Visited this hotel for one week mid-July. On arrival at just before noon were informed our room was not ready and "would probably be ready 1 or 2 ish". (We were not the only ones to be in this position so be aware if you have an early morning flight). Once you are in your room and read the hotelinformation it does say that rooms would not normally be ready until this time - however Thomson tour operators donot advertise this in their literature! No apology was offered for this lateness - no invitation to perhaps have soom food or a drink etc. which would have been welcome after a very early morning start from home (4am). At approx. 1.30pm I called at reception to be informed our room was ready and cases had been taken up - finally I felt like the 4 star Thomson luxe service I had paid for had begun. Until we reached our room that is - I was aware a 'garden room' had been booked which suited us fine - however the room did not in fact look out over any gardens - just the municipal park where locals gather - oh and the recylcing bins which were used by the nearby bars and restaurants. Although a bit disappointing I was prepared to wait and see how entertaining or disruptive this may be; this was until a couple of hours later by which time we had witnessed the local homeless vagrants vomiting and urinating in the park area and that was enough for us. Straight down to reception to ask to be moved; initially we were informed that was actually a 'garden room'? and that nothing could be done that day to change it, however if we returned the next day between 12noon - 1pm we would be allocated a 'very nice garden room'. Don't know what the difference is but I strongly suggest that if Thomson are including this hotel in their 'luxe' range they should ensure that their customers DO NOT get allocated a room overlooking the municipal park - in fact I can't think of any guest who would be 'happy' with that choice of room, even though many did appear to be in them? The room allocated to us the following day was in fact a very nice garden room with views of the gardens (hooray!); very comfortable and exceptionally clean with good facilities for making a cuppa in the morning or even a quick snack at lunch-time if you want to; however there are some extremely good restaurants just outside of the hotel entrance - we weren't disappointed with any of the food - particularly dinner at the Fort next door - bit more pricey than the average Madeira restaurant but well worth it. All in all I would not wish to fault this hotel if (a) you don't get allocated a room already mentioned and (b) you are of the older generation - we're early 50's and found it a bit boring although ideally located, (c) they enforce the no reserving of sunbeds policy - this really is a problem.
- 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