This is a large, modern hotel on the western edge of the city centre. It has an excellent bus service from outside the door or takes about 20-30 minutes to walk.
The reception desk is rather dark and staff were efficient rather than friendly. They didn’t warn us about needing the key card to work the lift. This has to be scanned against the reader when and it automatically tells the lift which floor to go to. The lift refuses to over if you don’t do this which led to many confused looks when people first tried to use the lift and the doors kept opening again and again at the ground floor….
There is a large lounge with big chairs you sink into and are almost impossible to get out of. The bar is beyond. The dining room is beyond this and on the first floor.
Outside is the sun deck with loungers and swimming pool. The loungers were always popular but there were few people swimming. There is also a spa but I didn’t explore this.
I was given a twin room on the fifth floor overlooking the back of the hotel. It was adequate for one but would have been very cramped for two. In fact there was only room for one wicker ‘comfy’ chair, which wasn’t that comfortable. I had to push the beds well over towards the wall before I could open the wardrobe door. There was no space to put my suitcase so it ended up in the bottom of the wardrobe. There was plenty of hanging space although hangers fell off the hooks as soon as I put anything on them. They needed to be replaced. Furniture and particularly the desk had seen better days too and were looking a bit sad.
The bed was comfortable and the thin duvet surprisingly warm. There were extra blankets in wardrobe.
There was a flat screen TV and kettle and cups provided but no tea, coffee or milk… There were a limited number of plugs in the room and not always in the most convenient locations. I had to unplug the TV and fridge if I wanted to charge phone and camera batteries at the same time.
Unlike the bedroom, there was plenty of space in bathroom which had a very effective over the bath shower and even had a bidet. Soap and shower gel were provided. Bath towels were large but a bit thin, although they did dry well. A bonus was the generous bath robe.
There are no carpets in corridors and there could be quite a bit of noise from them. Also it was impossible to shut the door quietly as it had to be slammed to shut. This could be noisy when every one was heading to breakfast at the same time.
The dining room is small for the size of the hotel and there are two sittings for dinner to accommodate all the guests. On arrival, we were allocated a sitting and table for dinner. I was part of a large group and rather than sitting us at large tables, we were allocated separate tables. Being a single I was given a table well away from the rest of the group (who were placed by the windows) and was tucked in a back corner by the wall. Along with the room, this did rather make me wonder if this this hotel treats singles as second class citizens.
Breakfast is free sitting and it could get crowded if there were a couple of big groups both wanting feeding at the same time. I learned to take a sweater down with me to claim a seat. otherwise you could end up wandering round clutching fruit juice etc trying to find somewhere to sit.
Meals were style with plenty of choice. The breakfast was excellent with fresh fruit, cold meats, cheese, salad, and good range of hot breakfast. There was a good range of rolls and bread as well as cakes.
Dinners were themed with a different theme each night – Madeiran, Portuguese, Italian, Oriental or South American. Again it was plentiful with loads of choice from either hot or cold, plus the chefs speciality cooked to order. Deserts were to die for, alternatively there was fresh fruit or cheese.
I have very mixed views about this hotel. Usually I’m a half full rather than half empty person and I still can’t make up my mind which one this is.
All my pictures of Madeira are “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/madeira/index.html