For our second winter 'escape' to Madeira , we chose this hotel on the recommendation of friends who, like many of the Trip Advisor reviewers, had returned several times. We found it ideal in all ways and really have little to add to the positive comments - and cannot think of any negative ones!
Staff and service :
unfailingly friendly ( especially our motherly chambermaid, Rosa) and helpful. When our taxi to the airport failed to arrive - no fault of theirs - they worked hard to put the situation right.
We were lucky in being allocated a ground-floor room, with balcony opening on to the palm-studded garden, rather then the sunbed terraces/pool. Some sea view rooms would feel quite far back from the sea, but we had it directly opposite - and developed quite an interest in the cruise liners going in and out of port. It was quiet and spotlessly clean. We found the firm bed very comfortable.
The buffet breakfasts were as high-quality, copious and appealing to all tastes as we have found elsewhere ; they formed lunch as well! We did not eat at the hotel in the evenings, as there was such a choice of restaurants within a few yards of the gate. Of these, we enjoyed two excellent meals at the 'Portao' - turn right and go past the white chapel, where the service was most attentive and generous. One warning.....the 'zabaionne madeirense' portion is enough for two! We chose this restaurant because it does NOT have touts luring you in at all times of day. Pleasant as they are, it is like running the gauntlet.
We found the kitchenette in our room a great success. Supermarket shopping enabled us to make good meals on other nights - and there was never a smell of food lingering.
Closeness to the seafront and centre is a great plus. Comfortable 'interurban' buses leave from only 2 mins away. Other town services and stops are quite easy to find and taxi ranks are everywhere. The Monte funicular - do give it a go on a fine day - is only yards away.
The market is very colourful but, on this occasion, we felt we had been overcharged. The Anadia shopping centre has a first-class Pingo Doce supermarket on the lower floor and is only a 5-minute walk, There is another 'local' supermarket closer. For traditional Madeiran embroidered goods (though not cheap) ,the Viola showroom just below the market is quiet, elegant and you are not harassed.
Do not opt for a garden room. The balconies overlook the little park where local men gather to play cards etc and so have no privacy.
If , like us, you travel from the airport by local bus, do get off at the stop near the Anadia Centre, just before the sea front.. The next is a much longer hike back along the Avenida del Mar.
If you choose the safe option of a taxi back (35 euros), book via the hotel or just find a taxi outside the gate.
Take your own shower gel and bath mousse - not provided.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and are looking forward already to returning.
- 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