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The Flame Tree Madeira
Ranked #48 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Reviewed 7 August 2011

Nice cheap hotel with small swiming pool. Staff are very friendly. About 30 minutes walk to the city but you need a transport back (150 m above see level). Need some new furniture in rooms and there is no fridge in the room. Rooms 51 and 52 have gorgeous views of the Funchal bay. In general, I recommend this hotel to guests to whom the luxury isnot the first priority, but for the rest, it is the best combination of services and prices that I've ever had.

Room Tip: Rooms 51 and 52 have the most beautiful view of Funchal. The problem is only a slight smell of fungi...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank dean1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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131 - 137 of 344 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2011

The owners must think this is a 5* hotel, they should get out more.
We had the option of half board when booking our holiday, we opted NOT to eat in the same restaurant every day, hence no HB booked. The first conversation when booking in was to be asked for an up front payment of over 180 Euros to ensure we got a good deal for a half board "upgrade". I asked if there was a problem with our booking B/B, had we become unwelcome guests?

The rooms were compact and although cleaned daily (but not under the bed) were poor value for the money paid (via Thos. Cook Holidays). The information available about Vila Camacho did not mention that it is situated miles (up hill) from the city centre, or that the hotel is on the edge of the area called Navare which the locals know as a 'bairros'. Find your own translation.

Breakfast was also poor value, (a thin slice of cheap ham and some liver-sausage along with a slice of processed cheese, with bread and fruit salad, mostly from a tin) although service was swift and friendly. Any change was considered extra and a bacon and egg breakfast was well over priced and undercooked.

Bar prices are roughly 3 times.. I'll say that again, THREE times the price of any other place I bought beer coffee wine or fruit juice.

Add to all that the barking dogs every evening and well into the night... and the "Gala Dinner with Live Music" scam and the picture becomes less inviting by the second.

On the whole, I cannot recommend Vila Camacho, in fact I warn you against it!

Funchal, on the other hand, is an excellent place to visit.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank biltho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2011

So, it was back to our delightful Madeiran bolthole again and we had a fantastic welcome back from the principal players - General Manager Miguel, William, Nelson and Ricardo.

Nothing has changed - still the same people and the food is as good as ever. Actually, there is one thing that has changed since last year, Tony Camacho, the owner and head chef has been awarded a certificate from Escoffier for his cooking which fills the wall opposite the reception desk. Unfortunately, Tony was away in London whilst we were there so we didn't see him this time but his sous chefs, Fatima and Yolander have been well trained - watch out Tony, they should get their certificates from Escoffier too!

We use the Vila twice on each annual visit. We have a timeshare apartment down the hill so have the luxury for that week but make up time either side of our week at the Vila to extend our visit living a little more simply but are looked after handsomely by the staff. It's the service and food at night that make the Vila special. (The Flame Tree Restaurant is open to non residents so if you want to sample the delights of the food - Portuguese with a twist as Tony describes it, it's worth a trip up the hill from the usual Lido area or town center restaurants).

As I have previosly reported, it is a small hotel so don't expect anything grand, the rooms are small but very clean and nicely painted. There are no TVs or hot drink making facilities either but these are available downstairs in the public areas. There is a small swimming pool to cool off in but you won't be able to take many strokes before reaching the other side. There is a small spa where you can book treatments at a fraction of downtown prices. You need to be reasonably fit to get to the Vila too as it's up the hill from town. It is possible to walk down into town but the 45 bus is your way back then walk up the steps at the end of the road. Also, there are only stairs to the rooms so it is no good for people with limited mobility.

Oh, the views... If you have a sea view room or from the terrace below they are superb looking down across the harbour to Ponta Garajau one way and Cabo Girao the other. Much better than any hotels downtown or in the Lido area...

We've only been back in the UK for just over a week but are already planning next year's visit. I'm missing that evening meal already!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Clive B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2011

We choose to stay at this hotel after reading good reviews and the price seemed very good with the Half Board option included.
Now while im on the subject of the price, we booked a double room, half board. When we turned up they had NO double rooms availiable. That to us was unacceptable seeing as we booked a double room, but they honestly said they didnt have any avaliable that night (yeah right the hotel was nearly empty). So the 1st night we had to stay in a twin room and the next day we had to upgrade to a double with balcony for the 75 euros extra otherwise we would have just been unhappy in a box room with twin beds for a week. So please be aware, if you are going to stay here this is what we would advise. Unless you are very savvy and are going to stick to your guns and not let the Hotel Manager talk you into an upgrade after showing you their worst rooms on arrival then you may as well book another Hotel as they will try and squeeze atleast another 75 euros out of you. So just see what another 75 euros can get you in other hotels nearby. Or you can book the cheapest room because they are going to put forward an offer on arrival anyway. Its all a big sales tactic. Very clever move from the Hotel Manager.
As for the hotel itself, its clean, tidy and quirky. It was like being in a maze to start, with coridoors leading off one an other and not knowing where you are going to end up. The rooms are small. No mod cons, no perks. Just a bed and a bathroom with a wardrobe. Noise evasion in the rooms is bad. You can hear everything going on in other rooms above and beside you. Toilets flushing, doors slamming, dogs barking all day & night, bin collections during the night time, its bad for noise (take earplugs). O also before I forget and while I mention Dogs barking, depending on which entrance you use on arrival and throughout your stay, you get a nasty spiteful wafty smell of dog poo. Also dead coachroaches in the TV room, we counted 6 at one point laying upside down half dead. The TV room only ever had Portuguess channels on so no chance of any english TV from what we could gather, no remote etc.
While Im on the subject of different nationals, the hotel is mainly occupied by Germans, French & Polish. None of which are renound for the friendlyness so dont expect to make friends here. Also they like to make alot of noise so that adds to the list above. The hotel staff are friendly but constantley busy rushing around and looking worried that they might have done something wrong. I did try to crack a joke a few times but they didnt want to take any time to talk to you. Just do there jobs with minimal chat.
The roof terrace has a good view but is spoilt by 2 air vents from the kitchen so you get a constant smell of cooking food whilst up there. The pool is small splash pool. Nothing special. Unconfortable sunbeds.
The hotel has a free WIFI in a little libary area which is handy. They say you have to pay 5 euros an hour but I connected to it for free so not sure what thats all about.
The Hotel has a restaurant called the Flame Tree below it. Now this is what I can seriously say is the only reason why this hotel gets any guests. The food is of a good standard. We wouldnt go as far as saying its michelin standard like some have said. But it is good food, freshly cooked and well presented. If it wasnt for this I can definatley say I dont think this hotel would get many guests. O and also the breakfast can be a bit to much after a few days of a bread filled diet. Continetal is nice once or twice but not every day. No other breakfast options avaliable.

Based on everything we experienced at this hotel, I would not go back there. I actually couldnt wait to leave. I had poor poor sleep which is not good on holiday as the whole point is so you can relax.

We would only reccomend this Hotel for the food which you can dine at the restaurant even if you are not staying there.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank c4nd1_83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2011

Arrived with great expectations and was not disappointed, the hotel is situated on the side of a hill over looking Funchal itself and is surrounded by well maintained gardens We were welcomed by a very friendly staff from everybody from the Manager Miguel right down to the cleaners. At reception we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to half board and a room with a sea view which we readily accepted as it worked out at around 12euros for a three course meal, and the meals themselves looked really good as the chef had won many awards. Not to mention he also did nightly specials to the menu, nothing was to much trouble as i asked for a curry night and the following night i was duly rewarded with a curry, this being a family run hotel they actually listen.
As for the room with a view.? well don't expect Las Vegas style here, what you get is a basic room which is clean and bright and well maintained, however it could have done with a TV, FRIDGE,or a COFFEE/TEA maker just for creature comforts. The view from the balcony was OK apart from a very large tree right in the middle of the balcony however left and right was OK..! As for noise we were lucky as our room was at the other side (room 14) however the hotel could do with issuing guests with instructions on how to shut doors QUIETLY Germanic Guests take note...!
Breakfast was pretty good with freshly baked rolls and a selection of cold meats etc, after a while it got a bit monotonous, when one got cravings for a sausage etc, for a cooked breakfast it would cost you an extra 4euros.
As for nightlife you will have to go into Funchal for this and as this hotel is on a hill it's quiet easy to walk down in about 20 Min's but don't try walking back unless you are a dedicated hill walker (Nutcase)..? A No45 bus will bring you straight up for about 3euros or a taxi for about 7euros, And about a qtr mile up the hill is a local supermarket, bank, chemist, etc and just down the road is a little cafe?bar which is very cheap , As we were there in spring we never got the chance to use the hotel swimming pool which is small but practical but too cold for everyone, in summer fine.
Please don't listen to some of the negative comments here as its not a true reflection on this hotel as it's one of the friendliest places to stay, so go on give it a try you won't be disappointed the staff here can't do enough for you...!

Room Tip: Go half board..!
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Bigb67Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2011

Villa Camacho has totally blown our minds ! What an amazing place with the best value for money i've ever experienced !

We paid £350 for 2 for a week half board, the equivalent of £25 a day per person.

A delicious 3 course portuguese meal would come to 19 euros if you were to pay separatly. We were slightly worried about not liking the food when we booked but it was so good we actually made a point of eating there every night ! (menu showed in pictures below) You also have a daily a la carte menu you can pick from.

Breakfast is a bit monotonous after a week i guess, but still very good value for money : coffee, tea or hot chocolate. juice, bread rolls, jam and butter, as well as ham and cheese, which we used to make ourselves sandwiches for lunch. Great way to save money for trips at sea or tours around the island.

We had a lovely huge room (number 47) in a separate house (view of the sea and next to a plantation of banana trees)(pictures down below) which meant it was lovely and quiet. We originally wanted a room with balcony but were very happy to be a little further away so we wouldn't get disturbed by people having breakfast outside in the morning.
Our room got cleaned everyday, with new towels.

As for the ant comment i have read in a previous review, they only appeared when we decided to have food in the bedroom, despite being advised not to. So if you don't want them around, make sure there is no food they might like to track down. We decided to be sneaky and kept few bits in the draw by the bed and within a day, it was the ONLY place we found ants in the whole room ! :)

The staff is very friendly indeed and always willing to help and please. They certainly know how to make you feel welcome. We were offeredsome madeira wine on arrival and enjoyed it on the beautiful restaurant balcony. I am especially impressed by the fact they were so fast acting when i rang them from the aeroport telling them i'd left a bag there. They immediately sent a taxi out to get it back to me at very short notice and I did get it on time. (THANK YOU)

There is a couple of lovely people offering all sorts of relaxation (shiatsu, full body massage, stones, reflexologie etc) and the 15 minute foot massage is free and very relaxing, especially after a lot of walking.
I had booked a couple full body massage on the departure day but missed it because we had miscalculated our flight time. Such a shame.

We could use the internet (on our own laptop or iphone) in the library, with unlimited use for £10 a week. However, if you want to use their computer if i remember well, it's 5 euros an hour. There are also many places in town with free wi-fi if needed.

The pool is a nice place to relax after a day out and has the sunshine beating on it until early evening, which is great. It is unheated but in the scortching hot, it doesn't matter.

The villa is situated 15minutes up the road from central Funchal and we generally walked down and took the bus (number 45) back up as it is a bit of a steep hill for untrained walkers like us.
Best bus deal is to buy a giro card with 9plus trips at 1 euro instead of 1.80.

The night life is great, just remember that people come out much later than in the uk. We found an amazing club which only got really busy after 2am. However, there are a lot a lovely bars around the town. we especially liked the Beatles boat (thats right, previsouly owned by the Beatles themselves) for an afternoon beer overlooking the harbour, town and sea. 2.20 euros for a huge beer. Great value for money once again.

If we ever go back to Madeira, we will certainly stay at Villa Camacho again and I wsould recommend to anyone. We're very happy indeed. :)

Room Tip: Ask for bedroom number 47 :) lovely and quiet
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank FroggyTicci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2011

Stayed for a week with a friend realy enjoyed it especially being able to eat breakfast outside every morning.We stayed in the annexe part it was great clean and tidy,but you need to be abit on the fit side to walk back from town,but you can always take the bus

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank blondie551979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Flame Tree Madeira

Address: Beco Amoreira 26, Funchal, Madeira 9000-086, Portugal (Formerly Residencial Vila Camacho)
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Funchal
#30 Spa Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £24 - £82 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Flame Tree Madeira 3*
Number of rooms: 39
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small, friendly, 39-room hotel, overlooking the Bay of Funchal, just 5 minutes' drive from the city centre. Our professional team awaits your arrival, ready to ensure you enjoy your stay with us, while visiting this beautiful island. We operate 24 hours a day, so someone is always available to help you. All our rooms have private bathrooms and free WiFi. There is plentiful free on-street parking adjacent to the hotel. We look forward to welcoming you to The Flame Tree Madeira. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Residencial Vila Camacho Funchal
Vila Camacho Madeira
Residencial Vila Camacho Hotel Funchal
Vila Camacho Funchal
The Flame Tree Madeira Funchal

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