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“Ideal location in a lovely town”

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Porto Santa Maria Hotel
Ranked #10 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
117 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Ideal location in a lovely town”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Our first visit to Madeira and it won't be our last, to the island and this lovely hotel. The hotel is on the seafront in the old town, which makes it central for lots of varied eating places. The Monte cable car is a minute's walk away. Everything about the hotel is excellent, the rooms are immaculate, good sized and included a small kitchenette. We had a sea view room with a balcony with table and 2 chairs, looking out over the hotel grounds and the sea. There is still some work going on along the front but the work immediately in front of the hotel is due to be completed by the end of January - we didn't find the work any problem and the hotel credited each room with 10 euro a day for the 'inconvenience', a nice touch which paid for the evening cocktails. The breakfast buffet included anything you could want including several bottles of fizz on ice, with which some guests seemed pleased to start the day. The indoor swimming pool was excellent. Our favourite restaurants nearby were the Violin, Mozart and we particularly enjoyed Arsenio's grill as it had Fado singers every evening from 7 pm. We enjoyed walking around Funchal town but the waterfront is still undergoing major works, but once past the construction area you can walk for miles along the front. For your picnic, in Santa Maria street look out for the bakery/coffee shop (nearly opposite Django's), which sells takeaway ham or cheese rolls for 80c, the bread is fresh, lots of choice of rolls + a variety of cakes including the Madeiran custard tart, the waiter speaks good english and is very helpful. We went on a tour of the west of the island which was well organised and avoided using the new fast roads, so you got a good idea of what the island is really like. We will definitely go back to this hotel and next time we will be doing some of the levada walks.

Room Tip: We booked a sea view room but were actually given more of a side sea view which turned out well beca...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Nomad59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

Pretty hotel on the waterfront and still a central location in the midst of the old town. Lovely little hotel garden, nice comfort and service. The breakfast was decent with a a good selection of items, although the quality of the fresh fruit varied a bit and they did not have any freshly squeezed juice. They had several types of bread, but none as good as the typical bolo do caco that you would get at all the restaurants around the island. We tried the hotel restaurant for dinner once and liked it (gnocchi!).

What is missing would be internet in the rooms (it was available in the lobby). We were told they were working on installing that though. Also, if you are looking for the perfect view, then wait until the works in the harbour/waterfront is done. It was still ongoing to some extent when we were there. Or ask for a room that is facing north/northeast, and you would see less of it. The sound didn't bother me, and it was nice to get vouchers of 10 euro/day as compensation.

And don't miss dining in the fortress right next door. A very nice and luxurious restaurant to a very fair price.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank little_woman_85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing with others your stay at our Hotel, we are happy that you enjoyed your stay and I will take in consideration your suggestion on the "bolo do caco." On your next visit if you wish to have it for breakfast just ask our chefs and they will be happy to provide one for you. I would also like to inform that the internet is available now also in the rooms. We hope to see you soon.

Best Regards,

André Caldeira
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Lichfield
Level Contributor
459 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

The hotel is situated in a perfect location next to the old town, with all of its restaurants, and close to the Monte cable car. There is also an underground car park with plenty of space (parking is difficult in Funchal).

There is the bonus of a no children policy which allows you more peace a quiet. We had been warned in advance about some noisy construction work in progress on the seafront but it was hardly noticeable.

We had an upgraded room which offered extra facilities (e.g. a fridge) and a little bit more space, both the bedroom and bathroom were spotless. Because we were on the ground floor we had easy access to the pool area, literally a few steps away from the balcony, which was really convenient. Both bathrobes and pool towels were provided by the hotel.

Outside the gardens were immaculate with views of the harbour and the cruise ships which were constantly arriving & leaving (the hotel published details of these in reception). Each morning a falconer paid a visit to drive off pigeons which provided some early morning entertainment.

We didn't have dinner in the hotel because there were too many local restaurants to choose from which seemed more appealing than a buffet but we did have the occasional lunch, which was both good quality and good value, and the breakfast was brilliant - everything you could think of and, with the exception of the appalling bacon, freshly cooked. In addition to the hot breakfast there was an good choice of fruit, cereals, cheese, ham etc. and a lot of different types of bread/pastries.

It was my birthday while we stayed and the hotel, unasked, presented us with a chocolate cake which was a nice touch (apparently they check the dates on everyone's passports on arrival).

The reception are were well presented and the staff on reception were both polite and helpful. We had great service throughout our stay and overall I believe the hotel is very well managed.

It is difficult to find fault but I would criticise the lack of wi-fi in the bedrooms, it's something you tend to expect in a modern hotel.

Highly commended and when we return to Funchal we'll definitely book this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the ground floor with views of the harbour.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank LichfieldBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you for sharing your experience at Porto Santa Maria, it makes us all here at the hotel happy to read that our guests enjoyed their stays with us. We would like to suggest that on your next visit if you are not a buffet fan you can try our al la carte menu that is also available or our gourmet flavors (degustation menu by Chef Klaus). We also believe that any modern hotel should have Wi-Fi in the rooms and that is why we are happy to announce that it is now available also on the rooms. We hope to see you soon.

Best Regards,


André Caldeira
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west lothian, Scotland
Level Contributor
42 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014

This was our first visit to Funchal and first visit to Porto Santa Maria hotel. We were very happy
and the hotel exceeded our expectations.

The staff at this hotel are warm and very friendly and always willing to help.
Great location next to old town and short walk to the main square in Funchal. We used the indoor pool every day and it was very nice. Even managed to use the new outdoor jacuzzi
The quality and choice of food was very good, something to suit everyone.

Service in the captains bar was good and the nightly entertainment was lovely
Very nice rooftop terrace with splendid views

Overall I would go back to this comfortable hotel as it ideal to visit the old town and the quality of the staff was excellent

We stayed 6th January for a week (230)

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank bmcd67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 11 February 2014
Dear Guest,

We are happy to read that your first impression of Porto Santa Maria was a good one and are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and would like to thank you for your kind words. We hope that you visit us again soon.

Best Regards

André Caldeira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
110 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We had stayed at this hotel once eleven years ago and had always intended to return but somehow life got in the way, as it has a habit of doing. We did wonder whether, like virtually everything in those eleven years, it might have deteriorated.
We needn’t have worried. The first words the receptionist said after I handed her our passports were “Welcome back.” That just about sums up the whole place. They really try to make people want to come back, and in most cases they succeed. They do have very nearly everything right. Our suite was spotless, tastefully and comfortably furnished and had everything we needed, including all anyone would want for self-catering, tea, coffee and milk supplies, a bowl of fruit, a bottle of mineral water, bathrobes and pool towels. It was described as “side sea view”, but the view of the Oriana coming into port on the first morning was more than satisfactory.
The indoor/outdoor pool, where you can swim from inside to the open air was as good as we remembered
Service was just the way we like it, good-natured, quick, but not pushy, and reliable.
Breakfast was as good as ever, with a vast choice of hot and cold dishes and everything you might want to drink at that time in the morning, including Prosecco. The evening meals were very good, too, but at the price they charge I’m not sure about the value, when there are so many restaurants literally just outside the front door.
And that is down to what makes this place live up to the title above. It’s right down on the waterfront next to the periferic to Monte, in the Cidade Velha, not stuck out in the soulless Zona Hoteleira like all the rest.
All this and they have BBC1, BBC2 and ITV on the television, along with a lot of US channels with Portuguese subtitles.
If you want all your creature comforts and real Funchal on your doorstep, rather than a clone of any Costa you care to name, there really is nowhere else to go.
But if you want to try it, you’d better be quick. Their policy of making people want to come back really does work. When we asked about booking the same week next year we were told there was no availability. We had to settle for three weeks later (a mere thirteen months in advance) and that took some finding.

Room Tip: It's worth paying the extra for a suite if you can afford it. None of the rooms are bad, but the...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Akathistos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 11 February 2014
Dear Guest,

We are happy that we were able to live up to the memory of eleven years ago, not that the hotel has not changed since it has but that we were able to still provide an enjoyable experience. We are also happy to read that it will not take as long until your next visit. See you next year

Best Regards,

André Caldeira
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Bristol
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014 via mobile

This was our first stay on Madeira which we chose in preference to London because of the better climate in our later years.
We stayed between 6-13 January. My wife is less able so location was important as she cannot walk very far. Taxis are very close. The hotel is extremely clean and staff very friendly. A bottle of Asti Spumante and beautiful flowers to welcome us and to celebrate our 43 wedding anniversary were a nice surprise. The breakfast is very good, extremely varied and would cater for most nationalities. There are plenty of very good restaurants very close which is spoilt by the persistent in your face invitations to dine at their establishments which means you have to run the gauntlet until you find a way of avoiding most of them. We had garden/view of the harbour room which was extremely well equipped. You could even do some home cooking if you wanted!! It's a pity they charge for the use of the room safe but perhaps this charge will be removed when they no longer give a discount because of the sea defence noise which did annoy some. Perhaps next year we will have a full sea view!
Many of the residents of the hotel have stayed there before and it's not difficult to see why! We booked for next year to celebrate our next anniversary. Thank you to all concerned.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank Sparkymustard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 11 February 2014
Dear Guest,

thank you first of all for choosing Porto Santa Maria for the celebration of your wedding anniversary, we feel honored when guest choose us for these special dates. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and look forward for the celebration of the 44th!

Best Regards,

André Caldeira
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glasgow
Level Contributor
74 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

Many people return to this hotel and we went on a recommendation from a colleague. All these people are not wrong .The hotel is in a perfect setting right next to the cable cars and cobbled streets of the old town,which is relatively flat compared to the Lido area and a great atmosphere both day and night. The hotel staff are all lovely and its been a long time since I have seen so many staff looking like they enjoy their work from the housekeeping team ,waiting staff to front desk.
The rooms are a good size ,simply furnished with the bonus of the kitchen sink,hob and fridge and utensils .Great for stocking the lovely local wine or if you want to get some nibbles from the local market. Like others Wifi would be good.Not all seaview rooms overlook the harbour and I would suggest you really need to specifically request this ,we had more of a side seaview but still nice. The breakfasts were great ,plenty of eggs ,hot food and lovely bread and pastries ,all kept hot. The Gala Dinner at New Years Eve was lovely and well presented. The rest of the meals were slightly disappointing. The quality of food could not be faulted and if you are a meat and veg person you will be fine ie pork, veal , beef however if you like a bit more variety or spicy like us it was all a bit the same. Also if you eat early the dining room has a nice buzz, if you eat like us after 8pm it was often empty and they cleared up for closing at 9.30pm ,not what we are used to in Europe. However many of the guests are more mature therefore perhaps this was the more popular approach. I would definately go back to the hotel just for the location , staff and amenities but would go Bed and Breakfast and eat in the local restaurants. The fireworks on New Years Eve are absolutely amazing and its definately worth having afternoon tea at Reids hotel. The only fly in the ointment was the shambolic system at the airport on the return home. We were at the airport at 12noon for our flight at 2pm ,at 1.40pm we were only just at security and by 1.50pm being rushed through passport control .Apparently with so many flights leaving on a Monday this is a regular occurance. Some people beside us were ready for passing out from standing so long in all the various queues,therefore a major plea to the airport authorities please resolve this issue as its not a pleasant end to an otherwise great holiday.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank champagneannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel, responded to this review, 14 January 2014
Dear guest,

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay at Porto Santa Maria, it is a pleasure to know that you enjoyed the fire works on New Years's it is a special moment and we too much enjoy the view from our Harbour terrace. We hope that you visit us again.

Best Regards,

André Caldeira
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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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