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“Extraordinary location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Pico da Urze

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Hotel Pico da Urze
4.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Sitio do Ovil - Paul da Serra, Calheta, Madeira 9370 028, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 9 Calheta B&B and Inns
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Extraordinary location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Set at about 5000 feet above sea level, you will notice the temperature is dramatically lower than at the coast. The Paul da Serra is a National Park and is a beautiful area of the island with plenty of walks and fantastic drives.
Due to the altitude the weather can change very quickly, so do be aware in the winter months that it is not only cold, but often shadowed in cloud, therefore visibility can be poor.
The hotel complex is quite large and well kept, comprising two restaurants with a bar area, although only one is open in the winter. The menu is extensive and the jungle theme will make you smile! Staff are very friendly and the food was excellent.
Our room at the front of the hotel had a moorland view, and although it was cold (there is cental heating but is not that efficient), luckily we managed to find an oil powered radiator which did the trick!
Room had a balcony and in the warmer weather this would be a pleasant place to relax.
At £27 per night this was great value. Breakfast is buffet style with a good selection.
We will return in warmer weather to do more walking.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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76 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Summary:

This is an an unusual spot, with a strange, desolate beauty. For walking, the nearby Paul da Serra nature reserve and the Rabacal Valley with the waterfall is worth the trip.

Pros: Unusual spot; nice quiet hotel, away from it all; great spot for walking; On-site restaurant and bar/grill.
Cons: Small rooms.

We were more or less accidental visitors. We'd booked this hotel thinking it was in the village of Arco da Calheta. We arrived in the village and were naively seeking out our hotel, only to learn that it was another 10km, straight up yet another windy mountain road, right in the middle of the island!

We had to hire a taxi to take us there. The people in the cafe asked why on earth we'd go stay in such a desolate location as the only thing we were likely to see there were ghosts.

Arriving there the place was completely enshrouded in mist. The atmosphere was nothing like the rest of Madeira.

When we arrived we started to wonder what on earth we would do up there for two days as there seemed to be absolutely nothing else around.

As some others have pointed out, it can get quite cool here in the winter. Our room was rather chilly and we had to ask for an extra blankets, but thankfully the staff was able to accommodate our request. If you bring your own hot water bottle you might not regret it.

The room included breakfast which was a basic buffet style. Nothing extravagant, but not bad either. They will do eggs in whatever style you like.

The dining room is done is a jungle theme, which makes the whole place seem even more surreal. Apparently it is popular with families who visit from other parts of the island.

In the evening we discovered the Pastor da Paul bar & grill, a part of the hotel that was a nice place to relax.

I wanted to try 'açorda' soup which is a local specialty made from day-old bread, garlic and some sticks of thyme. Suffice it to say that is was not one of the better things I tasted in Madeira.

The next day we learned that the Rabacal park was only about a twenty minute walk away. We had a fantastic all day walk, down into a sort of gorge with a very nice waterfall. Be sure to pack a lunch for this walk. [note: buy food before you get to the hotel as the only food on-site is in the restaurant.]

If you don't have a car, you'll have to get a taxi to Arco da Calheta or Calheta as there are no buses I know of that come up here.

The hotel does not have a pool, unfortunately.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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barcelona
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

When I arrived there, visibility was about 20 meters, very surrealistic experience. Could not see anything in two days but the fireplace and great restaurant compensated for everything. They know everything about nearby places, very helpful staff. Brilliant place to stay if you're a nature lover. 25 fuentes walk is just a couple of minutes away from the hotel - loved it a lot. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Funchal, Portugal
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

In such a picturesque place, we had high expectations. The room was clean and confortable, the reception staff was friendly and the sights where marvelous! On the other hand, the restaurant staff where a bit arrogant during breakfast, which was nonetheless accompanied by plenty of flies. Also the tv's remote control wasn't working.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Norwich
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

Most people will realise that this hotel is quite isolated so if you're not planning to eat on site suggest trying elsewhere. As a result would suggest that 3-4 days is maximum and would allow most levada walks in the vicinity to be tackled. Staff friendly, room as expected of a 4 star place and restaurant pretty good (but jungle themed animated animals might not appeal to all !).
Lack of internet in rooms was about the only general negative although during our stay the "internet cafe" had no internet at all ! (Has worked in the past but was down for our 3 day stay).

Room Tip: Room 7 has "public" computer room opposite so can get a bit noisy if guests are "Skyp...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield, cheshire, UK
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

We wanted a place that was convenient for walking. We did not want a typical tourist/package place. Here we found it, a small (about 30 rooms) quiet and attractive hotel Situated at approximately 1400 metres above sea level (approx 4600 ft) and with a view of the sea,clouds permitting, we could not wish for more. Visiting for a week mid March, temperatures were on the low side, around 10 C at midday, which was up to 10 C less than the coastal areas. It was an ideal spot for the western half of Madeira, which is the less sophisticated half. The hotel itself was very clean and comfortable, the only downside was it was slightly cold for those of us who are more used to high central heated homes. Otherwise I would have rated this 5. The staff were excellent, very helpful and friendly and made us very welcome. This gave a lovely personal touch.

The cafe at the side and also part of the hotel, was a very pleasant place to enjoy a well earned beer at the end of a day's walking.

The restaurant was furnished as a jungle feature which was quirky, but completely different. The food was was good, particularly the calf steak done on a hot stone on the table.

A car was essential being about an hour away from the airport. The drive up interesting and could be nerve wracking for a person of a nervous disposition, but this would apply to anybody driving around Madeira particularly along the northern coast. It is probably cheaper to book your car before going. Hire a car more powerful than the basic - we had a VW Golf 1.2 which really was underpowered for the hills.

There are several good walks of different grades in the vicinity, some within 5 minutes of the hotel. One of the most beautiful is the 25 Fontes.

The crux is would we stay there again, we certainly would.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

My partner and I stayed at the Hotel Pico Da Urze for a week in April 2011. I specifically chose this hotel because it had good reviews, was centrally located for touring the island and seemed quite good value in comparison to the cost of many other hotels and quintas.

We did arrange car hire in advance and thought it would be reasonably easy to get around. Luckily we did not go for the smallest engine size as, once we got off the main motorway from the airport, it appeared that the road up to the hotel was incredibly steep and I think we would really have struggled with a 1.1 engine! There was ample parking for guests at the hotel.

The drive up to the hotel was straightforward and the directions were easy to follow. However, having driven half way up the island, the clouds and mist descended on us and the temperature dropped significantly, despite the weather having been glorious a little further down the road. We had been prepared for cooler weather given the time of year.

The hotel was very remote but also very calm and quiet with very little traffic. There were no other hotels or restaurants which were very close although there was some other less formal grill style restaurant on site although we did not eat there during our stay.

Check in was smooth and swift. The staff were courteous and professional and we were shown to our room. The hotel was a little cold and drafty with spots of damp etc which made it feel a little unloved.

I cannot recall the number of the room we stayed in but it was up the stairs and the first room on the left. The room itself was compact but had everything we needed with ensuite bathroom and a balcony which looked out across the island (well so were told but the mist and cloud were so bad we couldn’t see beyond the wall of the balcony).

The room felt a little cold and damp initially but when we tried to put the heating on it appeared that the radiator was not working and that this may have been the cause, we called down to reception and a staff member was called to assist. The handyman was called and the radiator was fixed immediately with no further problems and the room soon heated up.

There were no complimentary tea and coffee making facilities but we were able to take tea and coffee from the restaurant up to our room. We decided to explore the hotel and noted that there was a communal seating area with big comfy chairs and a fire, board games and also internet access with two PCs available for guests. We never had to fight for or wait to use the PCs and there was always plenty of space to go and sit in the communal area. There was also a small shop within the hotel grounds, although this did not appear to be open whilst we were there, selling the usual maps, postcards and trinkets.

Rather than driving back down to the coast for dinner on our first evening we stayed and ate at the Jungle Rain restaurant which was connected to the hotel and didn’t require us to go out in the cold and rain. We did eat at the restaurant twice during our stay and this was also where breakfast is served.

We subsequently found out that the restaurant is well known on the island as being child friendly - it became clear during our meal on the first evening - when the music seemed to change to jungle noises and the models of jungle animals dotted around started moving and making noises - quite bizarre particularly as it seemed that it could be switched on at will by the staff and there were no children in the restaurant on this first evening. That said, the staff were very attentive, knowledgeable about the menu and also the wine. The food was very good as well as the home made desserts!! hmmmm

Our first night was comfortable although the beds were slightly hard, outside was very quiet aside from the raging winds which were going on outside and which we were worried we might have every night - they only actually lasted for the first two nights after which we slept soundly.

The breakfast was excellent, varied and with plenty to choose from on the buffet from freshly baked bread to cereals and fruit, yoghurts and also a hot buffet with eggs and omelettes available on request.

We had a fabulous time on the island, touring the coast, and were very surprised when on the fourth day, as we travelled back up to our hotel from the coast, driving through the usual mist and not being able to see more than 40 feet ahead, suddenly the clouds cleared and we realised there was a wind farm by the side of the road which we had not even noticed! We were actually above the clouds which had moved slightly down the mountain. We were able to take advantage of the beautiful views and sit on our balcony for the evening (albeit with a blanket).

As the weather at the top of the island was improving we were also able to do the walk down to Rabacal which was very close to the hotel.

In all our stay at the hotel was basic but comfortable, it was well located for travelling around the island and the staff were very helpful and pleasant.

The only issue we did have was after we left. I accidentally left my camera battery charger in the room, I contacted the hotel to check that it was there and asked whether it was possible for it to be sent to me and that if they let me know the cost of doing so I would transfer the money to them/pay by card in advance so they would not be out of pocket and whilst the hotel responded initially, they suggested that I needed to send a courier all the way to the hotel to collect it (?!?!) surely they must send correspondence from the hotel or someone must travel down to Funchal on hotel business? After suggesting I send a courier (which was clearly not going to be possible given the remoteness and location of the hotel), the hotel did not correspond further and I have still not had the charger back.

Room Tip: A better view can be had from one of the rooms overlooking the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Pico da Urze

Address: Sitio do Ovil - Paul da Serra, Calheta, Madeira 9370 028, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Calheta
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Calheta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Pico da Urze 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the scenic surroundings of the Madeira mountains, this 4-star hotel offers rooms with private balconies. It has a jungle-themed restaurant with simulated fog and special sound effects. Hotel Pico Da Urze provides an easy access to many picturesque locations including Porto Moniz, less than 25 km away. Guests can also enjoy hiking in one of the largest laurel forests in the world. Decorated in warm and uplifting colours, all rooms at Hotel Pico Da Urze - Paul Da Serra come with work desks and satellite TV. Traditional Madeiran and Portuguese cuisine is served at the Jungle Rain restaurant, which specialises in meat dishes. Guests can enjoy a variety of drinks at the hotel's pub. Pico Da Urze Hotel is conveniently located just 45 minutes' drive from Funchal and 1 hour's drive from Madeira Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Pico Da Urze Calheta, Madeira

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