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“Return to Porto Mare - will be back” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Residence Porto Mare (Porto Bay)

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The Residence Porto Mare (Porto Bay)
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Rua Leichlingen 7, Funchal, Madeira 9004-532, Portugal (Formerly Porto Mare Residence)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 91 Hotels in Funchal
Espoo, Finland
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Return to Porto Mare - will be back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2008

We stayed at Porto Mare hotel side 3 years ago, and came back to the Residence with our family of 2 small children. Our experience was like our previous one some years back -- first class.

1) Service. Just perfect. For example, we requested a baby cot for our little one upon our arrival to the room, and it was brought within minutes. Reception answered all our questions and requests without delay.

2) Room. The room itself was very spacious and nicely decorated. The bed may have been on the hard side, but nothing to truly whine about. The freezer compartment of our fridge was full of formed ice = not really working, so it needed a melt.

3) Location. Very well situated in Lido, next to the beachfront boulevard. Grocery store 150m away. We walked many times to Funchal (2,5km) although there is a courtesy bus as well (sometimes crowded as I understood).

4) Amenities. We used the restaurant(s) a couple of times for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is excellent in terms of variety, quality, and service (like custom-made omelettes). Dinner was also surprisingly good and theme changed every night. We also used the spa for massages and found it excellent in terms of facilities and "very good" in terms of the massage itself.

5) To anyone with children. We had a huge two-seat stroller for our 2 kids and we were able to move about the hotel area with ease. There are not many children in this hotel, and we got some attention, although positive! Kiddie outdoor pool exists, although not heated.

All in all a perfect stay, and we will be back.

- TP

  • Liked — Service, location, breakfast
  • Disliked — -
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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464 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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UK
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2008

The Residence is part of a superb resort complex based around The Residence (which is basically timeshare apartments) and the the Porto Mare and Eden Mare Hotels. This gives it a very large site set in beautiful gardens and with 3 outdoor swimming pools, complimented by 2 indoor pools. The site is set just back from the sea front but most apartments at The Residence have a good sea view across the gardens and across a green space which is also owned by the Porto Mare group. I have stayed in many different hotels in many different countries and I can say that The Residence compares very favourably with other 4 Star hotels across the world and certainly with the other 4 Star hotels on the island. It is clean, spacious and the rooms are furnished very tastefully. It is positioned very well in terms of local amenities and the free courtesy bus into and out of Funchal is very convenient. The restaurants and bars in the complex are also very good, although I do have to say that the entertainment is a little disappointing (although no worse than any of the other hotels!). However, I know that a new Entertainments Manager has just been appointed and I expect things to improve considerably as a result of it because he is a very pro-active person.
I have been back to The Residence several times over the past few years because I am a timeshare owner of one of the apartments there. I have not grown tired of the Porto Mare complex or of Madeira in that time as we are still finding different things to do and it so nice to come back once the summer in mainland Europe has given way to autumn and winter. I believe that the timeshare package at The Residence compares very well with those offered by other timeshare providers on the island. My one complaint about it is that one of the options we were told would be available after we first bought the timeshare apartment has subsequently been withdrawn, not just to new timeshare owners but to us as well (and with no prior warning or consultation). I, thus, feel somewhat cheated and I would advise anybody considering a timeshare to get EVERYTHING down in writing before they sign. If it hadn't been for this then I would rate The Residence with 5 Stars in every category and certainly in terms of its accommodation.

  • Liked — Well designed luxurious accomodation set in beautiful gardens
  • Disliked — The changing goalposts with respect to the timeshare contract - I feel cheated about this!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2008

Porto Mare – The Residence

Couple in early 30's – November 2008 (2 week stay).

LOVELY LOVELY place! Madeira is VERY pretty and The Residence is fantastic – highly recommend it. Very attractive,clean place. Mainly made up of retired people.

Facts you need to know:-

You don't need to take towels. You are given bath towels,flannels and pool/beach towels.

Don't bother taking high heels ladies, everywhere is a steep slope or a hill, to get ANYWHERE! Even wedges were a struggle!

The main pool is ice ice ice cold – you have been warned! BUT there are two indoor pools by the spa so worry not. There is a warmer little baby pool too.

The average age is 70 (literally) whilst there's NOTHING wrong with this at all, it means the few people in the hotel/residence under 40 got a bit bored in the evenings..... the hotel was 87% filled to capacity (apparently) and there was never more than 8 people in any of the hotels beautiful bars at night and the place was dead by 11pm!

There is a PC in reception with internet access BUT you are restricted to 15 mins at a time,its free, but they do not allow you to access Microsoft Outlook. It does not have USB capability.

Hotel entertainment – not brilliant but bearable! Better than most probably.

The main town (Madeira's capital) “Funchal” is 5 euros in a cab or 2 euros by bus....however there is a free courtesy bus service running at varying times to and from our hotel and 3 other local ones. Slightly livelier BUT by 11:40pm the bars down by the 'front' (the marina) have NO SHAME in clearing up and shutting up shop around you even if you are half way through your drink – no exceptions! Even McDonalds is open later !!!

There is one tiny tiny little market down by the cable cars in Funchal, every second stall has the same products as the other...approx 12 stalls.........not worth it.

If you are staying in a “studio” (like we did) the 'kitchenette' really is just that. There are 2 halogen hobs, a toaster, a coffee maker, a microwave,fridge,tiny freezer compartment.......NO GRILL OR OVEN !! There is hardly any room at all for food prep which made self catering very very difficult. We only actually cooked dinner twice in 14 days because of this! Studio was lovely other than that. The supermarket does a BRILLIANT take-away (and so cheap) of proper food i.e. cooked chicken,veg,potatoes and bacon, pork chops in gravy etc.......BRILLIANT for after a long day trip! We saw the one bedroomed apartments and they have a 'proper' kitchen with dishwasher, oven, grill, and lots of room for food prep etc. And lots more room in general. There is capability for lots more privacy too as you can shut off the bedroom, the lounge and the washing area is split in two, a room with a sink and bath, and a room with a walk in shower,toilet and sink. Perfect for 4 adults! Studios AND apartments all have a tv and dvd player.

Re. Children – there were about 8 kids in the whole place all under 5 years old. There's not much for kids to do over this age from what we saw. There's a little room with toys, quite baby-ish, a small swing park. DO NOT TAKE TEENAGERS – it will be hell on earth for them!

It's a very quiet place and (to my relief but maybe NOT to yours) there's no happy clappy-ness around the pool or loudness........ everyone keeps themselves to themselves and its all very quiet and restrained. Just old people reading books...... which is fine.

The ONLY 'liveliness' we found was an Irish bar (a 7 minute walk from the apartment) called O'Briens – it's quite expensive in there though. On a Friday and a Saturday night they have a band (again made up of fella's in their 50's but they are good). It gets VERY busy in there and lots of very well off locals go there....... locals were still entering at midnight! Most other nights its dead.

The organised trips – we went on 4........ VERY VERY good! The Thomson tour guide was BRILLIANT! It was so interesting to hear facts about the people and the country. Highly recommend the following: 'FLAVOURS OF FUNCHAL' (included in this is wine tasting,cable car,tobogan ride,visit to lace factory etc), 'EAST TOUR' (absolutely brilliant – don't wanna give too much away but you go 6000ft up a mountain, go to a lovely restaurant for 3 course meal,go on a lovely walk through forest to see amazing views........and more).

Clothing – Madeira is a VERY hilly mountainous place and PLEASE take this literally! There are slopes and hills to get to shops to restaurants to everywhere! Take comfy walking shoes, and most importantly TAKE A JUMPER to all of the trips that go up high in coach – the temperature drops BIGTIME!


Thomson rep 'Paula' absolutely fantastic! ALL the staff were! So helpful, kind and professional. Superb!

There is a main supermarket about a 10 minute walk from The Residence. You can get to it two ways. Outside reception, turn left past the park and then walk through the car park. The other way u can go is to walk through the Porto Mare hotel which leads to the Eden Mar hotel – through reception and turn right down the stairs in to the small shopping centre.
There is a pharmacy a 10 min walk away. The quickest way to get there is turn right out of Residence reception and up the steep hill and turn right past the cab rank.

DO NOT let this next bit put you off........... The Residence has time share availability/capability. If you don't attend the welcome meeting you'd never know.
Well its not time share as in the 1980's scary version.....its a “holiday club” (part of R.I.C whom Thomas Cook own 85% of). It's mentioned in the welcome meeting because if just you go to a 'presentation' you get 40 Euros off your trips and a BEAUTIFUL large hard backed book about Madeira! The office where you go for this 'time share' talk is just under The Residence and is totally professional and really quite impressive. You get coffees and an hour chat and a tour of the hotel (VERY helpful as its large!). They do not work on commission and there REALLY is no pressure. It takes an hour. No more no less. We actually bought one! For £4,500 we 'own' a one bed roomed apartment at The Residence every Nov 17th-26th for next ten years – this includes a £300 a year maintenance fee which is WELL worth it as the place is beautiful and spotless. But its part of this 'holiday club' (“R.I.C”) which is usually £50-£80 a year to join. With the deal you get 3 years free! And you can swap your week for anywhere in the special brochure which contains 4 star and 5 star accommodations only. Because the apartment is part of such a high spec place you can do a “two for one” which means swapping our one week here can buy us 2 weeks in America! REALLY! We'd researched this for 4 months before going! That's why we went there – to “try before you buy”.

The island is COVERED in christmas lights and a few of these were turned on on our last night down in Funchal – they are spectacular – the official switch on is Dec 6th – gutted to have missed it. Madeira is in the Guinness Book Of Records for their New Years fireworks display – from what we heard its stunning!

If you want photos of the apartment, the hotel, the area,the pool,the views...ANYTHING email me on lozzasheep@yahoo.co.uk and title your email “photos of Madeira”.

  • Liked — The cleanliness and the appearance -its beautiful and so classy!
  • Disliked — Not enough for people who arent retired and dont want to be tucked up in bed by 10pm!
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2008

Arrived at the residence at about 1pm our room was ready even though check-in time was 4pm. We have a 1 bed apt which was fantastic lovely and clean with great views from the balcony to the sea. The resort is a great place to unwind plenty of sunbeds and a great large pool outside with two further heated pools inside. The staff are very friendly and often came over to speak throughout the day, the restaurants are really good with something for every taste, there is also a good supermarket nearby if you fancied cooking in your apartment, I will definately be going back next year I rate the residence and porta mare resort 5 star

  • Liked — very spacious, clean and modern, great views
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
cumbriauk
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2008

We booked a studio room with a side sea view in the Eden Mar,another of the three hotels on the Porto Mare complex. On arrival at 2am in the morning were told we were in the wrong hotel and our room was in the Residence. We never discovered why and didn't like to ask in case they changed their minds as the room we were given was pretty well perfect. We had a kitchen , two bathrooms, large sitting room, bedroom with huge bed, and a balcony overlooking the gardens and ocean.

The pools were great and the gardens pleasant. The breakfasts were outstanding, with loads of choice. The design of the hotels meant that you never felt you were in a large hotel full of people, there were loads of areas, inside and out, where you could sit quietly.

We found the food at the Alfama restaurent in the hotel was exactly to our taste and the service excellent. It wasn't cheap but well worth what we paid. In the town we found a great cafe near the university called something like the Academe. It looked nothing special and we went in because our feet were tired. It seemed to cater mostly to locals. The menu was very restricted but the food was brilliant and terrific value for money, especially the soup. We also ate at a seafood restaurant along the promenade. Very good food and sensational views of the sunset.

We hope to return to Madeira and would choose the Porto Mare complex again.

Stayed October 2008
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BRISTOL
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2008

Stayed at porto mare in a two bedroom apartment in the last week of june.The apartment had everything you could wish for,both bedrooms ensuite,tvs in all rooms,dvd player,fully equiped kitchen with clean utensils.The complex is very clean with plent of sun beds and umbrellas [cost 1 euro per day].The walk into town takes approx 25 mins,taxi costs about 4.50euros.
Overall the holiday was great but if your going expecting theme bars and pubs showing eastenders and cafes with full english and sunday lunches everywhere you will be dissapointed.
We travelled with are two boys 12 and 11, and food wasn t an issue,plenty of very good resturantes.
a must when you visit funchal, take a cable car ride up to the gardens ,then take the toobogan back down[only takes you down half way]

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2008

I booked a 2 bedroom apartment in the Porto Mare Residence in March and paid for it in full 11th April through Panorama/Thomas Cook. When we at last arrived at one a.m. after a long flight we were told to put our luggage back in the taxi as there was no room and to go to another establishment on the same complex I am 74 years old, I was tired and angry.
The next morning after the rep's spiel, I told him of my anger, he said it was the first he'd heard of the problem, consulted his boss, and offered us half-board in compensation, which we accepted. But damage had been done.
The hotel was fine and quiet, the buffets were great and the staff most pleasing. But nobody from management offered apology or excuse. Two other people on our flight had got the same welcome and one of the Thomas Cook reps told me that thirty people had been overbooked and had had to move the following week. So be warned.
The high mountain walking is splendid, the levadas one of the world's wonders, built by slaves from Africa. A pity about the welcome though.

  • Liked — Comfort
  • Disliked — Welcome
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Residence Porto Mare (Porto Bay)

Address: Rua Leichlingen 7, Funchal, Madeira 9004-532, Portugal (Formerly Porto Mare Residence)
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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Funchal
#4 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#5 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#7 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Residence Porto Mare (Porto Bay) 4*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Occupying the west wing of the Vila Porto Mare resort, The Residence enjoys the use of all its facilities and a real sense of community. A wide selection of carefully furnished and fully equipped apartments where comfort is our motto. The 99 units divided into studios, one and two bedroom apartments are decorated with a touch of exoticism. The Residence apartments combine views over the ocean with tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Porto Mare Residence Funchal
Porto Mare Residence Hotel Funchal
The Residence Porto Mare (Porto Bay) Madeira/Funchal

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