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“My New Favourite 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 #3 of 91 Hotels in Funchal
Essex, UK
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“My New Favourite Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We were really in need of a break and the Cliff Bay was ideal. We particularly loved the salt water (not sea water) pool which was a joy to swim in. Although the hotel was busy at breakfast time and so presumably quite full, there were always spaces to be found around either pool or in some of the hideaway spaces overlooking the sea.

We also loved the spa and wellness areas. Again these were quiet and on two successive afternoons we had the suite to ourselves, with only one other couple there on another occasion. Beware though of German guests who tend to ignore the “no nudity” signs!

We were on a summer package booked directly with the hotel, to include three buffet evening meals and return taxi transfers from the airport. The breakfasts were wonderful, our favourite ever with so much fresh fruit, breads, pastries and hot/cold foods that it was a serious challenge to try everything even over a week’s stay. The evening buffets were also good and we chose the Seafood, Portuguese and Italian nights to use our three vouchers with the Portuguese probably being the one we enjoyed most.

What really stood out for us was the hotel staff. Everyone was pleasant and couldn’t do enough to help. There was a hiccup on arrival where reception did not realise we had three dinners included and again at check out where the transfer costs were added to the bill, but both were sorted out quickly. I would say though that something was wrong in the admin department for this to have happened.

Our sea view room was very comfortable and I don’t think we have ever had a bigger bed – some eight feet wide and large enough to lose each other in.

As a result of us enjoying the hotel facilities so much, we did not get out to see as much of Madeira as we might have done, although we did use the free hotel shuttle a few times. We will probably return to see more of the island and would be very happy to return to the Cliff Bay.

  • Stayed April 2013, 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 3
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, May 7, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I am delighted to hear that we managed to exceed your expectations. Our new “Spa Suite” has become a new favorite for many visitors to our hotel. We are very proud of our staff where most of the “team” has been working at The Cliff Bay for many years.
Hoping to see you back soon again…
Yours Sincerely,

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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1,387 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 (472)
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Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We were all fired up after reading what seemed to be quite convincingly stellar reviews of The Cliff Bay. After staying here 1 week, we have quite mixed feelings about this hotel. I definitely would not stay here again.

There are some definite Pro’s:

- the location – especially when you look over to the side of Funchal, you have a very nice view;
- the hotel has good facilities
- spacious and well designed rooms
- everything is clean and usually well kept

There are some disadvantages though, which did not fit for a 5-Star and in the sum, definitely are not acceptable for a 5 star:

- the Service – most of the employees are polite but not really friendly; the behavior of some actually leave you wondering if they formerly held jobs as prison guards (particularly true of the female morning hostess at Il Gallo d´Oro, who later appears down at the pool restaurant, still sporting the same sour personality)
- the Internet – is a joke, it is absolutely not reliable in the rooms;
- there are a little too many things broken – the jacuzzi, the tennis courts – and we could not really see any activities to get them fixed during the whole week we were there;
- the Gym is ok, but not great (has seen better days), it can get very hot in there, and there are no windows which can be opened;
- Breakfast could have some variation at some point. If you stay for a week it gets quite boring after a few days.
- Rather short opening hours: The Pool-Restaurant closes at 5, the Spa (through wich you have to book all the sports and where you rent DVDS) closes at 6.

Special praise to smart and savvy Nicole in guest services and to the wonderful cleaning staff at the hotel, most notably the chamber maids. They are the real standouts at this hotel.

Room Tip: Don´t bother with the Junior Suites - they are not worth it. They are not any larger than the norma...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, May 7, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I am sad to learn that we did not completely satisfy your expectations. We normally receive much praise for our services and staff that are one of the main reasons for our almost 40 % returning guests. Recent increase in internet use is making us to upgrade the capacity of our existing installations for this complimentary service offered. We have a recently refurbished tennis court and two fully operational Jacuzzis.
We will take all your feedback under consideration and will try to further improve our hotel.
Thank you for having chosen The Cliff Bay.
Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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Bisley, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We paid a week long visit to the Cliff Bay during middle of April - this being our 7th visit here if I recall correctly. As ever the hotel was stunning and the staff ever helpful and attentive. Since last spring the hotel has obviously spent a lot of time, thought and money into updating quite a few aspects of the hotel. The gardens have been improved with more flower beds replacing some of the main lawn with wonderful new flower beds etc. The spa has had a major update and has been both expanded and improved throughout. The area down near the sea has been changed with the swimming pool being reconfigured and a Jacuzzi spa bath being fitted into a new decked area as well. You would also find new soft furnishings in many of the public areas and a refresh of some of the decorations as well. Overall these changes have, in my view, maintained the hotel at the top of the list for places to stay in Funchal. Our room was on the 6th floor and overlooked the ocean; we were able to sleep with the doors open and awoke to the sound of the sea - simply brilliant. The staff were superb throughout our stay and did everything they could to make our visit an excellent one - we will certainly be back.

Room Tip: Really depends on what you want - there are sea, city (Funchal and harbour) and partial sea views (a...
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  • Stayed April 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 3
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, May 7, 2013
Thank you for your kind feedback and loyalty in returning to our hotel. I am pleased to see that you enjoyed our recent improvements. Many changes and updates were made last December and I do believe that we offer an even better product at this moment.
Hoping to welcome you back in a near future.
Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

This was our sixth time to the Cliff bay, so they must be doing something right.
Everything about the hotel I cannot fault, from the staff to cleanliness and the breakfast buffet, which is to die for, including champagne if that is what you want for breakfast.
Overall I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Book a sea view room and you get sunshine from mid morning till evening on your balcony
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 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, May 7, 2013
Thank you for your kind feedback and loyalty towards our hotel. I am delighted that we once again managed to correspond to your expectations.
Looking forward to see you soon 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.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We have just returned from a 10 day stay at The Cliff Bay. Fabulous! Room spacious with a beautiful view of the rose garden and the sea. We got the sun in the afternoon and evening which is perfect for us. The beds are so very comfortable with lovely feather pillows. All spotlessly clean, and I'm fussy.
The sea pool is wonderful, warm and quiet late afternoon.The pool staff are so friendly and helpful; my husband went snorkelling in the sea and they advised and watched over him every time.
After our early evening swim we would go to the Spa for a sauna and a sit in the steam room before going back to our room to change for the evening.
Food choice and presentation was amazing, the only problem being what to choose as it all looked so good. Staff in the restaurants and bars all very friendly, watchful and helpful. We came home feeling very relaxed, it was just what we needed. Thank you Cliff bay.

  • Stayed April 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 3
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, May 7, 2013
Thank you for your kind feedback here at Tripadvisor. I am pleased to see that you had an enjoyable stay with us. Madeira and The Cliff Bay has much to offer including a wide variety of food and beverage options.
I hope to see you soon again in Madeira, where we today have beautiful spring day.
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.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Rightly so, The Cliff Bay is consistently ranked as one of Madeira’s best hotels.

The Cliff Bay is unique in our view. In terms of interior design, the hotel manages to elegantly blend the modern and the old and it does so effortlessly. Recently refurbished, the Cliff Bay is much lighter and more modern in feel when compared to Reid’s or The Savoy and we prefer it as a result.

The rooms are modern and well thought out – super comfy beds – all the mod cons you would expect from a leading 5*hotel. All the rooms have a balcony – some overlooking the gardens – some overlooking the pool – some overlooking the cliffs and the bay on which Reid’s Palace is built.

The food at the Cliff Bay is simply magnificent. We have stayed at hundreds of 5* hotels all around the world and I can say with confidence that the buffet breakfast and themed buffet dinners here are excellent. The themed dinner buffets (30 Euros a head) really are superb with a massive selection of soups, breads, salads, mains and deserts. Of course, drinks are extra!

And then there is ‘Il Gallo d'Oro’, the hotels Michelin starred restaurant – the only eatery on the whole of Madeira with a Michelin Star. As one expect, the food here is superb. Guests on a Half Board package can simply upgrade to eat here one night for a small premium (14 Euros per person). The upgrade is affordable and well worth it. We always eat here on our last night in Madeira and it never disappoints.

But aside from the excellent food and the superb service (the staff are excellent here – attentive without being at all intrusive), the hotel’s best feature are its nooks and crannies where you relax in peace and quiet. Choose from the gardens near the main restaurant, the upper level pool, the indoor pool, the lower lever pool (by the sea) or a series of areas dotted around the cliff itself.

There has been significant investment of late in the hotel’s spa facilities with a new spa lounge for couples to receive treatments together. The treatment menu is extensive and the prices are reasonable for this standard of hotel.

On the lower level, there is also a lovely sauna area with a brand new sauna, large steam room, rain showers and hot tub. This area is free for all guests to use without charge. There is also a separate sauna area for people on treatment programmes – this cannot be accessed unless you have bought some sort of spa treatment.

Our only minor criticism of the Cliff Bay is the gym, which although good, could be better. The resistance machines are rather out of date – with more space the hotel could bring in more rowing machines and bikes and a larger stretching area.

The Cliff Bay is an excellent hotel and somewhere we will definitely return to. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
JanRingertz, General Manager at The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay), responded to this review, June 5, 2013
Thank you for your kind feedback here at Tripadvisor. I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and that we managed to correspond to your expectations. The Cliff Bay offers a wide variety of food and beverage options with hopefully something for everyone. You are a seasoned traveler in five star hotels and therefore your comments are much appreciated.
Thank you for having chosen our hotel and we hope to see you back in a near future.
Yours Sincerely,

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We have just got back from a 5 night break in Madeira, we stayed at the Cliff Bay Hotel which has a very good reputation and we have stayed nearby in other cheaper hotels and thought it would be nice to try the Cliff Bay.
The room was rather dated and in our opinion not as good as rooms in other hotels that we have stayed at, we were looking forward to swimming in the advertised heated pool, well if thats heated i hate to try unheated! the pool was freezing, hardly used by anyone. The breakfast was good but i got a sense that the hotel may be struggling as they were pushing some sort of time share deal owned by there owning company (porto bay) which was a bit crass.The food and drinks didnt come cheap either! 9 euros for 2 small glasses of Aqua con gas with lime cordial seemed bit over the top. The hotel was very clean and the staff were not impolite altho rather distant. It wasnt a horrid time but we sort of felt rather dissapointed. Madeira is lovely!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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, June 5, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I am sad to hear that we didn’t manage to correspond to your expectations. Certainly there are cheaper hotels than The Cliff Bay but also some more expensive. When choosing to stay in five star hotel some things are previously understood. We are very proud of our staff and our general feedback is excellent. Porto Bay offer the possibility for interested in regular visits to Madeira to purchase an interval ownership apartment at The Residence – Porto Bay. I can assure you that this has absolutely no connection with the “hotel struggling” as we are fortunate to have good occupancies with many returning guests.
I hope that one day we might have the opportunity to welcome you back and if so please let me know previous to your arrival so that we can make all necessary efforts for you to have a most enjoyable stay and change this first impression.
Yours Sincerely,

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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 ( 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
#6 Business Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Cliff Bay (Porto Bay) 5*
Number of rooms: 200
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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