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“A wonderful week's holiday in our favourite hotel”
Review of Hotel Girassol

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Hotel Girassol
Ranked #41 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Reviewed 5 January 2012

Just back from a week in the Hotel Girassol. As usual, the hotel was a triumph of friendliness, superb service, comfortable rooms, great fresh food and that lovely warm pool. The staff are wonderful, caring and attentive. We have been visiting the hotel for the last 23 years and it never disappoints. This time we had three Madeira novices with us and they fell in love with the whole experience. We hired a car (much safer now there are so many tunnels and excellent roads) and set out to see all our favourite places. First stop, Curral das Freiras (Nun's Valley) for chestnut liqueur and breathtaking scenery. Then over to Porto Moniz (volcanic pools, the Laurosilva Centre and Portuguese fish soup), via Ponta do Sol (the sunniest place on the island) and the Estalagem at Calheta (complete with imported sandy beach and marina). We went to Pico do Areiero, the highest point - up in the clouds, for the best 'poncha' (sugar cane spirit, honey and lemon) to chase away any chill, Ribeiro Frio for the best embroidered cloths and the lovely valley leading down into Sao Vicente. Afternoon Tea at Cliff Bay and Cocktails in Reid's Palace are must-do. We had dinner at Filipe Ramos' inimitable, 5 star Restaurante Tokos (such attention to detail and beautiful food) - another must-do. We went to the new Mamma Mia Italian restaurant at the CS Atlantic Resort opposite the Girassol and had excellent food, serenaded by a saxophonist! We were taken by our friends to Restaurant Vila do Peixe, Camaro do Lobos for a superb fish Sunday lunch (wonderful location down by the sea). We went downtown for a stroll along the promenade and saw the Christmas lights. Many visits to Madeira Forum, a shopping centre with big brand shops and cinemas (the films are in English and subtitled in Portuguese). We went to Camacha to vist the Wickerwork shop. Things we didn't get to do were the Teleferico (Cable car) up to the marvellous Monte Palace and Gardens, Santana, Machico and Sao Lourenco. Next time!

Room Tip: Rooms in the front have southfacing balconies, but overlook the road; others(west facing) look over...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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9  Thank suewestcork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 November 2011

If you are looking for a glitzy chromium plated hotel just forget this one. The Girassol is a traditional hotel and in some ways a bit old fashioned but that makes it good in my eyes. My wife and I spent three weeks in the hotel in October 2011 and had a wonderful time. Due to our limited mobility we spent most of our time relaxing in the hotel or by the swimming pool. It couldn't have suited us better. Our room was clean and comfotable and the bed linen was changed almost every day. One small point, there was no air conditioning but fans were provided. The food was plentiful and wholesome with an adequate choice of dishes. The biggest asset the hotel has is its staff team. Everyone who dealt with us was helpful, efficient and courteous. We could not ask for more. The hotel is situated on the main bus route into the centre of Funchal so is very convenient. The sea and promenade are a good walk away down a steep hill which made life difficult for us but for anybody younger and fitter it would be no problem.

The bottom line is we would recommend this hotel to our friends and we would stay there again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank CLIVE R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2011

Just came home from 2 weeks in this hotel, it is a good experience. It is our 4.th visit there, and everytime we felt that is was a good choice. Very friendly staff, helpful and a good service, always a smile to their guest.
The junior suites are cosy and it is easy to feel like home, the restaurant is nice an have lots of different food, both in the morning and the dinner. And in tuesdays there are music to dinner.
The garden are excellent with trees, palms and flowers round the pool.
The whole hotel and surroundings gives a clean expression.
Absolutely not the last time we came back.

Room Tip: Take a room with garden wiew
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Veryhappy629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2011

Very nice location, close to the sea, restaurant, shops. It's a 3-4 star hotel very friendly, well managed and with a very high price/service ratio. The personell is abosolutely devoted to help. Mid-size pool in a pleasant garde. I suggest you to use the very close pool of Pestana Palms, just aboard the sea (if you just enter and sit nobody will stop you...). At the Girassol they give me a junior suite at the ordinary room price, nice deal!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank Dario S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2011

“The Travel Department continues to excel in its provision of high quality holidays at reasonable prices.” Those were our thoughts when we returned from our recent break (25th Sept. – 2nd October) with them to Madeira.

The two of us were picked up, right on time, by their private coach in Newry and were standing in Dublin Airport just an hour and a quarter later. Our flight left on time and was an uneventful three and a quarter hours to Funchal. Flight staff were helpful and attentive – but perhaps their employer, SATA, could encourage them to smile occasionally!

We were in our accommodation at the Hotel Girassol within 25 minutes – and had a welcome surprise when, without requesting it, we were allocated a Junior Suite with air-conditioning on the 11th floor. Our rooms were spacious and immaculately clean. Five stars to the cleaning staff – all linens and towels were changed every single day.

We had to work hard to fault this hotel. It is centrally located in the hotel district at the west end of town and is a gentle 25 minute walk to Funchal centre. Think about taking a bus or a taxi back though – that gentle hill you walked down on the way into town can look pretty daunting as you begin to ascend it on the way back!

The food in the Girassol was plentiful (buffet service) and the selection across the week was as broad as it could possibly have been. Maybe the Bain-Maries could have been kept a couple of degrees warmer, especially with the hot foods in the evening.

Funchal itself is full of interest – don’t miss the trip up to Monte – we suggest you use the cable car to get up – and come back down (if you’re brave enough) in the toboggans. There are some excellent museums and fascinating architecture. The famous gardens aren’t to be missed either – though I think we arrived just a little too late for the best of the summer/autumn flowers.

And don’t leave the islands without trips to the North West and North East portions of the island. Mind you, looking out the coach window at nothing except a drop of over 1000’ isn’t likely to cure your vertigo! Our internal travel arrangements were handled by Windsor Travel, acting as agents for The Travel Department. Our coach courier, Roberto, was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of Madeiran life and had a wonderful dry wit. His funny commentaries filled the coach with laughter throughout our travelling hours.

One other thing the Hotel Girassol might think about. It’s Paradiso Bar is a lovely spot – but never open in the evenings. With so many Irish around during our week there, we’d have loved a location like that for our nightly singsongs!

All in all, a holiday filled with enjoyment and interest – and a very welcome bit of sunshine and heat! Well done The Travel Department, The Hotel Girassol and Windsor Travel. And well done Madeira.

Room Tip: ask for an upgrade to a suite - you may get one for free
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank FidelmaandBryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2011

I stayed here for one week and it was a return visit as I used to work in Madeira and way back then it was always our most popular hotel, for many reasons, the attentive staff, quality and homely food and comfortable rooms.
The rooms have all been renovated since my last stay and the sea view suites are super, lovely views and very spacious.
There was a heat wave during our stay and the ceiling fan in the bedroom was very welcome!
We attended the weekly BBQ which was a fantastic setting and very tasty food, using local produce and a band complemented the whole evening, do not miss this if you are on bed and breakfast its well worth paying the supplement to attend.The staff have always been friendly but are not over familar and treat all the guests with respect and old fashioned charm.
Yes it was great to come back to Girassol hotel after a few years break and find it as good or even better than ever.
Congratulations !

Room Tip: Worth paying extra for the sea view suite
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Anna88402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

There were four of us in our group, but then at the hotel we discovered that we were part of a much larger group of about 50 from both parts of the island of Ireland, all on the same package holiday. We were away from the hotel in coach trips almost every day, so we all soon became well acquainted with each other (and with other hotel guests). In the hotel I was aware of how much everyone was enjoying their stay. This was in no small way down to the hotel staff. Receptionists, room cleaning staff, restaurant staff, pool attendants, etc all were extremely friendly and helpful and who efficiently went about their jobs. We were on the 8th floor which did mean using the lift most times. Unfortunately both of the lifts are small and slow, so if you are reasonably fit you will find it faster to walk. The food was good (bottles of water are expensive) with dinner being 4 courses (although no coffee or tea), but the choice of breakfast cereals was limited to muesli or corn flakes, although there was a wider choice of other things to eat. If the lifts are slow, then the speed with which items were removed from the tables was the opposite. At times our plates were lifted almost before we had eaten our last bite! The bedrooms are spacious and cleaned daily. The hotel is quiet (except for a dog in a nearby property which barked regularly), with little in-house entertainment either during the day or in the evening.

Room Tip: if you are less mobile then avoid the higher floors, the waiting time for a lift can be frustrating
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank liambt23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Girassol

Address: Estrada Monumental 256, Funchal, Madeira 9004-539, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#38 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £59 - £117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Girassol 4*
Number of rooms: 132
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Girassol Hotel Funchal
Hotel Girassol Madeira/Funchal

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