The Quinta Mãe dos Homens is located in a residential area about 1,5 km northeast of downtown Funchal, obviously uphill. It can be reached from the town centre by city buses (line 32 - departures about 30 minutes apart in daytime), taxi (about €5 in daytime) or on foot (20-30 minutes uphill, about half that going down). You could also use a rental car, but the streets in Funchal are steep and narrow, and some local drivers are out of their minds. The quinta has its own parking lot, but finding parking elsewhere could prove difficult.
The quinta is a fenced-in property with barbed wire and glass shards on the walls surrounding it. Its reception has limited opening hours, but they're able to receive you at any time if you have clearly stated your time of arrival. It appears that the owner lives on the site, as some buildings and areas are signposted as "Privado".
We had requested a taxi pick-up on the airport. The driver was slightly late, but apologised politely. He drove us straight to the property and had his own keys. We were received warmly by several members of the staff and got helped carrying our luggage in.
The quinta consists of several buildings with apartments/studios of different sizes, with the remnants of a banana plantation in-between. There are a few lawns and an old wine press in the gardens. There's a pleasant pool (rather deep - not suitable for children who can't swim) with deckchairs around it - but the water was too cold (in late February) for more than a short dip. There's also a self-service "clubhouse" with a TV, some chairs and lots of paperbacks (probably lefty by previous guests). Wireless internet is available here, but only erratically elsewhere.
We had a family studio with a large living room/bedroom/kitchen, a separate bedroom and a bathroom. The living room had two queen size single beds put together as a spacious double, a sleeper sofa (usable by two enjoying each other's company), two tables, some chairs, a spacious wardrobe and a TV. The separate bedroom had one single bed. The kitchen had a microwave oven, a two-ring stove, a small refrigerator, a toaster, a water kettle and a sink. The cutlery and utensils provided was somewhat limited, but just enough (as always when renting an apartment, bringing a sharp knife is a good thing). The drinking glasses were all different - apparently, earlier guests have broken things and replaced them with whatever they could find in the shops...
The bathroom had a washbasin, a WC, a bidet and a bathtub. The shower and shower curtain worked well, and warm water was plentiful even on a rainy day. Apart from toilet tissue, no toiletries were provided except a bar of soap that was not replaced during our 8-day stay. An ample amount of towels were supplied.
The balcony had a small table, two chairs and a drying rack. The views over Funchal were excellent!
Everything was well-kept and clean. Cleaning and change of towels is done three times per week, linen is changed once a week. The cleaning staff obviously takes pride in doing a good job!
There's no restaurant on-site, but you can book a "breakfast basket". Locally there's a combined bakery/pizzeria a few minutes walk away - I have eaten better pizza, but it's OK. There's also a mini market nearby. For major shopping, go downtown instead, the Anadia shopping centre (open 7 days) is lose to the 32 bus line and has an excellent grocery store downstairs. You could also buy bus tickets here.
Staff was not too visible, but the reception is open some hours each weekday. They do keep listings of different activities, tour operators etc. They also have a good selection of guide books, maps etc. that can be borrowed free of charge.
While I did find the quinta's staff service minded, I did get an impression that they could do more to follow up on promises given. We only encountered minor issues, but together they were somewhat harmful on our impression. First, we did not get a proper receipt for what we had paid - only a credit card slip as their printer was broken. We were promised that a receipt would be left in our room, but we got none. Secondly, we had some minor technical issues in the room - a broken light bulb and a poorly functioning toilet flushing mechanism. These were reported immediately, but nothing was done to fix them even during our stay. Thirdly, we did pre-book a taxi pick-up for our day of departure, but discovered by chance a few days before that they had recorded the wrong time even if we had made our booking in writing. These were all small things, but they did give us the impression that the staff could do more to make sure that the guests' requests are fulfilled.
All in all, we had a pleasant stay and would come back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.