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“Excellent hotel and a wonderful stay except!”

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Hotel The Cliff Bay
Ranked #3 of 85 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Berkshire
Level Contributor
66 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel and a wonderful stay except!”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Mostly in agreement of all of the comments from previous contributors about the excellent quality of this hotel. The overall experience was highly enjoyable with one major reservation about a few members of the service team.

In general the service is very efficient although perhaps not as friendly as their sister hotel the Porto Mare where everything is done with a genuine smile. The great exception were the pool staff who were all wonderful and ready to help without being asked. The stand out was the wonderful Tania who treated all guests as friends and made everyone feel relaxed.

The breakfast food was of a high standard, plenty of choice with wonderful fresh fruit and breads always available. One minor complaint was the total lack of variety in the cooked breakfast - the same style of potatoes and sausages for two weeks does suggest a lack of thought.

The evening buffet was acceptable without being ground breaking but there are many excellent restaurants within a short distance so we did not find this a problem.

The rooms are very comfortable and a sea view is highly desirable. We had a fourth floor room which had an extended balcony for a better view. The cleaning staff are very good and very friendly.

As one or two others have suggested there is a small cabal of older staff in the poolside Blue Lagoon who have seem to have a problem understanding the expression of service with a smile. We watched this with amusement for a number of days before we were confronted by the head of the group.

Choosing a table outside the bar for a lunchtime drink the following episode took place. We were looking at the drinks menu when the lady suddenly appeared seemingly from nowhere and the conversation went exactly like this.

- Yes? without even a good afternoon or hint of a smile
- I'd like a glass of red wine please
- And?
- A beer please
- Room number?

and with that she was gone. I would not expect this treatment in a 2 star hotel in Bulgaria and certainly not a major 5 star establishment in Madeira. We did put these comments on our review before leaving but have heard nothing since.

This was an annoying but minor distraction on an otherwise relaxing and wonderful fortnight. It certainly wouldn't stop us returning in future.

Room Tip: Sea view is very desirable.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Peter J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Middlesbrough
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We visited this hotel on an earlier visit to Madeira, and I stated that I if I returned to this beautiful island I would love to stay here! Earlier this year my husband surprised me with birthday gift of a 2 week holiday for July 2013 at this hotel - WOW
The quality and service of this hotel are outstanding, and it is probably one of the best hotels I have stayed in. ALL of the staff were very friendly, competent and attentive without being intrusive, nothing was too much trouble for anyone.
We enjoyed breakfast in the Rose Garden Restaurant, where the variety and quality of the produce was wonderful, again served by polite efficient staff.
We were on a B & B basis so could not comment on the other meals in the Rose Garden.
On Saturday Night we did attend the Dinner Dance in the Michelin Star restaurant, which was a really exceptional experience, however just be warned the portions are very small.

The Blue Lagoon pool area was my favourite pool, where there were always ample sun beds and parasols regardless of the time of day, again the pool staff ensured that you we located where you wanted to be, and made comfortable. Each morning the Bar staff would bring iced sorbets and fresh fruits. The lunches serves in this area were again excellent and good value.
We were in room 437 (4th floor) which was a corner room and had a full sea view room and huge patio, were not overlooked at all - It was amazing.

There was a variety of live music artists in the bars most nights and it was very enjoyable to sit and listen or join in the dancing.

The location of this hotel is ideal, well within walking distance of Funchal, with lots of local restaurants close by, plus it makes an ideal base to tour the Island.
I think this hotel has something for everyone, and I cannot speak highly enough of the the service and quality we received.
Sincere Thanks to EVERYONE at the Cliff, We had an amazing holiday and we can't wait to return, hopefully next year.

Room Tip: Sea View Rooms or Side Sea view rooms are the best.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MazzerB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cleveland
Level Contributor
57 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We Had two weeks at the Cliff bay in July and had a geat holiday will be back. The staff are very well trained and made our stay very comfortable from room to poolside service was faultless. Breakfast was varied and a good standard. Stay at the Cliff Bay and you will not be dissappointed.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank billogbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wrexham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

My partner and I stayed at the Cliff Bay hotel in August 2013 for a week. We had a fantastic week and I would highly recommend this lovely hotel to anyone who loves scenic views, relaxing by well-maintained pools and getting away from it all.

The food served in their restaurants was of a very high standard. We upgraded to stay on the 7th floor and had a stunning sea view - the best view we have ever had in a hotel. It also allowed us to have breakfast in a small raised garden terrace with stunning views of the garden and an a la carte ordering service.

With a hotel this amazing it always makes certain niggling things seem worse than they are - we had 2 (minor) criticisms.

The first relates to customer service. The hotel has a vast number of staff, and while most are fantastic and friendly (the pool staff were extremely helpful, welcoming and accommodating, the breakfast staff were lovely and the staff welcoming us at the door were warm and kind) some are letting the side down. Certain reception staff and one or two staff working at the poolside restaurant are quite cold and some definitely need to be more polite - we did speak to a manager about this I hope our comments will be acted upon.

Second minor criticism - the price of drinks at the pool/ poolside restaurant are really excessive. Whilst my partner and I were prepared to spend money in top-quality restaurants in the evening, I think around 5 euros for a bottle of bottle at the pool is crazy!

Overall, we would definitely stay in this hotel again. I really hope that the management read these reviews and respond to the feedback of guests as if the minor problems were sorted out I think this could be one of the very best hotels in the world!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ANeill81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We have just returned from a 10 day holiday at the Cliff Bay Hotel in Funchal. It was a truely excellent experience in all respects and we wanted to congratulate the Cliff Bay Hotel on exceptional performance in all areas: the quality of hotel building and facilities , catering at all the restaurants at all meal times, pool areas, all reception areas in the hotel and especially the friendliness and professionalism of all the staff that we met. This was a truly exceptional experience and one that we will remember for a long time. We have stayed at many very high quality hotels around the world and believe that the Cliff Bay is amongst the best. Thanks to all the staff who made our stay so enjoyable; we will definitely be returning! The hotel is also in a very good location, around 25 minute walk from Funchal with a regular courtesy bus to the city. There are many excellent restaurants in walking distance of the hotel and also in the city centre - we highly recommend the following restaurants: Med, the adjacent Pizzeria to the hotel , Armazem do Sal in the centre. We also highly recommend that you pay for a sea view room - this is a truely excellent experience! Thanks again Cliff Bay - for a wonderful holiday! SC

Room Tip: definitely go for a sea view room!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank sydney256
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hornchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

This was our 5th trip to this hotel and once again we had a fantastic holiday. On arrival it was lovely to be greeted by staff who remembered us (Manuel in the Cliff Bar especially, what a welcoming smile!!). It is wonderful to find a hotel where you don't have to fight to get a sunbed, there are so many areas with wonderful views you are always guaranteed a relaxing experience. Again we ate in II Gallo D'Oro twice, absolutely wonderful. If you are after a totally relaxing holiday, or if you wish to be more adventurous, then Madeira is the place....The Cliff bay is the place to stay. A huge thank you to ALL the staff for making us feel so welcome once again and for making our holiday so enjoyable.

Room Tip: A sea view is a must...the views over the harbour are fantastic
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We've been here 6 times now and it is consistently excellent. The percentage of returning guests speaks volumes so not really much more I can say except to pick some of the detail.

I especially like is the pool area. The different levels mean that you can always find a bed in a reasonably quiet spot and you are not lined up and sat on top of other guests. Also, every bed has a parasol.

Most hotel rooms have a little corridor between the main room entrance and the sleeping area. Normally with wardrobes and the bathroom entrance. Cliff Bay rooms have a door at the end of this corridor so that there are 2 doors between the bedroom and the main corridor. This keeps out the noise of people slamming doors that you always get in hotels. Why don't all hotels have this. Great idea! Also the rooms all have carpets not tiles so you don't get noise from upstairs.

The staff are friendly and helpful. The food is OK, with a good selection at breakfast but, like most hotels of this type, the cooked breakfast is not up to the standard of a comparable hotel in the UK. I had a problem with my bill in Il Gallo D'Oro (see separate review) but the food there is as good as any I've eaten in Michelin Star restaurants anywhere. We had booked our first 7 days as part of a Porto Bay package which provided 2 meals in the main restaurant. We were pleasantly surprised to discover we were able to claim a cash alternative against our bill in Il Gallo D'Oro.

If you want to go to Madeira and the Cliff Bay is in your budget stay here.

Room Tip: They recently changed the room descriptions so check when booking. There are a few rooms that look b...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DuncanAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel The Cliff Bay

Property: Hotel The Cliff Bay
Address: Estrada Monumental, 147, Funchal, Madeira 9004-532, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#2 Family Hotel in Funchal
#3 Business Hotel in Funchal
#3 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel The Cliff Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Atlantic Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see at the foot of The Cliff Bay which is perched on the top of a natural promontory. The hotel is surrounded by gardens with innumerable secluded corners and centenary palm trees extending to the very edge of the cliff face. The panorama is completed by a magnificent view over the bay of Funchal to the left of the hotel.The most influential restaurant guide in the world, the Michelin Guide, has awarded a star to Il Gallo d'Oro, The Cliff Bay's gourmet restaurant run by Chef Benoît Sinthon. This is Madeira's first and only star ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Cliff Bay - Porto Bay Hotel Funchal
Cliff Bay Porto Funchal
Cliff Bay Hotel Funchal
Cliff Bay Hotel Madeira
Hotel The Cliff Bay Madeira/Funchal

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