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“Five nights of rest and relaxation in elegant surroundings” 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   |  
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Ranked #9 of 91 Hotels in Funchal
Woking, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Five nights of rest and relaxation in elegant surroundings”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

I have just arrived back from 5 nights at the Casa Velha do Palheiro. This was my first stay and I am already planning to book another, longer visit in May. As I was looking for a restful, beautiful and indulgent place to stay, this was just perfect. At 52, I was definitely on the young side, as the majority of the visitors seem to have retired some time ago. There were, however, a couple of young families, and visitors who seemed to be mainly there for the golf course rather than the spa or gardens. Having stayed in big, lively spa hotels in Malta, this was exactly the change I was looking for. The service was impeccable, yet extremely friendly. Staff in other parts of the estate, such as the clubhouse and the tea house, knew my name and my room number on the day of my arrival, without having to introduce myself. The food served at dinner was extremely beautiful and delicious, in the style of The Dorchester Hotel in London. The location had breath-taking views and was surrounded by a immaculate golf course and the famous botanical gardens. The only sound, other than the occasional gardener, was the singing of birds, and the whole place was filled with the scent of exotic flowers that bloom year round. If you are looking for a little gentility, with afternoon tea served in the library and your bed turned down at night, this is definitely the place to go. Expect a slow pace - no nightclub, no karaoke, no group activities, no rowdiness or drunkenness. It isn't that it isn't friendly; people just give you your space and don't intrude if you want to curl up on a sofa and relax with a book, or sip a Pimms in the bar before dinner. Nothing seems to be too much to ask there and, if you don't feel like visiting the island or wandering round Funchal, you can just float away in the spa and forget all your troubles.

You should be aware that the hotel is a fairly long drive up from the coast - around 10-15 minutes - although there is a free shuttle service. You can of course hire a car to get around Madeira if you're not alarmed by narrow, single-track roads, precipices and the occasional rockfall and even having to drive through a waterfall at one point on the main road. The Palheiro Estate seems to have its own micro-climate that is a little cooler than the lower lying areas because of the altitude, so bring layers of clothing. February can be extremely warm in the sun, to the point of burning, but you will also find wet and windy days. It is not unusual to experience cold, biting winds up on the central plateau of the island, then blazing sunshine, with pouring rain in-between, all in the space of a couple of hours. If you are choosing the hotel for its extra facilities, be aware that the gym is very small; more like an exercise room. Then again, you are likely to have it all to yourself. If you want to swim lengths, choose a season that you can use the outdoor pool. The inside pool is lovely but not suitable for serious exercise. While I was there, I had the sauna, Turkish bath and the pool to myself as the other visitors were either playing golf, out visiting the island or relaxing elsewhere. Bliss!

Room Tip: I had a ground floor garden room which was lovely but, if you want a view, you can't see anythin...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to write this in depth review of Casa Velha and our facilities.
You certainly seemed to enjoy all aspects of the Estate and hopefully you got the relaxing and invigorating experience that you were looking for.
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186 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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20
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (38)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Lymington, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

We had a great 10 day Holiday at Casa Velha do Palheiro. All staff were really helpfull and friendly, especially all the ladies and gentlemen serving the breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service we received on my birthday was excellent and the staff could not do enough for us.
The room was nice and clean and on most days we had the spa facilities to ourselves at the time we visited the spa.
We enjoyed our games of pool and snooker.
In short, an excellent break.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thanks for choosing Casa Velha for your celebrations. We are delighted that you enjoyed the spa facilities as well as the gastronomic experience.
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leighton buzzard
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

Stylish smaller hotel, rooms high standard but really made by beautiful grounds, lovely communal areas and outstanding service and food. Golf course is in good condition and challenging, grounds and access to gardens all beautiful.

Room Tip: Garden rooms lovely
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to review our property.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2014

This hotel seems one of a kind in a city where most of the accommodation is either in the heavily built up centre of town or in the huge purpose built new resort style hotels on the eastern edge of the capital. Casa Velha is a haven of peace and tranquility and excudes style, with the atmosphere of a country house hotel. The communal areas are spacious and we felt like we were sharing our own country house with a few select guests. Although visiting over the Christmas period the hotel remained relatively quiet and easily soaked up the 8 or 10 groups of people staying there. We appreciated almost exclusive use of the tennis court, gym and ping pong table. The spa is spacious (although the pool pretty small), beautifully designed and scruptuously clean and the range of treatments excellent. The staff were unfailingly helpful and friendly. As a family with 2 teenagers we appreciated our rooms no 1 and 2 which were on their own landing and were effectively interconnected. Evening meals were 5 star, the lunch menu however, seemed relatively expensive and could be more elaborate - few people take lunch there. The hotel offers a shuttle service to Funchal 2x a day (10 mins drive), but a car is useful to explore the island and with a vast network of expressways and v. little traffic getting around the island is very easy. However, with the incredibly steep road up to the hotel, you might be happier for someone else to drive!

Room Tip: Families with kids will appreciate rooms 1& 2 which are on a separate floor, with their own land...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Wild at Heart,
Would you like a job working for us in our Press Relations!!! This review is fantastic and highlights so many of the little differences that make Casa Velha so special.
Thanks,
Jonathan
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

We have stayed twice before and prior to the arrival of our daughter and had always wanted to return.

We have just returned from a wonderful stay at this very special hotel. It was a perfect Christmas break for the grown ups as well as our 5 year old daughter. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel like house guests. The staff were very attentive but did not get in our way which is just how we like it. The food was excellent, especially the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menu's. They cooked whatever our daughter wanted and were very keen to make sure our stay was enjoyable. We played some lovely golf, they even had some kids clubs and so our daughter was not left out.
We shall be returning. There is an extra 3 hours or so daylight at this time of year and the weather was as good as a good summers day in the uk. It is only three hours from the uk and 20 minutes transfer to the hotel. It can take that long to travel a hundred miles or so in the uk. It's a pity that BA don't fly the route any more but the monarch flight with extra leg room was very good.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear Robert,
Thanks for your review and it is great to know that you your holiday at Casa Velha with your child was as much as a success as your holidays without. Generally in Madeira the attitude towards young children is a wonderful one and so unlike the experience of many European cities! We hope to welcome you again soon
Jonathan
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York, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

We visited this hotel and golf course in January for our 50th wedding anniversary. The hotel sent a taxi to the airport to pick us up, which was good. The room was very pleasant, well furnished with a nice big bed. We played golf most days. The course is interesting, not easy but a good challenge. The staff were very attentive. Food was excellent and on our anniversary night, as well as cake and sparkling wine they offered us a glass of "madeira" in the lounge. My husband also had a birthday while we were there and he was looked after very well. We used the mini bus on a few occasions to go down to Funchal. As hotel guests we had access to the Botanic gardens just next door with a gate leading to it. A pleasure which we undertook a number of times. Even in January it was a good to see..

  • 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
    • 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.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
Thanks for your review and we are very pleased that you chose Casa Velha for your 50th Wedding Anniversary and we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay. We hope to see you in 2014 which is a special anniversary for us - our 210th!
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Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013 via mobile

It is very hard to fault this lovely small hotel set in attractive gardens, and surrounded by the golf course and botanical gardens. The bedrooms were attractive, if rather lacking a view. The restaurant and other public rooms were also lovely, and the staff were helpful and friendly.

The courtesy bus was a good idea to get to the centre of Funchal, and for trips to the splendid golf course, though it is only a short 10 minute walk to the club house.

My only comments are WiFi in the bedrooms would be good, and I thought the dinner prices a little expensive relative to other restaurants in Funchal

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonathanfletch, Owner at Casa Velha do Palheiro, responded to this review, November 22, 2013
Dear Alan,
Thanks for your great review and many positive comments. Regarding the WIFI we are presently examining ways to upgrade the signal and improve the service.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#8 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#14 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#17 Family Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Casa Velha do Palheiro 5*
Number of rooms: 37
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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