Stayed at Windsor Hotel at the end of March 2012. Firstly, the hotel is perfectly located. It's in the proper centre of Funchal (not the 20-30 minute walk away of the 'Hotel Area' by the casino) - if you don't want to walk to get into town then stay in this area. Yes it's far more built up and not as plush as the high end area, but it's far better. You get a real flavour of Funchal and the locals and won't be plagued by tour touts each time you leave. There are dozens of bars, snack bars, restaurants and coffee shops within a 2-3 minute walk. There is a supermarket literally half a minute away (great for stocking up on essentials and perfect for bottled water - €0.16 for a bottle.... Bargain!) - anyway, there is an area taxis wait just around the corner, the harbour front, fruit market, old town and cable car within 5-10 mins walk. Perfect!
I'd highly recommend heading to Opan (a bakery/restaurant chain all over Funchal) - there is one just around the corner and it's great value for lunches and basic evening dinners (pastas, pizzas, sandwiches)
Anyway, back to Windsor. The best thing after it's location is it's staff. What a fine body of staff. Very very friendly, informative and highly professional. One member of staff in particular, Elsa, was a pleasure. She helped us many times and displayed the height of warmth and professionalism. A real asset to the hotel. All staff are multi-lingual and speak
English perfectly (you'll find almost everyone speaks English to a very high standard)
The reception area is modern, compact but perfectly suited. Although we did not eat in the restaurant, we did use it for breakfast. Some other reviews have said that it's a small area, and it is, but this did not prove a problem for us. The breakfast offering itself is very basic, but it was sufficient for us. A selection of basic pastries, ham, cheese, yoghurt, fresh chopped fruit, two cereals, fruit juices, milk, water, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Not too bad at all. Staff organising the breakfasts were polite and very efficient.
Our room was in the back part of the hotel on the 5th floor. The room was slightly dated, but was perfectly sized and suited out needs. I must say I didnt like the pillows but you can't have everything. As mentioned in other reviews, there is no air-con but there is a handy fan. Not a problem at all. Nice big windows to open. There was a large wardrobe with plenty of storage space. There is also a fridge, which you'll need to get a key from reception to use. The bathroom was good, yes the green tiles
aren't modern but again, it's not a problem. Good shower and bath, nice big mirror and hairdryer.
One thing I would say is that the walls are thin and two bathrooms backed onto our bedroom - this meant we could hear people using their bathrooms quite succinctly. To be woken up with that could annoy some, but we chose to laugh at it and be amused.
Although the hotel is city centre, but don't worry about noise. We didn't get disturbed at all by revellers or traffic. Funchal has a lovely pace and you won't be bothered by drunk people of masses if traffic noise.
Another great facility is the rooftop pool / sun deck. What a great faculty to have. We used this everyday (we were blessed with great weather & no rain!)
The pool is on the small side, but it's clean and well maintained. Lovely to sit with your legs in. There are about 15 sun loungers and other assorted chairs, tables and benches. There are two changing cubicles and showers to use. The pool in March was fine to swim in. The pool is left open late (even though it was supposed to close) so most nights we sat up there until about 10.30pm watching the city, harbour and relaxing in the warm evening air. Can't say how great this facility is! Don't be snobby and put off because it's slightly small. It's great. The pool bar was never open (it didn't matter) - I'd say it's maybe only open at the height of summer.
Floor 3 of the hotel seemed to be the smoking floor (judging by the smell) - but all other floors are clean and do not smell of cigarette smoke at all.
We went on many levada walks and the staff were great with tips. Elsa also helped us to arrange a full day taxi tour of the north of Madeira. We did not want to do an organised tour so even though it was more expensive (€120) it was a great day and reception helped negotiate with the taxi company and get us the best price. Would highly recommend.
In closing, Hotel Windsor is a great hotel. Don't book expecting high end luxury, glittering decoration and a world class buffet breakfast.
DO book if you want a great location, amazing staff and an sufficient standard of rooms. After all, how long are you going to spend in the hotel after all. Funchal and Madeira are stunningly beautiful - get out and see it and meet the locals!
Will definetly reccomend to friends and stay again!
Looking forward to it.
Thanks to the team for a great holiday.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.