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“TRULY LIVES UP TO ITS RATING”

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Hotel The Cliff Bay
Ranked #4 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 11, 2013

There are many hotels in Portugal and Spain rated as 5 star which frankly are not. The Cliff Bay is not one of them and truly lives up to its rating. With large well appointed bedrooms, excellent facilities, and most importantly, friendly and helpful staff, it is everything it claims to be. Chatting with some of the management team at the manager’s cocktail party one sees clearly the level of professionalism and commitment which is brought to bear in achieving the hotel’s high standard. This was our sixth visit and we will definitely return.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank almara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,496 - 1,502 of 2,933 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2013

My wife and I have just returned from a week at the Cliff Bay Hotel. This was our first experience of Madeira and we loved it; the scenery, climate and, above all, the people are terrific. We took the only scheduled TAP flight out of London Gatwick, arriving for the 0430 check-in only to find it had been delayed, for unspecified reasons, for nearly three hours. So, not a good start! However, the three and a half hour flight was uneventful and pre-arranged transfer to the Hotel was quick and easy. Reception procedures were welcoming and efficient. On the advice of previous reviewers, we had asked for an Upper Floor room and were duly given one on the sixth floor with a very pleasant balcony looking towards Funchal on the left and the Atlantic to the right. The room was spacious and well equipped, with a huge double bed. We particularly liked the bathroom arrangements, with twin basins, a bath, plus separate shower and loo. Soft drinks were complimentary, but minibar prices (like most hotels) a tad steep. Without wishing to send readers to sleep, if we were to rate the Cliff Bay on its staff alone we would have no hesitation in awarding a resounding 'excellent'. In every regard, we found the staff to be wholly professional. They all spoke fluent English and nothing appeared to be too difficult; service with a smile! Why we have gone for an overall 'Very Good' is because of catering issues. We booked on a bed and breakfast basis, to give us the flexibility to eat out as well as in, and it was the breakfasts with which we had issues. Although assessment of food is subjective, we make the points nonetheless. Upper Floor guests take their breakfasts in the Gallo d'Oro Restaurant, which offers well spaced tables, inside or out on the balcony. Food is primarily from a buffet, but can also be ordered from a menu, with all sorts of extras, at a price. Each day, we asked for orange juice and each day we asked whether it was fresh, or from a carton. It was fresh (although watered down) on three of the seven days! Equally, we did not like the scrambled eggs and bacon from the buffet; the former were heavy and cooked in milk, the latter undercooked, greasy and flabby. On one day, we asked for poached eggs, but they took 30 minutes to arrive, albeit they were good. Whilst croissants were fresh and delicious, most of the accompanying pastries were either stodgy and bland, or over-sweet. We suspect the latter were bought in and not made on site. We tried the Rose Garden for breakfast on one day and, although the bacon was crisp, the place was a bit of a bunfight with so many guests attempting to get food from the buffet. Other than that, we dined at the Rose Garden on one night and the food was excellent. The wines were a variable feast and we wished we had a greater knowledge of Portugese reds, in particular. Wine prices were high, which tends to be the norm now for 4/5 star hotels. We used the Bar on several occasions and found it very good, both for service and for drinks and snacks. Perhaps our favourite was the Bistro by the saltwater pool on the lower level. We ate there every day and were never disappointed with the choices on offer, the service or the presentation. Of the pools, our preference was the one on the upper level, near the Gym. Wonderful views, great loungers, good bar service, towels etc. We found the saltwater pool too heavily chlorinated for our taste, but others obviously enjoyed it. We did not eat at Gallo d'Oro in the evening, mainly because we judged the prices to be too high for what was offered. A mid-range meal there, plus a decent bottle, would run out at about £80 per head. We preferred to try the local restaurants, of which there are many, but we particularly liked the one closest to the Cliff Bay; fish to die for! Overall, would we recommend the Cliff Bay to other travellers? Certainly! If they take note of our small criticisms and act upon them, we could become regulars!

Room Tip: Go for the Upper Floors, away from the bars.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank galingale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We booked this holiday after seeing the lovely picture in the brochure and review about the hotel. We decided to book a holiday with a hotel that does not have screaming children and lots of noise and beautiful views and nice hotel food with a bit of style and ambience.
Cliff Bay Hotel met all these qualities. A lovely quiet stylish hotel set back from the main road with stunning lush gardens and stunning views overlooking the sea and a stones throw away from the fabulous hallmark hotel Reids of Funchal. We had a smooth taxi ride from the airport to the hotel door and greeted by some very handsome Portugese doormen who took our cases and delivered them to our rooms. The rotating doors led us to a stunning flower arrangement decorating the main reception foyer and a nice calm reception area. We were greeted with smiling smart receptionists to check us in. Unfortunately our rooms were not quite ready we were about an hour early so we agreed to go for lunch in the hotel bar . We were shown to a lovely table overlooking the hotels Rose garden and had a Club sandwich and a glass of wine. We sat in a beautiful flower garden decorated by Fragipani trees and Bird of Paradise flowers and a breathtaking view of the sea from the tearrace. It was a fabulous day and a very welcoming lunch and a nice taste of things to come on this holiday.
We were shown to our room 237 and it was huge so spacious about 3 times the size of our own bedrooms at home and overlooking a stunning view of the hotel gardens and terrace and to our left the view of the Blue Lagoon swimming pool and terrace and the sea. What a lovely view. Our room was amazing 2 desks one huge bed and a lovely ensuite with Bday and Shower cubicle. We were mazed at the size of the bedrooms . Wow!!
We loved the room instantly. The room was equipped with Wi fi so had internet access to ipad and mini bar complimentary bottled water and fresh fruit as a welcoming gift. There were many books to read in the room with guide books and information about the country and a nice size television to watch.
Breakfast in the morning was in the Rose Garden Restaurant downstairs very nice selection and we were shown to a window view of the terrace and sea but must go down early to get the nice view . Going down late you may not always get a good view. Nice tablecloths and stunning breakfast big selection of tropical fruits, fresh juice , cooked breakfast, lovely pastries and cakes and cereals, breads and rolls. There were also pancakes and waffles on offer as well as meats, hams and cheese and yoghurts and porridge. I]Every morning was an enjoyment and fabulous choice of breakfast one of the best we have ever experienced. Waiters were wonderful smiling and chatty yet very professional and attentive.
I was amazed every morning there is a mini newsletter provided for all the guests to read in international languages provided by the hotel. In the foyer there is always a notice board of all the events of the day and the weather for Madeira which is a lovely touch.
In particular was a lovely lady who was immaculate and lovely Lina guest liason manager she greeted us every day and always had a little chat with us she asked if we wanted to meet her for a tour of the hotel. We spent nearly an hour going round all the restaurants and facilities that the hotel offered which was an excellent idea and a very nice touch. Lina asked if we wanted to watch the flower arranging on a Thursday morning which was a lovely touch too we attended this event and found it very informative she showed us books and guides of the native flowers found on the island which was used for the massive arrangement and small bouquets for all the hotel and restaurants and bars and rooms. We thought Lina did a fabulous job and she certainly made us feel welcome in the hotel. The hotel throughout was immaculate and clean.
We had some lovely walks around Funchal and booked afternoon tea at Reids well worth the money for the fabulous experience and view. My late father in law enjoyed many holidays at Reids so we had to make the visit. We had a good time on the cable cars and come down on the wicker sleighs great fun. Visited many gardens all so colourful and stunning wished we had come in the summer because the flower festivals would be in operation. We did not have any bad meals or bad experiences in Madeira. The staff were amazing and friendly and the hotel had such attention to detail we even had a barometer in the room to check the weather daily.
The best holiday we have ever had so nice to see so many couples here and no screaming kids to be seen. The nice touch was the staff always give way to the guest with a polite smile and always greet you whenever you pass them any time of the day. Thank you Lina for doing such a fabulous job at this hotel you were marvellous! We recommend this hotel highly.

Will definitely be back well worth the money. We love Cliff Bay !!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank daisyhall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We came home on Sunday after 7 days of absolute bliss! The Cliff Bay has to be one of the best hotels ever in our opinion. It was our 3rd visit, the last time being 2007, our next stay will definitely be as soon as we can go back - we wouldn't consider anywhere else just in case it wasn't as good as The Cliff Bay! We decided to organise our trip independently and were offered The Prestige Package which I think is offered to returning guests. It contained all sorts of advantages within the hotel, we had a superior room on the 8th floor with a Funchal view and to end the holiday on a high, there was a bottle of port waiting for us at the airport when we left, courtesy of The Cliff Bay. We arranged the flights ourselves and taking everything into consideration, we came out €1000 better off than if we'd booked with a tour company (and had much better "goodies"! I echo every other reviewer on the excellent service, always given with a smile and a chat (everyone speaks English extremely well - useful if your Portuguese is not up to scratch!). Nothing is too much trouble for the hotel personnel, although there was very little we needed to ask for as everything had already been thought of.
If you are thinking of going to Madeira, which is the most beautiful island, you just HAVE to stay at The Cliff Bay - it's just fantastic!
Thank you to all the staff at The Cliff Bay for playing a huge part in our lovely holiday.

Room Tip: We were in 801 almost at the top of the hotel, overlooking the sea and Funchal harbour. I'd ask...
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JenPi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Just returned from a great holiday here.

Like most reviewers I found the facilities and staff well above average and would definately return, the friendliest hotel we have ever experienced. It has been said that the hotel is aimed at older clients and this to an extent is true, but then Madeira as a whole is. An island designed by God for mountain goats and then inhabited by pensioners. The weather was just about perfect 21-25 deg. C. Being an island in the Atlantic you can expect and will get some stiff breezes as well.
We found lots of clients were on repeat visits and I think this could be the case with us as well.
The food was of a very good standard with lots of choices to suit all tastes, buffet in the Rose Garden with a seperate Michelin starred restaurant (tie or jacket required) which we never used as we preferred the more informal approach.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Mike J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Just got back from the The Cliff Bay hotel one of the best holidays ever. The weather was fantastic and the staff are so friendly and helpful could have stayed a lot longer. We will be going back in a couple of years.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank KathyandJackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We spent 2 weeks at the hotel in late June/July & had a marvellous time. The weather was consistently hot & warm - there were a few cloudy days but you still required sun cream as the rays are strong. Stayed on a bed & breakfast basis because we like to eat in the nearby restaurants, of which there are plenty in comfortable walking distance of the hotel & good value for money. The main town of Funchal is around 1 mile from the hotel which also provides plenty of other good eating options - including the 'Old Town' area which has a good atmosphere in the evenings & in the harbour area -although there is a large marina re-development plan ongoing here- which is not scheduled for completion until early 2015. Funchal is walkable from the hotel but there are a couple of steep hills so a taxi, which are freely available & costing around 6 euros, is advisable. The hotel runs a free courtesy coach into Funchal from 10 am- 5pm but you need to book in advance for a seat as it picks up at sister hotels & gets full quite quickly.
The hotel itself is excellent. It is very clean & classy with spacious, relaxing lounges, tastefully decorated throughout & featuring fresh flowers. We had a side sea view room overlooking Funchal bay, which was stunning & we could see the fireworks display from our balcony on a Saturday evening. The room was spacious, comfortable & our only slight problem was the shower flow was a little weak but the engineer sorted it out upon request. The staff are very friendly & attentive and try to please. We didn't eat in the Michelin star restaurant but other guests said it was superb. Breakfasts were very good with a wide range & the egg lady was excellent making a variety of dishes on request. We had a couple of other meals using the bar menu which were tasty & inexpensive. Outside, loads of different terraces for sunbathing & relaxing which the hotel was further expanding during our stay. The main outdoor pool is accessed via a lift & was heated with access for sea swimming via a pontoon for those so disposed. The pool attendants are excellent & organise sun loungers & umbrellas for you - all free of charge. Drinks around the pool are reasonably priced. The Gym & wellness area is very good & available from 7am daily & includes a sizeable indoor swimming pool.
Essentially, the hotel covers practically all bases & is excellent value for money. Would highly recommend & hope to return soon.

Room Tip: Stunning vista overlooking Funchal Bay via side sea view highly recommended
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Midlandstraveller199
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#2 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#2 Family Hotel in Funchal
#3 Business Hotel in Funchal
#4 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: $186 - $374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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