In March of 2013, I stayed at Jardíns d'Ajuda hotel in the island of Madeira for a week with breakfast.
The weather was windy, a little cold and it rained a few times. So it wasn’t pleasant to swim outdoor, but the hotel has a heated swimming pool indoor.
Most of the customers were elderly French, British, Swedes and Norwegians. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. This hotel is a good place to just relax at an affordable price. The evening entertainment by a father and his daughter was almost the same for almost a whole week, it was good, though a little repetitive. Their songs nevertheless made the elderly cheerfully sing and dance, some were shaking like teenagers (it is never too late….).
The cleaning staff worked pretty hard to keep the hotel constantly clean. The staff at the reception were respectful, helpful, cheerful and took the time to answer all the questions in good English and even in some other languages. The gardener worked alone very hard caring for all the banana trees and other exotic trees and flowers in the hotel area. These people were amazing. I wish I could give the hotel 4 * because of the quality of service from the employees, but the final score is rather a strong +3 *.
The buffet breakfast was very good, the food was clean, varied and abundant, catering for almost all tastes. Even those with lactose intolerance could find something to eat. I just wished they provided a little more cheese variety as there was only one sort of cheese for the entire week. Everything was freshly made. The staff were helpful and worked hard to keep all the diners happy. When I saw what was on offer at the buffet dinner, I decided to eat in the hotel on five evenings as I had no reason to eat elsewhere, but there are very good restaurants in the area. I was a little disappointed though when I didn’t get ice cream for desert.
The central heating didn’t work in my cold room. I didn’t expect much but told a cleaner who happened to be cleaning the adjacent room. Few minutes later a technician came to check on the heater, he couldn’t repair it immediately so he brought a stand-alone heater to my room and explained for me how it worked. All this took less than 30 minutes. I call this first-class service.
One thing I didn’t understand was why the staff turned off the light in the small shower rooms near the indoor swimming pool. I brought this issue to the staff’s attention. The explanation they gave was that the massage staff turn off the lights when they have a customer in the adjacent room. I still don’t understand why the lights had to be turned off….. that made the shower rooms dark. This is a safety issue that the hotel must address, because most of the customers are elderly people that could easily stumble, fall and get injured when they use the dark shower rooms.
Internet was available 24/7 only in the reception area and the hotel’s nice pub. The quality of the network was good.
You actually don’t need to leave the hotel at all because they provide everything you need, however, there is a large shopping center near the hotel that has a European style. There is also a free hotel bus that take you to Funchal several times a day and surprisingly all days of the week. I personally think one should take a few trips to some beautiful places in the island, the reception will help you with the agents that provide this service. The agents presented by the reception are trustworthy and serious. You can choose between taxi, minibus or bus for the trips. You can also find cheaper agents outside the hotel.
One irritating thing that I didn’t like about this hotel was that smoking was unfortunately permitted. Some chain smokers abused this permission and it wasn’t easy to avoid them as they occupied the entrances. Luckily, smoking was restricted to one area of the garden.
This is to the manager of the hotel. Dear sir, please add an “Unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the emails your hotel is sending to your past customers. It is unsuitable to use our official email addresses to send advertisements and other unimportant emails that we didn’t ask for. In some countries it is illegal to send unsolicited emails. I was never asked at the reception if i’m interested in receiving emails from your hotel.
It was my third visit to Madeira, the capital Funchal has changed a lot. It used to be a small charming village with a lot of flowers, now it has become more of a European city with large hotel complexes, shops, roads, cars and pollution from vehicle emission. I felt sad seeing how much Funchal has changed as Madeira is a small, charming and green island, building roads all over it will take away the very reason why visitors come to the island in the first place. I hope their politicians sooner rather than later wake up to this very fact, before it is too late.
Despite Swedes being one of the highest consumers of banana in the world, the banana trees are seldom seen in Sweden other than in botanical gardens, therefore, it is very tempting to pick banana from the trees in Madeira. We tourists must nonetheless be respectful towards the farmers. Those juicy Madeiran bananas can be bought in all the local supermarkets at a reasonable price.
Madeirans are pleasant, friendly and welcoming people, full of dignity and integrity. Tourists never get attacked, threatened or abused in any way like in some other nasty countries, which is one of the reasons why tourists, most of which elderly and pensioners from EU, keep revisiting the island. Other reasons are of course the famous Madeiran food and wine and last but not least, the beauty of the island itself. I will probably revisit the island for the fourth time next Winter, hopefully the weather will be better.
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- Also Known As:
- Jardins d Ajuda Suite Funchal
- Jardins D'Ajuda Suite Hotel I And II Madeira/Funchal