Mini bar soft drinks were free - although fridge needed defrosting. No tea and coffee making facilities in the room because it was a fire hazard and the hotel was mostly wooden apparently(?)! Room service was prompt, professional and food delicious. Wifi internet was really fast.

Prices were extortionate however - including the Afternoon Tea which a lot of people who visit the hotel come to experience. We have had Afternoon Tea in older establishments and paid a lot less. So unfortunately we missed out on this. The Cocktail bar was usually dead so we steered clear of this too.

Staff were extremely friendly, welcoming and very professional. The spa area was clean and very pleasant to use. Spectacular views of the city and sea throughout the hotel. Lots of beauty spots and gardens to explore within the hotel grounds. Breakfast was fresh and fantastic variety of foods.

Each night costing €295 for a standard double room. We were surprised to find it didn't actually meet all of our expectations at this price (and we have stayed in many fab 4 and 5 star hotels). Unfortunately not quite the 'palace' we were expecting. Few improvements to be made, otherwise a very welcoming, historic and charming stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jules8000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceManager, Manager at Belmond Reid's Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 10 December 2013

Dear Valuable Customer,

Thanks a lot for taking the time for sharing your constructive feedback.

With much of my regret I understood that your experience with us was not up to your expectations. It is our mission to exceed our customers' expectations, but despite all our efforts, sometimes we do not succeed in it.

It is anyway always a pleasure to understand where we do not succeed, so we can work in order to improve the quality of our product and services.

I would like once again thank you for your comments, which have already been discussed so that we can address them.

Best regards,

Ciriaco Campus
Hotel Manager
Reid's Palace
Madeira

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813 - 819 of 1,491 reviews

Reviewed 14 November 2013

We stay every year at the Savoy and see the famous Reid's Palace on the cliff just along the coast but until this year we have never been inside. First impressions are of an old family run hotel in the small reception area, then the rather sumptuous public rooms leading to the restaurant. We went for a drink in the cocktail bar. It was underwhelming, rather sad and empty at 9pm and had a vey starchy formal feel to it. The drinks were fairly expensive. The view over the harbour to Funchal was spectacular. The bar sitting area was truly dismal and we will not be bothered to go back for a drink but next year we promise ourselves to have dinner. We were surprised to see that dress for dinner was extremely informal!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank smithwolviston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

One night stay. The hotel is great. The afternoon tea is a must. We dinned at Les Faunes, no desert because of late afternoon tea – good, but not wow (a New Year Eve dinner some time ago at Villa Cipriani was memorable). Staff is a good blend of experienced Portuguese people and overseas trainees, all very helpful and attentive.
Breakfast is great, with emphasis on local produce. Even the beer at the mini bar is made in Madeira.
All the pools are great, especially the big one with heated sea water. And if one doesn’t like pools, basking in the sun in November will suffice – there aren’t many places in Europe like that.
The large and intimate garden really makes you forget that you are only a kilometre or so away from the city centre.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Chiips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceManager, General Manager at Belmond Reid's Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Dear Valued Customer,

Thanks a lot for sharing your comments.

We are so glad that despite your short visit you left us with great memories about your Reid's experience, and I would like to pass you our appreciation for your nice words, which are for us the fuel to walk everyday the extra mile in order to meet our customers needs.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Reid's Palace soon,

Ciriaco Campus
Hotel Manager
Reid's Palace

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Reviewed 13 November 2013

I have just returned from a weeks stay at this remarkable hotel and am still floating on a cloud. I can't fault this hotel in anyway. Nothing was too much trouble and the staff made you feel very special with their amazing service.
We stayed in a deluxe room on the fourth floor with a balcony and sea view. The room was large and spacious with every last detail catered for. The bathroom was a delight with a large walk in shower and bath. A nice touch was that all soft drinks in the mini bar were complimentary.
As we were on half board we tried all the restaurants in the hotel from the pool side restaurant for lunch, Le Faunes for dinner, Villa Cipriani and the large dining room for two gala dinners. All the food we had was excellent but the Villa Cipriani was our favourite visiting four times during our stay. It has a great relaxed atmosphere and a magnificent view from the terrace.
The hotel arranges excursions which are good value compared with tour operators using the hotel. We went on a trip on an ancient Mercedes bus which was great fun and we went to places we couldn't have walked to because of the steep inclines.The hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle bus into town.
We went on a free tour of the ten acres of Reids gardens which is well worth doing. The gardens are kept immaculately by the 8 permanent gardeners.
All the public areas are spotless with some stunning flower arrangements of exotic flowers grown on the island.
The pool areas were also well kept and the pools were warm enough to swim in during our November visit.
We met many people during our stay who return to Reids every year. I can understand why as we had a beautiful, memorable and totally relaxing stay. Thank you Reids

Room Tip: Our room got quite warm at night so a good blast from the A/C while you are out at dinner cooled it...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SusieA111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExperienceManager, General Manager at Belmond Reid's Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you very much for taking the time for sharing you feedback.

It is a great pleasure for us to understand that you went back home with good memories about your Reid's experience, and I would like to express my personal, along with all Reid's team appreciation for your nice words.

Comments like yours are the spring that pushes us everyday to walk the extra miles when it comes to meet our customers' expectations.

I hope I will have the pleasure to welcoming you back to the Reid's Palace, and if in the meanwhile you think I might be of any help, please to not hesitate to contact me directly.

Wishing you all the best, I remain, with my kindest regards,

Ciriaco Campus
Hotel Manager
Reid's Palace

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

We stayed at this hotel for a long weekend a couple of weeks ago and had a great experience.
The location is great, with ocean stretching to the horizon before your eyes. The gardens are beautiful with lots of spots to enjoy sunshine. Sun deck is very private and nice. Swimming pool area is very stylish and beautiful. There were a lot of families with kids that weekend, but kids were kept occupied, we never heard any crying or noise, even at the swimmig pool.

Only small trouble we had was with the hotel's reception staff being not familiar with the LHW membership card. My husband has an unlimited LHW membership that we booked the hotel through. However it seemed that the hotel reception staff didn't seem to actually know what that means. They did upgrade us as part of the LHW membership, but didn't take into account our request to have sea view. So on arrival we had to change rooms. Little painful, but the room we got in the end was absolutely gorgeous, so was well worth the trouble! Then, on the chek out day as well, they tried to make us leave early when we do have a guaranteed late check out with the card. You'd expect the reception staff to research that, since we went to all the trouble pointing out card benefits at check in..

Ther rest of the weekend was flawless. Staff is very professional and non invasive.
We pretty much spent the weekend between the sea deck, the swimming pool and the food. One of the swimming pools is heated, so was very nice even in late October. We didn't venture into the ocean though!

The rooms are beautifully furnished and the whole hotel is excellently kept, with lots of memory pieces in the hallways, cute elevators, luxurious carpets. Service is 5-star too. I was feeling a bit sick one evening and they went out and bought us medication, which we've never previously seen in any 5-star hotel we've been to, they always make a big fuss out of it. But here nothing was too much trouble, it was great.

Food:
Breakfast was very good, with two daily specials that change every day, an exhaustive buffet with sparkling wine and fresh juices, and amazing views of the ocean.
We had dinenr in the French restaurant and weren't particularly impressed. Service and the ambience were a bit too old fashioned for my taste. Food was good though, but not excellent.
We also had dinner at the Italian restaurant, which was very nice. The view is amazing. Service is very friendly and professional and the food is very good. Definitely recommend. It's not very formal, so you woulnd't necessarily wear an evening dress (contrary to what the dress code suggests).
Lunch buffet at the swimming pool is very very good as well, although too expensive I'd say for a lunch buffet.

One thing we regret is that we didn't try the afternoon tea, it looked delicious!!

Room Tip: Room 730 has a huge terrace with views onto the ocean and the city.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AmayaD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

This centennial class Grande Dame of the Oriental Express Group remains one of the world's finest luxury hotels. Sitting atop Europe's highest cliffs overlooking the port of Funchal, the hotel caters to royalty, statesmen and those with significant means. As our transatlantic crossing included Madeira as a port of call, I had the chance to re-acquaint myself with this majestic gem in its time warp! It had been over 50 years since a family stay, and while buildings had been added to the original complex, little of its charm, elegance and beautiful furnishings had changed! The hotel exudes gracious world class service. We enjoyed cocktails on an upper terrace followed by a delightful poolside buffet. Foie Gras with Madeira Gelee (Aspic) and Madeira Drizzle, Bola de Caco bread, grilled offerings , seafood platters - and lovely sweets washed down with a nice Portuguese Duro Tinto and Malvaise Madeira, made for a glorious afternoon!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank oca007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Having just spent a short half term break at Reid's I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is not (as I feared) only for the more mature traveller. I stayed with my 2 young daughters (10 and 8) and we had the most fantastic, fun and relaxing stay. The staff could not have made us feel more welcome. Nothing was too much trouble and our every need was provided for. Although the kids menu varied between the different restaurants in the hotel we could always go 'off piste' and order whatever the girls felt like. The adult menus, especially the seafood was incredible. Not cheap but worth it. The rooms were well equipped. There were 3 pools, virtually empty during our stay. A wonderful terraced area by the sea adds a great dimension and the kids loved jumping off the diving board into the crystal sea. The weather was reliable - a gorgeous 25 degrees so ideal for last winter sun. We enjoyed a boat trip on a rib (go for the fast boat not the catamaran as you can swim with dolphins if you come across them socialising, not travelling or feeding) and saw a pod of 11 incredible sperm whales, just 3 miles from the shore. There is a kids club for little ones, 2 excellent tennis courts and a teenagers hangout with wii games and play station. We didn't make it into the spa but it looked very good. All in all we all had the best time and would definitely recommend it to young families. Oh, and the buffet breakfast was incredible! Can't think of anything else they could have offered!

Room Tip: We had a junior suite on the 6th floor - large king size and a single for the kid. Do go for sea vi...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Emma G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Reid's Palace

Address: Estrada Monumental 139, Funchal, Madeira 9000-098, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Funchal
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#3 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#4 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#5 Family Hotel in Funchal
#5 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £259 - £626 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Reid's Palace 5*
Number of rooms: 163
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on cliff tops overlooking the Bay of Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean, this legendary hotel has, for over a century, been a standard-bearer for excellence. The hotel is located on 10 acres of subtropical gardens, boasts enviable access to the sea and is within walking distance of Funchal's shops, restaurants and night-life. With its reputation for excellence and discreet service, Belmond Reid's Palace is the ideal place at which to relax and be pampered. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reid`s Palace By Orient-Express Hotel Funchal
Reids Palace Funchal
Reids Palace Hotel Funchal
Belmond Reid's Palace Madeira/Funchal

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