My partner & I stayed at the Orca Praia for a week on a half board basis in February 2007. The weather in Feb wasnt hot but was pleasantly warm and Im sure no-one would be unhappy with the weather during the high season. It was our first holiday together and we chose this hotel because it was a little out of the way and we wanted some quality time to ourselves. We had hoped for a sea view room and were not disappointed....all rooms face the sea and have a balcony due to the location of the hotel and all rooms are huge with a good bathroom. The hotel is only a 3 star and yes it could do with a little updating but we had absolutely no complaints. Its not a very large hotel and we were there out of season so it was quite peaceful. Meals were normal hotel quality and variety so there was plenty to chose from but my favourite was breakfast.....they had some fantastic breads to chose from which I have not been able to find anywhere else. Staff were hard working, polite and friendly. Not much to do in the evenings at the hotel although there is a nice little lounge bar and they tried their best with the entertainment! The bar man there soon remembered your drink preference and was very attentive but without expecting tips, although we did tip him generously on our last night. The hotel wouldnt be really suitable for people with mobility problems as it is set in a cliff and there is a long walk up a steep path to the hotel from the beach & pool area, and also there is only the one bar, one main restaurant and one pool bar so might be a bit disappointing for those who like alot of choice, however we picked this hotel because it was secluded and quiet so it wasnt an issue for us. We wanted time to relax and recharge our batteries whilst also being able to see a bit of the area and enjoy the culture, food etc. We went to Funchal a couple of nights for dinner and tried 2 different restaurants, one by the Marina and one in the Old Town. The food was great, the service excellent and a meal for 2 only cost about 40 Euros including wine. We also had a couple of days out in Funchal. On one day we rode up in the cable car and then came back down from Monte in a straw toboggan......
scary but great fun! Another day we just wandered around the old town at our leisure and enjoyed the cafe culture. The Museum there is also well worth a visit, explaining the history of the island. We tried the bus into Funchal once and werent impressed as by the time we arrived in town the bus was packed liked a sardine tin and we didnt think it met health & safety standards so we stuck to taxis after that. I cant remember exactly how much we paid and it could vary from driver to driver but it wasnt very expensive. One of the drivers (Daniel) recommended a trip to The Nuns Valley and offered his services for half a day at a cheaper rate than the organised tour from the holiday rep. We took him up on this offer and didnt regret it as he was an excellent guide and gave us information that we probably wouldnt have learned on the organised tour. He stopped off at various points along the way and gave us plenty of time to look around without rushing us. When we arrived at the Nuns Valley he took us to a bar where we receieved complimentary glasses of every type of the local liqueur they make there! On the way back he gave us a nice tour of our part of the Island, again with lots of added information.......and all this for 50 Euros for the two of us, in our own private taxi....well worth it.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at the Orca Praia. We are getting married next year and have decided to return to Madeira on our first anniversary as it holds such special memories for us. We will probably chose a hotel nearer to town next time but that is no way detrimental to the Orca Praia as we have nothing bad to say about the hotel, its just that we would like to spend more time in town during the evenings next time and would be easier staying nearer.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Orca Praia
- Orca Praia Funchal
- Orca Praia Hotel Madeira/Funchal