- Sea view rooms are lovely. Definitely worth the upgrade. Note though that if you like to sleep with the window open, there was a mosquito problem (easily solved with a nightime anti-mosquito plug or similar).
- Private beach is gorgeous, we were lucky to have 9 days out of 10 of hot sun in late December
- Breakfast buffet had pretty much everything you could want
- Staff were very helpful and friendly. Didn't have any language problems at all, despite our terrible lack of Portuguese.
- Spa, sauna, turkish bath and pool facilities were great
- Hotel restaurant was exceptional, very good food and service
- Wifi in lobby area only - in a 5 star hotel in 2013 - really?
- All the spa facilities closed down for several days for maintenance at the end of our stay, which was very disappointing. The staff were apologetic, but we felt this was something that should have been scheduled to avoid inconveniencing paying guests.
- Spa treatments are a tad expensive for what they are
- A few stray hairs from previous occupants suggests that the cleaning could have been a little more thorough
In our opinion the few bad points made the hotel feel more like a 4 star than 5, particularly when compared to another CS hotel we stayed at in Madeira. It definitely wasn't terrible, but your expectations are high when staying at a 5 star hotel and unfortunately this didn't quite meet them.
I would suggest to the CS owners that this hotel is overdue a refurbishment to bring it up to the high standards of other 5 star hotels, even within their own chain. And a couple of other tips to please your British visitors - please find something better than Lipton teabags for the rooms (these are absolutely the worst tea available), and provide little milk tubs for use so we don't have to go back to the bar every time we need milk for tea!