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Savoy Calheta Beach
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Calheta
Reviewed March 26, 2013

After a trip that saw us late leaving UK and an aborted landing, we arrived at hotel 15 minutes after they finished lunch. Told nothing available, but snacks were available from pool bar. OK, take bags to room and only one very soft pillow each. Went down for snack only to be told that snacks weren't included in All Inclusive (AI) - always had been everywhere else we stayed - but free snacks were available at tea time, just when we had our welcome meeting! Ordered extra pillows but despite numerous reminders took 3.5 hours for them to be delivered, so missed our afternoon catch up nap after a long day. During this period we did our discovery walk, only to find a rather run down marina area. Air conditioning didn't work but told it was too early in season, even though it is advertised. They did offer to change our room, but the new one only had a walk-in shower, so we stayed where we were (something to request if you like a bath!).
However, none of these things mattered by the time we left. It turned out to be one of our best holidays. The staff were all amazing, speaking excellent English, and all had a sense of humour -best staff we have come across in all our years of travelling. There was no loud music around the pool, just nice gentle background music and the same in the evenings, small groups (special mention to The Grumpies - brilliant group, could've listened to them every night!) and specialist dancers, ranging from latin American to Calheta folk group. All the guests were friendly too, whatever language you spoke!
There is a supermarket which stocks nearly everything and a pharmacy just across the road and a few restaurants around the marina area. There is a bus service (not sure how regular but only week days) and a taxi rank opposite hotel entrance. Although the hotel runs a bus service to Funchal (17.50 euros each return) we took one of the local taxis (40 euros each way). They ran a good service whereby you were given a business card by the driver and you phoned him when you were ready to be collected, so you could spend however much time you wanted - either longer or shorter than the minibus. The hotel also put on a couple of free trips, you need to put your name down early, as there is a maximum capacity. If you can get a group together (which we weren't able) several people went on a trip with Nelson (he's well known locally!!!) and for 120 euros he will take you round half the island in a day with various stops, so if you can get 6 people, that's a bargain at 20 euros each. Plus he lived in the UK for several years and speaks excellent English.
Breakfast was very good (but no fresh omlettes :-( which my husband loves), lunch and dinner were ok if you liked salads. But the hotel has a good deal going with their a la carte restaurant next door. If you wish to eat there, you can get a voucher for 13 euros per person towards the cost of dinner, but you need to obtain this the day before you wish to eat. We ate there 3 times as the food was excellent. The prawns in Madeira wine were out of this world, as was the baked stone steak. For a local dish - if you like fish - the black scabbard fish with banana was delicious. They also do pizzas. You have to pay full price for drinks, but certainly worth a visit early on to see if you prefer eating in there.
Limited choice of drinks in AI - just one cocktail of the day and no local liqueurs. Their rum is not the same as Bacardi and has an acquired taste which we didn't get! Brandy and coke was good! AI finished at 10pm, so you can imagine a lot of people left early, so it was nice and quiet!
Also, ice creams are available in the pool area, but there is a charge of 1.5 euros - again usually included in AI.
But all said and done, we had a superb relaxing holiday and if that's all you are looking for I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the hotel. They are building another hotel at the other end of the marina and when the area is finished it will be a smart little area. I am sure we will be back when we want our batteries recharged.

Room Tip: We were on the 5th floor (top floor) bedroom and paid for a sea view which was worth the extra fee...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Carole096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 25, 2013

Just had a great week here, quiet, relaxing, friendly staff. All inclusive was great value. Food very good, used allocation against a la carte on the final night, which again was excellent. Rooms and all areas, were spotless.
Entertainment was good each night, unlike some at hotels we have been to in the past.

The hotel is in a quiet area, you need to go to Funchal for shopping or nightlife. However as somewhere to stay for peace and quiet it was great.

Wifi or internet access was not available at all during the stay which was a pain and despite this being available in the business centre. Here you could use their computer for free but there was only one, which was a nuisance at times. I may be wrong but got the feeling that not a lot was done about the wifi, and looking at the bulk of the clientele I doubt it is in big demand. We had to go to a cafe in the marina to access wifi which my husband needed for work.

Room Tip: Ask for south facing room to get the sun on yor balcony. Some of these will be sea view and others...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MytripsLincolnshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Enjoyed our week here,despite having very mixed weather. The staff were courteous and efficient, and we were lucky enough to get an upgrade on arrival to a suite of rooms. The all inclusive package proved excellent value, with decent food and plenty of choice. As a beer drinker i wasn't too impressed with the local coral lager but found the bottled coral dark beer very agreeable.
To burn up the the calories we made use of the gym, sauna and steam room.
We went on the 2 free trips from the hotel : the first, up in the hills to the village of Prazeres wasn't particularly interesting, you can walk a section of a levada, there is a small animal farm and a couple of good, cafes, but that's it. The second trip was much better, to the seaside village of Jardim Do Mar, which has a very pleasant promenade to stroll along, and Joe's Bar with a nice outside garden terrace. There is a signposted levada close to Joe's Bar which takes a winding route up the cliff face giving spectacular views but only for the sure-footed.
As we were a party of 4, we decided to hire out a taxi on 2 days to see something of the island and Funchal, as there isn't a lot to do at Calheta. That said, a visit to the nearby rum & sugar cane factory is worthwhile ( though production doesn't start till April) the sample room/cafe is open and gives you the chance to try the sweet sugar cane juice, followed by the jaw-dropping strong rums and Madeira cake (the best we had on the island). We carried on up the steep road to the art-gallery, perched on the cliff top (which resembled two concrete bunkers when viewed from the hotel) There is a good cafe which serves up freshly squeezed orange juice;wonderfully refreshing after the walk up.
Evening entertainment was varied from cringeworthy to excellent - the Latin Dancers were superb, and worked so hard.
Only real criticism was the hard bed,which took some getting used to.
All in all this is an ideal hotel for a quiete,relaxing break, with options to get out sight see.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank fletchdart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

This is a lovely hotel, 45 minutes from Funchal. Very clean and comfortably laid out with different seated areas throughout the hotel. Lovely welcome from the receptionist when she noticed it was my birthday and she sang Happy Birthday! The hotel also sent up a bottle of bubbly - nice touch thanks. The food was fairly good. Plenty of choice, you would not go hungry. Evening entertainment was enjoyable.
We booked this break through First Choice. The rep would not book a trip with less than 4 people. Only 4 came in this week! So with the help of a group of people namely, Andrea, John, Doris & Stuart we hired a minibus with a fabulous driver Nelson. This cost 120E between the 8 of us. First Choice would have cost us 40E each! He took us places that coaches couldn't go. His sense of humour and his English was great. He was so good we hired him another day with another 6 people, Sally, Malcolm, Eileen, Peter, Cathy and Frank. The people we met this week including Nelson really made this holiday because the weather certainly did not (rain, mist, wind) until the last day when the sun shone!
PS. You must have a ride in a wicker sledge in Funchal - the best.

I would recommend this hotel but be aware that is in a quiet area and you need transport of some kind to get out and about. The buses were few and far between - perhaps it is different in summer.

Room Tip: We were on the 5th floor (540). Nice spacious room. Great view of the sea. Near the roof terrace...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SiJaJa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

I have to said it was a lovely hotel! Clean in the common areas and very friendly staff overall a very good holiday!

We arrived on the 8th around dinner time after a longish flight with a delay we went straight to the "restaurant" we had only B&B because my husband and I love going out and taste local food! The hotel has two restaurants one inside and one outside we didn't know this so we just follow the signs to the "the restaurant" The buffet was average and it cost €20 per person comparing with the prices of the other hotel restaurant a la carte where we had amazing meals a few nights only costing an average of €35 to €40 you can see what I mean! If you are not all inclusive do not eat there!

The breakfast was good the same food every day but well presented, staff was friendly. We have an 11 months baby and they always looked very well after us. The hotel is not exactly a family holiday place most of the guest were older only a few couples and not much to do in the hotel or around! The beach had diggers and only a few cafes around. One of the main reason we booked this hotel was because it had a indoor pool we thought not matter the weather we can play with the baby in the pool. The pool was very cold but it was bearable the first few days after but after a a day or so it was out of order for two days for maintenance and when the maintenance was over it was SOOO cold it was impossible to swim leaving us with nothing to do!

Due to boredom and the prices to do any trips (around €35 per person) we decided to rent a car we had a look prior to travel and had an idea it cost around £70 for the week! When we asked in the hotel their prices were €40 per day! We rented the car by the hotel internet computer and we went back to the airport to pick it up using the hotel transfer service looking back we should just got the car when we arrived! After we had the car we really enjoy our stay we went everywhere in the island people were soooo friendly, tourist offices gave free maps lots of directions! Our favourite places we the cable car in Funchal with the tropical gardens and porto Moniz natural pools absolutely beautiful!

The last stroke was the not existing Wifi! We stay for a week and the engineer never came! The piece for the server never came from Spain and the server was blocked! My husband and I work in IT and we know this are excuses because they don't make any sense! My husband has his own business and we were expecting a Wifi connection to keep an eye on emails etc! One of the reasons we booked the hotel! Very disappointed we had massive Data roaming bills as a consequence because the hotel computer was normally busy with older people checking facebook.

We had a very spacious room with a separate leaving room exactly what we booked but the furniture and layout could had be a bit better and modern it was a bit dated.

Overall we had a good time but they were so points we were a bit disappointed!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Rosierose12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We had an excellent deal on price through hotelsbooked.com . The hotel is about 1/2 hour from Funchal and the return minibus was €17.50. There were a number of trips available from the hotel around the island and walks along the Levadas. Although there is not much in Calheta there are a few cafes and bars adjacent to the marina. There is a man made public sandy beach which is very well maintained.The Hotel has an outdoor and indoor pool. We were on half board and the selection at breakfast was very good which, surprisingly, included champagne. The buffet dinner was also very good. If you wanted to eat at the al la carte restaurant you were given a €13.00 voucher towards the cost. There was entertainment every evening. All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

All in all I would recommend this hotel and the perceived disadvantage of not being in Funchal is outweighed by the peaceful surroundings, close access to the sandy beach and the very good value for money.

Room Tip: A sea view room with balcony is worth the extra
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bruce W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We arrived at the hotel on 8th March just in time for dinner. We were put in a huge room (2 bathrooms, kitchen with 4 chairs and table, lounge with flat screen, separate bedroom with flat screen, double balcony!) there was only two of us and we were All-inc so that wasn't needed!! We thought we had booked sea view and apparently it was partial sea-view (meaning when the wind blew the trees out of the way we could just about see a slither of the ocean) and we were in the back part of what turned out to be a sort of double hotel, separated by a road with a foot bridge connecting the two parts. To get to our room we had to go up two floors then across the bridge then down two floors. Very confusing. We wanted a sea view and the balcony door didn't lock so we asked to move rooms and the following day we were upgraded to a sea/pool view in a modern single room with bed and separate bathroom, just enough for two. The balcony was small and fine for our needs.

The holiday overall was relaxing, the weather wasn't great but it was never cold just overcast and windy. We couldn't use the beach because there were diggers on it morning to night making an horrendous amount of noise for the duration of our stay which got annoying as there was no peace however they are obviously trying to make ongoing improvements to the resort and the island which is promising.

The hotel was clean in all public areas and I cannot fault any of the staff. The best were the evening bar staff who were often more entertaining than the entertainment. Although on Tuesdays and Fridays they have a local band in and they were fantastic.

The food in the dining area was always well presented and there were choices of approx three main dishes or fresh salad daily at lunch and evening. We never had the same meal twice (sadly are some were delicious!!). The breakfasts were standard but well presented and the waiting staff were available, friendly and not imposing. We never had to wait to be served our drinks.

My gripes were - the noise levels of the building work, the fact you have to pay for games like pool or table tennis, the fact you have to pay for ice cream and milkshakes, that they stop serving all-inc drinks at 10pm sharp.

The outdoor pool was freezing (and I mean, freezing). The indoor pool was out of action for two days of our stay. There is a mini gym we used and a sauna.

The bus transfer to Funchal was reasonable and needed as there is nothing at all to do otherwise. There is a port with about three bars and one useless shop to the right and to the left there is a rum distillery and a church up the hill. Thats it.
The hotel also run buses to a few local villages for a cost but these are also very welcome if you don't hire a car.

Try the Madeira wine. Its addictive.

Room Tip: If you want a big room I get the impression the bigger ones are in the back hotel however you won...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maria3523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Savoy Calheta Beach

Address: Vila da Calheta, Calheta, Madeira 9370-133, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Calheta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Calheta
Price Range: $133 - $1,618 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Savoy Calheta Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 114
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Also Known As:
Calheta Beach Hotel
Beach Hotel Calheta
Savoy Calheta Beach Madeira

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