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“First time but not our last”

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Porto Santa Maria Hotel
Ranked #11 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 August 2006

This was our first time in Maderia and we were not disappointed. The first thing that struck us was how clean the island was and this also applied to the hotel. The location was ideal, right by the sea and in the old town and the balcony gave views over the pool, beach and harbour where large ocean liners are regualr visitors. We booked the flexible eating option at the hotel which meant we could have some meal in the hotel and also explore the local area where there are numerous places it eat ranging from local fare to Chinese. You can choice which nights you have in the hotel on the day so it really gives the best of both worlds. Food in the hotel was excellent with a wide choice and being buffet style you can sample lots of different thing without worrying if you will like it or not. The menu had a different theme each night so there was always something new. There was a variety of entertainment everynight in the Bar. The service excellent - everyone was very friendy and all spoke good English and quicky learnt what you liked.

As all rooms are studio ones you can make tea and coffee anytime and if you want there is enough equipment to cook a simple meal - there is also a fridge which proved very useful for keeping drinks cold. The pool area and terrace was cleaned every day and there was plenty of room even in August - pool towels are also provided.

There is a very pleasent walk along the front past the cablecar to the marina and then onto the other end of the town where most of the hotel are situated. This end of the town is at a higher level and although the sea views may be better these hotel are all clustered together and you lose the atrmosphere of the old town. There is not a lot this end of town other than the hotels and the Casino, which has an excellent show 4 nights a week - we went twice and actually made a profit!!

We would recommend the hotel to anyone although most people seem to be in the more mature bracket and there were very few children while we were there. We shall certainly be returning in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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29  Thank wedge158
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,654 - 1,660 of 1,936 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2006

Went there back in July, and, having taken advice from the reports of Tripadvisor travellers before (On many occasions) was not dissappointed. It's a three star Hotel that is trying to be a four star - with the emphasis on TRYING. If only more Hotels had the same attitude! Clean, comfortable, very well situated, friendly staff and all the rest of the stuff that other people have written. One slight downside! When we arrvied at reception, the very pleasent girl (I'm 60 so anyone under 40 is a girl) told us that it was neccessary to move us to another room after three nights. Alarm bells started ringing. She told us that the room we were going to was smaller, but right on the front over-looking the sea and harbour. It was, and we saw some fantastic firework displays from our own private balcony........bonus! because some of the larger rooms do only have a sideways look at the sea. Oh! the other bonus we had was an evening meal and bottle of wine (On the Hotel) to compensate for our inconvenience, every other day that we were there. We stayed for two weeks and can certainly recomend both the Hotel and the food. This has not been said before, but although the place is surrounded by interesting restaurants, the food is very good in the Hotel. All in all a great place to stay.........if you want peace, quiet, and a very central location. It's not often that you can get that. Go and enjoy and dont forget to try the Hotel food!

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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24  Thank hippotobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2006

Having never visited Madeira before we booked this hotel on the basis of brochure recs and trip advisor reviews.

The whole experience was memorable and central to this was the hotel. Having travelled extensively I fail to understand any negative reviews for the Porto Santa Maria. I know i will have to pay double in Kiev next month for 25% of the quality for example.

I can only echo the sentiments of positive reviewers and I'll try and explain those more negative comments that appear here.

We were allocated a ground floor room which had a terrace and a gate so we could stroll the ten yards to poolside which is some 20 metres from the Atlantic Ocean. I'd recommend trying to get one of these rooms for convenience if nothing else. However, looking at the hotel there seemed very few rooms which had insufficient sea view and to be honest its not that important. I am sure if you are really concerned about angles you can send an email direct to the hotel and arrange its so. The staff cannot be faulted on any level.

The room was excellent, spacious, high ceilinged and kept immaculately on a daily basis. The bathroom was pristene always and towels, hairdryers, etc will not be an issue. The kitchenette is nothing more than an added bonus. Excellently appointed with a spacious fridge and all utensils, plates etc you will need.

With the wealth of outstanding restaurants outside the hotel gates (the location is perfect for all activities) and the excellent breakfast which runs from 7 till 1030 I'm unsure how much kitchen one requires in 4 * hotel. Anyway its there if you need it. There's even a kettle to fill up your pot noodle if needs be!

Both my wife and I are just entering our forties and were concerned that Madeira had a reputation for older visitors, however, the hotel over the last week has had a pleasant range of ages seemingly covering age 1 to 101. What was apparent was that all were immaculately behaved and I am no snob about these things. We went for a chillout really and a lot of quiet and thats what we got. The hotel and Madeira is not geared towards families doing the seaside thing, if you want that you have to look at other destinations. That said there were several teenagers and children around and no one batted an eyelid. And babies seemed to be positively welcomed by all.

Definitely on the kids front you need to research your destination and match it with your children.

There was not a soul sunbathing toplessly while i was there which is neither here nor there to me but i know its an issue to some folks.

The location for us was perfect. As others have said, the old town is about 20 metres away and therein lie some of the best restaurants in Funchal. The only difficulty I would mention here is that with wealth of restaurants comes competition and so you will find reps soliciting for your custom, but in a nice way and a simple "not tonight" will dissuade them. That said the food in the area was fantastic and I just got stuck on bread, fish soup and fish mixed grill. It was so good my Saturday treat of tuna loin from will never seem the same again.

I wish I had eaten in more places but I can concur with fellow reviewers in recommending in no partcular order...O Tapassol, O Regional, Portau, and Le Jardin. For bread and garlic, first and main course and a nice bottle of wine, some water and a tip we were paying between 45 and 55 euro per meal all included. It really is incomparable with the UK pricewise with what you get.

Today I paid nearly £5 at Sainsburys for 3 small medallions of tuna. Last night I paid double for the same and king prawns, sardines, scabbard, salmon, squid, bream and snapper all beautifully prepared with side dishes. Fantastic. My favouritre mixed grill was at Le Jardin and my wife had best veggie meal there, veg pasta. O Tappasol terrace was best location and O regional best service. Portau just up the road was a bit more rustic but food equally excellent. O Regional has best bread (can you believe bread can be so good) and selection of accomponiments. Best wine I had was mid range recommendation at O Regional which was not on the list. I like my whites ate least 12.5 or 13% and some Portugese wines, nice as they are, rumble around the 11 or 11.5 area. Ask what they have to suit you, they will be very accommodating.

So to summarise. Porto Santa Maria was really outstanding value for money (and I just paid $8 for three bed room to myself in Moldova). The hotel is totally anonymous if thats what you like or totally personal if thats your thing. Cocktails on the terrace between 6 and 8 are half price at 2.5 euros and are just a lovely experience as would be your entire holiday here.

In all my travels I'd say this hotel is No 1. I will go back to Funchal and when I do I will stay here. Happy holidays.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled as a couple
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29  Thank VTA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2006

All the reviews praising this hotel are accurate, it has the best location, next to the old town, yet is quiet and calm. The breakfasts were amongst the best in any European hotel I've tried in terms of choice and quality. Hot items less succesful.Bucks fizz on the terrace more than makes up for that. The room's kitchen facilities were a bonus for snacks and supper. There is a small shop for provisions within 5 mins walk, a Supermarket within 10.
Our only quibble was with the Agent as we had paid a supplement for a Balcony/View, and our room faced West with a 'side-sea view', so technically true. Others without supplement faced the sea directly. The hotel was now pretty full and all these rooms were taken.
Anyway we had a great time, the 'compulsory' Christmas Gala Dinner was very good. We were on a B and B basis so it was a fab surprise. There was live music, lots of wine, and 4 courses. A very good atmosphere and a gift of sherry, all good.
The Christmas illuminations and vintage Nativity scenes all round town were lovely and close to the hotel.
Madeira is excellent for mature visitors, the island is very scenic, Funchal is busy but felt safe, with just enough Bars and Restaurants.
Recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2005, travelled with family
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7  Thank Dollypond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2006

Just returned from a week at the Porto Santa Maria booked on the basis on previous Tripadvisor comments. The location of the hotel is excellant - based in the old town with numerous restaurants nearby. Portau (in the road parallel to the hotal) was by far the best based on service, quality of food and price.
The hotel was of a good standard - the small kitchenette area was more than adequate (and remarkably well stocked) - bear in mind this is a hotel not an apartment and those looking for more facilities should perhaps book into the Porto Mare Residence which is designed for self catering. The pool is shallow (1.1mtrs) but coupled with the indoor pool offers plenty of choice for swimming. The free internet access in the lobby is a bonus. It was very quiet most days except Sunday when breakfast and pool area were fairly congested. We only ate breakfast in the hotel but found there to be a good choice of cereals / breads / beverages and fruit (fresh). I would stay here again and recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank JL001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2006

The location, a short and level walk to Funchal Old Town, is the best asset of this hotel. A modern hotel, the building is in good condition as are the fixtures and fittings in the rooms. The public areas are light and airy but, as with many modern hotels, fairly characterless. We stayed in a sea-view studio room which was of an average size. The useable kitchen area was very small and apart from preparing the odd sandwich would not be of use in preparing a decent meal. The most useful item in the kitchen was the fridge for cooling drinks. It is worth noting that pool towels are provided and can be exchanged for clean one every day.

The room booked was a sea view and I have got to say that the first room we were shown it was stretching imagination to describe it as sea view. We asked for a change and were given a room at the front where you could see the whole expanse of sea including the harbour. If no other rooms had been available I would have felt very short changed having paid a premium for the view.

As previously stated by other reviewers, the outside pool is not that large and quite shallow – the adjacent kiddies pool was not used by anyone during our stay and in my opinion took up valuable space on what is quite a cramped sunbathing terrace. The sunloungers are packed close together and if anyone is smoking (and there usually is) then everyone suffers from the fumes. The hotel clientele are from all over Europe so there is quite a lot of smoking going on in the hotel and the odd bit of topless sunbathing poolside, however, as the average clientele is about 55 years old and overweight this can occasionally be enough to put you off lunch!

Breakfast in the hotel is the usual hotel buffet and depending what time you get into breakfast varies in quality from average to poor. It was surprising that, apart from melon, they used quite a lot of tinned fruit at the buffet.

Funchal itself is a very pleasant town and has many good places to eat. We hired a car for the week and that was the best decision we made - the hotel has free parking with no need to book. The main roads are excellent and, once you get used to the gradients and sheer drops, the lesser roads have breathtaking views.

All-in-all the holiday was very enjoyable, Madeira was great and you could do a lot worse than staying at the Hotel Porto Santa Maria.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank Paul200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2006

My husband and I stayed in the Hotel Porto Santa Maria, Funchal, just on the edge of the old town in March/June for a week. The hotel was excellent, service from the reception staff to the catering, waiting, and cleanliness of the hotel, nothing was too much bother for them, also the Thomas Cook representative she was very helpful and knew her stuff. The hotel food was great, but if you did not want to eat in the hotel you were only yards away from lots of very good restaurants, all set in the quaintness of the old town. Maderia is a beautiful island, and the only fault I had was that we did not book for a longer period as there was so much to see.

The month of June was the firework trial period to see who would put on the best for New Year's eve, we were out in a boat in the late evening and had the best view, I have never seen a firework display so magnificant.

If you like walking, take your walking boots or shoes with you as the pavements are a bit cobbly. The temperature was just right with a sea breeze to cool you down. I personally felt very safe wandering around if by myself, I would certainly recommend Maderia, and will go back to explore the parts of the island we did not have time to visit.

17  Thank ELIZABETHA57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#9 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#11 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#21 Family Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £110 - £214 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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