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“Excellent location, pleasant, reliable hotel.”

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Porto Santa Maria Hotel
Ranked #10 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Helsinki
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent location, pleasant, reliable hotel.”
Reviewed 22 March 2011

Pros: Location, easy to walk to central Funchal. Kitchenette is handy, but not suitable for actual cooking. See later&pictures for kitchenette specs. The sea views! Sea in on your door step, not somewhere distant, and you can relax listening to the waves.
Cons: Studio rooms are smallish, but ok for two. The restaurant touts in the neighbourhood are annoying.

Garden view studios have either morning or evening sun, and triangular, smaller balconies. Sea view studio is the best bet, weather permitting, sun all day long. Junior suites come in many shapes and sizes, some have two rooms, some one. The one room versions are actually excellent, roomy enough, everything in logical order, very functional, and slightly larger kitchenettes, but might have balconies which are sunny only before or after 3p.m. The two room junior suites have enough space for extra beds, but do not contain more furniture than the one room suites.
Kitchenette has two hot plates, sink, fridge and three cupboards with cutlery, a few glasses, two kitchen knives, wine bottle opener…
Kitchenette does not have a microwave, an oven, toaster, counter space… it’s handy for tapas, keeping drinks cold, maybe some sandwiches or very simple pasta, but that’s it. Then again it’s easy and inexpensive to eat at the local restaurants, if you take some time and find out which restaurants are pleasant. Touristy restaurants serve just about the same, uninteresting stuff. Pay a few more euros and you’ll get excellent meals. But if you for example have kids and it would be easier and more practical to eat at “home” in the evenings, sadly this kitchenette is not really equipped for that. Nor is the hotel really aimed towards families needs, the outside pools are freezing even during summertime, and inside the pool area is more designed for adults than children. The studio rooms also tend to be a little small, especially when you add a babycot or an extra bed plus everything else a child needs. This is a good hotel for adults. Families would perhaps enjoy Porto Mare/Eden Mar/Residence-hotels, which have loads of facilities, and belong to the same, excellent hotel chain.
Beds are comfortable, and large, 2x100x200. In southern Europe the beds are often too hard for our liking, these beds are a nice compromise. The pillows were of good quality, there were 6 in our room, and the bedding was nice. Some of the sea side studio balconies are practical, since they are like small holes in the building, protected from the wind from both sides. This is ideal when the weather is so so, and it often is. Like in February, when we last visited Madeira, on most days the sun was shining in the afternoon, and was great to sit on the balcony, but there was absolutely no one in the outside pool area on most days. It had been raining a bit every day in the afternoon, but then the weather cleared up for a while round 3. pm. In the evenings the temperatures were round 11 degrees celcius.
There is free wifi in the hotel lobby, and it even works in the breakfast restaurants lobby side corner. Also in some rooms, which are located above the lobby, you can use the wifi for free. If the wifi does not reach your room, you can get a cable connection in most rooms for 10e/24h.
Breakfast is adequate, even for those who wish to avoid carbs. They don’t have live cooking stations, but sufficient amount of options. After a few days, the breakfast gets a little tiresome, as it is pretty much the same every morning. We stayed more than one week, and seriously considered changing hotels, since we were so tired of eating the same fare every morning. Restaurant personnel made unnecessary amount of noise when preparing the tables for lunch. The noise level was so high, that it regularly frightened our baby. Therefore, we went to breakfast separatedly, the other one stayed in the room with the bebe.
In the evening, themed buffes are served in the restaurant. We ate there a couple of times, and it was ok. Nothing extra special, but an easy option, and so many dishes that there is something for everyone.
The good news is, that the inside pool now is pleasantly warm. The saunas are only heated by request, so you have to know in advance when you wish to use them, and inform reception. The whirlpool was too cool, not 34c.
The tv is small, and placed too high on the wall in the studio rooms. Even in the suites the tv:s are small, but in some, there are two. The selection of channels includes for example BBC entertainment, a movie channel, travel channel etc. Very decent selection considering it’s Portugal.
What we’ll always remember about this holiday in Madeira is the kindness of a receptionist, Maria. She was truly professional, kind and considerate towards customers. Nice hotel altogether, but what really makes a hotel great, relies on the attitude of the staff, and Maria’s was five star.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank auratar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bristol
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2011

This is a really excellent hotel, but not completely flawless. Firstly, it is expensive for a 4-star hotel, probably because of its unmatched position right by the sea in Funchal Old Town. Moreover, some of the “sea-view” rooms have a rather indifferent view of the sea where the rooms face east or west. Picture 1 shows the sea view from room 141 which faces East. Try and make sure your room faces south. This gets the moans out of the way.

One of the hotel’s greatest strength’s is the staff, who were completely helpful, friendly and cheerful, from the management to the room maids. The other great strength is it’s unique location. The many restaurants of the Old Town are a short walk away, as is the Cable Car, bus stops, the Market and the town centre shops. There is a taxi rank right outside the hotel.

The rooms are large with a huge and comfortable bed (actually two large singles pushed together which can obviously be separated if you prefer). There is a small but well-equipped kitchenette and a good-quality en-suite bathroom with a WC, bidet, sink, and bath/shower. Additional large towels are provided for swimming pool use. The rooms are air-conditioned, but ours broke down twice in our week’s stay. Repairs were made the same day.

The hotel has excellent facilities: indoor and outdoor swimming pools, with jacussi and 0.1 m childrens pool, and large sun-lounger areas. It will be pleasing to the Brits that the “rules” board for this area clearly states that sun-loungers cannot be reserved e.g. by placing towels on them at the break of dawn! There is a very pleasant outdoor bar, outdoor terrace for the restaurant and outdoor terrace for the main bar. This whole outdoor area between the hotel and the sea promenade is very attractively planted. There is a gate out to the promenade but note this is only unlocked when the outdoor bar is open.

The restaurant provides a superb choice of breakfasts – full English and continental. The only missing item for us was a soft-boiled egg. We understand from others that the lunch and dinner offerings were also excellent, but we didn’t try them since the lure of the local restaurants was too great.

The main bar is not particularly attractive as a room – a bit angular and utalitarian for my taste. However, it was blessed by the usual exemplarary staff, superb quality live music performers at well below the more usual hearing damaging volumes you get in lesser hotels, and perfectly reasonable bar prices.

Computers are available in the main lobby, as is wifi. I was assured this was secure, but since it used no wireless encryption or even access password, I remained unconvinced of its security.

All-in-all, a highly recommended hotel if you can afford it.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
7 Thank doicher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
west midlands
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

just returned from a weeks stay in this excellent hotel. great location for exploring old town and main funchal. situated on the promenade with great views of cruise ships comoing and going. the hotel is the cleanest we have ever stayed in and brilliantly mainted. large comfy rooms with little kitchenettes if you want to prepare a little snack. outdoor pool looks lovely but not warm enough at this time of year but great indoor one with jacuzzi. also spa treatments if you want to pay for them. meals great with plenty of choice but alsoloads of restaurants around with reasonable prices. staff friendly and helpful and also joe the thomson rep. it was our first time to madseira and it was beautiful. will definately be back to the island and to this excellent hotel. well done to the manager and his lovely staff. we had a perfect stay.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tiai23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virgilio_Silva, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 23 March 2011
Thank you very much for such a rewarding review of Porto Santa Maria and its staff.
You highlighted the key aspects of our hotel in such a short text, hence I believe many people looking for information will find it helpful. And so do we.
We look forward to welcome you back to this beautiful island.
Kind regards,
Virgilio Silva (General Manager - Hotel Porto Santa Maria)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Schilde
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2011

Porto Santa Maria, an excellent hotel in the old center of Funchal, close to the most interesting things. Very pleasant, spacious and clean rooms with nice view (we had a studio with sea view on the ground floor, saw the cruise ships manoeuvring in front of us...). Very professional staff, friendly and helpful. Like João, for example, the pool attendant: hardly met someone who is so enthusiastic about his job! We enjoyed the large and tasty breakfast buffet, the indoor swimming pool and the jacuzzi, the happy hour in the Captain's Bar (though the cocktails could have been a little stronger: question of taste...), the garage for our rented car... But we never tried the restaurant of the hotel. The reason? It's location! As soon as you leave the hotel, there's a choice of bars and restaurants to discover. Like 'O Regional', at some 100 meters, delicious! And next to this restaurant, the bar 'Sabor a Fado', run by a family of fadistas and fadistos, with live fado-music all the time and many guests performing during weekend nights: highly recommended!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank polennikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virgilio_Silva, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 16 March 2011
Me and I my staff feel privileged to welcome someone who enjoyed a stay at Porto Santa Maria to the point of writing such an enthusiastic review.
Specially João, who you describe so well, and I am sure will receive your words with delight.
Regarding the cocktails, if you come back, please let our barmen know how you prefer them and they will do their best to adjust them to your own taste.
Again, if you return to Porto Santa Maria, may I suggest you try at least once our Arsenal Restaurant for dinner and then let us know how do you think it compares to our neighbours.
I agree with you that Porto Santa Maria's location so close to such a wide choice of restaurants is both a disadvantage (from our point of view), since they "steal" so many of our guests, but on the other hand we are aware that we get a lot of customers precisely for that reason.
I already forwarded your comments to the places you mention on your review, since they don't usually check them.
We look forward to welcome you back to this beautiful island.
Kindest regards,
Virgilio Silva (General Manager - Hotel Porto Santa Maria)
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Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2011

We have just come back from this hotel in Madeira. We have found it perfect for a non-driving holiday as it is close to all amenities. There are at least 20 restaurants in close proximity and we tried as many as we could. It is also within walking distance from the Teleferico cable car terminal for trips to Monte and the botanic gardens further on. There is a large central bus terminal where you can get local buses and sightseeing buses to anywhere on the island. The hotel is clean and the maid service very thorough. We stayed on a B&B basis and the ample good quality breakfast was an added feature of our stay. The friendly staff made us feel welcome and could not do enough for us.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virgilio_Silva, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 16 March 2011
Like most reviewers on TripAdvisor you highlight Porto Santa Maria's location as one of its key features.
And your evaluation of the hotel facilities and service, granting full marks on all areas, seems to confirm that you think that we deserve such a privileged location.
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts regarding your recent stay and we hope to have another chance to meet or even excede your expectations, if you return to this lovely island.
Yours sincerely,
Virgilio Silva (General Manager - Hotel Porto Santa Maria)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fife
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2011

After a hectic year, we decided to book a weeks holiday to Madeira for some well earned rest and relaxation in beautiful surroundings. Having never been to the island before, we were certainly not disappointed. We were transported from the airport with three other couples by mini coach and our driver/guide was very friendly and extremely knowledgable. The hotel was just wonderful - clean, bright and airy. We couldn't have chosen a better room - ground floor with balcony area, overlooking the gardens beside the dining room. We had read comments that there was noise from the kitchen fans, but we certainly weren't aware of any noise at all. The outdoor pool area was fine, although we tended to use the indoor pool for swimming, and we made use of the poolside bar for lunch a couple of times. We enjoyed breakfast at the buffet everyday and the choice and quality of food was very good. Can't comment on dinner as we didn't eat in the hotel at night. We did use the bar on the occasional evening and the bar staff were very friendly and attentive. The location of the hotel is excellent, very close to the old town. There are numerous very good restaurants well within walking distance, although we found a couple of little places on the back street behind the hotel that were very good. One was a "fruit shop" where if you went through to the back, you could order amazing fresh fruit salad with ice cream for a couple of euros. Took the chance of a guided levada walk while we were there, and managed to pick the wettest day of the week! As I don't have a great head for heights, I found it all a bit of a challenge, but my partner enjoyed it very much. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Madeira and are planning a return visit to this beautiful island later this year. We used Thomson Holidays and Paula, the company rep, was absolutely wonderful. She is an absolute wealth of knowledge. We would highly recommend this hotel to everyone.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank FraeFife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virgilio_Silva, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 22 February 2011
Dear guest,
I am glad you had such a good experience on your first visit to our beautiful island.
Also that you remark on your review a past issue you read about here on TripAdvisor and you confirmed that meanwhile it has been fixed.
If you return to Madeira, please let me know and I will be most pleased to check the weather and advise on the best hikes for you and your wife, since walking the island's paths has been my favourite hobby for the past 12 years.
I thank you for such a comprehensive and positive review that I would also mark as "helpful" if I was the one looking for a place to stay and activities outside the hotel. Also will forward your comments to Paula of Thomson Holidays, in case she doesn't read this review.
Kind regards,
Virgilio Silva (General Manager - Hotel Porto Santa Maria)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Notts
Level Contributor
86 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2011

In the heart of the old town, ideally placed for buses around the beautiful island . This hotel is right on the sea front next to the cable car up to Monte. Beautifully kept gardens to sit and relax in. All the staff are very pleasant and welcoming. Sit on your balcony and watch the cruise ships come in. The food is excellent with a large and plentiful choice at both breakfast and dinner, with a themed menu each evening, plus a la carte. Evening entertainment most nights. This is our second stay at this hotel and we wouldn't stay anywhere else on Madeira. If you want to eat out there are lots of excellent restaurants within a two minute walk - you are really spoilt for choice, although most serve similar food - try the Espada (local fish with banana) and Espetada (fillet steak on a skewer) - both superb.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dandjNotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virgilio_Silva, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 16 February 2011
Thank you very much for the appreciation you have shown for Madeira Island and Porto Santa Maria while visiting us once more.
On top of that you took sometime to share with us a personal description of our hotel which, I am pleased to say, stands very close to our own. Meaning our marketing people are saving their creativity for other areas and letting the hotel teams do their best to reach, or even exceed, guests expectations.
As a final tease, let me tell you about Porto Santa Maria's own menues. If you return, I hope you will take some time to taste some of the work of our cooks and compare it with what you already sampled during your previous stays.
On behalf of Porto Santa Maria and its team, I look forward to greet you with a "Welcome back" sometime soon.
Yours sincerely,
Virgilio Silva (General Manager - Hotel Porto Santa Maria)
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Additional Information about Porto Santa Maria Hotel

Property: Porto Santa Maria Hotel
Address: Avenida Mar e Comunidades Madeirenses 50 | Porto Bay, Funchal, Madeira 9004-506, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#9 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#10 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#21 Family Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Porto Santa Maria Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 146
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porto Santa Maria lies at the water's edge in the very heart of Funchal's old centre. Its close relationship to the sea, the outstanding and exclusive views over the harbour where the cruise ships dock, its picturesque surroundings and the unique flavours of its cuisine result in genuine urban tranquility. A congenial hotel offering 146 rooms, restaurant, bars, direct access to the promenade, outdoor pool, indoor pool, SPA, gym, parking...all in the heart of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Santa Maria Funchal
Porto Santa Maria Hotel Madeira/Funchal

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