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“hotel to die for” 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 #3 of 91 Hotels in Funchal
newton abbot
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“hotel to die for”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

Came back yesterday after a 7 day stay it was our first visit and it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. And can i say how well we were looked after and treated by all the staff from being met by the porter at the door on arrival to the member of staff who found us looking for our room who showed us to it and then let us in and explained all the facilities. We had upgraded to a superior room on level 7 and would reccomend this as the view was amazing from watching the cruise ships arriving in the harbour to watching the sunrise But back to the staff they are so friendly and helpful and could not do enough for youl they relly are a credit to Madeira
B Woolley

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,369 reviews from our community

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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 (460)
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London
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I agree with most of the comments written about The Cliff Bay. We have just returned from seven days there. The hotel is beautifully maintained, well run and a very relaxing place to stay. The staff were all charming, friendly and attentive.

We tended to eat out locally rather than use the hotel's restaurants as we wanted to experience the local cuisine. We did have one meal at the hotel's Michelin star restaurant. We found the food - and the whole experience - disappointing. What's more, there were very few people dining so there was no atmosphere. There were more staff than diners! At the end of EVERY course we were asked if we had liked it which we found irritating. So much so that we chose to take coffee in the hotel's bar instead.

We especially enjoyed using the hotel's pools. The indoor and outdoor pools are lovely. At the beginning of our stay the indoor/outdoor pool water was wonderfully warm. However, for the last few days of our stay the pool water had got much colder. We mentioned this but nothing was done to improve matters. The new, outside jacuzzi (on the lower level) is also quite cold.

We were very happy with our room and the view of Funchal harbour from our terrace.

Aside from some minor quibbles, we would be very happy to return.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

This is my second stay at the Cliff Bay and I think I'll definitely return.

Why? The views are gorgeous, the facilities are delightful, the staff are friendly and the food is delicious.

I had a lovely relaxing stay.

Room Tip: Would recommend a sea view or a room with a view of the harbour
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for Christmas and New Year and were delighted when we were shown to our room to find that we had a large room with views over the sea, funchal and the cruise terminal. In my mind the best position in the hotel especially when it came to New Year and the fireworks, We were not however, delighted when we opened the balcony doors to hear the noise of excavators and drills in the garden outside which looked like a building site.When I returned to reception for an explanation I was advised that the hotel had only opened that day. We found out later in the day that the spar/gym facilities were still being refurbished and although we were told they would be open tomorrow, tomorrow didn't arrive until the end of the first week, It would have been nice to have been advised of this in advance or at least to have been told upon arrival. On the first evening a letter and bottle of sparkling wine arrived from the General Manager and when we subsequently complained some days later about the continued disturbance, some further concessions were made.
This incident is an indication of how things should not be handled as there is no doubt that this is a very good hotel, The staff and management, without exception, are professional, extremely polite, courteous, and basically very nice people who strive to ensure that guests enjoy their stay.
The hotel is elegant in an understated fashion and was very tastfully decorated for Christmas. There is a contrast between the old fashioned charm of the rose garden were a violinist plays during afternoon tea and the modern spa and exercise room (although small) with sufficient up to date equipment. Incidentally, make your spa appointments without delay as it quickly gets booked up. Prices for treatments are not too hefty.
We had half board but would probably choose B&B next time to give more flexibility of eating out or even eating from the al a carte which seemed good value. I really enjoyed the breakfast buffet but would not speak in raptures, as others have, regarding the evening buffet. They had a theme each night which was repeated each week during our visit e.g Italian, Fish etc. The food in the Gallo D'oro was delicious but beware if you don't like rich food.


The slopes down to the pool could be a problem for the less agile or those with mobility problems, although I believe the one in the rose garden down to the indoor/outdoor has less of a gradient since the refurbishment. I also understand that the planned new elevator will resolve this issue but the staff are always willing to help
All in all a very enjoyable stay with reasonable weather and I have no doubts, despite our initial disappointment, in recommending this hotel.

Room Tip: Choose a view of the cruise terminal and funchal despite only having morning sunshine.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
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Richmond, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

This hotel was wonderfull, in a great location fantastic views stay on the upper floors which was worth every penny
The restaurant is amazing ( go flexi deal ) you can have breakfast there if your on the upper rooms much better than the restaurant down stairs
We went with Sovereign hand Lucy the rep was great
The cocktail night was ok
The spa treatment are a bit expensive but a lovely place to unwind
We would definitely stay again

Room Tip: Upper floors are best
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed at Cliff Bay for a week in October. This was our second stay at Cliff Bay, two years after we first visited. The standard of the hotel and service were again, excellent.

We chose a sea view room as before to enjoy the fabulous view over the harbour from our balcony - spectacular both during the daytime and in the evenings. The bed was particularly comfortable, and the rooms quiet - so different from many hotels where you can here comings and goings from other rooms at all hours.

With my wife being 5 months pregnant, we largely stayed within the hotel during the daytime and enjoyed the ample choice of sunbeds both at the upper and lower pool areas.

As others have written, there are many good restaurants within a few minutes walk of the hotel, so we enjoyed wandering out to some of these in the evenings. That said, we bought a package of meals for three evenings at the Sea Grape restaurant and the food there was very good - with a choice from either a la carte or the buffet. The breakfasts, also in the Sea Grape, were really excellent - with a varied choice and nicely cooked. We tended to skip lunch at Cliff Bay (the prices were quite high), preferring to buy some fruit or bread rolls from the local supermarket. We did have the afternoon tea and cakes one day and it was very nice, albeit als on the expensive side.

Overall, we received exactly what we wanted (and anticipated following our first visit) from Cliff Bay - excellent accommodation and service, and a week of relaxation in lovely surroundings, just perfect to de-stress from work and to relax my wife going into the latter stages of her pregnancy. It is very likely we'll return as a larger family some day!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Huddersfield
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#2 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#3 Family Hotel in Funchal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#5 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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