This is a very particular type of hotel. Its very avant garde by the standard of most hotels I have ever stayed in. I would say it won’t be the cup of tea of everyone.
It’s been mentioned by other reviewers that the hotel sits above a shopping mall with the entrance to the hotel being shared with the mall. Unusual to say the least, but once up the stairs or taking the private lifts (room key card for all floors except reception) you know you are in an unusual hotel. First thing I noticed was the cobbled floor in reception and outside the lifts on every floor. A bit odd pulling your wheeled suitcase across it!
The lounge sitting area next to reception is very modern and hardly used which I didn’t find surprising. It just didn’t seem to have the atmosphere of a lounge to sit in for any length of time. The dining area next to the lounge was well laid out and tables were well separated. This is where half-board and breakfast (both buffet style) are taken. We enjoyed the food and ambience. Service was very friendly and good. Most staff spoke good English and at least one other language.
The roof top terrace though makes up completely for the lounge. A truly wonderful open area with comfortable seating and a bar to order drinks and food. Loungers for sun worshippers, plus slightly separated outside eating tables for the swish restaurant that shares the roof.
The pool is up here on the roof and you can see the complete skyline of Funchal from every part of the roof including from standing in the pool. The view of the harbour, sea and mountains is uninterrupted from every angle and is great in the day and even better at night with all the lights of the town and any cruise liner berthed in the harbour shining away. The Harbour is just a short 5 minute walk away.
We had one of the bigger suites with a bathtub in the room opposite the bed. A large floor to ceiling glassed shower with a fabulous waterfall style of poured water and a really odd sink and faucet arrangement which is style over substance and took me days to work out how fill for shaving purposes! The lighting and other controls took some playing with but once you try them out it became easier to use. There was a button for getting your room serviced, but seems to be ignored by housekeeping. The room was made up at very different times while we stayed there.
A final good point is that the hotel is in the town, so much closer to the action than the many beach type hotels outside the town and great for coffee and cake.
If you like things a bit quirky and you prefer being in the action (though not in a noisy spot) then you would like this hotel. We’re planning another trip to the island and we will definitely stay here again. Can’t say better than that!