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“AWESOME HOTEL.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay)

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The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay)
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Estrada Monumental, 147, Funchal, Madeira 9004-532, Portugal   |  
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Ranked #2 of 91 hotels in Funchal
Huddersfield
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“AWESOME HOTEL.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

This is our second visit to The Cliff Bay. In my opinion it is Madeira's best kept secret. Speak to any of the local taxi drivers or businesses, and they will tell you this is the one and only place to stay when visiting Madeira.
Never mind the fancy smancy well known names, this place is a must do, and should be on everyone's "bucket list".
It never fails to relax you and leave you with the warm, comfortable, snugly feeling deep inside.
The food is incredible, half board is a must, or book bed & breakfast and buy discounted meal vouchers for 3 or 5 meals in the restaurant when you get there, but you must eat here, its divine.
The staff at The Cliff Bay are very welcoming and want you to enjoy your stay, they want you to return, as most of their customers do, time and time again.
The rooms are out of this world, nearly all have a sea view, we paid slightly more this year for a view of the harbour to watch the fireworks on New Years Eve and to watch the cruise ships, but even the rose garden/sea view rooms are breathtaking.(these rooms get the afternoon sun, the bay view rooms get the morning sun).
Ask about a free guided tour of the hotel, spa or kitchen, no area is off limits, they are proud of their 'product'.
The staff here allow each and every guest to enjoy their own small piece of heaven for the time they are a hotel guest.
As we drove away for the airport we both shed a tear. The Island, the people and The Cliff Bay, a perfect recipe, trust me, get it booked.

Room Tip: Bay view provides sun first thing on a morning, rose garden/sea view provides sun in the afternoon...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (414)
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Guernsey C.I.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We must have been there around the same time as the reviewer Suddy - similar experience really, the slightest of hiccups as a consequence of completing an extensive refurbishment but it was certainly worth it as the rooms are superb and the management were extremely accommodating in resolving difficulties. The staff could not be more helpful and were all clearly proud of their hotel. The nicest touch was New Years Eve when the staff all mingled and danced with the guests during the fireworks display . I beg you not to go half board or God forbid full board as the food is so good at the buffet you'll put on half a stone (as I did) but you can't really blame the hotel for that. Pool facilities are great at sea level - there's a "no reservation" policy for sun beds so you don't get the usual books on sunbeds malarkey - plenty of room for everybody. There's a well equipped gym, town centre is a short walk. Some of the live bands were on the cusp of cheesiness IMHO but it actually suited the cruise vibe. In short we went to Madeira to do a bit of walking and sightseeing but did neither as the hotel was that good we were happy to mooch about there !

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

Spent last week of November here, and everything as enjoyable as on previous stays. This was stay number eleven, and this is the only place we've ever returned to, although it had been 2 years since there last. Dinner at Gallo d'Oro was food heaven. Refurb work was starting whilst we were there, so looking forward to seeing results some time in 2013.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We have just returned from yet another excellent holiday in the Cliff Bay Hotel. On arrival, it was rather disconcerting to be told that the hotel had just reopened that day, after a two week shut-down for refurbishment (not advised by our Travel Agent!), and that our room was not yet ready. However, in true Cliff Bay style, we were invited to have a bite to eat in the Cliff Bar, while we were waiting. In due course, we were personally taken to our room by a member of the management team, where our luggage had already been delivered.
Over the next few days, the final refurbishment was obviously still taking place, as could be heard through various drilling and knocking noises. However, all noise stopped at about 16:00 hours every day, as promised by Reception. Apparently to ensure that the Rose Garden Restaurant was completed as soon as possible, the team worked 24 hours per day. None of this was noticeable to us as guests. Until it was available, all guests were accommodated in the Il Gallo d'Oro Michelin Star restaurant for all meals.
After 5 days all was apparently back to normality and, as the guest numbers started to increase, the normal Christmas activities fell into place just in time.
Throughout all of this time we were very well looked after with gifts of Champagne and letters of apology from the Management team who were always visible and available for comment. I must also comment on the diligence of our local Travel Agent Team member, who was constantly on hand to advise and accept any comments. He then proceeded to negotiate a discount on our miscellaneous bill, as a further acknowledgement of the disruption to our holiday.
The remainder of the two weeks went absolutely without a hitch, and the weather was especially helpful by being sunny and warm. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for the fireworks this year, due to our flying day being a Monday, but once again, Cliff Bay, Funchal and Madeira proved to be an excellent holiday experience.
We hope to see all of you again next year and to renew our friendships with the staff at all locations.

Room Tip: Ask for a Funchal Harbour View Room to watch the activities
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  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, Manager at The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay), responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for your feedback and for once again having chosen our hotel. The Cliff Bay made a major upgrade in many of our existing facilities especially around the pool areas and gardens. I do apologize for any minor disruptions in the re-opening but I am very pleased that we under such short time of closure manages to upgrade our two pools, remake our spa, make an outdoor Jacuzzi, update 80 bathroom, update telephone system, air conditioning as well as making some very difficult exterior painting.
We hope that this update will further enhance our product and continue to offer excellence in service and facilities.
Hoping to be able to welcome you back again in 2013.
With kindest regards,

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

we stayed a week at this grand hotel, including over the Christmas period. It is marketed as a 5 star hotel and it is clearly for the more discerning clientelle. Its position is as the name suggests right on a cliff edge and it has stunning views across to Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean. It is set in lovely grounds, with immaculately maintained gardens with a variety of flowers - never thought I would see roses in full bloom on Christmas Day! One tip I would give for travellers, always opt for the sea view - it costs extra but it is worth it. From you balcony you will be able to witness sunrise over the ocean. The so-called "garden or mountain view" rooms are a big disappointment as they actually look on to nothing other than other buildings and hotels nearby.
The hotel is airy with marble and stone in abundance, lofty ceilings, and elegant fittings. It clearly caters to an older generation, at least in the winter months as it is a place to go if you want piece and relaxation. It does not have the buzz of a Washington or New York city hotel - you go to the Cliff bay to relax and the staff certainly do their best to help you achieve that.

Service, as befitting a 5 start hotel is excellent, The staff are attentive, well mannered and smart, and well groomed. My only criticism of the service was that at the end of the gala dinner on Christmas Eve, they were rushing us so that they could prepare for breakfast the following day.
The food at the hotel is generally of a very high quality. There are two main eateries, the Gallo D'Oro, is a very highly rated restaurant, If you come on a package via a travel agent you are most likely to eat at the other restaurant, the Rose Garden. Still does good food. Both are pricey - you are looking at in excess of 30 euros per head. The buffets offer a huge variety of dishes and you are in danger of filling up on these even before your main course arrives. The setting of both restaurants affords great views to the sea. It was warm enough to take breakfast outside on the verandah amongst palm trees and gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Breakfast was a feast and I would have given it 5 out of 5 rating if the hot buffet was not a let down. The fruit selection was absolutely delightful, a real feast for your eyes and taste buds. There was also a huge selection of fresh breads and cakes to munch through. But the hot buffet was sub-standard for a hotel of this class. Whoever cooked the bacon could not make up his mind whether to make it american-style ie crispy which is great, or English style. So it was just a greasy heap. My advice to the hotel would be to make it crispy - the type of bacon used lends itself better to that. The sausages were the more of the tasteless frankfurter type rather than genuine English-style sausages. Mushrooms were the standard tasteless type you get in mass catering in every hotel in every country of the world, I've been too.My advice to the hotel would be either get some local flavoursome mushrooms or don't bother..
The room we had was amazingly spacious, with a huge double bed - felt like 2 three foot beds put together. There was also a 2 seater sofa, another lounge chair as well as a table to work on. Free wi-fi is standard and connection is a doddle as there is no irritating set up or passwords you have to go through. Broadband speed is average, not the fastest Ive ever had but neither the slowest. The signal seems to be good as far as the outdoor pool, so you can sun yourself and play on the internet at the same time. Our room also had a balcony with an excellent view. The air conditioning in the room, which you do need, was very effective and we had it on most of the day [even when we were out to keep the room cool]. The cupboards the room were great too - plenty of hangers, no fighting over them [us guys always lose out don't we?]. Bathroom was standard. Room was very clean when we got there but deteriorated as the week progressed which made us question how effective the daily cleaning was. For example, in the shower cubicle, empty shampoo bottles and used flannels were left there, and the cubicle itself was beginning to look a little grimy by the end of the week. So I would mark the hotel down for that.
Room service - this was very efficient and excellent presentation. One night we ordered room service as we were too tired to go out. The menu was limited in choice, but the quality of what we ordered was good.
Swimming pools - you are spoilt for choice - we tended to stay by the indoor/outdoor pool which was heated, but for those more brave there were other unheated outdoor pools to explore. Around the pool there were plenty of loungers so no need to fight for them or get there at the crack of dawn to lay your towel on one as some seasoned tourists are reputed to do.
Christmas Gala Meal - If I have a gripe is the Christmas gala meal which takes place on 24th December. Firstly, if you book through a travel agent, it is compulsory,a nd for a family of four it can be very expensive [I believe we paid in excess of 100 euros per head, maybe 120]. The gala consisted of a 6 course meal in the Rose Garden restaurant. There was a dress code for entry - jackets and ties for men. Everyone looked quiet resplendent in their finery. There was a glass of champagne on entry and each guest had a designated table so no fighting to get the best seat. There was a string band playing mainly classical music for most of the night and this added to the ambience. What let it down for me was the choice of menu and attention to detail. I might be wrong, but I was not aware that we had a choice of menu so the first course was pate de fois gras, and some of us felt uncomfortable eating food which had been derived from force feeding a poor goose. I think the hotel should have given us a choice - I would certainly not have had it!. The next course some sort of bean soup, hmm! Well I asked myself why they bothered, 3 spoonfuls if you are lucky. The fish course was sea bass, which was delicious, no complaints there. I guess with mass catering it is difficult to serve everyone at the same time and I felt that some tables were already on to their next course before we had finished our previous one. Wine flowed throughout the evening but the extent of how much you drank was decided by how attentive your waiter was - some tables did better than others. The main course was duck [excellent] and this vertical column which turned out to be mashed turkey. Sure it tasted fine, but I like my turkey to look like turkey not like a mobile phone mast. And that in away was what this "fine dining" all about - high on presentation, good taste. I think the menu was chosen for the chef to show off., and he certainly did that. So, to attention to detail, at 100+euros per head I expect the service to be excellent, it was not. As I said whether your wine and water glass was topped up was down to the waiter and we had to make ours aware that our glasses needed filling up. Secondly, when for example, petit fours were being served this came in a small bowl. But they served the same bowl regardless of size of table, One bowl, if there was one, two, four or more diners - hey we all paid the same price, so those on tables of four were in effect getting less of a deal than those with two or one diners. Minor point but attention to detail. When coffee came it was one cup and that was it, teh waiters were hot footing it to get the tables ready for breakfast - hmm.
In summary, a very comfortable hotel to stay in with stunning views. Service for the most part is excellent. A great place to relax, you do not feel hassled. A few minor niggly things and if these were sorted I'd give it 5 stars.

Room Tip: Choose a sea view - the other views are disappointing.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay), responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for your complete feedback regarding your stay at our hotel. I am very pleased that your overall impression was a favorable one. I have taken careful note of the points that you recommend as possible improvements and we will do our very best to further enhance our product.
Hoping of the pleasure to welcome you back to Madeira and The Cliff Bay.
With kindest regards and wishes for a nice 2013,

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

We have just returned from a fortnights holiday at the Cliff Bay and we were delighted with our stay. How can anyone fault this hotel, the location gives you the option of either walking to the new promenade or into Funchal and the marina. The hotel itself is clean and spacious, as were the pool areas. A surfeit of sunbeds and parasols and plenty of space so that you were never cramped. We had a delightful seaview room and also a garden view overlooking the terrace. The two double beds were exceptional quality and we also had tea & coffee making facilities in the room.Everything on the buffet you could think of and more. The buffet was always full and there was a good selection of fresh fruits, cereals, breads, jams, cheese, smoked salmon plus all the hot food and a cooking staition for making your eggs the way you like them!!! I cannot comment on the hotel restaurants, as we always chose to eat out in the local restaurants, but they looked very nice.

We had a few dodgy taxi rides, but that apart it was once again a thouroughly good holiday.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay), responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for your kind feedback. I am delighted to hear that we managed to correspond to your expectations. The Cliff Bay offers a wide variety of services and facilities including food and beverage.
Hoping to welcome you back again in a near future.
With kindest regards,

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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Bedale, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

We are gold level prestige members at Cliff Bay (as are many other people I know), as we have returned several times to this beautiful hotel in the last 10 years. The staff are simply lovely and we feel like "old friends" returning each time. Christmas at Cliff Bay and indeed New Year is a magical experience. The cleanliness is exemplary and the food in both restaurants is first class. We have recommended the hotel to many friends over the years and all of them have had a fabulous time there. The spa is outstanding.

We are returning again on 28th January 2013, following the recent death of my wife's mother, for a little relaxation and revival. It was the first place that we wanted to go to because we know that it will be perfect as always. Madeira is a beautiful island with warm, friendly people and the Cliff Bay is the best place on the island.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms are superb but all sea view rooms are worth having
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay), responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for your feedback here at Tripadvisor. I am delighted that we are able to make you feel welcome and return to Madeira Island. New Year is a fantastic period. We very much look forward to welcoming you back again.
With kindest regards,

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay)

Address: Estrada Monumental, 147, Funchal, Madeira 9004-532, 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:
#1 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#2 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#2 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#2 Family Hotel in Funchal
#3 Business Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay) 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Atlantic Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see at the foot of The Cliff Bay which is perched on the top of a natural promontory. The hotel is surrounded by gardens with innumerable secluded corners and centenary palm trees extending to the very edge of the cliff face. The panorama is completed by a magnificent view over the bay of Funchal to the left of the hotel.The most influential restaurant guide in the world, the Michelin Guide, has awarded a star to Il Gallo d'Oro, The Cliff Bay's gourmet restaurant run by Chef Benoît Sinthon. This is Madeira's first and only star ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Cliff Bay - Porto Bay Hotel Funchal
Cliff Bay Porto Funchal
Cliff Bay Hotel Funchal
Cliff Bay Hotel Madeira
The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay) Madeira/Funchal

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