My wife and I have just returned from a week at this marvellous hotel where attention to detail is the essential ingredient that sets this hotel apart from the other hotels in Funchal. Even before we arrived at the hotel I had e-mailed to request feather pillows and a hard bed...not only were these requests met but I received an e-mail PRIOR to our arrival confirming that our requests would be attended to.
Our room was No. 721 and it is certainly worth requesting a room on a higher floor and paying a supplement because the views over Funchal and the harbour were spectacular. We also received fresh fruit each day as well as free soft drinks from a continuously replenished refrigerator. From the housekeeping staff to the spa attendants , from the restaurant staff to the reception staff, everyone took pride in their work and when we were faced with just a couple of genuine niggles the management were quick to take note and address the issues which, to me, is a sign of an excellent organisation.
The food in The Rose Garden was consistently good though I must advise that any guests not used to eating rich food ought to moderate any temptation to guzzle enormous amounts of the gustatory feasts on display at the buffet.
It isn't too far from Funchal and only took us a medium paced 20 mins to get to the centre on the few occasions we did not avail ourselves of the courtesy transport which needs to be booked at reception for the outward journey. Reception staff also sell tickets for the cable car to Monte and it is a good idea to buy your tickets at the hotel so you don't have to queue too much at the cable car entrance.
I took a jacket and tie with me to dine in the evening but in The Rose Garden Restaurant, smart casual wear is generally the order of the day so packing a suit really isn't necessary unless you intend to eat at the Michelin starred restaurant. We ate breakfast there once but I'm afraid that neither the service nor the warmth of the food compared to the excellently high standards of The Rose Garden.
Just one word of warning to travellers; though the guide books say that the water is fit to drink it does have a very high mineral content and for those with sensitive stomachs you are better using the bottled water even to make tea and coffee in your room. This is in no way a reflection of the hotel but rather a factual statement about the water in Madeira.
This hotel is very conveniently situated for a Travel Bureau which is one of the cheapest reliable places around AND picks you up at your hotel! We stupidly booked through our tour rep and two trips cost us almost £100 extra.
I must thank all the staff but especially Fiona and Carla from The Porto Bay group who facilitated our pre-arrival requirements with little fuss and a lot of professionalism.
We will most definitely be re-visiting this hotel but because I couldn't resist temptation with the food on display I think we will have to go for bed and breakfast next time. I am not usually so gushing about a hotel but this one really does go just that extra mile .....or should that be kilometre?!!
- 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