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“Possibly the best hotel staff in the world”

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TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 April 2010

Went to Madeira as a spur of the moment choice for the Easter break, not able to find anything suitable in Turkey, but having been to Madeira the previous year, was happy to go back so soon.
First time using Thomson as a package deal, but a very wise move in hindsight.
Hotel very nice – excellent staff – would have to say this was “possibly the best hotel in the world in its class” due to the staff alone (and I’ve stayed in 80+ Hotels in 30+ Countries around the world).
The bed was fantastically comfortable.
Trouble is the premises are quite far up the hill. It’s true you are 800m from the Lido, but that also involves a 400 feet vertical climb on paths often 1 in 3 gradient. Not good if you’re not fit or mobile. There is a bus right outside the hotel into Funchal, but it only runs once per hour, and the timetable supplied by Thomson was out of date, so we once waited for 40 minutes for the next bus mid afternoon. You can walk down to the main road to get more frequent buses every 10 minutes or so, but if you relied on them to come back the climb up the hill would kill you. I’ll stay further down the hill next time (we had overlooked the Lido before).
They advise that a Taxi from town is 7-8 Euros, but the day we did it was only 5 Euros, so don’t be put off unless you’re on a tight budget.
Thomson organise lsland tours, but they are usually only available 1-2 specific days in the week. If you go to the tour organisers in town they of course run them every day, to suit your schedule and the weather, and are 25% cheaper, eg 33 Euros rather than Thomson 44 Euros.
You have to pay extra for coffee & tea in the room; but we realised the trick was to take the tea bags from breakfast – not a solution for coffee drinkers however.
The food was excellent and a wide range of choice, and it wasn’t all ‘English’.
Postscript : we were due to leave just as UK Airspace was closed because of the Iceland volcano. We stayed at the Hotel for a further 3 days on full board (3 meals a day) for no extra charge (except wine). The hotel began to fill up as Thomson used it as a holding area for other tourists, but it was bearable, and the staff (Hotel & Thomson) were excellent! They even arranged for a local doctor (who had trained in London and spoke excellent English) to come in and arrange prescriptions for guests who were running out of medication due to their enforced stay, and arranged for drugs to be collected and delivered to reception, for only 15 Euros per person (normal callout 200 Euros).
Then Thomson put most of us on a Cruise Ship which took 4 days to get home to Falmouth – again full board at no cost (except for wine). So we got an enforced 14-days holiday for a 7-day price! If we hadn’t gone with Thomson and had been independent, we’d have had to pay hundreds of pounds just for the extra accommodation, waiting to get a flight home.
So hats off to Thomson.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kapple999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,796 - 1,802 of 1,940 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2010

First class hotel. Lovely clean room with wonderful sea views, large bed was very comfortable and every amenity - although not impressed by supplying tea and coffee for one day only! But thanks to Trip Advisor I followed someone's advice and took out my own tea bags.
Loved the Roof Sun Terrace - very peaceful with wonderful views.
Restaurant pretty good for Half Board - different selections very night, some very tasty. Desserts got a little repetitive though.
I thought Thomson Reps helpful - unlike other people, however they will all be changing soon, so good luck and thanks to Charlotte and Jade in their summer locations.
Not quite sure about the Gala Dinner - it felt like a way to get the Waiters an early night. One glass of wine doesn't constitute a Cocktail to me!
But the location - oh dear - I must have walked past a dozen hotels I would rather have stayed in - that hill is really a killer - and when you get back to your room do your stretching exercises. Don't go there if you have health problems. After Dinner unless you were super fit or didn't mind paying Taxi fares you really did feel "confined to quarters".
However we did have a lovely relaxing holiday.
Missed out on booking the trips with Strawberry World because we couldn't make up our minds, so splashed out on a Taxi Trip to the Nun's Valley. Although the Taxi Driver couldn't speak much English, it was an excellent trip and worth the extra expense.
Incidentally the Madeira Government are doing an Excellent job on clearing up after the Floods - so don't let that put you off. Although the Lido is very damaged.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JaneHoops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2010

Holiday was wonderful there is nothing that we could fault, excellent flight, hotel,food,and entertainment ,Beauty spa treatment was also excellent and recommended,
Maderia is a magical place we would return and stay in this hotel again.
A supermarket which stocks most things is down by the LIDO also consider a local firm
which we used to go to Nunns valley just inside the shopping complex Monumental Lido they pick you up from the hotel and drop you back (Maderia happy tours) also cheaper for the boat trips THEY ARE NOT TIMESHARE but be aware of cheap deals on trips and people doing surveys because these are, we where caught out and wasted time trying to cancel when we realised our mistake.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PlymouthMeekie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2010

We found this hotel as a 'late deal' so we had excellent value for money. The hotel was extremely clean and the staff very friendly and helpful and the food was wonderful! The Thomson 'welcome meeting' did go on a little too long but it was useful to listen to. We wouldn't advise you pay the prices Thomson ask for trips however as they can be found much cheaper in town. Be aware of people trying to sell trips cheaply in receipt of you attending 'timeshare' meetings (they don't tell you they are trying to sell timeshares but we found this out and if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is!!)
The entertainment team were excellent. Lots of fun activities to do during the day and optional entertainment in the eve should you wish. Very talented young people. There is so much to do on the island, hiring a car would be very useful and probably save you money in the long term as trips to vist different parts of the island are not cheap. I would love to go back to Madeira and would definitely stay at the Savoy again.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SomelikeithotWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2010

We know it's hilly before we go, so that is not really a downside.
Just had a week on half board and it's all as said before..........very professional, clean and an excellent restaurant.
Went with Thomsons and perhaps their efforts deserve a few criticisms. To mature and mainly seasoned travellers to endure an hour-long sales presentation, (which is what is called the "welcome" meeting ), is totally unnecessary. After 3/4 hour, we, along with several others, had to leave. The first item on the agenda was how to purchase your return seats located together!
I believe a Thomsons Gold Standard hotel would be better served by more mature reps.
If you do your own thing then you will find this a superb base.
We hoped for an upgrade to a suite as it was our Golden Wedding Anniversary while there, but did not get it. The reps did not seem too concerned and made no great effort to accommodate us. We did not even get the promised Flowers, Fruit and Sparkling Wine!
However, the hotel did offer to upgrade us 36 hours later if we were prepared to pay for this.
So, my tip is.......do not believe all you read or expect any help..........unless it is for something you will be paying for.
Strawberry world is a first class local tour company which offer excellent trips around the island.
Bus service is great, with the pre-loaded pay cards.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Staffbri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2010

We spent 14 nights Half Board at the Savoy Gardens and found it to be excellent in every way. The Hotel itself was spotlessly clean with the bedding changed every second day. Nothing was too much trouble for the Hotel staff and they went out of their way to please and help. The jewel in the crown for us was the Restaurant and the Entertainment. The food both at both Breakfast and Dinner was of the highest quality and standard and the entertainment in the Magnolia Lounge was of amazingly good professional level. I would unhesitatingly recommend this Hotel . We had previously stayed at the Raga and the Bia Azul and found this hotel to be superior on all counts

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CassiaLymington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2010

Savoy Gardens is situated out of Funchal and as there are hills all over Madeira you had to go up some to get there. The view from the roof top was amazing plus a jacuzzi to go in. There was also sunbeds and sofas to relax on up there. The room was very spacious and comfortable. Tea making facilties were provided as well as a bottle of water each day. Again the view from the balcony was sublime. The buffet food was plentiful and by the end of the week we found the warmed plates. The entertainment was enjoyable, especially the comedian. All the staff were friendly. The cable car ride was brilliant and the toboggan ride fun. The Botanical gardens are worth a look too. The walks are most enjoyable. We did 25 Fontes and Baio d'abra. The second being quite exhilerating. It was our first trip to Madeira but we will be back.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank YorkshirePearl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens

Address: Azinhaga Casa Branca 7, Funchal, Madeira 9004-543, Portugal (Formerly Savoy Gardens)
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 42 Speciality Lodging in Funchal
Price Range: £66 - £123 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens 4*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cradled against an oceanfront hillside and located in a quiet and sunny suburb of Funchal, within approx 2km from the city centre, the renovated Hotel Savoy Gardens (ex-Vila Ramos), renowned for the provision of friendly and personalised service, offers amazing mountain and sea views across lush verdant plantations. The Savoy Gardens is a friendly boutique-style hotel that provides its guests a modern feel and a traditional quality. All 119 completely renovated rooms include 9 suites. All have their own furnished balcony and are equipped with air-conditioning, direct dial telephone, flat screen TV set with interactive TV, FREE internet wireless system, tea and coffee making facilities, safety box and mini-bar, plus a fully equipped bathroom with bathtub, shower and hairdryer.The elegant and new interiors are all designed in soft colours with excellent materials to create a relaxing atmosphere throughout the hotel. The Savoy Gardens Hotel features the Restaurant Laurissilva, serving a daily buffet breakfast and themed Buffet dinners with cooking station. In a reserved cosy area, this restaurant also features a elegant a la carte dinner service. The Cica cocktail bar serving evening cocktails and the Palmeira bar serving snacks, hot and fresh drinks throughout the day as well as a daily suggestion of healthy and delicious light dishes for lunch. One outdoor freshwater heated swimming pool, a panoramic rooftop 360º view terrace with sun-lounges, jacuzzi, shower and self-service bar - the ideal location to spot the daily arrivals and departures of cruise liners in Funchal's harbour. Some of the facilities are also located in the lower-ground floor, such as the Spa with themed and seasonal promotions and special spa packages, the hairdresser, a games and TV room with internet desk and the Night Club Magnolia with nightly live music and entertainment. The Savoy Gardens Hotel is a new concept in Adults Only accommodation. Conceived as a place for rest and fun specially dedicated for those seeking a relaxing although extravagant vacation: unique experiences, amazing entertainment programmes, personalised service and attention to detail and all the commodities and services of a hotel for guests over 16 years of age. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Savoy Gardens
Savoy Gardens Funchal
TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens Madeira/Funchal

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