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“A view to kill for”
Review of Orca Praia Hotel

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Orca Praia Hotel
Ranked #37 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Devon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A view to kill for”
Reviewed 9 November 2010

Ok, so being the wrong side of 40 or the right side of 50 if was deemed time to visit Maderia -my choice which surprised the memsahib. She even let me choose this hotel - and I'm glad I did.
The Orca Praia is tucked away from the hustle of Funchal ( a good 50 minute walk away). Built into the side of a cliff it looks due South straight over the Atlantic.
The view from all the rooms is gobsmacking. Sky, sea, horizon.
And no noise. Brilliant. This was our first trip abroad sans les enfants for 10 years - and it came as a shock to see how quiet the large pool was. No screaming kids -just chilled-out adults. (As with the rooms the pool looks out to the Atlantic - at the right angle it's a a perfect infinity pool)
The rooms are large and well equipped (option extras being room safe key and fridge if required). There's no air conditioning (not a problem in September) but as the only noise outside is the ocean - just leave the balcony door open. And compared to over hotels we've stayed in the balcony is huge.
Staff are courteous and friendly (without being overbearing) and a bom dias/obrigado always goes down well.
Food is varied and well-cooked with a mixture of familiar and Madeiran cuisine - although the drinks are on the high side - but not extortionate.
Yes, as others have pointed out it is steep walk back up from the pool - but hell, if you're moderately fit it won't kill you. The hotel operates a courtesy bus into Funchal, but this does book up quickly, so get yourself one of the pre-paid tickets, load it up with 10 euros and you've got ten trips - the bus stop is just at the top of the hotel's drive.
We both had a fantastic relaxing break at a hotel with certainly punches well above it's weight. Give us a choice and we'll go back tomorrow

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank popeetog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bicester
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2010

Stayed at this hotel for the last two weeks in October. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the room was large and immaculately clean, food was excellent and varied. The noisiest bit was the sea. All in all an excellent hotel. No air con and no fridge (but you could hire one). No at problem at this time of year as the temperature never goes above 25 degrees. All rooms have a seaview ( it is built on the side of a cliff). In fact looking at other hotels on the island this one has the best seaview and the best access to a beach. Others have spoken about the slope to the pool. Yes, it is there and it is steep. But after a couple of weeks there you don't really notice it. The pool is lovely and the beach is one of the best on the island, Yes, it is black sand, but sand is sand. Utterly quiet we slept like logs. The rooms were comfortable with two good arm chairs, good TV and loads of space to put things. When we got there we asked for more coat hangers and loads arrived within a couple of minutes. Nothing seemed to much trouble for the staff. Not much in the way of entertainment and the better for it. Some dancers were excellent and a magician was not so good. The best bit if his act was when the dove fell out of his pocket and he was about to magically make it appear. The restaurant was run very efficiently with a good choice of dishes (we were on half board). A slight niggle was the very high mark up on water and coffee. 3 euro 50 for a litre of water that could be bought in a local shop for abut 20 cents is a bit over the top. But this is minor compared with the overall rating. My real worry is that with too many good reviews they may put their prices up.
MAdeira in gorgeous, with flowers everywhere, excellent walking, friendly people and I consider it good value for money. A small word of warning. If you hire a car, make sure that you are very VERY good at hill starts. It seemed to me that even the down bits were up, other wise driving is no trouble at all.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank davidattwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2010

Every review has said this hotel is away on it's own, so that shouldn't be a surprise for anyone. It's a great retreat. The hotel bus is very convenient but stops at 6pm so if you want to stay on in Funchal, it will cost you 10 Euros to get back by cab. I'm well under 50 and had a great time at the Orca. It's lovely, clean and you can't beat the location on the largest beach in Madeira. Yes it's a steep walk to the pool and seems steeper on the way back but treat it as a challenge and it becomes fun! Anyway, the walk is well worth it with a beautiful pool looking out onto the sea and easy access to the black sandy beach which was always buzzing with people. There were always sunbeds and umbrellas available, food at the bar is very nice (we didn't have the buffet) and well priced and the staff are really friendly and helpful, probably the most friendly in the hotel. The reception staff were the most miserable as everyone here has said, which was a shame. We went out of our way to make them smile and then they warmed up a bit, so with a little effort you'll get a positive response. Like most hotels they make the most out of their captive audience and the water is a terrible price, with a 1.5 litre bottle costing 4 Euros and only 60 cents in the nearest shop but that's a good 10 minute walk. To get to the shop don't go by the road as suggested by reception, go along the beach left to the end of the prom then up the road, left at the junction, under the bridge (quite steep) and then carry on straight after the next junction and left. There's a cash point here too. We stayed bed and breakfast and found the food good, same as most European hotels really. We should have booked half board so we had the option of dinner as there were only two restaurants nearby and although both very good, particularly So Espeto and the fantastic local meat on a skewer, it would have been nice to have the option to just grab a little something rather than have a full blown meal each night. There isn't much night life, although the crazy dancers made us laugh. Wireless is available in the reception area only and costs a one off 4 Euros. The Orca is a place you go to to chill out and it served this purpose perfectly for me and my daughter. I've come home feeling very happy indeed!

  • Stayed August 2010
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Helpful?
3 Thank Guiggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2010

what can I say? did'nt have the best of times here, maybe I was expecting to much.

The bad points

Too remote and cut off from funchal and anywhere eles, had to pay for expenisve cab rides in and out of town. No proper beach, Going down to the pool was not a great experience too steep going doing and even steeper going back up -you took your own life in your own hands!

Food was rubbish, over cooked and bland , no entertainment what so ever.
A very expensive bar in the hotel , I mean come on 7 euro's for 2 bottles of water?!?!

Staff were unfriendly /moodie and rude . It was full of old couples ,Average age seemed 50+ felt like an old peoples home just abroad, too quite, mostly germans very few brits if any .

Plus points-

Good clean room
Good sea view

If your a young couple or under 50 FORGET IT!!!! Its really a place for couples of retirement age, who just want to sit by the pool and who go to bed by 9.30pm.So if this what you like doing then its the hotel for you .

The atmosphere is pretty dead , nothing to do in the evenings, execept to watch limited American tv channels oh how cake boss and LA Ink saved us . Will not be going back thank you very much.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wheredreamscometrue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

I was lured to the Orca Praia by reviews here of the sounds on the waves on the beach below and that's exactly what we got. The hotel clings to the side of the mountain, all rooms have a great sea view, although some do have slightly bigger terraces than other. We had a "promo" which had the larger size.

We were B&B and could not find fault with the breakfast buffet, always something tasty on offer, with good coffee and juices.

Local buses go in both directions from the main road above the hotel, and if you prebook the hotel bus (try to do 48hrs in advance) it's great. The driver is very happy and helpful!

There are two restaurants nearby, Solar & Piano 200m to the left when exiting the hotel which is wonderful, please try the local speciality Espada with banana, its very good. So Espeto is a bit further going right out of the hotel with very good food but with big TV's so a little bit less atmospheric.

For lunches, follow the beach towards Praia Formosa and there is a friendly little bach cafe which is very reasonable.

We really enjoyed it, the hotel room is very spacious. Beds are a bit on the hard side but then that's supposed to be good for you! Reception/Bar staff could be a bit friendlier. Housekeeping are vey thorough.

Pool is great as is beach. The way up/down is steep but as one of us had a bad knee we still managed, just take your time.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank GirlyBiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2010

The hotel is built off the cliff and all the rooms have a fantastic ocean view, the rooms are clean and spacious with a big terrace. There is a sandy beach next to the pool for those who prefer swimming in the sea rather than a swimming pool.
We bought "promotional room" but it turned out there was no difference between those or any other rooms in the hotel.
We took B&B, there was plenty to chose from on the breakfast, don't know about the dinner but there were nice restaurants around the hotel - two within 400m. I recommend grilled fish in Solar do Piano. Delicious!
The hotel is a bit far from the centre of Funchal, the free hotel bus is available but runs once an hour or even less frequently later in the day and requires booking. There were basically no places in the morning. But you will find hiring the car necessary if you are going to take many trips along the irland so the location of the hotel will not be a problem.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank reniOxon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2010

Stayed here for a 2 night short break in Madeira with 2 friends.

The hotel is situated approximately 7 km from Funchal town at the end of a strip of hotels so is not ideally located if you plan to spend a lot of time in Funchal (approx 12 euros each way in a taxi). It does have a courtesy bus (weekdays only), a public bus nearby, and also has free parking if you have hired a car.

The room was clean, very comfortable and nicely decorated, and the views from the balcony were stunning!

The breakfast included hot breakfast items, continental breakfast items, fruit and yoghurt, and there was even champagne in the buffet.

We did not use the pool but it appeared well maintained. The beach appeared muddy from the balcony, but when we got closer it consisted of black sand (not mud) and the water seemed very clean.

We paid about £80 for a triple room for 2 nights, which was excellent value, although I suspect we managed to get it on a special deal... I would however be willing to pay more for this hotel.

Downsides:
Distance from town centre
Beach access is not very easy (steps and steep ramp) which may be a consideration if you have any form of disability

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jod1emcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Orca Praia Hotel

Property: Orca Praia Hotel
Address: Estrada Monumental 335 | Prainha do Arieiro, Funchal, Madeira 9000-236, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Funchal
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#25 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#38 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Orca Praia Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 124
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Orca Praia
Orca Praia Funchal
Orca Praia Hotel Madeira/Funchal

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