My wife, adult daughter and I had a 'room' for a week: in fact the room was a large 1-bedroom flat with balcony and sea view. The kitchen was everything you'd need, the windows had heavyweight sun-block curtains and lightweight nets so early morning sun was not a problem. Daught's bed in the living room was a proper bed, with seperate bathroom and bedroom there was plenty of space and privavcy.
All-in it did what was needed. In places the hotel's age shows but stuff that mattered like non-slip paint around the loungers and terraces had clearly been attended to recently. Staff were without exception smiling, friendly and helpful.
Within 5 mins walk are probably half a dozen restaurants/ cafes and at least 3 car-hire places and two mini-marts. The nearest cash-machine is less than 10mins walk (basically out the hotel, turn left, after 5 mins your on a costal path follow it through the Hotel Galo's pub/bar back around to the road)
Car hire is we discovered very hard in August and September (book one weeks before you go!) so we ended up booking through the hotel and could only get a hugely expensive rate - Exploring inland is very rewarding but a small car really struggles with the inclines - hire one with some grunt and accept the cost).
The local spar is very big on drink (water, wine, maderia, juices) and pretty short everything else: a freezer of some meats, a little cheese, bread, fruit, jam, biscuits, sweets. the other "min-mart" had better bread but still majored on drink.
Restaurant prices around the Orchid (and across the island) varied a lot between rip-off and "wow that's cheap" - We had a great breakfast in Santa Cruz for three of us -all in at 13euro - and a soft-drink and single shared cake elsewhere which was 12euro and pushy. The rip-off trick we discovered is the drinks are unpriced and then get billed at something like 2.50euro each -this happend several times. In contrast in funchal one bar on the touristy "painted doors" street charged only 1euro for my beer and 1e for Daught's coke.
The hotel has a noticable "towles out at 0750 German brigade", taking the best spots (I kid you not, we watched the sunrise and the first of the towel brigade where out! ) We did still manage to get loungers and brollys when we wanted them, but I was close to moving a few towels from loungers still unused at 14:00! An unexpected bonus was feeding the lizards around teh terraces bits of fruit and crisps
The pool is small and often child-full (its fresh-water not salt), the sea was almost as warm and was calm half the time and with googles and fish more rewarding! Both pool and sea were practical to use into the evening. The pool links to an inside pool and very very well equiped gym, big jacuzzi, sauna etc. The hotel supplied pool-towels - we'd taken our own and the only real use we got from them was wrapping the maderia bottles on the way back!
The Orchid and RocMar's terraces (and other facilities like free bus to Funchal) merge and there is at least one other hotel (Galo) immediately accessible along the coast with bar to sit with a drink and/or ice-cream or snack.
We had not pre-booked The Orchid's breakfast but it was available on a pay-by-the-day (8€ each I think) , 4-day (30€ each) or 7-day basis. Realistically the Spar & other mini-mart offered bread and fruit/ yoghurt but not pastries or eggs etc so home-made breakfast might be limited (we bought stuff in a supemarket in Funchal - if you want the hotel's free bus book the day before).
wifi only worked in the lobby and games room (pool table and a few easy chairs). Reception staff were helpful and friendly. Other guests were a mix of french, dutch and german, transfer from airport was under 15mins, taxi from Funchal about 25€.
All-in a good place for chilled days and a base for out-and-about days
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Orchid Canico
- Royal Orchid Hotel Canico
- Royal Orchid Madeira/Canico