We had a lovely winter Break at The Riu Palace booked on a Thomson Holiday. The staff are attentive and friendly and the hotel rooms spacious and spotlessly clean. we had a room on the 7th floor with a large balcony and fabulous sea views. the food was plentiful and very good, however when we booked the brochure had stated a choice of buffet or table service but when we got there it was buffet service only. I wasn't too keen on this at first as i don't like the idea of queing for food but as the wee went on I got used to it and because the service at the various food stations is so good, we didn't often have to queue. The outside pools and lounging areas where also lovely and clean, really had a wonderful time.
the hotel is about 15min drive from Funchal but as the hotel has a courtesy bus, this isn't an issue. The lovely quiet location with wonderful sea views easily makes up for it.
I would definately stay here again