My family and I stayed here over the New Year period and generally enjoyed ourselves. It has all the attributes required to make it a really top quality 5 star hotel and yet there are some aspects that let the establishment as a whole down.
I'll start with the good stuff. Our room had an outstanding view of Funchal's mountainside from the hotel's 16th floor. The room itself was ok with excellent mattresses, blackout curtains and pillows. The staff were for the most part all very friendly and hard working, especially the doorman who helped us on a couple of occasions during our stay- top man. The hotel makes the most of its stunning location along a cove with excellently positioned cliff top rooms, poolside bars, jacuzzis only metres from the sea, 2 large pools, a small pier jutting out to sea, scuba classes directly offshore, an indoor spa, a bar that gets going in the early hours (or at least it was at 2am on New Year's day!) and only a 10 min stroll from Funchal centre.
Now the not so good stuff. Parts of the hotel don't look as if they have been changed since the early 1970s. They could really do with a face lift. The breakfast for a five star hotel is very poor with a limited selection of items. Then again, this has been my experience in all hotels in Portugal so it may well be that expections regarding breakfasts in Portugal are different to those elsewhere. There is a charge of 5 euros an hour to use an iron! £180 a night for our room and we had to pay five euros for an iron that didn't even have steam! This came across as mean and ridiculous for what is after all a 5 star establishment and not a roadside motel. There was no wifi in our room with reception being the only place where wifi was available.