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.
- 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