If you want to be near Funchal, this relatively new hotel is not ideal. It takes about 55mins to walk into town. The frequent buses are very reasonable and stop at the hotel, as does the airport bus. Having been to Madeira many times, this year we just wanted a quiet, good value week in the sun which is more or less what we got although we were not truly comfortable at this hotel.
The employees are all quite young and very friendly, but show their inexperience when under pressure. The buffet breakfast is excellent but the indoor dining room is not welcoming. Dark décor and spotlights don’t create the right atmosphere; tables in rows felt like a school canteen and at peak times it was a bit of a scrum. The outdoor dining area is fine though tablecloths would be nicer than plastic mats. We took up a buffet dinner offer which worked out at 74 Euros each for 4 meals including one glass of wine or beer. The food was pretty good but the hot dish presentation could have been more careful. Other nights, we walked into town to visit our favourite restaurants (Jardin do Infante, Villa Caffee, Casal de Penha) where you’d expect to pay 55-70 Euros for two.
The smallish pool can be chilly as much of it is in shade most of the morning, as are many of the sun-beds. Most of these are quite old and not at all comfortable. At this time, we counted eight new sun-beds which were fine but the others really need replacing, or supplied with cushions. There didn’t appear to be any pool staff to help with umbrellas, the bases of which are very heavy (no wheels), yet the brollys are quite flimsy and liable to turn inside out if the wind gets up. The area bordering the pool is covered with fine sharp gravel which is impossible to walk on in bare feet. The hotel advertises itself as suitable for wheelchair users and it may be that the gravel would be safer for them than a different surface. Because of the architecture, sound tends to reverberate round the pool area which can be distracting if guests’ voices are raised. The hotel grounds are small and have no quiet corners to which to escape.
Everywhere in the hotel is spotlessly clean. Beds and pillows are comfortable. Aircon is effective and not intrusively noisy. Opposite the hotel is Madeira Forum – a big shopping centre with a good supermarket which was useful as our room had a small kitchenette (no kettle!) so we made our own lunch each day.
At this time, a neighbouring property is being developed and the noise affects the pool area from time to time. It also affects inland facing rooms in so-called ‘Block A’ as does noise from the road. Side sea-view accommodation is probably the best option although those rooms have glass balconies which are not particularly private as they protrude from the side of the building.
Our favourite hotel in Madeira was the Classic Savoy – now defunct. We are still looking for the right alternative. The Golden Residence is very good value for money but sadly not “The One”.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Golden Residence welcomes you to a enchanting 4-star hotel in an excellent location on the south coast of Madeira. Overlooking the sea and some imposing cliffs, the opportunities for fantastic sunsets are offered every day during your holidays. Once inside, the hotel is built with many open spaces to make the most of the natural light and a modern and luxurious design with comfortable and functional public areas to rest, relax, read or socialize with your fellow guests. The atmosphere is complete with the panoramic sea views and some of the banana plantations still existing in Funchal. More than a hotel, at the Golden Residence you will find the perfect solution for a holiday where well-being and relaxation will take on a new meaning for you. The excellent service and careful attention for small detail is what makes the difference. ... and we encourage you to discover its many charms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Residence Apartment Funchal
- Hotel Golden Residence Apartment
- Golden Residence Madeira/Funchal