Are hotels important for a holiday or are they merely a place to sleep, whilst you sunbathe or explore the area around you? We don't believe in paying over the odds for a hotel but do like to have some quality and selecting a hotel is a lottery. From a long list of hotels in Funchal, we selected the Quintinho Sao Joao, as it was modestly priced but appeared in the top 10 hotels in Madeira and comments seemed favourable. Well we won the lottery because the hotel was superb.
First impressions are important and our first impression was a wonderful receptionist, who gave us a great welcome, explained about the hotel facilities, then showed us to our room, telling us to leave the luggage in the reception area, as it would be brought to our room, as it was our holiday. She said our room , 115, was her favourite room and we knew why when we entered, as it was massive, clean, lovely and delightful. You could see the sea through the trees and nearly down into Funchal and we were just above the patio area. The receptionist left and then, shortly afterwards, a knock on the door. On opening, the receptionist proceeded to carry our cases into the room. I felt guilty but she said it was our holiday and just relax! Little things mean a lot. She was a special lady.
We then enquired about dinner, seeing we had arrived about 5 p.m. Dinner was no problem and she explained that it was a masterchef evening, where 4 chefs were competing to be chef of the week. It seemed like fun and it was-check it out! In the restaurant, the service was excellent, as it was all week at breakfast. We met Sandra, who was "in charge" and she advised us on Madeira wine, even warning us that the one we had chosen may taste as though it was corked but that it was just the way Madeira wine was, but it was excellent and her advice during the week was inspired. The white wine she chose for us later in the week was excellent as well and she even gave us her father's recipe for the local firewater, Poncho. Make sure you try that, whilst on holiday. She also persuaded me to try Scabbard fish in banana sauce-she said it was delicious and it was. If you stay here, listen to Sandra. Little things mean a lot
The same receptionist who greeted us then proceeded to book tours and walks for us, to keep us occupied during the week. Very very helpful and efficient , even recommending some tours over others. Her choices were perfect. Again, little things mean a lot.
All the reception staff during the week were excellent, however there was another stand out one. My wife does not like heights and was very reluctant to go on the cable car to the gardens at Monte. She informed this other young receptionist, who took the time to explain how she did not like heights but had ridden the cable car and that my wife would be OK and that she should try it. She did and she was OK. She also encouraged her to go on the wicker toboggans. She did and she found them exhilarating. She also encouraged my wife to go onto the glass platform at the top of the cliffs at Capo Girao-she did. Three things my wife did not want to do and was encouraged to do by this excellent receptionist. Thanks to her, it made our holiday. She also arranged some ice to put on my wife's ankle, after she cockled over on a walk. Little things mean a lot.
The bar staff were also excellent, making cocktails every night. It helped that there was a happy hour every evening from 6.30-7.30 and a free cocktail session, courtesy of the manager on a Wednesday evening! Little things mean a lot.
Apart from the efficient friendly staff, the hotel was very clean, testament to the cleaning staff, who always had smiles and a greeting for you. Little things means a lot.
We walked round the gardens on a couple of evenings and you get a fantastic view of Funchal, especially on a night. We did not use the spa or pool, so can' comment on those.
The hotel is located a bit up the mountain and we did not find a problem walking down to the marina/shopping area or walking back up, however the hotel has a free bus shuttle service to and from twice a day. Little things mean a lot.
We really enjoyed the island of Madeira. It is the best place we have visited, has the friendliest people, fine local food (scabbard fish, espetada , honey cake, wine poncha and, of course , Madeira cake. Plenty to do & see, if you want to! The icing on our cake was the Quintinho Sao Joao. Not a large hotel but small and welcoming. Little things mean a lot. The best hotel we have stayed in
- 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