We had never visited Madeira before this trip but we were told that we would have a lovely time - we certainly did! This was due in no small part to the staff and facilities at Ocean Gardens Hotel in Funchal. Perched on the edge of Funchal just 15 minutes from the airport this hotel was just perfect. Everywhere was totally spotless and the staff could not have been friendlier - the restaurant staff were so lovely and we had a lot of fun with them (special thanks to Carlos and Joan for their superb customer service). Admittedly the hotel did not have entertainment in the evenings (although Portuguese TV is interesting!!) but we were there to relax and the surroundings certainly gave us that. Lovely pool and gardens, beautifully appointed rooms and a real laid back atmosphere. We were half board and certainly didn't think it was too 'samey' - with a choice of starters, meat or fish main and choice of desserts we weren't fishing around for something we fancied Admittedly if you did 2 weeks you might find it boring but it was always well cooked and well presented. The courtesy bus was so handy down to the centre and the local bus stopping right outside the hotel was a bonus. Best tips for trips - use the yellow buses for a cost effective tour if the main sites of Funchal and if you want to do Monte go up by local bus as part of the tourist deal which includes a cable car ride from the botanical gardens - and avoid the taxi drivers and the exorbitant toboggan ride!! The typical Madeiran evening was also well worth it. Fabulous hotel in a fabulous country - thank you Ocean Gardens!