We used this hotel as our base for a short break away in November 2011. The reviews of the place were all good so I was expecting a good stay. We were not disappointed. The deal offered by the hotel was a good nightly rate (€60). There are a few extras that you need to consider but after discussing with the reservations staff before booking, we came to a good arrangement. They charge €1 for the use of the safe but the sting in the tail is if you want to use the indoor pool or sauna / steam / Jacuzzi, they wanted to add on €15 per person per night which was utterly ludicrous – so you should discuss with them about that!!! They agreed to €5 per day to use the indoor pool and free use of sauna / steam rooms in the end). Parking is €2 per night on site. It was hopelessly cramped and chaotic in the car park later on – and watch where you park as I saw one rather upset German tourist with a smashed up front wing of her car!! If there is no space left, the hotel will give you a ticket for a local public parking garage.
The location of the hotel is average – great for views but a hike outside of Funchal itself, this was not a problem. The main negative is the local town of Canico which is quite down at heel and not very propoerous. There is a free shuttle bus from the hotel to Funchal in the morning and evening although since we had a car, no need to use it. The local bus station is less than 50m from the hotel with regular services.
The rooms were actually very nice and quite tastefully decorated. They are old and quite tired in place but spotlessly clean and everything worked fine so it kind of added to the charm. Our bathroom was tiled on the floor and almost to the ceiling all round with old style tiles. Kitchen area was the most tired part – but everything worked and was fully functional. A lot of the rooms appear to be part of single story blocks and all seem to have a nice and peaceful outside seating area. Plenty of space to chill out and relax!! The size of the rooms and facilities were a pleasant surprise – the hotel web-site doesn’t really describe just how much there is in the rooms and the space. We had a studio flat which consisted of a large bathroom, kitchen area (with oven, hot plates, fridge, kettle and generally fully equipped with all you might need), sleeping area with wardrobes, living area with two wicker sofas and sizeable table and table and chairs outside the patio doors and your own sun loungers just a few metres further on – on a flat roof for another of the blocks of rooms!!!
Wireless internet was free but was pretty hopelessly slow and only available in the immediate area of the outside pool.
Most of the guests seemed to me to be German when we were there – and almost all I think were package holidaymakers. The ‘info centre’ is not exactly what it suggests but more of a place for the many tour companies that use the hotel for package tours to sell their wares (i.e. tours and excursions).
3 main restos on site – not all open every day. The buffet meal at one resto was 30 Euros per person which was a little expensive when you see what else is available locally. There were also 2 bars – both very nice but with slightly odd opening hours and the latest night you will have in any is until 10pm!! But Madeira is not a party island and much more of a chilling out place!
Hotel staff throughout were polite, helpful and generally made you feel they were there to help. I rate the staff approach and attitude as 100%.
The gardens are amazingly maintained and everywhere there are well kept flower beds and bushes and fauna of all kinds. The gardening team obviously spend a lot of time and effort keeping things 100% neat and tidy!! The gardens are a kind of tourist attraction and more than once, busloads of tourists arrived to be led around!
The hotel guests were mainly (but not exclusively) quite old – many retired couples, etc. Although there are many stairs, there is generally access for less able guests to get anywhere on the complex.
Nearby, the town of Canico itself it pretty scabby!!! By this I mean that there is facility for a lot of commerce but most units in 2 of three shopping centres are unused and the main shopping centre at the top of the hill has about 1/3 of the units unused. There are a plenty of locals cafes around – if you look carefully!! There are also three average to reasonable quality restaurants in town (apart from at the hotel) one on the main square by the church (by far the best – this is obviously where the locals go out to eat!!!!) and then another two further up the road to the right of the church. Food at any resto on the island is copious – I would consider the size of the starters to be quite suitable as a main course!!! Just 2 minutes walk from the hotel is a well stocked and well priced supermarket which was very handy – the main shopping centre up in the main town has a much bigger and very well stocked supermarket. There are a few tourist shops – and the post office is about 20m from the hotel entrance.
If you are looking to chill out then this place is it! If you are more into doing things, you will get bored here unless you take tours or busses to other places or have a car!!! I would not stay here without having a hire car available. Even the shore is a 30 minute walk away – and up very steep, non-pedestrian friendly route on the way back which I think would take you 45 mins and leave you sweating!!
Hope some of that helps.
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- Also Known As:
- Quinta Splendida Canico
- Quinta Splendida Hotel Canico
- Quinta Splendida Madeira/Canico