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“Lovely family-owned hotel, with great personal service”
Review of Quintinha Sao Joao

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Quintinha Sao Joao
Ranked #9 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 June 2014

If you want a smaller, family-owned hotel, in a relatively quiet district of Funchal (subject to barking dogs, depending on which room you are in), with lovely gardens and grounds, and with great attention to personal service, then I'd strongly recommend this hotel.

It is well away from all the other large hotels (including Reids) congregated in a new-build area at one end of the town which, frankly, could be in any European resort.

The hotel is situated in a residential area, just outside the centre (3 minutes in the minibus or by taxi, or a 15-minute walk down to the centre), and so does suffer the usual noises of barking dogs (frequently) and, on Thursday evening, an outdoor aerobics class with blaring music on the adjacent Four View's hotel’s balcony.

That said, these were occasional intrusions to an otherwise peaceful hotel with just 42 bedrooms (all are garden-facing) and pleasant surrounding gardens with much bird-song. If you want to avoid disturbance by sometimes constant barking dogs then avoid rooms numbers 8 upwards, including the Junior Suites (numbers 11, at the end of each floor).

The rooms (we stayed in a Junior suite – see photos) are certainly spacious, and the decor is good but a little outdated, and beds quite firm.

For this reason, and the following 'niggles', I would not rate this hotel as 5*, although it does excel on personal service and friendliness.

There are some minor irritations, like, despite staying in a suite, charging you €1 for a coffee capsule for the in-room coffee machine, their in-room minibar menu says they’ll charge you €5/day (yes, a day) for storing anything of your own in their fridge (but they didn't), and difficulty swapping a half-board evening meal for a daytime lunch meal (which would cost them less money).

Having received an invitation, on the Tuesday evening, from the General Manager, to join him for a drinks reception, he then wasn't there (and this has happened before), so guests just sat around, as they normally do before dinner, enjoying some free drinks, which was very pleasant but just not what had been expected.

The transfer minibus only runs to Funchal (dropping you on the front) at 10a.m and 2.30p.m, and returns back at 12noon and 5.30p.m, but only on weekdays, which is another irritation, not running at weekends (the market, for example, is busiest on Friday and Saturday mornings). Having said that, the Yellow taxis, which are metered, only cost around €5.

Breakfast is excellent, with a very wide selection of meats, cheeses, cereals, breads, croissants, and fruit juices, in addition to hot food (eggs, omelettes, mushrooms etc.) cooked to order (see photo).

The daytime bar and outdoor seating area is also excellent (but they need another umbrella on the terrace, as there is only one, so most tables have no shade from an overhead sun) with very reasonable prices for drinks and snacks/meals, and a lovely peaceful area to sit and read or enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in Happy Hour (which they allow you to take whenever you want !).

The evening restaurant was very quiet (not sure what all the other guests do, as they were nearly full, unless they go down to town). The restaurant staff are generally very pleasant and engage in good conversation, so you do feel very welcomed.

As another reviewer said, we understand that the hotel has recently put in free WiFi throughout the hotel, so it now works in rooms not just the Reception area (certainly worked well for us, but it logs you out after a period of non-use).

Rosie, mentioned by many, is very knowledgeable and helpful about what to do, and multi-lingual, so a real asset to the hotel's service in making guests feel really welcome.

In terms of excursions, the reception or Rosie can arrange a 3-hour taxi tour to some of the highlights elsewhere on the island for €60 (we were quoted €80 by one of the Yellow taxi drivers), full-day minibus tours for just under €30 per person, both of which we excellent, and we’d also recommend the cable-car return journey to the Monte Tropical Gardens (inclusive of entry is just under €24 return – the cable car alone is €15 return).

We would definitely return to this hotel, and strongly recommend it, but if you are expecting a 'polished' overall service then you'll notice minor niggles, but the personal service and the spacious rooms are the hotel's biggest selling points, along with lovely gardens. I hope the hotel (as the Manager appears to read these reviews - I'd have told him had I met him !) takes these minor points as opportunities to do even better.

Room Tip: All rooms are garden-facing. If you want to avoid real disturbance from barking dogs, avoid rooms n...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank woodshap
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 11 June 2014

Thank you very much for writing such a detailed description of your recent holiday at the Quintinha de São João. We are delighted that you enjoyed yourselves and your heading is much appreciated “Lovely family-owned hotel, with great personal service”.

As you can see, I most certainly do read all comments our guests leave on TripAdvisor (and anywhere else for that matter.) My apologies for not having had the opportunity of meeting you personally during our weekly cocktail party but on this particular occasion, I was at an important meeting outside the hotel which over-ran. I am, however, always represented by a member of staff. I am sure you will agree that, being the manager of the hotel, it is often necessary to be absent either off the island on business trips, in meetings or even on holiday. In any event, we like to offer our guests a complimentary cocktail party so that they may also get to know our other customers and enjoy a drink together.

If I may, I would just like to comment on the use of our minibar which is exactly that - as advertised and not a fridge for storing items. We charge 5 Euros per stay and not per night should guests wish to use this as a fridge. We pride ourselves on the excellent selection from our à la carte menu for our guests on Half Board and, wanting to provide value for money for our customers, do not encourage the exchange for lunch which would mean an inferior option as we only have our light refreshment menu available in the bar.

We thank you very much for your kind words regarding our staff and facilities and I will certainly pass them. In addition, we entirely agree with you about our location – we are away from the large hotels and so very much do not want to be considered any “European resort”. We are Madeira through and through!

We look forward to your next visit and I look forward to personally meeting you the next time.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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489 - 495 of 1,166 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2014

Comfortable and relaxing and all the staff were friendly and helpful. We liked the individuality of the hotel with beautifully furnished rooms and guest areas. We were impressed with our room which was large with a sitting area and a balcony. The hotel had a quiet, calm atmosphere.
The position of the hotel was good. It was an easy downhill 10 minute walk into town, but a steep climb back. Taxis were reasonably priced for returns.The hotel also has a free courtesy bus which is useful, but only at limited times.
I certainly would love to return to Quintinha São Jaoa.

Room Tip: All rooms are good. We liked ours because it was away from the road and we did not overlook the outd...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Katyp107
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 4 June 2014

Thank you very much indeed for taking the time and going to the trouble of posting your comments regarding your recent stay at the Quintinha de São João on TripAdvisor. You support is much appreciated.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your room and you have described the atmosphere of the hotel perfectly… quiet and calm!

We too hope that you will return to visit us in the near future.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 29 May 2014

We spent ten days at the Quintinha Sao Joao at the beginning of May. The hotel is beautifully furnished and spotlessly clean. It was our first time to Madeira. The staff were absolutely wonderful and couldn't do enough for you. The bedrooms were very spacious and had their own sitting area as well as a balcony that overlooked the gardens. There were several visitors we met who were coming back to this hotel again and one couple - it was their fourth stay at this hotel.

We were staying half board so we ate dinner there at night. The one thing I would say and did comment on when we were there, was the fact that the menu in the restaurant did not change at all during the week. In fact it only changed twice a year according to one of the waiters They did serve a barbeque one evening which we did enjoy and also had a 'masterchef' evening which was excellent. I really feel there should be more of a choice and that they change a couple of courses during the week. The restaurant staff were absolutely charming and it made for a lovely relaxing feel in the dining room.

The gardens of the hotel were just beautiful - you felt you were in a garden of paradise. We swam in the pool on the second floor which was lovely. Also we met the delightful Rosie - who is great at advising you what to do in Madeira, how to get there, what you can go and do and see. She is delightful and nothing is too much trouble for her! If we ever go back to Madeira I would definitely return to this beautiful hotel. We did go up to the west side of Funchal and saw lots of larger hotels there, but were secretly glad we had found the Quintinha Sao Jao.

Room Tip: A garden room may be quieter away from the main road.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Renault44
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 30 May 2014

We are so pleased that you chose our Quintinha to spend your first holiday in Madeira and even more delighted that it was such a success. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on TripAdvisor and for giving us such a glowing report.

I know that I have said this before but would like to reiterate that nothing is too much trouble for all of us and nothing gives us more pleasure reading comments such as yours and knowing that our efforts are not in vain. This is most motivating; thank you.

In order to give our Half Board guests the best possible dining experience we place our complete a la carte menu at your disposal. Choices range from vegetarian, international and regional dishes to our Goan specialties. As you so rightly say, we also include our two theme nights to ring the changes and we are studying other options for the future.

We hope we will have the pleasure of your company again on a future visit to Madeira and that you will join the many guests who return to stay at the Quintinha.

Yours sincerely
Andre Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

We spent a week here over Easter, which coincided with a major wedding anniversary.
We arrived early - about 11.00 am but were welcomed and looked after wonderfully, being given coffee on the terrace whilst they made our room ready.
This was how things continued as we found that all the staff went out of their way to be friendly, kind, and trying to ensure that you were enjoying your stay! There didn't seem to be any exceptions!
On our anniversary they brought us a bottle of bubbly and had made us a cake. We enjoyed both!
The bedroom was a good size with a superb bed, sitting area with a desk, minibar, tv etc. and a balcony with a table and two chairs overlooking the gardens.
There was a very nicely fitted marble bathroom with shower, bath, bidet and wc, plus all the bits and pieces you expect in a first class hotel.
Everything was spotless and was kept so throughout, as were all the public areas.
Breakfast was a very good buffet with selections which should cover any taste, and included some unusual tropical fruits, plus the availability of cooked options such bacon, sausage, eggs etc.
We ate dinner a couple of times which was good quality and interesting. The style is Goan so if you are a curry lover you will be in heaven.
Other more international dishes are also available and these are well cooked and presented. Service is friendly and attentive.
The hotel is about ten minutes walk to the town, some local restaurants, the casino, and the gardens overlooking the port. Fascinating if you like to look at the cruise ships! Taxis are cheap and plentiful.
If you, like us, prefer smaller more intimate hotels, still high quality, but where you are not just one of 400 or 500 guests, you will like this hotel.
The staff are perhaps the best team we have come across in quite a few years - we will return!

Room Tip: It is not a huge hotel, so most rooms are presumably similar and overlook the garden.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rogjacgill
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 29 May 2014

I read your review with delight and would like to thank you on behalf of the whole Quintinha team for such glowing feedback. We especially liked the fact that you thought that our team was perhaps the best you had come across for years! Nothing is too much trouble for us and, if it can be done it will be.

We are so pleased that you enjoyed our Goan dishes. It is true that if you love curry, our restaurant “A Morgadinha” is just the place to dine.

We look forward very much to welcoming you back on your next visit to Madeira.

Yours sincerely

Andre Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 22 May 2014

My wife and I have just returned from a very enjoyable week's stay at QSJ, it was very relaxing enjoying the elegant surroundings and great service.

The hotel itself is a more modern building than the Quinta in who's grounds it is built but it still retains the elegance you would expect from the old building, big sofas and armchairs in open sitting areas on each floor and in the bar, tasteful wooden furniture in the bedrooms, whilst enjoying the benefits of a modern hotel.

We had a room with a sitting area and small balcony, just enough room for a table and 2 chairs, but a good view into the gardens. The room was clean and very well appointed with a good bathroom with bathrobes, including a bath which you don't always get in holiday hotels. There was no kettle in the room which we like for an early morning cuppa, but we asked for one when we arrived and they gladly provided it.

The breakfast was plentiful and a good variety of cold food and cooked breakfasts to order, I had that most mornings and it was very good.

The bar has a nice terrace outside and there is a happy hour from 6:30 every evening (or at any other time that suits you) so we enjoyed cocktails most days, what's not to enjoy at 3 euros each. The bar food menu is very good and very reasonably priced, it is also exactly the same as the room service menu. My only gripe is that they officially stop serving it in the bar at 6:00 but continue as room service until 10:00. Sometimes you don't want a big 3-course meal in the hotel restaurant at 39 euros and you don't want to eat in your room, having said that the barman said that he would see whether the kitchen would serve in the bar after 6:00 but he seemed to make out it was a bit of an issue (not sure why if room service is still available), anyway we did get to eat on the terrace, and other guests did the same, and it was very nice and reasonably priced too.

There are 2 pools, one indoor and one outdoor, they are both quite small but OK to cool off in after a day out or sunbathing.

There is also a good gym and games room and spa, although we didn't use that.

The gardens are delighful and there is one round the back of the pool by the old house which is very peaceful.

For those for whom it is important you might like to know that in-room free wi-fi was installed whilst we were there, it is basic but enough for what you might need on holiday.

There is a shuttle bus into the town but it only seats 8 and only goes down twice and back twice a day, but not on weekends, so you do have to book the night before. Again, this is something that would be better if it was available more often.

The hotel is nearer to Funchal than those in the hotel zone to the west, about 15mins walk downhill, the uphill return isn't too bad if you are reasonably fit or taxi fare is about 4 euros. However, there is no other restaurants or supermarket close to the hotel, the nearest are about a 10 minute walk away (downhill) so I think we came back fitter than we arrived.

Of course, as most other reviewers have said, no review would be complete without thanks to Rosie, the fountain of all knowledge about what to do on the island. Also all the other staff in reception, the bar and the breakfast room were very helpful and we were amazed how well they all spoke 4-5 languages pretty much fluently.

Other reviewers have commented on the noise from barking dogs and the main road and this is evident and the ambience would be better without them but the hotel is in an urban setting and you can't get totally away from all noise. I expect that the hotel zone suffers from just as much noise anyway and it did not detract from our enjoyment too much.

On our way from the airport the taxi driver said we should expect such charming elegance at the hotel but it wasn't for everyone, we weren't sure what he meant but it became clearer the longer we stayed. There were no children staying, whether this was just because it was not school holidays I don't know, but we were happy with that and I think if we were travelling with children then probably one of the resort hotels on the west side of funchal would have been more appropriate.

If you want a holiday where you will be looked after with great personal service and comfortable elegance and don't want to pay a fortune to stay at Reid's then I can fully recommend QSJ.

Room Tip: All rooms face the garden, as far as I could see, with lower numbered ones on each floor nearer the...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Yorkie137
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 28 May 2014

Thank you for your highly descriptive and in-depth review for the Quintinha. We are certain that readers and prospective travellers will find it most informative.

Thank you for your praise, which I will certainly pass on to our staff and we are delighted you enjoyed your stay.

I would like to comment on a couple of points if I may.

Our Vasco da Gama Bar is a bar serving a simplified menu and not a snack bar serving drinks. Thus, after 6 p.m. it is reserved for guests wanting a drink. This menu, however, is available in our Restaurant so dining there doesn’t necessarily entail eating our full promotional menu, which includes a 3 course meal and all drinks. We are aware that guests don’t always want a full meal so this is the reason we place our lunchtime menu at your disposal in our restaurant at night.

We have indeed up-dated our IT system at the hotel. We have invested in new and larger television screens and a new and more diverse cable package. Most importantly, we have connected wifi to all the rooms in the hope that it pleases our customers.

We hope you will choose the Quintinha for your next holiday to Madeira and look forward to welcoming you back.

Yours sincerely

Andre Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 21 May 2014

This hotel is a little gem, hidden away just outside the center of the city. The room was very nice, the staff was the most courteous and helpful I have ever experienced, and the restaurant was excellent. Especially the breakfast! Great place if you want a more quiet hotel experience than at the big Lido hotels.

Room Tip: Get a balcony
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Krist0ffer
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 23 May 2014

Thank you so much for describing our Quintinha as a “little gem” and for sharing these thoughts on TripAdvisor. You can't imagine the pleasure it gives us to be described thus!

We certainly do try our best to help you enjoy your stay and that you get the most out of your visit. It is our pleasure and we are delighted that we succeeded where you are concerned.

Thank you too for your kind praise for our restaurant – I will pass it on to the staff.

We hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to your home in Madeira soon.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 May 2014

Our first time in Madeira and what a super place to stay. The hotel was lovely, the facilities were as I would expect from a top rated boutique hotel . The bedrooms were spacious and decorated traditionally. The staff were so friendly and helpful, in addition Rosie was an on site travel guide and what more could you need? We cannot wait to return and have already recommended to friends and strangers

Room Tip: Room 113 was great !
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jim 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 21 May 2014

Thank you very much for you kind comments and for sharing them on TripAdvisor.

We are delighted that your first holiday in Madeira was such a success and we sincerely hope that this will be one of many.

We are glad that you enjoyed our facilities and our team and I shall certainly pass on your kind words to them.

We look forward to welcoming you back and thank you so much for your recommendations; they mean a lot to us.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager

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Additional Information about Quintinha Sao Joao

Address: Rua Levada Sao Joao 4 | Madeira, Funchal, Madeira 9000-191, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Funchal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#7 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#9 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £99 - £150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Quintinha Sao Joao 5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built within the grounds of an historic "Quinta" of Funchal, Quintinha de Sao Joao resurrects perfectly the magic of the old Madeiran residences. There are 42 spacious rooms in total, all equipped with the most up-to-date facilities with splendid views over the gardens. Bar, restaurant, heated outdoor and indoor swimming pools and full Spa are included facilities. The careful attention to detail and the excellent personal service brings to life our motto "Home from Home." ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Quintinha Sao Joao Funchal
Quintinha Sao Joao Hotel Funchal
Quintinha Sao Joao Madeira/Funchal

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