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The rooms (we stayed in a Junior suite – see photos) are certainly spacious, and the decor is good but a little outdated, and beds quite firm.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