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Quintinha Sao Joao
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Reviews (1,201)
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Reviewed 22 July 2013

We booked this hotel less than 48 hours before travelling, as a late deal with Jet2 Holidays. Unfortunately when we first arrived there was a problem in that for some reason the hotel had not received our booking! We were asked to wait in the lounge which was fine, and as it was lunchtime we ordered lunch. However we did have to wait a considerable time, around two hours altogether for our room, which did become rather tedious. Our room was some compensation for the long wait however, as we were given a spacious suite with two balconies.

Having said all of that, the long wait for our room was the only disappointment about this hotel. In every other way it more than fulfilled its five star rating. Our bedroom was extremely comfortable, and all the public spaces were beautifully furnished and decorated with fresh flowers.

The breakfast is generous and delicious, and staff in the dining room are delightful, especially the older lady (whose name I sadly can't remember). We also ate a couple of evening meals in the restaurant, and I can especially recommend the black scabbard fish with banana sauce!

The staff at reception are all lovely, and we particularly enjoyed talking to Caterina who was so helpful and fun, and always smiling.

The hotel is in a location away from the main hotel area, but we liked the fact that it was in a quiet residential part of town. There is a main road nearby but we didn't find the traffic noise disturbing. The views from our room over Funchal were lovely, and we enjoyed the shady garden and the two swimming pools. The walk back up to the hotel from Funchal is steep, and some might prefer a taxi, though we managed the walk OK. The hotel runs a courtesy bus, but we didn't use it.

If you like a smaller traditional style hotel with really friendly and helpful staff, then this hotel would be the right place for you. In all we had a great holiday, and we fully intend to return - the QSJ is a find!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abarreto, General Manager at Quintinha Sao Joao, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2013

First of all, let me thank you for writing your review on TripAdvisor. We especially appreciated your comments regarding our staff and I shall personally pass them on.

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed our restaurant. Inês will be pleased to hear that she helped make your dining experience a success.

We are sorry that you had to wait for your room. As with most hotels, our rooms are not vacated until midday so the official time to gain access for new arrivals is 2 p.m. This is to ensure that the staff have sufficient time to ready the room to the usual high standard our guests expect. Having said that, we do try to accommodate our guests earlier if possible but, unfortunately, this was not the case with your booking. We are, however, very pleased that you liked the up-grade and you were contented with your room and, indeed, your holiday.

Thank you for saying that you fully intend to return and we shall be equally as delighted to welcome you back.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We chose this hotel on the strength of other Trip Advisor reviews and the seemingly large amount of return visitors, but were left slightly disappointed.

The outside temperature during our stay was, unusually for the time of year, getting on for 30C every day and the air-con’ in the whole hotel was inadequate. The unit in our room continually leaked water and although we complained to reception on 3 occasions, it was not fixed by the time we checked out. We were not able to move rooms as the hotel was full, but the receptionist did loan us the fan from the front desk for the week, so at least that was some help. We had arranged for the mini-bar in our room to be emptied so that we could use it as a fridge for water and juices (€5 charges applies). However, it took a full 24 hours to chill a 1.5ltr bottle of water and the light did not work. Also, it would have been better if there were some ‘bug zappers’ discreetly placed around the terrace area outside the bar. These would not detract form the overall ambience, but would have been of benefit for guests – we were bitten several times, even though we were wearing insect repellent.

On the plus side, the hotel served the best choice of buffet breakfast we have ever seen, along with a cooked breakfast which was available to order. If you don’t have a cooked breakfast menu on your table ask for one, otherwise some of the waiters will imply that it is only eggs that can be ordered. We stayed on half board and intended to eat in the restaurant some nights and eat out on others. However, the food in the restaurant was very goods, so we ate there every night. The restaurant did lack a bit of atmosphere and was very quiet on some evenings - it would benefit from some background music. If not staying on the half board option, the restaurant prices looked rather expensive. The lunch and snacks menu served at the pool bar were more reasonably priced and I can recommend the club sandwich.

We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful when approached and the lady in charge of the dining room for both breakfast and dinner certainly liked a chat! Rosie the Guest Liaison was full of useful tips and ideas and booked both a guided walk and also a scuba diving course for us.

In summary, I think possibly the management have become used to receiving very good reviews and a little complacency has crept in. We did not quite receive the 5* experience we were looking forward to. Would we visit this hotel again? Probably, but not in a hurry.

Room Tip: Room 114 on the 1st floor had a lovely view of the garden and terrace, but the air-con' unit leaked all week.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank FrazBabyBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abarreto, General Manager at Quintinha Sao Joao, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2013

Thank you for posting a review of your recent holiday at the Quintinha.

We are sorry to hear that you were even slightly disappointed in your stay with us and can assure you that we are never complacent when it comes to our guests. We naturally are delighted when we have good reviews but equally as mindful when they are not so good. We are sorry if this was the impression you were given.

We are glad that you enjoyed our restaurant service and food – yes, our Club Sandwiches are very popular!

As far as the maintenance issues are concerned, we are so sorry that you experienced problems. Unfortunately we had to order a part for the air-conditioning unit and it was not readily available.

We hope that these issues did not distract from the enjoyment of your holiday and that you will visit us again in the future.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 16 July 2013

We enjoyed our stay at this hotel but there were just a couple of things where there could be improvement. When we arrived at the hotel after travelling for over 7 hours the lady receptionist was not the most welcoming - a smile would not be amiss! Mind you this persons attitude did not change when we left - no "hope you enjoyed your stay and hope you will return just a sullen face again! Perhaps a course in customer services maybe beneficial. However, the rest of the hotel staff were very pleasant and always were helpful and had a smile! When we arived we were informed by the aforemetioned that our room was not ready and to wait in the lounge. Maybe I am wrong but in all the 5 star hotels we have stayed in we have always been offered a refreshment especially if we have had to wait for our room but in this hotel no chance. The sun loungers by the pool/garden did not have cushions which would have helped in not sliding when trying to read and also as comfort factor. The air conditioning was not fully working and were advised by the reception that they were still waiting for an engineer to attend - phew is all I am going to say! Although we enjoyed our stay I am not sure that I would want to go back - it was not quite the 5 star we were expecting and usually received with other 5 star hotels

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SuziQ1510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abarreto, General Manager at Quintinha Sao Joao, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2013

Thank you very much for leaving your feed-back regarding your stay with us at the Quintinha São João.

I am concerned about your remarks in relation to your welcome. We can assure you that you and all our guests are indeed most welcome. Our reputation as you can see is one of helpful, happy and efficient staff and we are sorry that this did not come across immediately in your case.

We are pleased, however, that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that you will decide to return in the future.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 16 July 2013

This is a gem of an hotel, unlike any other we have known. It is not merely the charming building with its elegant furnishings and tasteful decor, its delightful gardens with ancient trees, shrubs and colourful flowers ~ but the ambience, the tranquility and the certainty that we are truly in our second home, our "Home in Madeira".

In our earlier reviews ( this was our 19th. stay at the QSJ ) we have enthused in detail over the delights and amenities of the hotel and these have improved even more with each visit.

We cannot praise the staff too highly and it is their skill and helpfulness, patience and diplomacy which give the QSJ its very special place in our hearts. Andre Barreto, the General Manager, is most charming and kind, always welcoming. Rosie, his assistant, is a mine of information on Madeira and its people and will go to great lengths to ensure that guests are well-informed and have all the advice they require.

The reason we prefer to stay at the QSJ in June ( although since 2000 we have visited during each month except March ) is that we love to be there for the Festa dos Santos Populares, i.e. Santo Antonio, Sao Pedro and Sao Joao. The entire island celebrates these saints during June with flowers, fireworks, displays, processions, concerts, music and dancing. At the QSJ the Festa de Sao Joao is celebrated with a traditional evening meal ~ this year a buffet ~ enjoyed in the grounds of the beautiful Quinta, the "Mother House". Then we were entertained by the wonderful singing of Sarah Borges, accompanied by Marcio at the keyboard. Marcio regularly plays the grand piano in the Bar Vasco da Gama, including at the Manager's cocktail party each Tuesday. This is a great opportunity for getting acquainted with other guests.

So many guests return year after year, as we do. We can think of no finer recommendation than this for a stay at the QSJ !

Room Tip: Best views are from the 3rd. floor, which also gets the best of the morning sun.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank JacarandaEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abarreto, General Manager at Quintinha Sao Joao, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2013

Well, Jacaranda Essex, what can we say? It is not difficult to guess who you are and as ever, we are grateful for your comments and feedback. We are most humbled that you keep choosing our Quintinha as the place to spend your holidays in Madeira, and hope that you will return many more times in the future – perhaps you should come back in March one day, even if it is only to say that you have visited Madeira every month!

We are delighted that you enjoyed our special São João event. As he is our patron saint, we really do push the boat out on the evening of the 23rd June! For us it is such a pleasure looking round and seeing everybody enjoying themselves and thank you for your kind comments regarding our musical entertainment. As you say, June is an excellent month to visit Madeira if you enjoy celebrations as Funchal is full of bunting, music and fireworks.

I shall, as ever, pass on your kind comments to all our staff and they join me in thanking you for your continued support and look forward to your next visit.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 13 July 2013 via mobile

Our second stay; excellent in every respect. The owner and staff combine service and friendliness without being obsequious . Thank you again for a memorable holiday. Special thanks to fellow guests Jacaranda Essex for their kindness in showing us the island, and Rosie for her advice about places to see . We have no hesitation in recommending this hotel, and look forward to future visits.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank Suffolkexile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abarreto, General Manager at Quintinha Sao Joao, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2013

We are simply delighted that your second visit was “excellent in every respect” and we are grateful to you for sharing this.

It is such a pleasure to welcome guests back and especially so when we see that you holiday was memorable. Yes, Jacaranda Essex are definitely the right people to show you the island – after all, they have been 19 times! We are glad too that Rosie’s advice was useful.

Thank you for saying you would recommend our Quintinha and we look forward to seeing you back on many future visits.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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