The reception, bar, restaurant, pool area and poolside bar/specialist restaurant are all beautiful areas. All Staff efficient and very friendly. For me the problem and disappointment started when we entered our bedroom. We paid extra for a partial sea view and felt somewhat robed. Yes we had a partial view but so do almost all rooms. Our room got the sunrise but the sun was off it before 10am and in winter this meant you couldn't sit on the good sized balcony. With the hotel only about half full I thought we could have been given a much nicer room. The room was a nice size but there were three things that really irritated me. The worst was the badly stained carpet, the room looked like it had been recently painted but the furniture hadn't had the same facelift and was scuffed and marked, but I must come back to the dirty carpet. Who in there right mind wouldn't have changed the carpet, or at least have it professionally cleaned. I couldn't bring myself to walk barefoot on it. Secondly we paid 16 euros for use of the room safe. Expensive for one week. The safe was a floor safe and every time we wanted to use it we had to get on all fours on the grubby carpet. As a lot of the clientele is of an older generation how would they manage? Poor design. Fix it somewhere higher. Safes need to be accessible. My last gripe about the room is the lack of a kettle. I wake about 5am but could not get a tea or coffee until 8am with breakfast. I asked at reception and was told they only had three kettles and they were reserved for families with babies. It's years since I needed a travel kettle, but if you are thinking of staying here you will need to clear the dust off any travel kettle you may have in the bottom of a cupboard. Why do they not provide one? Is it a money saving (and making) opportunity?
I still gave the hotel four stars as everything else was lovely. The two outdoor pools were beautiful and clean. There large size made it a great place to actually swim. The sun beds were of a reasonable quality and the pads immediately bought to you by the chaps that looked after the pool area made them very comfortable. As always the staff worked hard to offer an excellent service.
The breakfast and evening meal were buffet unless you pre-booked for the poolside bar that was converted to a restaurant in the evening where you helped yourself to starters but the main course and dessert are bought to you by a very discreet waiter. Just book at reception the night before.
The free bus into Funchal was great. You book after 6 the night before at reception. It's on a first come first served basis but whilst we were there it was never full. When you book it you also have to book the return time which was not particularly great as you don't really know how long you want to be out but it is sensible as you know you have a place on the bus to get back. As buses were never full we sometimes caught an earlier one back which no one minded as we were not taking anyone else's places.
Bar expensive with two gin and tonics coming out at €14.20. Yikes
Like many others my husband got a poorly stomach whilst we were there but the hotel seemed to be trying their best to end the cross infection as they changed the help yourself serving spoons and tongues at least every hour but whilst ever you have individuals that help themselves to croutons with their bare hands and throw some back into the pot there will always be a problem. Please think before you touch the food on the Buffett. You know who you are!!
All in all not a bad place to stay but be prepared for it not to be as perfect as some of the reviews would lead you to believe, and if you like more than an occasional drink you need to have deep pockets. Hope you are luckier than us with the room. It you can afford it and there are suites still available book one of those. They have full sea views and most of them have sun nearly all day and by all accounts are lovely. It may sound as though we didn't enjoy our stay, but we did, we were just a little disappointed our stay didn't match to our expectations.
- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Madeira Hotel
- Riu Palace Madeira Canico
- Riu Palace Madeira
- Hotel Riu Palace Madeira Canico
- 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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