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“A lovely hotel to look at but lacked atmosphere”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Quintinha Sao Joao

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Quintinha Sao Joao
Ranked #9 of 87 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
jacquimary
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A lovely hotel to look at but lacked atmosphere”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2010

My husband and I have just returned from a belated honeymoon at the Quintinha Sao Joao. Having found a chance to get away, we booked a package at fairly short notice and having read good reviews on the hotel, felt that it would suit our requirements. We normally stay at larger 5* hotels beside the sea, but encouraged by the reviews and website thought this hotel would be something special. The package had included a junior suite with half board. The junior suite was a long room with twin beds with a window at the far end opening onto the balcony. Our first disappointment was the view, which was of a tall grey hotel building towering above the Sao Joao, however we could see the lights of Funchal to one side of the hotel. Being on the first floor, the lush foliage growing beside the hotel in the garden meant that there was not a lot of light getting into the room and with the weather being mostly overcast, it was not light enough to read even with the lights on. The heating in the room worked well thank goodness although there was no heating in the bathroom which always seemed damp. We put up with this room (and twin beds which did not stay together despite sharing a headboad) for 4 nights, but I felt I had to point out my disappointment about the room especially bearing in mind that it was our honeymoon. As soon as she found out, Rosie did make arrangments for us to move to a much lighter and brighter suite on the top floor which had a double bed and when we arrived back from a day out, there was a bottle of sparking wine in the room for which we were very grateful. We had not wanted to mention that it was our honeymoon neither had we wanted to make a fuss, but were grateful for the move.
There is no tea-making facility in the room which we found surprising for a 5* hotel, as we enjoy a cup of tea when we wake in the morning.
The food was very good quality but the choice was limited on the table d'hote and would not be to everyones taste. We were suprised that there was not a potato on the menu all week! The restaurant staff were very good and attentive and became more friendly as the week went on. The biggest disappointment for us was the ambiance, in particular the lack of music and when I mentioned it I was informed that they were having an experiment with no music as people had complained about it on feedback forms. No music meant that one could hear every footstop on the laminate flooring, cluttering of plates and mumbling of the guests who seemed embarrassed to speak too loudly to their companions. There was no music anywhere in the hotel and the bar was so quiet (apart from the echos of voices in the hallway) so there was no point in sitting in there. Being so close to Christmas it would have been nice to have had some tasteful Christmas music even. The hotel information quoted that there was a pianist playing in the bar at night but there was not. Unfortunately the hotel was just too far away to take a walk to a more lively location particularly as the hotel was on a hill.
The weather during our stay was not good and even the indoor pool was too cold to enjoy or sit beside. The staff are the best asset of the hotel, especially the Restaurant Manager Carlos, however we were surprised not to have seen the General manager for the whole of our stay as from past experience, hotel managers are usually very keen to welcome guests personally.
The furnishings in the hotel appear to be very good quality and the place has a superior feel about it, but it did feel like staying in a museum at times or even (dare I say it, a Care Home and we really missed having music. We are in our mid fifties but found ourselves to be amongst the youngest guests at the time of our stay. I am sure that there will be lots of people for whom this hotel will suit but not if you enjoy a bit of life, fun and music.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank jacquimary
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 review, 15 December 2010
Thank you very much for taking the time to write about us on Trip Advisor and we are very sorry to see that we were not able to live up to your expectations.

We would like to try and clarify some of the issues referred to in your review and, at the same time, assure you that we have taken everything you said into careful consideration. We value your opinion and truly believe that only with our client's comments, are we able to improve.

Room - we did not have any information regarding your honeymoon and that is why we did not cater previously for a double bed instead of the traditional twins we have in most rooms. As soon as you informed us, we were able to sort that out by giving you an upgrade to Senior Suite at no extra cost. With regard to the view, we do not advertise anything different from the reality, which is the fact that all rooms including the Junior Suite you were in face the gardens. And the one acre of land that surrounds the property is probably much more than you might find in any of the larger 5 star hotels. We don't have tea making facilities as standard equipment in the room but, to all those who ask, we are more than happy to provide this, at no extra cost;

Table d'hôte menu – this is a set four course menu, table served, with a choice between 3 dishes on the main course and 2 dishes on the desert, the usual in hotels of this category;

Ambiance - the information provided was correct. We used to have music in every public area in the hotel but many guests asked us to turn it off, as it was not to their liking. It was our decision, in the face of that, to try and have a music free hotel during 2 weeks and to then decide what to do, in accordance with the opinions of our guests. By the beginning of next week, we think we will have enough information to decide what the future will be. With regard to the distance, we are merely 10 minutes walking distance from the town centre and even less than that from the Casino;

Indoor pool - the water temperature was and is at 29º Celsius and even yesterday we received a complaint that it was too hot. If you don't mind our honesty, it's a bit like the music; impossible to please everyone...

Manager - you did see the manager or at least the manager saw you twice in the hotel; once at breakfast and another time near reception! The manager is indeed very keen on welcoming the guests and talking to them but, as we are sure you can understand, it is not always possible to do so; our apologies for that!;

General comment - if you are looking for a trendy, fun hotel with lots of animation, Quintinha de São João is definitively not the place to choose. We aim at those looking for good service, personalised, a true experience of Madeira that can only be provided in a hotel like ours. We regret to see that not even for those with different preferences, would you recommend us.

We would be thrilled to have the opportunity to revert this opinion and, if we may, will contact you with the news should our decision be to turn the music back on.

Kind regards,

André Barreto
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Essex
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2010

The hotel was as good as we expected from other Tripadvisor reports. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful without being intrusive. In my opinion the food was excellent for half-board arrangements, freshly cooked and well presented. I have stayed at other 5* establishments that didn't come close.

One Tripadvisor review suggested the hotel could be improved with a large screen for Sky Sports. Please, please DO NOT consider it. The fact that the hotel does not have such a thing is a huge bonus to me. To people that want it, go somewhere else, there is plenty of choice.

If there is one small niggle, it is having to pay 9 euros for the safe, not I agree something you expect in a 5* hotel. I have read the Mangement Response dated 29 Novemeber to previous comments on this issue. It is not on the whole an option whether or not to rent a safe. All travel insurance companies insist that valuables must be securely locked in a safe otherwise they will not cover any loss. Perhaps it should either be included in or absorbed in the room rate. Either way - get it sorted.

This did not detract from my enjoyment of staying at Quintinha Sao Joao - I will put it on my list of best places to stay in the world!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank EssexSunseeker63
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 review, 10 December 2010
Thank you very much for posting your review and photos on Trip Advisor.

We are very pleased to hear that the Quintinha São João came up to your expectations and that you enjoyed your holiday. I know that all the staff will be delighted with your comments as all of us take a great interest in the opinions and preferences of our guests and do our utmost to go that extra mile!

With regard to the safe that you mention in your comment, we can assure you that we are looking at other possibilities and are confident we will sort this out to everyone's satisfaction.

Thank you again for your time and trouble and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards
André Barreto
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
80 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2010

Lovely small hotel, very classy with not a hint of cheapness or glitz. Junior suite very large, would have standard room next time and save money. No kettle. Safe is pay extra, and a 'hidden' charge for using the Mini -bar 'fridge. (no mention in the information folder, it's in the mini-bar price list, which you may not bother looking at). We were told a guest was charged for putting olives in there! Not really 5 star treatment.
Wonderful staff, so helpful. Meals OK, but not 5 star. Limited table d' hote menu, no credit given if you did want al a carte instead. Waiter service, in the small (bit cramped) dining room.

Limited sun- bathing opportunities as the gardens are small and shaded.

Bar and terrace very comfortable, and again top quality service, drinks relatively good value and the happy hour (half price) 6.30 - 7.30 was very popular. The piano, however was not played once?

If you want a touch of real class go here - the disappointments shouldn't spoil the overall enjoyment. Just a pity it's not perfect, it could so easily be if management recognised that these little omissions cause some resentment - generally felt by some fellow guests - not just us.

Restaurants we used and would return to gladly:-
'Beef and Wine' Modern Brazilian. (meat and more meat) go with a huge appetite or miss out/share a starter. Huge wine list. Avenida do Infante.

'Arsenios' Traditional. Just one of the dozens of back street eateries, but the only one we found grilling sardines etc outside over charcoal. Just couldn't resist watching lunch sizzle and smoke a couple of yards from our table. In old town, Rua de Santa Maria.

'Cidade Velha'. Upmarket look, decor attractive, obviously trying hard. Typical menu but presentation A1. Immediately before the Fort entrance. Nice outside, sea view, sunny terrace.

(Maybe coincidence but these three didn't have the normal full time 'hooker' trying to drag you into their restaurant. Can get annoying when all you want is a peaceful stroll).

P.S. Because of delayed flight home we were put up overnight in the 5 star Pestana Grand, it's the type of hotel we usually choose, its big, modern, slick, it shines and sparkles and has a definite wow factor .....but, somehow lacking a certain something that the Quintinha sao Joao gives. Real class?

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank johnybones
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 review, 5 December 2010
Thank you very much for posting a review of the Quintinha on Trip Advisor.

We are pleased that you enjoyed your holiday with us and that our staff and ambiance came up to your expectations.

We are sorry, however, that you did not find everything to your liking and, if we may, we would like to clear some of the points that, most justifiably, were raised.

We advertise a fully stocked minibar for the consumption of our customers and not a refrigerator. Guests wishing to store their own items, purchased elsewhere, in the minibar are able to do so but, as stated on our list on top of the minibar, there is the one-off charge of 4.99€, which does not intend to be hidden, as it is well assumed and, as it becomes clear from your comment, also very discussed amongst our guests. This leaves the use of this facility to the discretion of the guest. If there are special requests for items to be added to the minibar we are only too pleased to cater for these.

For guests on half board, our table d’hôte menu consists of a starter, a soup course, a choice of meat dish, fish dish, or cold meats for the main course, and a choice of two desserts. We are surprised that you describe this as “limited”. Normally the feedback from guests taking this option is complimentary but we will definitively be looking at this with careful attention! Also, regarding the credit, whenever the client wants to change a dish from the set menu, they are most welcome to do so by warning the staff prior to the dinner of that intention and at no extra charge.

As previously explained to another guest, unfortunately, the safes in the rooms do not belong to us. We are, however, looking at other possibilities and will take into consideration your views.

We do strive for perfection and we will take into careful consideration, the points you have raised.

In the meantime, we hope that we will have the pleasure welcoming you back to the Quintinha Sao Joao in the future, even if only to see if we were able to go that extra mile…

Yours sincerely,
André Barreto
General Manager
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Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2010

This was our first trip to Madeira and we didn't really know what to expect. The hotel was the perfect choice for our stay. Just a 10 minute walk from the centre and the staff could not have done more to help us enjoy our time there. From the daily special cocktail to the great breakfast everything was beautifully presented. Madeira itself is incredibly diverse and we would really recommend hiring a car and travelling around. The highlights for us included watching sunset from the plateau, dodging the massive waves at Porto da Cruz and eating in Olives in Funchal (undoubedtly the best meal we had on the island). If you want a quiet holiday then this is the place to come, but if like us you do like a bit of nightlife as well be reassured it is there to find in Funchal!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PapaWheatley
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 review, 29 November 2010
We would like to thank you very much for your time and effort in posting a review for the Quintinha de Sao Joao on Trip Advisor.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your holiday and it was a pleasure to have been of service to you.

Thank you too for your kind comments regarding the staff and other facilities – your satisfaction is of paramount importance to us.

We very much look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Quintinha in the near future.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager
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Bournemouth
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2010

Nice hotel, spotlessly clean, helpfull staff, good food at sensible mealtimes. good facilities, well situated 10 mins walk from town or 15 uphill back or 4Euro taxi. Enjoyed my stay.
Improvements?
Well it would have been good to have the safe included. It should be in room price.
They want to charge you 4.99Euros "TAX"??? if you put anything extra in mini bar fridge in room, there is space for extra bits like bottled water so this is rather petty and annoyingly grasping.
Also the 4 Euro bottled water that they offer you at dinner without telling you its an extra or the price.
If they want to make more, just charge more for room and leave out the sneaky extras!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peage97
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 review, 29 November 2010
Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to leave your feedback on Tripadvisor. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay.

I personally would like to comment on the items you have mentioned for improvement, if I may.

Unfortunately, the safes in the rooms do not belong to us. This optional facility is provided by outside contractors who supply, maintain and insure the safes thus incurring the charge. We are, however, looking at other possibilities and will take into consideration your views.

We advertise a fully stocked minibar for the consumption of our customers. Should our guests wish to store their own items in the minibar, we clearly state in the information provided in the room that there is a one-off charge of 4.99€ for the entire stay. If there are special requests for items to be added to the minibar, we will gladly organize for them to be included.

We provide a comprehensive wine list and drinks menu in our Restaurant. In keeping with other establishments, there is what we consider an obvious charge for bottled water. We regret and apologize for not having been able to make that clear.

Our goal is the satisfaction of our guests and we will take into careful consideration, the points you have raised.

In the meantime, we hope that we will have the pleasure welcoming you back to the Quintinha Sao Joao in the future.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2010

Funchal is a busy, bustling, noisy town and to find such a charming hotel in tranquil gardens within walking distance of the city centre and marina is a real find - a little gem! The staff were so helpful and friendly - and most spoke good English, some better then me! The general ambience is one of calm sophistication. The food is first class - when you want a change from seafood, I would recommend the Goan curries. The breakfast buffet had a good 'continental' selection - the fruit salads superb. We had a standard double room that was very large by European standards, with a separate sitting area and small balcony. I would recommend the top (third) floor for better views. All so good, so what are the negatives, none really - price? But this was a 5*, small and intimate and not brash or ostentatious.
PS We recommend the Terisa's priviate taxi to see the island at 120 euros for a full day. We do not recommend the half day Paradise Valley guided nature trail walk - total waste of money. We did not come to Madeira to study the plants in people's back gardens, even if the courgettes were on the large size. Also, watch out for taxi over-charging - 5 euros should get you back from the old town, while 10 euros should get you right acroos town.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MitchsTravelog
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 review, 3 December 2010
Thank you very much for posting your very comprehensive review on Trip Advisor and for speaking so highly of us.

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay and that our Quintinha came up to your expectations. We are pleased to have been of service to you and I will pass on your comments to our staff and Teresa.

We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to the Quintinha in the near future.

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Funchal, Portugal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2010

From the moment you enter the lobby, this hotel and it's staff are surely the best in Funchal, if not Madeira itself!!
Stayed only a week here, but the staff, location, food, cleanliness and atmosphere made it all feel longer.
The gardens are superb along with the level of service which is outstanding!
With out a doubt will stay here again, wish it was sooner and for longer next time.
To sum it up, it's the best hotel I've ever stayed in! ****** ;-) x

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank roghay
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 review, 5 December 2010
Thank you so much for your very heartening words!

We are delighted that you enjoyed your holiday with us and look forward to welcoming you back for a longer stay next time!

Yours sincerely
André Barreto
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Quintinha Sao Joao

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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