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“Everything just right”

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Porto Santa Maria Hotel
Ranked #10 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
St Austell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Everything just right”
Reviewed 3 April 2011

This was our second time at the hotel and just as good as the first. Excellent staff, everyone is cheerful, friendly and helpful. Breakfast buffet is excellent. Everything fresh and well presented with good choice. Buffet dinners are also good quality and nicely presented. The bar has a nice atmosphere and the bar staff are attentive and always cheerful. Location is arguably the best in Funchal, set in the Old Town in easy walking distance to restaurants, the cable car, busses and taxis and the town itself. Sea view rooms have a great view of the cruise ships coming and going. Rooms are spotless and well equipped with kitchenette. Indoor and outdoor pool areas and bar all well kept. Book early, they have an occupancy rate of 96 to 98% which speaks for itself. We will return!

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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sixtiescouple
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, 12 April 2011
It's a pleasure to share such positive reviews with my staff.
To meet, exceed if possible, our guests expectations and provide good memories to bring back home is our main purpose.
And during this stay you became one of our return guests, those 3 out of every ten arrivals that we greet each day with a "Welcome back!" upon their arrival. Thank you for letting us know that we confirmed the positive evaluation that you've done on your first stay with us and made you come back.
We hope it won't be your last visit and look forward to welcome you back to our beautiful island.
Kind regards,
Virgilio Silva (General Manager - Hotel Porto Santa Maria)
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Greater Manchester
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2011

Just returned from a week’s stay at the Porto Santa Maria Hotel which was lovely. We upgraded to a sea view studio which was perfect as it benefitted from the sun all day. The room was very comfortable which included a small kitchenette with fridge, two electric rings, kettle, cultery and a few pots and pans (it was fine for preparing sandwiches/simple meals and drinks). The room was cleaned thoroughly every day with fresh towels and toiletries. It was also very relaxing to sit with a drink on the balcony and watch the cruise ships going in and out of Funchal harbour.

The breakfast was satisfactory for a four star hotel – sufficient choice (hot and cold) which was replenished at regular intervals. All the staff we encountered were extremely kind, efficient and helpful.

The indoor pool/jacuzzi area was never over crowded and we enjoyed a swim every evening before getting ready to go out for dinner. The outdoor pool was rather cold and we hardly saw anyone use it while were there. We didn’t eat in the hotel in the evenings as there are so many restaurants nearby to choose from.

The hotel is situated in a very convenient position – handy for the cable car to Monte (to visit the Tropical Gardens) and for the bus station. The market is quite close by – interesting to look around, but the price of fruit is actually far cheaper in the supermarket which is just across the road from the market!

There is plenty to do on Madeira – a week certainly wasn’t enough. We will most definitely return and without hesitation would choose the Porto Santa Maria again. We did look around the ‘hotel zone’ and although there are a number of nice hotels, we personally thought the Porto Santa Maria’s position directly on the sea-front promenade was perfect.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Neapolitan59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

This is one of the best hotels we have stayed in. Its position in Funchal old town is undoubtedly an advantage for visitors as everything is on the doorstep: literally in the case of places to eat. The rooms are clean, attractive and comfortable. They are kept immaculate by efficient and friendly cleaners. The whole hotel is very pleasant, with beautiful flower arrangements in all public rooms.

We were here six years ago and our only complaint was the food at dinner time. The breakfasts are more than substantial but evening meals were not good. This time we ate out for the two weeks we were there because of our experience last time. I understand from fellow guests that there has been little improvement but I cannot give a personal view. However, there are so many eating places of every type and quality within a very short distance that this is no problem.

I can recommend this hotel with only the reservation that you may not want to eat there.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank hikingthree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank auratar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank doicher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
west midlands
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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