Just back from our second trip to the Enotel Lido. We had a great time last autumn and booked to return for the Funchal flower festival in May. If anything the service at Enotel lido has improved in 6 months, and far exceeds what one expects in an All Inclusive hotel. The value is amazing - food is very good, house wines acceptable (and I am a wine fiend) and all but the most premium drinks are included in AI.
The position is great - quiet but near enough to central Funchal to walk in and taxi back for about 8E. Right on the seafront promenade, and beside the public lido (bathing off rocks for the brave).
We asked for and got a high room with lovely view of ocean and pool. The only drawback to a pool view room was the presence last week of a large and lively party of French guests (works outing I gathered) who kept very late hours with loud voices. Management were alerted but not much changed.
Of the popular trips available, we recommend the Friday 'Beautiful Bays' trip on the Bonita da Madeira - a gulet style boat trip around the Eastern end of the Island. We saw spotted dolphins this time, and pilot whales last year - magic. The trip is 40E pp including transfers and lunch and is good value. Buy it from the little bureau on the promenade below the hotel (rather than from the rep) and Yvette will give friendly advice, and perhaps a discount.
Of the speciality restaurants, the Japanese is fun - tepanyaki style, and the Madeiran one is good; the Italian is a bit unimaginative.
Evening entertainment is good - the dancers and sax player especially. We didn't use the spa, but toured it during an Enotel Plus pitch - Enotel Plus is basically an advance selling offer of holidays in their hotels (4 in Madeira, one in Brazil) with discount and privileges; we reckoned it was not good enough value to warrant having to fix flights etc separately, given the deals available via First Choice et al, but it was an interesting 90 minutes with no hard sell.
We loved the whole experience, with the exception of our noisy fellow guests, but i don't know what the hotel could have done. If you take people away for a free week with an open bar what can you expect? Thank heaven they weren't Brits?