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“Great Week, well rested” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sensimar Savoy Gardens

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Sensimar Savoy Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
West Midlands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great Week, well rested”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2010

Lovely hotel, would recommend sea view room floor 5,6 or 7 for best views over rooftops of Funchal. Hotel situated 20 minutes walk from centre of Funchal, not bad going down but walk back uphill and last two alleys short in length but quite steep, or use Number 24 bus from outside hotel. Good food, friendly staff, very clean, good entertainment. Would certaily return.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Billy-B-Bad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2010

Room: the size of the bed excelled our expectations. The staff who attended to the room were excellent. They were very friendly and always tried to help us.
Reception: Very welcoming with excellent English spoken by the members of staff who manned the desk.
Restuarant: the meals were excellent, everything was refreshed regularly. There was a very varied menu each evening which always included a meat option, a fish option and also a vegetarian option. Fresh vegetables and salads were always on the menu. Breakfast was not just a continental option but there was bacon, sausage, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs available every morning, and if you wanted an omelette there was a chef on hand to cook one for you on request.
The staff in the restuarant were always very helpful and hard working.
Could not ask for a better holiday

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jporter225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hemel hempstead
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2010

Thomson Gold Hotel so no kids running around screaming in the dining room or splashing you in the pool. Also none of their parents who tend to ignore their bad behaviour either. Instead full of fellow incognito teachers and their partners who never talked shop but who were friendly, good fun and and easy to get on with. Two weeks of relaxing bliss with like minded people where you can catch up on your reading in peace!
Hotel rooms have a free safe, and fridge for you to keep your own drinks etc in. You can buy these from `Joes` a nearby minimarket, (reps will tell you the way - 5mns walk) and drink them on your balcony by the pool (also served by snack bar staff), or on the lovely roof garden with jacuzzi. Fantastic views especially at night over Funchal from there. Tea making facilities are in the room but take your own tea bags/buy milk to put in fridge as they charge to supply tea/milk after the first day. They also provide big towels for pool use that you can change as often as you like so you don`t have to take heavy towels with you.
Food is buffet style, plentiful and varied. There are different themed nights serving foods from different places as well as other food.These include Portuguese, Italian, Chinese and English. One night each week is gala night when you are served at your table which is quite nice. There is a menu choice for this. The difficulty was choosing what not to have at each meal! The waiters are polite and helpful. they have promotions on wines some nights but prices at the cheaper end are 12 - 14 E a bottle (not cheap but you are on holiday and you have your fridge to drink from during the day!)
The hotel is spotlessly clean everywhere, pool crystal clear with friendly helpful staff who genuinely seem to want you to have a good holiday. Reps are very efficient - a note answering a query about local visit had been pushed under my door the same afternoon. They are very helpful and knowledgeable but not pushy. The `Welcome meeting` was very informative and professionally delivered with no hard sell and Reps were very approachable.
The entertainment team consisted of 4 talented 20 somethings with amazing voices that worked well in harmony together. Their unfailing enthusiasm and stamina to provide guests with excellent routines and songs ranging from the classics to the west end shows was amazing. They were true professionals. They also organised the daily activities from quizes and competitions to water polo so were on the go for most of the day and evening. They were friendly and happy and like all the staff wanted the gueats to have a good time.
You are not forced to take part in these activities but be aware that Thomson Gold have them at most of their hotels. If they are not for you you can just swim sunbathe or go out somewhere but please don`t moan about them as taking part does enable you to meet other people and socialise. We enjoyed the activities we joined in with as having friendly fellow guests and staff that you can chat casually to and laugh with helps to make the holiday.
The local knowledge lady Anita was charming. She walked us into town via gardens and was very knowledgeable about plants and Madeira. If she couldn`t answer a question she would find out the answer and let you know. She did another walk going the opposite way to a bar where you could buy the delicious local bread and steak sandwich at a very reasonable price 3.60E and also told us about the local drinks Poncha (very nice but strong) and Nikita (a beer based cocktail). She really knew her stuff and loved her job.
Tips while there - walking into town will take about 25-30mns and is downhill. You can walk back or take a bus - 1E each trip, the reps will sell you a bus swipecard. We tended to walk both ways but took trainers as we knew it was hilly. (It is very steep in places).
Use a street map to find your way around town. Do visit the old town beyond the cablecar station that takes you up to Monte and the toboggans. Do go up on the cablecar, explore Monte church and gardens (the municiple ones near the village square with the fountain not the 10E tropical ones) and definitely take a 25E toboggan ride down. DON`T do this if a cruise ship is in as it will be packed and toboggans will log jam. Ask for a fast ride - its quite safe and great fun. Ignore the taxi drivers at the end. You can get a bus or carry on walking downhill into town. Wear trainers as it is about 1:4 gradient.
Do visit the town market as its colourful and interesting but haggle. DON`T pay what they ask as a lot of stall holders will try to charge silly prices especially for the fruit (which they give to you to try first). The little cafe upstairs with local pictures and tablecloths run by a lady sells home made honey cake and poncha very reasonably and is genuine.
You can get on a levada just above the hotel (turn left up steep hill outside gate, go up and you will be on it just after the house with the giant barking dog). This levada goes for about 4 miles but becomes difficult after that going into a rock face and low tunnel with a railed 300ft drop on the left. It is pleasant up to that point and passes through areas of market garden including figs, tomatoes and bananas. You won`t go hungry!
There are barking dogs in nearby houses that start up at various times of day, usually early evening but they aren`t a problem. At night use one key card (you get 2) to keep the air con on all evening while you eat etc and when you go to bed keep the balcony door shut and turn the air con off. It will have cooled down the room by then and you can sleep in silence.
We did trips through the hotel reps as they included a 3 course lunch (the West and the East tours). You can book them cheaper elsewhere but the guide will be saying everything in several languages so you won`t learn as much. On our trips it was just English and the guides were very informative and knowledgeable. Because of fires damaging the mountains above Funchal recently the East trip is no longer going to the top of Pico Arieiero which to us was a highlight (1800metres). Check on this when you go but I am sure you will enjoy it anyway.
Madeira has a lot to offer. The scenery is varied and stunning and the temperature perfect for lazing around or sightseeing. The hotel was well placed for everything we wanted to do. Anyone with complaints must be miserable by nature!!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank happyjack51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2010

My husband and I spent a week here - we wanted a cheap week away so went hafl board. We were not expecting much having read some of the other reviews but had a fantastic time. The hotel was spotless, the food both at breakfast and in the evening was lovely with plenty of choice. The best part we felt were the staff who were the loveliest people that we had come across whilst on holiday. Nothing is too much trouble and they were very polite. Our cleaner saw that it was our anniversary as we had a couple fo cards in the room and within a couple of hours we had a card under the door from the Thomson reps and a voucher for some free drinks from the hotel.
People have commented on the hills, yes it is VERY hilly! However, surely if you book a holiday you do a bit of research into where you are going! They were not a problem. The walk into Funchal takes about 15-20 minutes and is downhill and you can always get a taxi back if you laden yourself with goodies, which never cost more than 5 Euros.
We liked the fact that it was a bit out of the way, and as for the barking dogs that people commented on, yes, there are a couple, but dogs bark!
The two reps, Clare and Faye, were really nice, better than others that we have come across on Thomson Gold holidays. They don't do the hard sell, and you are left to do as much or as little as you like. We went on the Bonita to look for dolphins which was well worth it and we did the Western tour which I would definitely recommend. The island is stunning and worth spending a day or two exploring.
We are fairly young and quite liked the fact that the hotel seems to attract older couple as it is nice and quiet - probably not for people that want to be out very late, somewhere closer to town is probably better. There is entertainment each night which we didn't tend to go and see, but what we gathered it seemed pretty good.
Final thing - Madeira is a lot cheaper than most of Europe. Even the hotel didn't charge a fortune for drinks etc. I got my hair cut in the hotel salon and it cost 13 Euros - and the lovely girl in there did a better job than Toni and Guy which I usually go to at home!

Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank DBCMacclesfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2010

I have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Savoy Gardens with my wife. Our expectations were more than met, it was excellent, we could find fault with nothing. The themed evening meals were excellent, a great choice of well cooked food and the 2 gala dinners were first class. Breakfast was also excellent with, once again, a good choice, cereal, fresh fruit, any type of egg to go with the bacon and beans you wanted, especially the freshly cooked omelletes.

The room was spacious, with a large double bed and a balcony facing the sea. For all you Brits reading this review there is also a kettle in the room, so remember to bring some teabags, one thing that wasn't so good was the tea. A safe is also included in the room, as is a fridge.

The walk up to the hotel is as steep as expected, but once you've walked into Funchal a couple of times you almost get used to it. There is a bus stop right outside the hotel so if you'd prefer not to walk get yourself a Giro card from Joe's, it works like an Oyster card, and get a number 24 bus into town.

Madeira is a wonderful place and the Savoy Gardens makes it a pleasure to be there; well worth its Thomson Gold status.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank folkjokeopus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
78 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2010

This is a "Thomson Old" hotel, so the age profile is quite high. We are just around the 50 mark but I reckon most guests were older. Yes, you will exercise your calf muscles like never before on the hill but this hotel is realy worth a visit. If you really can't climb it don't be a cheapskate, get a taxi for 3-4 Euros.

Spotlessly clean.Believe me, I own a cleaning business and inspect buildings for cleanliness daily. I could not find a single speck of dust anywhere. An ash cloud covered the town during the devastating hill fires that occurred while we were there. The whole hotel staff came out in force and cleaned it up in a matter of a couple of hours. Very, very impressive. If this was the UK it would be the "wrong kind of ash", or some other lame excuse that would have the very inviting pool closed for days.

I could not praise the hotel staff more. from the Maitr'e D who seemed to work day and night to the simply wonderful waiters, many of whom have been with the Savoy Group for more than 30 years . Snr Louis Farro deserves special praise. Simply the most charming waiter with 39 years service. I never saw him without a smile on his face.

Paolo the restaurant manager very kindly lent me his tie so that we could dine outwith the hotel at the nearby Michelin Star restaurant at the 5 star Cliff Bay Resort. Very nice indeed but, the best dining experience we had was at the fabulous Reids Palace which is also within easy walking distance. We really did not need to dine out because the food at the Savoy Gardens was really very good. The restaurant tended to get a little cramped but, if we had been on a budget for dining, we could not have complained.

The Savoy also has some extremely hard working and mannerly barmen; Carlos, Fellipe, Jaio - not to mention young "Harry Potter" (You will understand what I mean if you go here) So many stars in one hotel is hard to find. I ordered my first drink on Monday night., A black label whisky. Next evening, without asking, the barman pulled down the black label bottle. "The usual Sir?" Would hat hapen in your nearest Hilton. I think not.

Rooms, I would say, are similar in standard to ICH Crowne Plaza hotels I have stayed in. Again we hd a lovely room maid on our level. She was just so friendly.

Entertainment the first night was so hellish that it was very, very entertaining. We could not look at each other. After 10 minutes we had to leave with our faces absolutely purple trying not to laugh. The music seemed to be some form of translated bavarian drinking songs. However, all other visits to entertainment lounge were very enjoyable. A very talented Irish singer (and Thomson Rep) was probably the best with renditions of Neil Young , Paolo Nardini, Tom Jones and a host of others that really was impressive.

The only poor experience in the hotel came on the penultimate day. A young female Rep sitting at the Thomson desk refused to tell me when our bus was arriving at the hotel for our departure to Glasgow. "You need to attend the departure meeting for that information" she said, with all the patronising charm that an old folks home nurse would save for an inmate who has just doo-dooed their pants.
"I really only need the bus departure time" I maybe should have explained that I don't like to waste the rapidly declining hours of our vacation being sold a milimeter extra leg room seat, or declining the sitting together fees. This is a unique luxury that is becoming more common, despite air travel regulations stating clearly that families should normaly be sat together anyway. So, do you not know the time? I asked in frustration. No, she lied in an impossibly charming condecending manner, I'll tell you at the meeting".

A TIP - If you don't want to attend this meeting, which I promise you is a complete waste of time, the departure info is provided in personalised hand written cards for each guest. Where? At the same desk that I spoke to Miss Condescension 2010.

Go to the Savoy Gardens. I'm sure you will love it. Everyone I spoke to during our time loved it as much as we did.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bonnieterrier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
170 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Clive1954
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 37 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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