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“Great Hotel - Great Island”

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Sensimar Savoy Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
172 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Great Hotel - Great Island”
Reviewed 9 August 2010

This is a Thomson Gold Hotel and it lives up to expectations. Its a little out of the main town but in easy reach of bars and restaurants. That's if you need them as the hotel is half board with a good evening meal selection. As noted in other reviews the hotel is up a steep hill and this has to be noted when choosing. The luggage now however is delivered by a minibus so no hauling it up a slope. The only gripe we had with the hotel is that the room balcony is rather small. Big enough for two chairs and that's about it. This is made up for by a large roof top area with Jacuzzi with great views from the 8th floor.

We would really recommend the Island even after two weeks there was more to do. We hired a car for 10days a great way to see the Island but there are plenty of trips and a good bus service if you don't fancy driving. A beautiful island with a perfect climate it has recovered well from the floods and although you can see the signs it really didn't stop anything we wanted to do.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Clive1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2010

Stayed at the Savoy Gardens for a week in hot July 2010. Local 4* but I reckon closer to 5 for quality of building, rooms,pool,facilities, food and staff. Was aware (by reading TA) that hotel was surrounded by steep hills so took the option of pre-hiring a car for three days to be delivered to the hotel. Don't ever want to be met and then taken 'downtown' - "only a few minutes sir." Yeah right.
Recently underwent a complete refurb and it shows. Spotless place with all new fittings. Plenty of sun beds and lovely pool although bit short on poolside space. Attentive staff with a good restaurant and food. Very hard working entertainment staff at this Thompson Gold which must be a challenge for them us being the non teenage variety. We thought four and a half stars would fit the bill.
Without a car or unlimited taxi money it was unsuitable for the very elderly or infirm.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Paul22118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hull
Level Contributor
55 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2010

The Savoy Gardens is a good hotel, but if you don't like walking it might not be too good for you. The hotel is up a hill, but worth it. It is very clean and friendly and the entertainment team was great. I am not really into evening enertainment at the hotel, but there is not much around the hotel to tempt you out at night. We had a room at the back of the hotel and the balcony was very small, there was JUST enough room for 2 chairs. There are tea and coffee making facilities, but only enough for 1 day. If you want any more you have to pay for it. I was a bit disappointed with the meals, they were OK, but nothing special. not what I expected from a 4* hotel. The other thing which annoyed me was there was "happy hour" in the bar from 6-8pm, but if you bought a bottle of wine you could not take it into the restaurant, obviously because the cheaper prices did not apply to the restaurant. All in all it is a good hotel, but just a few niggles.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank hullgirl55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Stotnich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kevalmilner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
co durham
Level 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grumpsCoDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank geordienorth1
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 #1 of 41 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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