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“BRILLIANT HOTEL!!”

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Sensimar Savoy Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“BRILLIANT HOTEL!!”
Reviewed 28 July 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Savoy Gardens from the 12th - 19th July 2010. We had never been to Madeira before and had heard mixed reports about it. Anyway, we got there -despite the 40 min delay from N'castle Airport -and we fell in love with the island and the people. The coach could'nt get all the way up to the hotel due to the narrowness of the road, so we were dropped off on the main road and had a couple of minutes walk to get to the hotel. From the outside it looks like a very 60's/70's era building and not that impressive. Once inside it is very modern and clean. The reception staff were great and very helpful. Quickest check in I have ever had!! Our room was a pool view room and very quite and comfortable. It was cleaned every day and left spotless. The restraunt food was good and varied and always hot. The gala dinner was absolutely lovely with waiter service. I have read reports that the restraunt and bar staff are not friendly and do not smile. I found that most untrue. The restraunt managers -Paulo and Luis -could not do enough for us. They were very attentive and nothing was to much trouble for them. The bar staff were also very friendly and knew us by name. The area was always very clean and any tables were cleaned immediately and re-set for the next guests. Clare and Faye the reps. were really helpful and again could not do enough for you. The Thomson Gold entertainment team had us in fits of laughter every day and night. Sarah is so bubbly and funny you cannot help but like her, and what an amazing voice from someone so small. Kieran is the same. The pair of them had us in stiches. They certainly kept us busy during the day as well with the quizes and prizes. Joining in the games around the pool is also a great way to meet people and we have come away with some lovely new friends. The only thing I will say is that there are a resident band called 'Two to go' and they are the worst I have heard. Not even our local club would give them a slot. They are so boring and repetitive. Thomson entertainment staff work so hard to make your night fun, but I think that the cost of the holiday also warrants some good professional entertainment at least twice a week. The position of the hotel means that some less able people are a captive audience for the entertainment and have no choice but to watch it as the walks to town are to steep on the way back up. The gardens in the hotel are absolutely beautiful. In Madeira you go up or down. You turn right or left and you go up or down!! The only flat part is the lido. It certainly gets you fit!! Taxis are cheap or you can get the bus. Buy a Giro card from the hotel as it is cheaper than paying on the bus. Funchal has some great pubs and places to eat. It is a 20-30 walk from the hotel depending how fast you walk. Cable car and toboggan ride is recommended highly. Gardens are out of this world. All in all the holiday is what you make it. We went for a relaxing holiday from the stresses and strains of our hectic working life. We got it. Good food, good wine, lovely new friends the sun and most importantly, a very beautiful island with lovely, friendly people. It is completely different to any holiday we have ever done before. We are usually sun,and beach people and enjoy the late nightlife. We will go back to this hotel and to Madeira definitely. It is a grown up holiday and I would not recommend this island or this hotel for anyone younger than 40 as I think they would not enjoy it. Oh, I forgot to say about the pool!! Plenty of sunbeds and you normally did'nt have any problems. As always, there are the few holidaymakers who put half a dozen towels on beds for family and friends that never even bother to come down, but all in all no serious shortage.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Stotnich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Dartford, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 27 July 2010

This was our first experience of a Thomson Gold holiday and our first impressions were very good. The reception staff were very friendly and efficient and we had a very spacious room with a lounge area; large bathroom with heated towel rail plus window and a very large bed. It was also spotlessly clean. The chambermaid checked every day to see if you needed any bottled water (1 litre free of charge) or if your pool towels needed changing. The pool area is quite small and you have to get there early for a sunbed; they say they remove towels from saved sunbeds if they are not used within half an hour but we only saw this happen once. There is also a very nice sun terrace and jacuzzi on the roof, but as there is no shelter from the sun we only used it once when we couldn't get by the pool. There was a good choice of food on offer at breakfast and evening time and we ate very well, however the serving area is a little cramped and we did find the restaurant staff a little unfriendly, they didn't greet you or smile much. The hotel is quite a trek from Funchal and the lido area but we thought this would be ok as we expected there would be decent evening entertainment at the hotel, but this was not the case. The Production Team worked very hard but I did not want to see the same four people performing night after night! The evening entertainment is held in the basement but this area lacked atmosphere and your view is restricted by lots of pillars; when the local dancers performed one night we only saw them by facing away from the stage area and looking at their reflection in the patio doors! You can sit out in the small courtyard off the entertainment area but again this lacked atmosphere, also the bar staff rarely came out to see if you wanted to order a drink. We did explore this beautiful island and booked our trips through Thomsons, even though you could have got them cheaper through other companies. The east and west tours were very good and would recommend them but we found the 'flavours of funchal' trip disappointing, it was 33 euros for a half day which included the cable car ride, a visit to the embroidery factory (a waste of time), the flower and fish market and a 20 minute visit to the wine lodge; you were also taken to monte for the tobaggon ride (an additional 12.50euros each), if you didn't want to do this you just came back down on the coach. You could easily do all of these yourself from town. We got a bus to the botanical gardens and spent a very pleasant half day there, also the presidents gardens are well worth a visit, as is afternoon tea at Reids. We also went to the casino on a saturday night but again this was disappointing; the venue was only half full and they were very stingy with your 'free drinks', our glass was half filled 3 times during the course of the evening. A singer did a 20 minute tribute to Tom Jones while you were eating dessert and the waiters put a quality questionairre on your table at the same time! The actual show was entertaining but it only lasted around 40 minutes. The casino area smelt smokey (we thought it was banned) so we decided to go back to the hotel; the production team were on that night so we ended up sitting on the terrace at the front of the hotel watching people come puffing up the hill. To sum up our holiday at the savoy gardens we had good days but poor evenings. It's a well apointed hotel but the location and evening entertainment was not for us.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kevalmilner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
co durham
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2010

Grumps Tours 2010

Just arrived back form a 2 weeks stay in Funchal on our first ever visit to Madeira. We had a fantastic stay at the Thomson Gold Savoy Gardens. The hotel is spotless, the food was excellent we had no complaint about the quality but the choice of food was limited. The gala dinner was excellent despite the reduction in choice of food offered on that evening. We stay in a Standard room with a Sea View, the room was very spacious and with a King size bed and the bed was very, very comfortable. Rooms on the Mountain View side are warmer but smaller than those with a sea view. The balconies are also bigger in the sea view rooms.
We ventured out most evenings to try and walk off our evening meal, walking down to the main road which runs in to Funchal 20 minutes walk either way to the Forum Shopping Centre and Funchal it’s self. The hills of Funchal certainly confirm if you are fit or not, you get a real thirst on by the time you’ve negotiated the last 50 meters, back to the Hotel

We didn’t do any Trips when we were away on holiday this year but talking to other guests the said that booking the trip at Strawberry World is definitely the place to go to book your trips (close to the Lido), 16 euros each for the North West tour instead of Thomson’s price of 44 euros each. The Thomson trip does include the cost of lunch, but, you could keep yourselves fed and watered for 10 euros each during the course of the day. The Euro rate being what it is - every little helps!!! Need anything from currency exchange to a newspaper, go to Joes on the way down towards the Lido. Sorry you do have to climb back up the hill, but he is the cheapest for nearly everything.

Daily entertainment was provided by Sarah (Little Boss), Kimara, Kieran and Johnny. They kept us all busy during the day organising games and events around the pool and hotel, from the Daily Quiz (Best Prize a free Bottle of Wine), to Killer Smite (winner gets a Thomson Gold Prize Wooohooo!). These kids were good fun and really good, and we enjoyed their evening shows; they must have put a great deal of time and effort rehearsing. Especially the bit when Kieran’s Trousers fell down but the ever professional Matt in The Box, turned the lights down to the quick fix could be achieved. They did not miss a Beat.

Finally we cannot praise Claire, Faye & not Forgetting Sarah our resident reps along with the hotel staff enough. Nothing was too much trouble, and they were always friendly.
Would certainly recommend this hotel and Thomson Gold to anyone wishing to go to Madeira.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank grumpsCoDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2010

Having just returned from a week in Madeira, and our stay at the Savoy Gardens, it is appropriate to list a few observations. On arrival at the Hotel we were dropped off from the coach at thye bottom of the hill on a main road, as the coach could not access the hotel due to road width restrictions. The appearance of the hotel from the outside certainly doesn't represent 4* status neither the Reception area, but the hotel is bright and spotlessly clean. we reserved a junior suite which was on the 4th floor, excellent views to the sea and Funchal. The room was spaceous, clean and very comfortable, no complaints, we had water, tea coffee replenished daily thanks to our maid Helena. The restaurant was bright and well furnished, but the food selection was often bland and repetative, the staff need a personality transplant and need to clear and re-set tables quicker with a smile!. The Gala dinner was poor, we felt the food selection was basic and gave the impression of 'school meals' with clattering clearing trolleys whizzing past the tables where we sat. The Breakfast was good, plenty choice with proper cornflakes, bacon, sausage and HP sauce. The entertainment team was excellent - well done Thomson. Overall we enjoyed our holiday but the location of the hotel would put us off returning to the Savoy Gardens, we would certainly return to Madeira.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank geordienorth1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkshire
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2010

Just returned from a week at the Savoy Gardens in Funchal where we wanted to relax and sunbathe and generally do nothing. The hotel has recently been refurbished and although not the prettiest of hotels from the outside, it is well decorated and modern throughout the interior. We had a Junior suite on the 5th floor with great sea & city views and it was well worth the money.

Both being 30, we were by far the youngest at the hotel, but it has a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere and it is great that there are no children. The real wow factor is the sun terrace which has a jacuzzi and amazing views out across Funchal, plus a convenient honesty bar for drinks. We camped out here most days as it is much quieter than the pool which has constant activities throughout the day which were not to our taste,

We booked this hotel due to its modern interior and location to Funchal. We were concerned about previous comments of how hilly it was, but we found the walk into town took only 20-30 mins and we would often get a taxi back for just 5 euros. The only slight downside to the location is the road that runs in front of the hotel is surprisingly busy, another reason why we preferred the roof terrace.

We didn't realise how 'activity orientated' the hotel would be and we preferred to stay out of the way of all the organised parts of the holiday, which was easily achievable. We attended a couple of the evening entertainment events which were a good laugh, but again, not really aimed at us so we more often chose to go out.

Food was generally very good although it was annoying that the waiters were constantly getting ready for the next part of the day (i.e. at breakfast they are setting the places for dinner). One restaurant we would highly recommend is L'osteria on Rua de Casabranca not far from the hotel towards the Lido. Don't let the location put you off, the food is fabulous and very reasonably priced.

Overall, a very good value for money holiday in a good location with something for everyone.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank whooker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2010

We were not sure what to expect after the floods but we had a brilliant holiday, The hotel is clean and the bedrooms are very comfortable. We stayed in a Junior Suite and it was well worth the extra money. We had a third floor room with great views down to the sea. Before we arrived in Madeira I had made my mind up I was not going to do a THomson trip as they are very expensive as compared to Strawberry World but in the event in the second week I did both the East and West Tours with Thomson and had two really good days out. The Nuns Valley tour on the other hand was a waste of money and I could have done that using the local buses. After 3/4 hour we still had not travelled far from our hotel doing pick ups and Campos de labos was the pits. However that was the only negative thing I had of the 2 weeks we were there. The Hotel reps( not enterntainment ones) Sara and Clare went out of their way to be helpful. My husband did many walks with Madeira Explorers who are used by Thomson. The guided walks were excellent and he had a thoroughly good holiday. I have balance problems and did the Mimosa walk but I didnt do any other Levada walks as I felt I was too slow. The food was good quality and really enjoyable. Much better that the gold hotel we stayed in at Mallorca for the last 6 years.. The Gala evening- I liked the waiter service my husband didn't but the menu was quite varied with a hot buffet selection as well. The starting time was 7 but we had to wait for all guests to come down. You really do need trainers to walk into the city centre , ask the local guide for directions you don't have to go to the bottom level by the lido . It is worth going to Monte we went once by cable car and a second time on the no 48 bus which can be caught by the Lido ( 10 mins walk down hill ) use a giro bus card 3.20 each ( 2 journeys on card) this can be obtained from Reception. The bus journey is a totally differnt experience to any journey in the UK. If you are a seasoned walker try the Pico Aerio trip with guide must have a good head for heights and good walking boots walking poles are an asset on all levada walks . If not do the journey that buses go up to the summit. It is wonderful being above the clouds.
At the airport -- BIRMINGHAM was dreadful flights were late leaving because the security checks and passport control was a real nightmare not enough staff and that alone not including check in took 1 hour 40 mins . FUNCHAL again thomson got us to the airport before check in desks were open. SEcutiy and check in was 1 hour 20 mins we made the mistake of going through passport control which is just before the gates far too ealry there is nothing air side of the passport control just one very hard working man at a cafe with no seats dishing out indiffernt coffee.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jackiemac_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, England
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2010

Having just returned after a week at the 4 star Savoy Gardens and after finding these reviews very helpful we thought it would be fair to add ours. The hotel was very clean and comfortable and big enough not to feel too over crowded. Being late 30's/early 40's we were among the youngest but as the hotel doesn't allow guests under the age of 18 stay we knew we weren't going to be disturbed by any children and as we anted a quiet week away this was a God send. The food was good even if a little bland at times. For a 4 star hotel we would have expected daily replenished tea & coffee facilities in the room rather than just having 2 tea bags and being told if you want any extra you have to pay 8 Euro per week for the pleasure. It was the first 4 star hotel that we've stayed in that tea or coffee weren't brought to your breakfast table, it as very much "help yourself", however breakfast choice was excellent.
The Entertainment team were very good. Daily poolside activities from 10.30 to 3.30 on the hour and the 2.30 quiz was always a crowd puller. In the evenings the team would put on a different show each night with outside enterainment midweek and on Sunday we had a fantastic couple of lads from the UK known as Operatunity who surprised us all with a top drawer quality act.
Everyone was very friendly from the hotel staff, the Thomson staff right down to our fellow guests who were all British in this Thomson Gold hotel.
Not sure if we'd go back to Madeira, it's very hilly and the hotel is on the third tier of hills, I take my hat off to those people in their 70's and 80's that were in the hotel as the hills were tiring for us.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank richteacharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sensimar Savoy Gardens

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — 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
Sensimar Savoy Gardens Madeira/Funchal

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