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“Beautiful but rather impractical” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Vine, a divine hotel

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The Vine, a divine hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua dos Aranhas 27A, Funchal, Madeira 9000-044, Portugal   |  
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Ranked #18 of 91 hotels in Funchal
West Sussex, England
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful but rather impractical”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We were upgraded to a superior deluxe room without having to ask, and all the gadgets were fully explained to us- where the touch buttons were for the lights, curtains etc. The room was beautiful, but the one downside was it was so dark- us ladies like to be able to see our faces when putting on makeup and doing our hair, please note! The corner where the safe and mini bar was located was in darkness day and night, and several times I nearly tripped over the step up into the bath ( which, incidentally, is behind the bed!). Other niggles, included no toilet roll holder in the loo, the wash basin was highly decorative black marble with a waterfall tap, but you couldn't get more than 2 inches of water in it before it overflowed! Breakfast was very good, and we ate twice at the UMA restaurant on the top floor, which was fantastic. The staff are amazing, so polite and helpful, you couldn't better them.

Room Tip: Double glazing not brilliant so try to avoid the entrance to the shopping mall.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Lisbon, Portugal
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

It's not a "bad" hotel; it would be a very good 4* hotel, but as a 5* it needs to correct a few things.

The good:
- price: we got a good deal for the 4 nights we stayed at The Vine (we stayed in one of the suites); in comparison with the other 5* hotels in town the price is good;
- breakfast: good breakfast with nice service;
- the rooftop pool / lounge area: very nice if the weather permits;
- the location: right in the center of town. No need to book taxis to walk around town (10 min. walk to the "old town");
- free access to the gym (Holme's Place)

The "not so good":
- service: we arrived early in the morning... we managed to check in around 9h30 in the morning, but we asked if we could have breakfast and we were told we couldn't. It's a small thing, a detail, but nonetheless, in terms of "service" vs. "cost for the hotel" I don't think they would lose much by having said yes;
- more service: one of the nights we didn't feel like going out to dinner. The rooftop restaurant is "gourmet" and we didn't want a 5 course meal. We went the the other restaurant and asked if we could dine... we couldn't as it was only for "half board" guests. We ended up asking for room service. The food was reasonable, but it was not a good service experience;
- the room: we booked a suite and we were under the impression that it had a separate "area" to rest or work which would not be in the actual bedroom. It turns out the extra area is in front of the bed and has no space;
- the lighting: we consider ourselves reasonably "techy", but the lighting sistem is a bit complex, especially if one needs to get up in the middle of the night;
- the sound: the walls don't appear to be too thick; you can hear the next door neighbours at times;
- in room facilities / amenities: these are details but for a 5* hotel make a difference:
. no replacement of bath soap, shower gel, cotton buds, etc. during the 4 nights),
. some corners need painting, correction, etc. (not a lot, but if you're attentive to detail you'll see them);
. the bathroom leaks water out (isolation is not that good), the towels are in a rack outside the bathroom and away from the lavatory (again, details)
. not enough plugs to connect phone chargers, laptops, etc.
A few more details...

Spa and the restaurant(s): we didn't use them.

All round: it's ok... if they corrected the "details" and the "service" I wouldn't mind going back (and even paying more).

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I was not a resident at the hotel but was warmly welcomed at the basement spa for a treatment package which included the use of the relaxing room with a huge jacuzzi and a steam room. The treatments were first class and I was not rushed out afterwards but encouraged to relax with a glass of delicious red vine tea. I returned a few days later for a facial, which was very good and the products used were excellent. I will return for another holiday treat when I next visit Funchal.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham UK
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Stayed for a long weekend and was pleased with our choice. Location in Central Funchal is great for walking to shops and restaurants. No grounds but the roof top pool area has wonderful views, is relaxed and a comfortable place to read and laze.

Our room was great- very stylish but does take a while to get used to some of the mod-cons. Where are those light/blinds switches??? As with a lot of ultra stylish places there is sometimes a danger of style over substance. Such as the 'tables' in the lobby area where we had a coffee one day- the silver rocks are wonderful until you try to balance a cup on them!

Staff were always friendly and helpful and breakfast was high quality and varied.

Only one frustration- that was the wifi- every time you used it you had to log in once again - with a complex password which was tiresome when you have phones, tablets etc to check. Really does need to be sorted.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

We travelled to Madeira for my wife's birthday celebration she guessed at the airport where we were going but had no idea on the hotel.

You arrive outside a shopping centre and there is no obvious sign for a hotel. Once in the centre doors with our cases a concierge appeared and escorted us to the lift and up to reception.

The design theme and philosophy grabs your attention as soon as you leave the lift and continues throughout the hotel. It is not to everyone's taste I know but we loved it.

Our room on the 4th floor was spacious very comfortable and well equipped with great shower and bath. The lighting system took a little while to work out so perhaps a bit clearer information on that would help. The blackout blinds are very effective.

The restaurant on the same floor as reception was good for a filling breakfast but the evening meal we had on our first night was mediocre at best. Fortunately we were able to dine at UVA the rooftop Michelin starred restaurant on the other nights we were in Funchal (see separate review) which is excellent.

We had Spa treatments which were very good quality if a little on the pricy side compared to the UK but you pay for the ambience as well as the treatment so overall we were happy with them.

The shopping centre was convenient and useful as well as not having to get wet, the city centre is only a few minutes walk away with its shops, cafes and restaurants we particularly liked The Ritz.

About 25 minute stroll away is the old town and fort museum where we had a lovely lunch at The Fort restaurant (see separate review). From the old town area it is easy to catch the cable car to Monte Palace Gardens and then a second cable car to the Botanic Gardens a bit more expensive possibly than a taxi but far more enjoyable.

Previously we had stayed in the Zona Turistica in Funchal and my wife did not like it greatly this time she loved it and I doubt we would stay anywhere else if and when we return in the future.

Room Tip: Higher floors are better.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dublin
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

The Vine Hotel is architecturally first class and has great facilities all round particularly the rooftop pool area. Also, its reception team are about the most helpful and friendly I have ever met. I want to say a special thank you to Ana Marques in particular who was so helpful with email responses to queries in advance of my visit and gave us a lovely upgraded room on arrival and was so kind throughout our visit.

Breakfast was very good but service was slow for items ordered from the menu. However, the selection of foods on self service was faultless and of the highest quality.

The bedrooms are ultra modern and also of the highest standard. However, many elements in the room need closer attention from a comfort standpoint i.e. the night stand ledge beside the bed, a simple guide on how to manage the lighting system and the temperature of the fridge which was barely lower than lukewarm. Other housekeeping matters were stains on sideboard (which could easily be treated) and the toilet door which grated off the stone floor. But when we brought the door problem to the attention of the hotel it was fixed immediately.

The hotel location is superb but my greatest praise is reserved for the pool area on roof. It is simply outstanding and sunbathing there during our holiday was an infinite pleasure, what with the comfort of the day beds, the jacuzzi, infinity pool, ultra luxurious changing rooms and towels and of course the magnificent view.

The bar area off the lobby needs more comfortable seating and more atmosphere if it is to attract evening custom.

The two occasions we had dinner at Uma were a big disappointment, I fail to understand how this restaurant receives such good reviews and has a Michelin star. Service was anything but good but the food was amongst the worst I have ever had. But the lunches we had at the pool which would have come from the Uma kitchens were outstanding so its hard to reconcile the different standards between lunch and dinner.

The spa experience was also very good and a really fab jacuzzi.

All round a very good hotel but the food at Uma, the seating in the bar area and service at breakfast need urgent attention as they are negatively impacting on what is otherwise a very good hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herts, UK
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Fun to go to this 'funky' hotel for drinks and dinner. We were staying elsewhere.
Staff were all excellent and very friendly.

We went for the four course tasting menu at UVA. I made better choices than my wife and enjoyed dinner. Starter was excellent, but the later fish, meat and dessert courses lacked a little finesse if a michelin star is sought.

It's funny how by setting up expectations through the publicity I have scored 4 as I felt it didn't quite meet the offer. Whereas if they had positioned and piced the offer a bit lower I would have been pleasantly surprised and gone up to 5.

Overall a very pleasant evening. Good food, great location. Recommend a visit.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 The Vine, a divine hotel

Address: Rua dos Aranhas 27A, Funchal, Madeira 9000-044, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Funchal
#13 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#17 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#19 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#20 Family Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Vine, a divine hotel 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A hotel with soul, just like a good wine. The Vine is sophisticated and luxurious. With a touch of simplicity and discretion, just the way you like it. A dip in the panoramic pool, a vino-therapy session in the spa or a gourmet dinner with a view over the city: these are just a few of the pleasures awaiting you at The Vine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Vine, a Divine Hotel Hotel Funchal
Vine a Divine Funchal
The Vine, a Divine Hotel Madeira/Funchal

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