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“Fantastic Hotel, deserves it's Five Stars!”

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Hotel The Cliff Bay
Ranked #3 of 87 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
London, England
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hotel, deserves it's Five Stars!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2011

My wife and I stayed for a week in July, we booked this hotel based partly on the fantastic reviews on this site. I have to say we were not disappointed!

The hotel is superb, from the moment you arrive and are greeted by the door staff who whisk your luggage away to your room to the helpful multi-lingual reception staff, nothing is to much trouble. We booked a superior room on the seventh floor overlooking the bay of Funchal and the delightful hotel gardens. The room was large and bright with full length panoramic sliding windows which open out on to your large and private balcony.

We had a double bed which was huge and a separate "pillow menu" from which you could select your ideal pillow. the room was very well appointed with a large plasma screen television with CD and DVD player, a separate writing desk and seating area were also provided. The entry hall to the room housed a large double wardrobe with lighting and a safe for valuables, plenty of good quality wooden hangers were also in evidence. the room also had tea and coffee making facilities with English brands of tea and coffee provided. A well stocked mini bar was available which included complimentary water, fruit juices and soft drinks.

The bathroom was very luxurious with double hand basins, separate bath and shower cubicle and a private toilet with bidet. Plenty of large towels were provided along with bath robes soap and shower gels. The bathroom even had speakers so that you could listen to music while you bathed.

We stayed on a half-board basis and ate in the Rose Garden Restaurant every night. The food is either chosen from the buffet or an a-la-carte menu is provided. The buffet is "themed" every night but in truth there is not a great deal of variation, however the food is freshly prepared and there is plenty of it. One of the great features of this restaurant is the lovely outside seating area where you can enjoy your breakfast and evening meal al-fresco enjoying the views of the sea and the beautiful weather.

One word of caution however, there are twenty one outside tables and these get taken very quickly, if you wish to ensure an outside seat arrive for dinner before seven thirty!

We also had the opportunity to take our breakfast in the Michelin starred restaurant, which is on an upper level also with good views of the sea, here also a buffet is available but with the added bonus of your eggs or omelets cooked to order. On the whole however there is more choice available in the Rose Garden restaurant.

The lounges and seating areas are first class with entertainment every evening which is adequate if not outstanding.

The pool and sauna areas are very nice with every facility imaginable including a separate bar and restaurant at the lower pool area. However other reviewers comments regarding the "reservation" of the most desirable sun loungers are correct and the hotel should be more proactive in their management of this issue. There are some more secluded seating areas which we particularly enjoyed overlooking Funchal and I feel more could be made of this.

All in all, this is a beautiful hotel with attentive staff. It is expensive to eat and drink here but it is after all a five star establishment and I feel that anybody staying here must accept that they will have to pay premium prices. Four euro for half a pint of beer is not cheap by any standard! ( not helped obviously by the poor euro/sterling exchange rate)

Would we return? Definitely!

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent, floors 4,5, and 6 with views over Funchal bay and harbour are best value.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Flak999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,014)
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English first
Borders, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2011

The Cliff Bay exceeded our expectations. Professionally run but with a relaxed atmosphere. Comfortable rooms which were kept immaculately clean. Lots of little treats - orchids, wine etc. in the room. Nothing was too much trouble and there were always enough staff to deal with everything efficiently. The breakfasts were legendary and there was an air of quiet contentment throughout the hotel. Oh, and a minor detail - the pillows were superb - down and feather and super-large. I could happilly recommend this hotel to any discerning traveller.

Room Tip: More suited to adults.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Coulstock53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2011

Firstly let’s say, lovely hotel, clean, nice pool etc cannot fault those things.
Paid sea view, got a really low floor to start with, with no privacy at all.
I rang and asked to change; response would be 2 hours wait for a higher room and was extremely lucky to get this on the 5th floor. So after sitting in bar for two hours paying 5.5 euros for a beer (extortionate) we got our room which was lovely, view excellent.
No instruction at breakfast first day wandered in and trying to work out what to do. Breakfast was good. Just don’t go for sausage or bacon as it was very poor quality, plus luke warm, plenty other choice like. Morning coffee was excellent.
No free water in room, at the level they are aiming at, free water should be supplied daily. No orientation at check in. Two twin separate beds in room – requested a double for me and wife - and my bed wasn’t that comfortable to be honest hard matress. Drinks and food other than breakfast was so overpriced – 14 euros for burger and chips. Minibar expensive, 4 euros for soft drinks. No clean glasses provided when room was cleaned just rinsed under tap, and still had sticky drink in bottom. Room cleaning times were very irregular, and of varying standards.
I really did feel that the repeat customers were receiving much better facilities and service than new ones.
Taxi drivers hassling you at you leave hotel every time. Maybe the cliff bay should sort this out.
Don't think we will be returning

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Oussed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, 22 August 2011
Thank you for your comments at tripadvisor. I am sad to learn that we were not corresponding to your expectations. When a hotel is fully booked it is many times difficult to have room changes and we do recommend expressing preferences while booking to avoid disappointment. Pricing does not differ compared with other European five star hotels in holiday destinations. I am sorry if we were not able to give the correct information upon arrival but in room directory give all information needed regarding restaurants and facilities. Loyalty from being a returning guest does bring benefits, however there is no difference in treatment for first comers compared with returning guests. At The Cliff Bay we like to treat all guests and staff members with the same courtesy and respect.
I am sad that you would not consider returning but in case you change your mind, please feeling free to contact me previous to arrival so I can take all measures for your stay to be as excellent as the feedback received from the exclusive majority of our guests.
With kindest regards,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
58 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2011

My wife and I stayed for 2 weeks in July 2011, our 10th stay at this hotel. We very rarely return to hotels, prefering to try different places and hotels around the world, but have made an exception regarding the Cliff Bay which is an absolutely wonderful hotel. We judge a hotel not just on its facilities, but on location, and staff, and it is 5* on all counts. Nearly 50% of guests are return guests, and it's sold out for July, August and September, which tells you all you need to know. The accommodation, service, restaurants,spa, fitness centre,pools, location and especially the staff throughout the hotel are first rate and make the holiday really memorable. Many staff have been there for 10-15 years, very unusual in the hotel industry. When you add the beautiful island to the mix, it's a real winning combination

Room Tip: Try for the 5th floor and above
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank keekee27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
242 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2011

We did wonder if we had been a bit hasty in booking a trip back to the Cliff Bay so soon but we needn't have worried as it was fabulous. Last time we had a sea view room on the 6th floor and this time we had a sea view room on 3rd floor and they were both excellent and overlooked Funchal and the view is just stunning. The rooms are large, clean and fresh with large balconies and good sized bathrooms. There are tea and coffee making facilities in the room. All the things that are important to make a comfortable holiday have been thought of such as plenty of wooden coat hangers, dressing gowns, slippers, mending kits, toiletries and one thing I really love is the fact that the mirror in the bathroom demists quickly after a shower, along with a good make up/shaving mirror.

This a good hotel with excellent facilities supported by staff that are professional but unobtrusive it is an elegant and relaxing hotel. The reception staff are exceptionally good they are helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. Also the girls on the Spa reception are lovely they always smile as you pass and are friendly when they hand out the pool towels. I had an excellent facial and can recommend the spa. There are usually three daily special offers for treatments. The Espa products are lovely.

We always enjoyed breakfast and the variety of food on offer was very good. This time in particular there was a great variety of fresh fruit including strawberries and fresh pineapple. There are the usual cereals, great selection of bread and rolls and jam along with cheeses, meat, salmon etc and also a good selection of hot food.

We were booked for bed and breakfast but ate in the Rose Garden in the evening five times during our fourteen night stay with the special food and wine packages that they offer. Again there is a good selection of food.

We often had a drink in Le Cliff Bar after our meal and found the entertainment generally good. We particularly liked the strolling Saxophone player.

The pools are very good they have one at ground level which is part indoor and part outdoor, there is also a jacuzzi at this level. Plenty of sunbeds with good views. Then there is a large pool down at sea level with even more sunbeds. The pool staff are very helpful with beds and umbrellas, particularly the young girl she cannot do enough for you.

This is an excellent hotel and we had a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and will be back in the near future. We are missing the view already.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TwigsOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2011

We stayed at this hotel in July 2011. The hotel is very nice, in good surroundings with excellent views over the bay. We found the whole hotel to be very clean. The sea view room that we were provided was exceptional. The pool staff were also very pleasant. However, as this is a 5 star hotel we were surprised to note that complimentary mineral water is not provided in the room as a matter of course. This is now commonplace in most 5 star hotels throughout the world. After a delayed arrival at the hotel the last thing you want to do is find a shop to purchase water, unless pay the extortionate mini bar prices for a very small bottle. Another concern was the quality of the food at breakfast, more so that the bacon, fried eggs and beans were luke warm to cold on each day of our holiday. The turins that these items of food were kept in obviously did not keep the food sufficiently warm, not really acceptable in a 5 star hotel. The Rose Garden eating area also felt like any other hotel eatery area, and certainly was not luxurious. Apart from one female member of staff who only asked my wife if coffee or tea was required( totally ignoring me) the staff were very good.

Another frustrating point was the daily "reserving" of sun loungers with towels and books at the ground floor level pool area. Staff did not appear to deal with this poor practice during the whole week.

That said, the hotel is very nice, clean, peaceful with outstanding views. Generally the staff are attentive.

We enjoyed our holiday.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RAMCYMRU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2011

This hotel ticks all the boxes - excellent location, fabulous setting, comfortable luxurious rooms, attentive staff, delightful food ............... the list goes on. Discovered this jewel last year and decided to return again this year. Everything was just as good as the memories. Another fantastic holiday.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ladypurley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel The Cliff Bay

Property: Hotel The Cliff Bay
Address: Estrada Monumental, 147, Funchal, Madeira 9004-532, 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 Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#1 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#2 Family Hotel in Funchal
#3 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#3 Business Hotel in Funchal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel The Cliff Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Atlantic Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see at the foot of The Cliff Bay which is perched on the top of a natural promontory. The hotel is surrounded by gardens with innumerable secluded corners and centenary palm trees extending to the very edge of the cliff face. The panorama is completed by a magnificent view over the bay of Funchal to the left of the hotel.The most influential restaurant guide in the world, the Michelin Guide, has awarded a star to Il Gallo d'Oro, The Cliff Bay's gourmet restaurant run by Chef Benoît Sinthon. This is Madeira's first and only star ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Cliff Bay - Porto Bay Hotel Funchal
Cliff Bay Porto Funchal
Cliff Bay Hotel Funchal
Cliff Bay Hotel Madeira
Hotel The Cliff Bay Madeira/Funchal

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