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“Good points and bad!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay)

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Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay)
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avda do Mar e das Comunidades Madeirenses 50, Funchal, Madeira 9050-029, Portugal   |  
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Ranked #9 of 91 hotels in Funchal
anu
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Good points and bad!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

This hotel gets many gushing reviews and clearly has a keen following of repeat guests. I would like to mention the good and the bad.

Good

Excellent position in the Old Town
Some very good staff
Breakfast buffet good if not inspiring.
Talk on history of Madeira was excellent
Trip to Madeira wine company interesting
Lovely roof terrace

Poor
The works on the waterfront in front of the hotel do impact on your holiday, they are noisy and intrusive and run from 8am till 6pm so don't expect to sit quietly in the hotel grounds.

The hotel offers a 10 Euro a day per person credit to your account to make up for the disruption. They issue a letter saying this can be used within the hotel in bars and restaurants. There is no where on the letter that suggests that tips cannot be included in this and when you sign for a drink or meal the chitty includes a space for a tip. On check out an extremely rude receptionist refused to use my credit for the tips. When I asked where on the origional letter it said tips were not included he said I should have asked, how was I to know to ask? The management should make this clear and give their receptionist training in how to speak to guests.

We ate one evening meal (to use up our hotel credit) in the restaurant, really don't bother, the food is OK but totally uninspired. There are many fabulous restaurants at the gates of the hotel.

The hotel values it's return guests, they receive fruit, tea and coffee and bottled water in their rooms, this however makes first time guests feel undervalued. Not only have they paid more as returning guests get a discount but they are not valued enough to be given a bottle of water!

Rooms are clean, towels are thin and small, toiletries are of poor quality. TV is set high up on a shelf like a cheap bed and breakfast. Balconies are tiny, sea views are limited due to the wings of the hotel sticking out. Maybe valued returners get better rooms!

A double bed is two singles pushed together, no fixing. Maybe this is because this hotel really caters for 'the grey economy'. I doubt there were many people in the hotel under 60 it could do with a wider mix of ages

Why no room service?

I notice the manager seems to reply here to customers but is not visible in the hotel, why?

Room Tip: Don't go until the work on the promenade has finished
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

Regarding your review we have exchanged emails and have come to the conclusion that it is stated in our communication that the credit can not be used for tips. We have however reenforced that point since your review.
We are sad to hear that you did not enjoy your meal at the Arsenal Restaurant and can promise that we will keeping working hard in order to continuously improve. Porto Bay Hotels an Resorts runs a loyalty program that does provide a series of benefits to all its returning guests and we hope that you visit us again in order to enjoy them as well. I am sorry that you did not ask for me during your stay as I would be very happy to have met you. We hope that you visit us again.

Best Regards,


André Caldeira
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (323)
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English first
Swansea, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

The hotel is in a brilliant situation, right on the sea and you just walk out of the gates and there are lots of excellent restaurants.Most of the hotels in Funchal are on the other side of town, up a hill, in a great mass of concrete. The only downside at present is that they are doing major constuction work on new sea defences and channelling rivers to avoid the floods of 3 years ago.I think it will go on all this year as they are literally moving mountains. We had a great sea view room but some people found the constant stream of dumper trucks intrusive. It didn't really bother us, and I always managed to sleep through it each afternoon. It is very clear on the hotel website and they do give you a credit of €10 a day to spend in the bars.
The staff were great, the breakfast and bar snacks good and the facilities excellent. We used the indoor pool or gym every day. Highly recommended

  • Stayed January 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are glad that you enjoyed your time at our hotel and that you were able to relax and enjoy your afternoon siesta! We hope that you were able to recharge all your batteries! We hope that you visit us soon.

Best regards,

André Caldeira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Lovely hotel, friendly staff, beautiful location, excellent facilities. Booked a sea view room which had nice a balcony overlooking the sea and port. Only downside is if you book in the near future there are fairly noisy and extensive beach construction works directly in front of hotel and all along the front. This is not the hotels fault and we wouldn't let this effect either our rating or a possible return visit in future years. To offset this they are giving 10 euros per day per person to spend in the hotel bars/ restaurant etc. We swam most afternoons in the indoor pool which is big and nearly always had it to ourselves with a dip in the jacuzzi to finish. Nice touch is everyone gets a bathrobe to wander down to the pool in and we ended each evening relaxing in them on the balcony over a last glass of wine!
Walking round the cobble streets in the old town is a joy and we look forward to walking through the gardens along the front when they are reinstated.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,


We are glad that your enjoyed the holiday experience with us and we hope to have the pleasure of your visit so that you can enjoy a glass of wine in your balcony with a view of the two beaches in front of the hotel and Funchal's beautiful bay.

Best regards,

André Caldeira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamilton, uk
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Good points -
great location - any noise from the sea defence work was balanced by the fascination of watching the machines at work and since we were out most of the time this didn't bother us.
Whole place was spotless and we loved the flower arrangements.
Pool and jacuzzi were quiet and we enjoyed the warmth - especially after the outside pool which was decidedly chilly.
We had a garden room which was a good size, faced the garden and had a partial view of the sea - so ideal and no need to pay extra for a sea view.
Buffet was ideal and had lots of choice - still missing the breakfast egg custard tarts!
Friendly and helpful waiting staff and of course the redoutable Lena
Not so good:
Constant background low level noise( probably from a/c) especially noticable at night
Poor service on the gourmet night - we noticed the difference when Lena wasn't around!
Entertainment could be better quality and there's not a lot to do in the hotel if the weather is poor.
Reception staff were a mixed bunch - a couple of really friendly ones and one particularly grumpy one.

Room Tip: Garden rooms OK if you get the right one
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,


thank you for your time reviewing Porto Santa Maria! We are glad to read your positive remarks about the hotel and have read your not so good remarks with even more attention and will look into them in order to sort them out! We hope to see you soon.

Best regards,

André Caldeira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We had a lovely one-week stay here, our first visit to Madeira. The room was very comfortable and spacious. Wifi in the room as well as the lobby would have made it better! We didn't find the building work on the seafront a problem as we prefer to spend most of the day out anyway, and at this time they were not using pile-drivers or pneumatic drills.
We liked being next to the Old Town and found many good restaurants close at hand. The quirky street/door art added an extra dimension. The Market is well worth a visit. The hotel is also close to the cable car, from where we thoroughly enjoyed visits to the Botanic Gardens and the Tropical Gardens.

Room Tip: We had a sea view room - well worth it.
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  • 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
    • 4 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.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

thank you for your review! We are glad that you had a nice time at our hotel! We have taken note of the WiFi remark and I can tell you that we are working on it. Maybe on your next visit.

Best regards,


André Caldeira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tayport
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Having just returned from our first visit to Madeira, I can only say that the whole experience was wonderful. The hotel was beautiful with everything as described on line. The staff were very helpful at all times, the rooms were spacious and spotless. The buffet was excellent with a very large selection, beautifully cooked and presented. Alacart was exceptional. Infact the whole experience was excellent.
Although there was work being carried out at the harbour it was not an inconvenience, although you were aware it was going on. Guests were compensated for the inconvenience which was a bonus but we were very glad we did not change hotels, which was offered. This has been one of the best hotels we have stayed at. Just sorry we were not there for New Year, hopefully we will return for the new year celebrations in the near future.

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

thank you for the time dispensed sharing your experience at the Porto Santa Maria hotel. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. New year's Eve is a very special moment in Funchal but specially at Porto Santa Maria with our 360 degree view from our 3rd floor harbour terrace! We hope that we can count with your company this year!

Best regards,


André Caldeira
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Powys
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

we've visited Madeira many many times and so chose this hotel for the change of location. Arrived on the morning of NYE for a 14 night stay. We would be hard pressed to find a negative here - the customer service is excellent, helped in no small measure by the Customer Relations Manager, Lena, who is a powerhouse and works extremely hard to make sure guests are comfortable and satisfied. We were notified before we left home about the storm defence works and were offered a 'compensation' of 10euros/day/person which, coupled with our Prestige discounts, went a long way towards covering most of our costs during the stay. Some days the noise was quite low, other days it was quite noisy, but there were no works at all over our final weekend, although the compensation was awarded for every day. I wouldn't let these works put me off staying here. We tried most of the hotel facilities, the indoor pool and Jacuzzi are lovely and hardly used - one day I had the whole facility to myself. Paola in the spa is very good and the pedicure I had was the best ever. Happy hour before dinner proved very useful and the service and food in the restaurant was excellent - especially the gourmet night where we went for the suggested wine option. The meal on that night is served to the table and the wine complemented the food perfectly. When we do visit Madeira again we would certainly stay here again.

Room Tip: Go for the sea view to enjoy all the cruise ships coming and going - it adds another dimension to th...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
AndreCaldeira, General Manager at Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay), responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear Guest,

We do our best in order that our guests enjoy their experience with us and are always happy to read nice reviews like yours! We hope that you visit us soon.

Best regards,

André Caldeira
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 Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay)

Address: Avda do Mar e das Comunidades Madeirenses 50, Funchal, Madeira 9050-029, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#8 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#10 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#32 Family Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay) 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Porto Santa Maria lies at the water's edge in the very heart of Funchal's old centre. Its close relationship to the sea, the outstanding and exclusive views over the harbour where the cruise ships dock, its picturesque surroundings and the unique flavours of its cuisine result in genuine urban tranquility. A congenial hotel offering 146 rooms, restaurant, bars, direct access to the promenade, outdoor pool, indoor pool, SPA, gym, parking...all in the heart of the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Santa Maria Funchal
Porto Santa Maria Hotel (Porto Bay) Madeira/Funchal

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