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“Nothing Special” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Madeira

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Hotel Riu Palace Madeira
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Praia dos Reis Magos | Canico de Baixo - Portugal, Canico, Madeira, Portugal   |  
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Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Canico
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Towcester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Nothing Special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

We have stayed at a few Riu Palaces over the last couple of years so how does the Riu Palace Madeira compare? Well the rooms are good and the food is very nice and there is plenty of room by the pool, but (yes, you knew there was a "but" coming) it all feels a bit tired. The staff are friendly enough but they don't go out of their way to make you welcome and there is nothing about this hotel that makes you feel in anyway special. We would happily go back to any of the previous Riu hotels we have stayed at (funds permitting), but the Riu Palace Madeira? Maybe not. Its nothing special.

A final word if you are visiting Madeira for the first time. The airport is just one long queue from check-in to departure gate.

Room Tip: Nearly all the "sea view" rooms are overlooked and not very private at all. If you do wis...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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696 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (192)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Luton, Bedfordshire
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Just back again from our favourite hotel, which was as good as ever. The hotel itself is looking a bit worn and perhaps a refurbishment would make it even better. There will be a change next year though, as Thomson are offering an all-inclusive option, which might change the ambiance of the hotel. Apparently a few hotels in Funchal are doing the same as the government of the island wants to attract a "different" type of clientele. Disaster may beckon. The Palace has few youngsters, is a haven of peace and quiet, has fabulous food and you don't need a lot for lunch after a good breakfast. The spectre of all day eating and drinking guests does not suit the views of most returnees, and we will have to wait.
There are some good eateries on the road up the steps from the Prom, and although it is hard for those less mobile, it can be done. Admit the bar down form Spar is not to our taste though the beer- local Coral lager- was as good as anywhere. Bolo de caco (garlic bread) in Habbeas Coppus is excellent (Coppus derives from Latin for Glass) Little locals bar round the corner from the cove actually had 3 beers on sale- if they didn't run out - at ridiculously low prices, but the bar is noisy and very Portuguese.
The manic hotel bus driver blasts you with local(ish) music non-stop, but apparently people ask if they can buy it. He also gets you to and from Funchal by circuitous routes, well worth a scary ride on local "side" roads. Funchal doesn't seem to have changed, two "large" cups of very good coffee with milk 95 cents each if you know where to go, and great local grub at Sunny Bar next to MacDs and Pizza hut, Bifana- pork steak sandwich -2Euro tasty and value.
Now we wait and see what changes may happen, we will certainly go to Madeira and the Palace next year, and pray it has not gone downhill, as it is a brilliant hotel

Room Tip: Rooms facing the Airport get morning sun those facing Funchat afternoon sun, except it often clouds...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
scotland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Booked the hotel as previously stayed in Riu Palace Gran Canaria. The hotel service is excellent from the pool to the restaurant. Food great and varied.
Very disappointed at the air conditioning being switched off from 01.00-07.00hrs just when I needed it most!!!
The location is isolated and not suited if you like to go out in the evening, taxi to Funchal 25 Euros.
The hotel provide a curtesy bus during the day.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

My wife and I spent two weeks in the Riu Palace during summer 2012 and can report that it is very good indeed. As reported elsewhere, the staff are very friendly and helpful. On arrival we were greeted by a glass of quality Madeira wine, a nice touch. Preparing our room to proper standards was delayed by about one hour (during which time we lunched on the poolside). The staff were most apologetic about the delay and our luggage was accompanied to our room by a complementary bottle of Madeira wine. The hotel wants to make a good impression. Evening food is served either at the table for speciality dishes, or from the extensive buffets for other dishes. It is all of a high standard. HINT: Portugese wine is OK but the Madeirans have not mastered table wine yet. The evening entertainment is of varying standard, but is mostly worth the effort. Breakfast is less formal than dinner (shorts allowed!) and can include a glass of Cava. This sounds slightly ludicrous, but finishing a good breakfast with a glass of bubbly while enjoying the sea view makes more sense than you might think. The rooms are more than adequate and are decorated in the slightly darker taste of the Portugese (as opposed to the bright/white taste of Spanish hotels). The location is not ideal but the view out to sea is very good. Getting to Funchal (the focus of everything on the island) is easy using the free bus, providing you remember to book the night beforehand. If you are a British visitor then be aware that the vast majority of guests are German; this means that you will be in a small majority, but that they are a demanding majority, resulting in high standards.

Room Tip: Pay the extra to get a proper sea view. It is really worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

Just returned from the Riu Palace. Fantastic hotel, spotlessly clean, efficient staff. We booked a junior suite which consisted of two double beds side by side. An archway through to a lounge area with television and fridge if needed. Beautiful bathroom and separate dressing room. However, it would have been nice to have had tea or coffee making facility in our room. Missed my cuppa on the balcony. Wonderful views from the balcony. The food is extremely good with lots of variety. The only thing we did not like is that the dinner is divided into two sittings. The first is at 6.30pm and the second at 8.30pm. We were allotted the 8.30 slot which we were not keen with. The reception changed for us which was fine but we found we had to share a table with two strangers who were german so we could not even communicate. We did complain and we did get moved to a table for two. Much better, but be warned there are very few tables for just two people. We did feel that as we had paid more for the holiday because we had a junior suite that it would not be too much to expect a table for 2. Because of the lateness of the second sitting the entertainment (such as it is) did not start until 10pm. The location was not so good. Whilst it is beautiful we do enjoy walking in the evening to the local "pub" and perhaps a few gift shops. There were none so we felt a bit cut off from the rest of the world at times. There was a small restaurant where you could have a drink by a Spar supermarket. It is an upward struggle to reach it and if you have any walking difficulties I would give it a miss. We only had one drink at this place as it tasted like the drink had been watered down. The hotel provides a courtesy bus for hotel guests to Funchal. Make sure you book the night before. It is a very efficient and reliable service. There is also a bus stop at the top of the drive if you wish to go anywhere else. There is a promenade in front of the hotel which is nice and flat and joggers constantly go up and down. Not many people used the pools as the weather was very windy. The wind actually picked up sun loungers and moved them across the pool area. On the whole an excellent hotel but the location was just not for us.

Room Tip: Try and book a junior suite - well worth the extra cost.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

booked wednesday flew out the following monday. A speeding coach took just 15 mins to get from airport to hotel (Not very relaxing). Nice welcome and soon in room. Food was great as were nearly every member of staff. Room kept spotlessly clean, even a towel swan on bed each day...Reasonable priced. Lovely pool and cafe area. Down side - the pools were freezing and took 20 mins just to get in, not enjoyable. A big part of my holiday is relaxing by the pool and swimming. I have never seen a pool so empty only ever a handful of people in the water. Strong atlantic sea very noisy in the night and the crickets so loud,unable to leave door to balcony open of a night and had to rely on a not so efficient air conditioning system. Recommend staying on coast in Funchal next time, for cafes and shopping etc.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
U.K
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We traveled on the 2nd July 2012 and arrived in funchal in great time.
We had a coach transfer from the airport to the hotel provided by Thomsons holiday.
The hotel is set on the pebbled beach in Canico its a fantastic location and has great walks around the hotel and area.
We were met in the foyer by the reception team and was dealt with quick and effectively. The manager of the hotel came out to personally greet us and inform us that as diamond Riu card holders we had been given an upgraded room. She asked us if we would like to view the room before we accept it. This we did and it was fantastic, it was a jnr Suite and was better than most caribbean suites. The food was great as it usually is in the Riu chain.
You get a choice of sittings in the restaurant and have the same table every night but can sit anywhere at breakfast.I have to mention our waitress called Teresa who was superb all week and after the first night she had the wine of our choice already in ice before we got to the table each night.Fantastic service. The pool area is quite small but was never over full and you could always get a loungers by the pool without having to save one first thing in the morning.
There is a little pool eating area thats not included in your half board but the food is great and reasonably priced.Wine is as cheap as coke............
Cannot believe people say the food was not great, it was just that, great.
Entertainment was not great but its there if you want to watch it however there is a great area around the bar to sit and relax and have a quiet drink.
The people in the hotel are of a more mature age and thats what makes this hotel a great place to stay as its quiet,relaxed and friendly.The only negative is that as its a Thomson hotel there are a few ignorant Germans who have no concept of what a queue is or what manners are, not all of them, as the guy next door to us in the hotel was German and made every effort to talk to us when our paths crossed.
Take the cable car in Funchal its got great views and take a walk from the hotel to canico, its a steep walk but well worth it. Also the yellow open Top bus tour is not to be missed, you can hop on and off at any stop, Visit the "Hole in one " pub in Funchal, good drinks and food.
Finally if you have a Riu card you can pay the outstanding cost of your bar bill or any extras in the hotel with the points you have on your card. So we had nothing to pay at the end of the stay Great......
We will return to the hotel............

Room Tip: Get a Riu card.......Free upgrade with a Diamond card.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Madeira

Address: Praia dos Reis Magos | Canico de Baixo - Portugal, Canico, Madeira, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Canico
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Canico
#1 Romantic Hotel in Canico
#1 Spa Hotel in Canico
#1 Luxury Hotel in Canico
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Madeira 4*
Number of rooms: 327
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located opposite the oceanfront promenade of Canico de Baixo. 8-Storey building. 10 M to the sea; access to the ocean across a walkway. 13 Km from Funchal (complimentary shuttle service from the hotel; weekdays and Saturdays. Not available on public holidays). 2 Km from the city centre. 2 Km from various shops. 10 Km from the airport. 50 M from a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa, Diners. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Madeira Canico
Hotel Riu Palace Madeira Canico

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