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“In the Mountains-Stunning scenery you do need own transport!”
Review of Hotel Encumeada

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Hotel Encumeada
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Ribeira Brava
london, england
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“In the Mountains-Stunning scenery you do need own transport!”
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Recently returned from 7 days half board with my wife on a last minute deal with Broadway Travel. Great Price! It is my opinion that you MUST have a car as this hotel is way up in the mountains at 1900 meters altitude in the middle of nowhere!
Its very seclusion is its attraction for us at least...
Scenery is stunning! Wake up to nothing but a distant bird singing and looking down! at the clouds in the valley below you as you are in sunshine..!
There is very little light pollution and both of us were on our balcony looking up at the myriad of stars forming the milky way above us.
Ok back to earth..this is a three star hotel and the hotel staff really do try hard. It looks very smart on the outside but is dated when you get inside. All the areas of the hotel are clean and tidy..not spotless but for the grade fine. During weekdays the hotel runs on few staff but on weekends this increases as every weekend a wedding party takes over the hotel! A comment from a staff member,"You would think that there is nowhere else for people to have a wedding reception but here,its crazy!" Its Location Location Location! I think this is where the hotel makes its money. This and Christenings during the week which also are very plush and well attended. When functions go on at the hotel you as a guest get the impression that you are tolerated, dont get me wrong we were well treated as usual but for example we had our dinner location changed three times in as many days to fit in with the above parties which had booked the main rooms of the hotel for their functions. We also experienced the two types of food layout. If more guests were booked in then it was buffet style but if few guests then "a la carte" from a set menu was offered. Personally we preferred the buffet style because it did give you more choice as my wife is a vegetarian. A genuine criticism I feel here is that the food on the buffet layout is all prepared and put out for dinner 30 minutes before the start and kept hot underneath by candlepower. Dinner is available for several hours but it is the same food that you would eat regardless if you went down at the start or 2 hours later.
Go early for a resemblance of freshness although it has been out even then for at least 30 minutes.
This said the food never gave us any stomach problems.
Perhaps halving the amounts out at the start and cooking the remainder later for replenishing the buffet might be better,but I suspect that this is not available through lack of staff.
The hotel layout is not for anyone with real mobility problems as there are three floors and no lifts. You are expected to carry your own cases as the hotel is only 3 star. Our room(on the second floor) was clean,tidy and for the price and grade of the hotel good. Not large but perhaps on par or slightly smaller than the size of a travelodge twin room. Maid service was good and the room was cleaned and made up daily. If placed on the floor the towels were changed as often as you need. The bedding however was not changed throughout the 7 days. we were there. It may just have been our fortune but I can say that the twin beds we had were in good condition but had quite simply the hardest mattresses that I have ever slept on! You can get used to them but it was bliss when we got home!
On the electrical side the TV in the room although digital,only had BBC and Sky news channels for UK holidaymakers. If you like the news fine... but that is it! for those interested the old computer in reception available for guests worked fine for me and there IS free wifi available but only in the vicinity of reception..even the above computer had a wifi dongle attached. So take your smartphone/laptop it will work within about 15yds of the managers office opposite reception. My phone had a massive signal(orange) and I later spotted the masts on the mountaintop just above our hotel.
Sorry it is a long report but overall this was an enjoyable break away from everything. A stunning location very quiet, polite staff who work very hard to keep the place running. This is not for young people who want to enjoy the nightlife..the only nightlife around here are the owls and wild animals in the woods right up to the hotel! Yes it could do with a makeover inside but everything worked in the room and we came back refreshed(with a bit of backache) We both would go again next week if given the money!

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the dining rooms where the wedding receptions take place! The top floor app...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank KenUsher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2013

Hotel is in centre of island high up and often in the clouds. Marvellous walks when clear but central for both coasts when cloudy (which it was most of the time) before Easter. Bad TV reception. Staff very friendly and obliging and accompanied my wife to the hospital in Ribeira Brava when she cut her hand ( 4 stitches needed). You definitely need a car as bus is infrequent and no shops nearby (although there are 2 bars higher up the hill). Would return sometime.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 881DAVID
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2013

An ideal base for walkers wanting a short break. Any longer than a few days ideally needs a car though we managed to get further afield with lifts from friendly tourists and the daily bus to Funchal. The hotel is in good order. Being in the mountains means the climate is cooler and wetter that the south coast and the hotel public areas were not heated during our stay (feb). Having said that the staff were lovely and very helpful. There is internet access (not wifi) which is not expensive. The half board option is very good value and maybe buffet or a la carte depending on the number of residents. Again, a car would be needed to eat at other establishments. Evenings are quiet but games are available on request. The nearby walks included Levada and mountain walks requiring a degree of fitness and/or nerve. The mountain views from the bedroom was magical!

Room Tip: If staying over a weekend ask for a room away from the wedding reception room (there was no wedding...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Just returned from a week's stay at this hotel which enjoys an amazing mountain location. Although the hotel is not luxurious it offers a most comfortable and relaxing atmosphere with friendly and helpful staff. Rooms are kept very clean and although breakfasts and the evening buffet meals are basic the nights when there is 'a la carte' on offer the food is very good - try the pepper steak. The remoteness of its situation does mean that there are only a few buses a day on which to escape but it is possible to visit Sao Vicente, Porto do Moniz and Funchal using public transport. There are walks up the hill from the hotel and although some of these are challenging the views are mind blowing. One last point it is very good value especially if booked through Broadway Travel.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PWarbeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2013

We booked to stay here for 7 days through Cooperative Travel and arrived early Monday evening to present our booking vouchers.The double rooms we booked appeared not to be available but we were eventually allocated to more than acceptable(for a 3 star hotel)rooms.Despite the language barrier(none of our party had anything beyond"obrigada" in Portugese!)the staff were friendly and accommodating. It was only on our second evening that the manager informed us that they had no record of our booking and that he'd spent the day trying to contact the voucher helpline number to no avail.It took until the Friday to get sorted but the managers and the staff were helpful and supportive throughout-having read some reviews regarding poor service and unhelpful staff my question is-"How did you treat them??"The location is without doubt absolutely beautiful the hotel is acceptable for a 3 star and we had no complaints during our stay.The food was well presented and we all enjoyed a good range of dishes from the evening buffet and breakfast.We were also able to get freshly prepared coffee from reception in the morning(heaven!)

Room Tip: All the rooms have balconies but the upper floor rooms away from the reception area have the best vi...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Corinne33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
239 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2012

Arriving dripping after a very wet day's hiking (btw, it's wrongly place on Bing maps - it is really to the right, just above the R104 marker) and the reception staff showed no mercy! Whilst the portuguese speaking guests seemed to gain access to a drying room, those of us who didn't actually ask, ended up with wet clothes the next morning ...

The miserable reception staff were symptomatic of a property that seems to rely on its stunning location to pull in the punters. A sign on the reception desk informs guests of likely noise in bedrooms above the function room on Saturday evenings, and thanks them for their understanding!

The bedroom was fine, with a small balcony, and the beds were firm. The bathroom was big but rather tired, and felt like an out of date residencial house, rather than a hotel. However, the bath was very welcome to ease weary limbs after a long day's walking.

With no closeby alternatives to go for dinner, the buffet dinner was good value and ok quality. Breakfast was another reasonably pleasant buffet experience. The lack of any nearby shops means that we had to pay 2 euro for a 1.5 litre bottle of water, which hurt.

Wifi in the reception lounge area was decent quality and free. It was quite a nice area, with people sitting around discussing the previous day's activities, or preparing the next!

But this didn't stop it feeling like this hotel is a nasty place - amazing location, but it needs competition to improve.

Room Tip: If your stay includes a Saturday night, ensure you get a quiet room. Ask to use their drying room i...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank fartoomanyusers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

This is a fairly basic hotel, dont go here expecting luxury but if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life it sits is a fantastic location high up in a beautiful mountain valley. There are loads of fantastic walks right from the door (such as the old royal path) just up the hill where you can walk for hours and have the world to yourself !

Rooms are basic but fantastic value and have everything you need for a mountain escape:- ensuite wc with bath or shower, good size beds, and a TV but best of all is the balcony. You can sit here in the sun with fantasic mountainscape all around you. Take that book that you never find the time to read and lose yourself in the peace and quiet and beautiful surroundings.

The restaurant has the feel of a canteen, and you can eat from a menu or from the buffet, the buffet is not that great but the freshly cooked food is alright and there are lots of wines to choose from too.

The place is fairly basic but is a great place to chill, not luxury but generally peaceful and good for the soul.

Room Tip: Make sure you have a balcony that gets lots of sun
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MSABristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Encumeada

Property: Hotel Encumeada
Address: Feiteiras, Serra d' Agua, Ribeira Brava, Madeira 9350-000, Portugal (Formerly Estalagem Encumeada)
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Ribeira Brava
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Ribeira Brava
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Encumeada 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Estalagem Encumeada Hotel Ribeira Brava
Residencial Encumeada Ribeira Brava
Hotel Encumeada Madeira/Ribeira Brava

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