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Hotel The Cliff Bay
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Reviews (3,168)
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2,297 - 2,302 of 3,168 reviews
Reviewed 16 October 2010

This was our 3rd visit to the Cliff Bay and once again we had a wonderful time.All the guests that we spoke to had been to the hotel several times before and all said that they would be retuning again ourselves included.This Hotel must be one of the best run hotels in the world,the staff are all dedicated people and do everything to make your stay a pleasant one,from the reception staff on arrival to the lovely staff at Le Cliff Bar/Le Bistro
where we went most evenings and also had lunch there,great for light meals,to the staff at The Rose Garden,the Breakfast selection here is superb have not had better anywhere,can even have a glass of champagne if you wished,lovely fresh fruit every morning,cooked breakfasts,continental style breakfast, lovely bread, cakes and freshly made pancakes you name it they have it all here.
There are lovely pool areas,and gardens and an excellent Spa.

There is a courtesy bus that takes you in to Funchal,which is very useful,walking down the hill is ok but its quite a trek coming back.

If you prefer to eat outside of the hotel there are many very good restaurants close by ,ie
The Cipriani,The Paradise which have a beautiful setting looking out on to the sea and only about 5 minutes from the hotel.

Obrigado to you all at the Cliff Bay for another holiday to remember,we will be back sometime in the near future.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PONTCENNECH
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 reviewResponded 18 October 2010

Thank you for your travel feedback. I am pleased that you gave us your confidence in hosting your stay once again. The Cliff Bay is very fortunate to have almost half of its guests returning for further holiday experiences. You flatter us all by saying “This Hotel must be one of the best run hotels in the world”… In the name of all our staff… Thank you…!! There is a saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”… and obviously The Cliff Bay beauty suits you well. I promise that we will continue to try to improve our hotel for future visits.
With kindest regards,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2010

In the midst of all the glowing reports about this hotel, I have to throw in a spanner, centring around our pre-departure experience which left much to be desired. My daughter had booked the 5 of us (husband, 3-year old daughter, my husband and myself) for a 5-night stay from Oct 2-7 at The Cliff Bay which was to be a highlight of this long-awaited family vacation in Madeira. The hotel had confirmed and accepted full payment for our reservation on 22 Aug, more than a month ahead of the due date.

4 days before we were to fly, a representative called to say that they were overbooked, offering to move us to their 4-star sister hotel, Porto Mare, throwing in upgraded rooms, 2 dinners and hotel transfers. We reluctantly had to accept their offer at the same time asking that they still try to accomodate us when we got there.

Of course that was not going to happen. The junior suite they gave my daughter at Porto Mare was a nightmare. The bathroom smelled faintly of sewage, the aircon was faulty and there were ants in the kettle.

The next day we spoke to the duty manager at Cliff Bay , Ms Rita Caldeira, to seek an explanation as to why we should have been unceremoniously bumped off when we had paid in full in advance for our rooms. She could not give any explanation beyond saying they were overbooked, and neither could they accomodate us. To her credit, she relocated us to the 5-star convention hotel adjacent to theirs, ie CS Atlantic Hotel and Spa, personally escorting us to check out the deluxe rooms on the highest floor, and arranging for us to pick up our luggage from Porto Mare to the new hotel, from which she assured us we had equal access to Cliff Bay facilities. This was textbook service recovery as best as was possible under the circumstances and she is to be credited for her efforts.

The whole experience with Cliff Bay left a sour taste in our mouth, and we would advise travellers to be prepared that they might be shunted out at the last minute with little recourse. Reading some other reviews, it does seem to be quite a practice amongst hotels in Funchal to overbook and then relocate their hapless guests at short notice (according to what criteria we cannot fathom) to some friendly partnering hotel, knowing that just prior to departure, guests are not likely to scuttle their travel plans, no matter how unhappy.

This was the only, but major blight, to our family holiday in lovely Madeira, and we are not sure if we would want to book into Cliff Bay again, notwithstanding the positive guest experiences reported on Tripadvisor, which was the reason we chose this hotel over others in the first place.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
    • Service
13  Thank lilacfields
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 reviewResponded 28 October 2010

Thank you for your feedback. First of all I would like to apologize for not being able to host your stay and for any inconvenience caused. As explained in our private correspondence posterior to you tripadvisor posting, overbooking on occasion does occur in travel, however rare it might be. It is always unpleasant no matter if caused by the hotel or the travel company. There are various reasons for this to happen especially in a destination where many booking sources are working with booking quotes/allotments of which usage vary widely between each week. Sometimes it also happens unexpected situations in hotels with urgent repairs, non departures etc. The fact of making a payment to your tour operator/web-site long time in advance does not change this situation or mean that the hotel has received any payment or approach the situation in a different way. Many times tour operators forward the names and special requests of reservations only short before arrival. That is one of the differences when booking directly with the hotel, where the names and requested are introduced on the occasion.
When a situation of overbooking appears it is sought for a most suitable alternative and we do contact the “booking source” with options. In your case with family travelling, Porto Mare is known as one of the most children friendly hotels in Madeira with great facilities and the fact of staying in a suite is a room category that is considered and prices superior to what was booked originally. It is also a highly ranked hotel on tripadvisor as well as through many other reliable channels of feedback. We verify if there are any other preferences to find a most suitable alternative solution. During my ten years of General Manager at The Cliff Bay I can count on my fingers the overbookings that we have had and we have no further overbooking situation in any foreseeable future.
As I left very clear in our correspondence, I hope that I will be able to welcome you to our hotel for you to be able to judge our services and facilities in a different light as you as so many others seem to have enjoyed what our beautiful island have to offer.
Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2010

The hotel has an excellent location, with many good restaurants in the near vicinity and in town, none of which offered anything but high quality and very reasonable prices. A hotel shuttle bus operates at limited times to and from town and must be booked in advance for the journey in. The walk is a brisk 15 minutes downhill but the bus is very useful to come back again at the end of a hot or tiring visit, and is a must if you are not very fit or mobile. There is a long midday period when the bus does not run so be warned. In all, the hotel is very good and the breakfast is excellent. The staff are in the main very friendly, although our welcome upon arrival, at just after midnight due to a Thomsons delay, was not at all warm. The reception staff throughout the remainder of our stay were excellent. Pool staff were generally very good, one young lady in particular, but some of the male attendants were less friendly and helpful. It is a shame that so many sun loungers on the upper sun areas are unused but "reserved" by guests leaving their towels and a book or suchlike - the hotel staff need to do something about this. There was a minor problem with small worms entering our ground floor room and corridor area during rainy periods but this was quickly dealt with and we declined a move of room. We also think that, while recognising that guests probably arrive on almost any day of the week, it was rather strange to have our hotel welcome reception on the Thursday night when our holiday arrival date was the Friday and we were going home the next day! Our only other concern was that the bedding and towels did not match the star rating of the hotel. Both were too thin and the plastic mattress covers provide a sticky night's sleep unless you are wearing cotton nightwear. If we return to Madeira we would want to stay here again and that is probably the best recommendation you can give. But we would like to see a few changes too.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Helpyouandhelpme
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 reviewResponded 18 October 2010

Thank you for your travel feedback. I am pleased that your overall impression was positive and that you plan to return to our hotel. I have taken careful note of your comments about our services and facilities that will be beneficial for future stays.
Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager

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Reviewed 14 October 2010

Cliff Bay is a wonderful place to be. No children, no noise despite hotel was fully booked.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank PitchousMinou
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 reviewResponded 28 October 2010

Thank you for your feedback. The Cliff Bay welcomes all guests no matter age or origin. We do not have many Children, especially outside school holidays, but have facilities that allow our younger guests to have a great holiday in harmony with our more mature guests.
I am delighted to you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcome you back in a near future.
With kindest regards,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager

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Reviewed 13 October 2010

I travel several times a year, for both work and leisure, and I stay at boutique hotels or high quality chain hotels only. The Cliff Bay is without a doubt one of the best hotels I have ever been in.

I can't find a single fault, except perhaps the quality of the restaurants, but I prefer eating outside of the hotel where I am staying regardless - I like to go out in the evenings and enjoy the city. There is nothing wrong with the restaurants - they are more than adequate, but I cannot say they are amazing. Even Gallo D'Oro - their Michelin star restaurant - is good, but not great; although in all fairness the restaurant staff are absolutely amazing (and I don't usually say this) - pleasant, helpful, courteous.

The hotel location cannot be beat - front line on the coast, spectacular views (better than Reid's in my opinion).

The rooms - comfortable, well thought-out, cozy without being overdone. (Caveat - we stayed in the "top-floor" rooms, so I cannot speak for all the rooms on the lower floors which may not have been renovated to the same standards). The best bathroom I've had in Europe - modern, comfortable, fantastic shower cabin & rain shower head, toilet & bidet separated by a glass door. The terrace is regular size but comfortable.

The hotel is modern but not cold as modern hotels can often be. Its airy, light, very well-designed; clearly classy without being pretentious or ostentatious, which in my eyes makes it by far superior to Reid's.

There are two swimming pools - one that is next to the spa - it contains heated water and is located half indoor and half out - you can swim back & forth, which is great . The second is at beach level and contains sea water - it is a bit colder, but still very comfortable (I always prefer sea water and this pool was great).

The bar always has live music every evening till midnight - very well chosen music, extremely pleasant, a pleasure to sit down for drinks after dinner.

The front desk staff are very pleasant, speak great english and always helpful.

I really cannot find a single negative comment. We've all (a group of 4 couples) enjoyed our stay tremendously and we all agree about the superior quality of this hotel. Without a doubt this is our choice when we return to Madeira and one of the top 10 hotels I've stayed in around the world. I couldn't recommend the Cliff Bay highly enough.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NatalieZNewYork
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 reviewResponded 18 October 2010

Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for writing such a positive review of our hotel. I am proud to hear from a seasoned traveler that you consider “The Cliff Bay is without a doubt one of the best hotels I have ever been in.” and “one of the top 10 hotels I've stayed in around the world”.
I promise that we will continue to try to improve our hotel further for future stay. Thank you for your preference for The Cliff Bay and the beautiful island of Madeira.
With kindest regards,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager

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