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“A royal "Relais & Châteaux"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Velha do Palheiro

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Casa Velha do Palheiro
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua da Estalagem 23 | Palheiro Golf Sao Goncalo, Funchal, Madeira 9060-415, Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 91 hotels in Funchal
Wavre, Belgium
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A royal "Relais & Châteaux"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We spend one week in this splendid location, everything was perfect. The place is so peaceful in beautiful gardens. Perfect dinner for 42 €, good Portuguese wines and a professional service. The golf course is hard to play the first time, but day after day it becomes very pleasant to play.

Room Tip: Standard room with shower in bad tub, upper class with separate shower.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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174 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Beijing, China
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013 via mobile

We are returning guests, this time with my parents-in-law. It was for them a slecial occasion, because of their golden wedding and the Casa Velha staff made the whole stay perfect !
Food, Golf, organizing a rental car, special celebrations at the wedding day - all this was no problem at all and with Luis in the restaurant as our best friend after the first evening, all our wishes became true.

The New Year celebration was good as last time and the view from the clubhouse amazing as ever.

Thanks guys, we wil come back !

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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brecon Beacons
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

Having had a fabulous holiday last year we returned to Casa Velha, which is something we rarely do as it usually turns out to be a disappointment. Fortunately this did not turn out to be the case.
Everything was up to the standard if not better than when we came last year (review 'paradise')
Although last year we received the warmest of welcomes and wonderful service, this year as returning guests the welcome was unbelievable. we arrived at about 11.00 am but were given access to the room, although understanably we had to wait about 10 minutes for the housekeeping to be finished, so we were shown to the library, where we were given drinks while we waited. Celeste, the General Manager of the hotel, made a point of coming in to the library and welcoming us back. All the reception and hotel staff that we had met last year all recognised us and made a point of saying welcome back. We were then shown to our rooms to find they had allocated us the same rooms as last year, a nice touch. The same happened
with our table in the restaurant, and in the Breakfast room. All the hotel and restaurant staff gave us our names whenever they saw us.
On our first visit to the clubhouse we were given the same warm welcome, even hugs from the girls in the pro shop. jonathon, the MD of the golf club made a point of finding us on the terrace and welcoming us back. Again the Srarters and course marshals made us welcome and would wave whwnever we saw them on the course.
As we said last year a fabulous golf couse and the food and service every bit as good if not better than last year.
This year we found the time to cisit the tropical gardens which can be accessed from the hotel, they are truly beautiful, and took in a visit to the Blandy wine lodge in Funchal, and learnt about the History of the Blandy family (the owners of Casa Velha and Palheiro Golf) in Madeira.
We were also lucky enough to be invited to a wine tasting in Funchal where over 80 suppliers from all over Portugal were giving free tastings of their wine. We will have to return as we didn't quite get round them all.
A fabulous holiday in a home from home. We will definately be returning.
The Porter Family

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Ok, I admit it, I have a genetically embedded dislike of golf.

But, even though it's surrounded on all sides by golfists, their dubious fashion choices, and the scars of a recent forest fire that very nearly wiped this little retreat from the map, the Casa Velha is a beautiful location. We didn't stay there, having rented a villa in the nearby Palheiro Village, but we did make use of the spa facilities, and dined in the restaurant there.

The spa is first class. Friendly staff, lovely facilities, and the treatments are a treat in every sense of the word.

The food is fantastic too. The best we had in Madeira.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Guildford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

The uniquely quiet and private location set amongst attractive gardens, makes this small country hotel a true place to unwind, enjoy superbly presented food and play some leasurely but challenging Golf. A great weeks break for my wife and I. The service was attentive and the atmosphere was reminiscent of an English Country House with only a few Palm trees and some very warm days and evenings being the giveaway that actually you are set high up in the Hills above Funchal, in Madeira. To the endless lines of ants I could see filing back on to the massive cruise ships down in the the harbour in Funchal, I say, "Go back and stare out of your box cabin and just pretend you experienced wonderful Portuguese hospitality". We did.

Room Tip: Overlooking the Golf Course .
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

The high rating of this hotel is well deserved. As other reviewers have described, this is a smallish hotel based on an old hunting lodge high up above Funchal; a slight disadvantage for some perhaps because of the 15 minute taxi or shuttle bus journey time but an advantage for others because its height above sea level means it is cooler on hot days than down in the city. There are lovely views over the city and sea, especially from the golf club house. The hotel is furnished beautifully with antiques and has a generally traditional and comfortable feel about it. The Palheiro gardens alongside are lovely.

The food is of a very high standard indeed. My wife and I had booked on a half board basis but had intended to go outside the set menu both by trying the a la carte menu in the hotel and to venture further afield to other restaurants. However, the food in the hotel was such that we were more than happy to stay with the set menu for the two weeks we were there. (It is worth saying that one discouragement from trying other restaurants was the prospect of driving back on a very steep and twisting road after a few drinks).

The staff members could not have been more helpful or better trained (perhaps a touch of over-familiarity from one or two in the restaurant but on the whole excellent).

We were in the golf wing and the room was well furnished and of a very comfortable size with plenty of storage space.

Our only minor criticisms of the hotel were that the bathroom was just a jade tired (cracked floor tiles, shower soap tray a little wonky and the sink plug in need of some attention) and that the room could have been cleaned more thoroughly.

The island had suffered several months of drought, now thankfully over, but it meant that the golf course had suffered badly and was not in good condition. Hopefully that will correct itself very quickly.

We would love to return in the spring when even more flowers are out on the island.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Westbury, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

Looking for a quiet holiday in the sun with a pool and a range of other amenities, we chose Casa Velha after shying away from hundreds of glitzy "resort" hotels in many different locations. We could not have made a better choice. This is a true "home from home", slightly old-fashioned (all the better!) and rather English (it is owned by the Blandy family) country house hotel with a good- sized and deep pool. There is also tennis, table tennis, badminton, a small but well-equipped exercise room, a state-of-the-art spa, and a half-sized snooker table. Guests have free access to the adjoining 200 year-old Palheiro Gardens, which are glorious and through which you can join one of the main levada walks. I know nothing about golf but the course is an amazing piece of landscaping in itself. (There is also a motor-yacht which is available, at a price, for game fishing or occasional whale-watching cruises).

The staff are unfailingly polite and professional as well as welcoming and friendly - during a 10-day stay they developed a real but always discreet rapport with us, anticipating our preferences and joking with our 14 year-old son.

The hotel offers breakfast and dinner, a room service menu and afternoon tea. Guests may also use the golf clubhouse - a ten minute walk across the course - which serves food throughout the day and is useful for lunch or an early dinner.

The daily-changing table d'hote dinners were oustandingly good. The standard of cooking is exceptionally high (virtually Michelin-star standard, as another review suggests) and the menus, while offering only two or three choices in each course, are so well designed as to be a constant delight. Some reviews seem rather chippy about the style and/or the price (40 euros for three courses) but we were happy just to submit to the experience - we were on holiday, for goodness' sake! - and, given the level of effort and achievement in the cooking, thought they offered good value. We ate in every night. (There is also an a la carte menu and a seven course "tasting" menu but hardly anyone seemed to choose these). The restaurant is, I suppose, "formal", but only in the sense of offering all the proper routines of service and, while there is no stated dress-code as such, setting a style that would make shorts and flip-flops look unmannerly (no need for a jacket, though). I hope they stick to the stye in the face of a few carping criticisms.

Casa Velha is a small hotel - only 34 rooms - and exceptionally quiet and peaceful, especially at night. The rooms, mostly in two modern wings built in traditional Madeiran materials and style, are comfortable (excellent pillows!) and well furnished in a homely rather than ostentatious manner. There are two comfortable and well-proportioned public rooms in the main house, which have free and easily accessed WiFi.

It is perhaps worth saying - because other reviewers seem not to have noticed this before they got there - that the hotel is not actually in Funchal, the centre of which is a 20 minute drive away. The hotel provides a return shuttle service twice a day and a taxi costs about 18 euros. So, if you really want to be in Funchal, why not stay in Funchal? We had lunch there twice; visited the Marcado des Lavradores and the Blandy wine lodge; took the cable car to the Jardim Botanico; and the hotel organised a taxi tour of the island for us - quite enough on a lazy holiday.

Once we arrived at Casa Velha we didn't really want to go anywhere else. It does what it sets out to do exceptionally well.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Casa Velha do Palheiro

Address: Rua da Estalagem 23 | Palheiro Golf Sao Goncalo, Funchal, Madeira 9060-415, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#12 Family Hotel in Funchal
#15 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Casa Velha do Palheiro 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Velha do Palheiro is a graceful 5 star Madeira country house hotel with 37 luxurious rooms.The hotel is situated next to the famous Palheiro Gardens, originally created over 200 years ago. Hotel facilities include: Championship golf course, full spa facilities including indoor and outdoor heated pools as well as a variety of treatments, fishing boat for whale and dolphin watching and big game fishing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Velha Do Palheiro Hotel Funchal
Casa Velha Do Palheiro Madeira/Funchal

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