The hotel staff were excellent, very friendly and helpful. The air conditioned room was clean, the bed was lovely, and the room lighting controls were ‘interesting’ but not unfathomable. We stayed in a deluxe superior room (409) overlooking the front entrance of the hotel (and the shopping centre that it is built on top of.) We switched the air con off and had the window open every night - the street noise was just about ok, but that was Christmas week – it would be busier in the summer. As you walk into the shopping center there is a lift on your left, this takes you to the public reception and terrace, and with a key card you can access the bedroom levels.
The loo and shower rooms had smoked glass walls and typical Madeiran pebble stone floors – dark and attractive but nothing that absorb sounds which then echoed within the room. The room floors were not carpeted - cool and less dust for those with allergies.
The room safe had a plug socket in it. This was useful to leave items on charge - camera batteries/phones/iPad whilst out (the safe door also had a notice warning of the possible danger of suffocation– had to laugh given the size!) It was difficult to see inside the safe as it was above my head height (1.5m) so we put a small box into the safe to put valuables/credit cards in.
We enjoyed a great breakfast every day at the hotel. There is a small outside tabled area which we used once for breakfast, but were put off by others who smoked during their meals – each to their own, but we then ate inside.
The breakfast restaurant also serves meals to those on half board (which we were not.) The main restaurant is accessed via a lift to the roof terrace, it has stunning views and is open to both residents and the public. The roof terrace is also where the swimming pool/pool bar are and as we found out you can be sat there on a Sunday afternoon sunbathing, and local people dressed in their finest walk out of the lift doors, round the terrace and into the restaurant for their lunch reservation. This is not a bad thing, but I did feel a little ‘on show’ at one point with young children and grandparents taking in all the views on the terrace on Dec 26th prior to their meal!
I had read in previous articles about private parties using the roof terrace and made a point when we checked in on the Saturday of asking if any private parties were booked, and was assured none were. However, that night the roof terrace restaurant was booked for a party of 20 people! There was no restaurant space and we were offered food on the terrace from the bar menu (Chicken Caesar salad and very nice.)
We ate in the main restaurant on Christmas day – there was no vegetarian main course option. My partner’s food was fine, mine was refunded.
After this and even though it is Michelin starred restaurant, we chose to eat several times in one of the local restaurants just 3 minutes walk from the hotel and to be found at the back of the large garden opposite The Ritz.
The shopping center beneath the hotel has 3 floors and the lowest has a supermarket which is open till 2300hrs – useful for shampoo if you don’t want to pack it. Talking of which - the hairdryer in the room over heated and cut out several times after only a few minutes – wish I had taken my own.
We used the indoor steam room and Jacuzzi, but not the spa massage facilities. The gym was excellent and was free to residents – my partner uses a gym at home daily and was very happy with the range of free weights/treadmills etc at this one. He forgot his training shoes, but a trip to the shopping center downstairs soon sorted that out.
We chose to have a taxi from the airport to the hotel = €35, but on the way back we walked across the road from the shopping center to the SAM bus station and paid €6 to take the local bus to the airport.
Rooms facing the atrium are probably quieter. but Room 409 facing the front was great for people wat...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.