Other reviews have said "tired", well I'd say "exhausted" in places. The whole interior, particularly the public areas, looks like it could do with an overhaul.
Decor cheap-looking and sometimes tacky, chairs old and faded ... take a walk around Reids, that's five star too. But proper five star: the Madeira Regency Palace looks just about a three star.
Much of the problem was with Thomas Cook: "close to town centre" means an hour's walk or a ride on a courtesy bus (one every hour) with a surly (but not rude) driver, which you have to book in advance because there are only eight seats. Shame if you miss it on the way back (no we didn't, but saw others who had, and couldn't get on the next one).
We were quoted internet access in the rooms but you actually have to sit out in the lobby where the "public" access is available.
We booked a suite, which was actually a double room divided into two by a partition wall, making both rooms very small.
Beds were unbelievably hard, which they tried to rectify with a huge (almost as hard) foam cover that was much too big for the bed, but we took it because that's all they had.
Some towels were theadbare at the edges, there were no bath robes, and the "shower" was a hand attachment which wouldn't stay in its holder on the wall.
We were also told that the hotel is directly on the sea: in fact there are buildings behind the hotel which obscure the sea view, and you need to find your way to a lift at the edge of the grounds to make the long descent down to the (very rocky) beach. But I guess they can't help the rocks ...
OK, what about the restaurant ? Food was batch-cooked for the buffet and was on the whole very mediocre, sometimes undercooked from frozen, with an occasional option of disgusting sludge. Chairs strained at their overloaded joints: they had suffered for too long (I guess it's the "all you can eat" which turns people into gluttons). The music was usually overpowering and very distracting. Lots of Russian guests with unfriendly faces talking in load voices. Couples only hotel ? That's what we were told but there were a few families with overtired kids in the evening, not terrible, but they shouldn't say one thing and do another. Or was this just Thomas Cook again ?
This was a much needed "rest" holiday: I had no energy to kick off about it all, though we made our point at times, but we quickly got to the point where we were just laughing at the dreadfulness of it all. We spent our days in Funchal and sometimes ate out in the evening.
No, it wasn't all bad (oh, really?) The breakfasts were surprisingly good (we didn't risk a lunch though) and, as you would expect with a Portugese resort, the staff were hard working, eager to please, and utterly lovable. It's a shame they have to work here.
Would we go again ? Oh, come on ...
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- Also Known As:
- Madeira Regency Palace Hotel Funchal
- Regency Hotel Funchal
- Regency Resort Funchal
- Madeira Regency Palace Funchal