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!
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- Also Known As:
- Estalagem Encumeada Hotel Ribeira Brava
- Residencial Encumeada Ribeira Brava
- Hotel Encumeada Madeira/Ribeira Brava