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“Excellent luxury hotel”

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Hotel The Cliff Bay
Ranked #3 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
144 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Excellent luxury hotel”
Reviewed May 25, 2014 via mobile

The Cliff Bay provides all the comforts one expects in a 5-star hotel. The rooms with sea view have a balcony and a lovely vista on the sea cliffs. Swimming pools are both sweet and saltwater. The dining is excellent. The staff is most helpful and friendly. We had a most pleasurable weekend stay here. The only disappointment was the booked out spa service.

Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Harry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
Thank you for you feedback. I am pleased that you enjoyed your recent stay with us. Many of our rooms are having privileged view over the Atlantic Ocean.
As the hotel is working to very high occupancies we strongly recommend to make early reservations for our Michelin starred restaurant and our Spa facilities. Normally we are able to allocate experiences for all our guests staying with us for a number of days.
Hoping to welcome you back in a near future.

Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
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Manchester
Level Contributor
72 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2014

My wife and I stayed at The Cliff Bay for two weeks in May and we have to say there is really no faulting this hotel. We’ve been to many five star resort hotels and this is up to the mark. We’ve been to islands including Malta, Crete, Cyprus and Fuerteventura but Madeira is far and away the most beautiful being mountainous and green but with weather just as good.
There are about 200 rooms in the hotel which makes it quite a personalised hotel with a quiet, refined luxury and some great service from very friendly staff.
The location is good with some nice views over Funchal and with local eateries and essential shopping close to the hotel. It’s about a 25 minute walk into downtown Funchal and a 5 minute taxi ride.
Rooms
We stayed in a deluxe double inland view, the room size was large, the shower powerful, the bed massive and comfortable with choice of three pillows, loads of coat hangers, wide screen TV with more channels than we expected, a great safe and hairdryer.
Food
We stayed 14 nights on a flexi-dining option that allowed 7 nights full board with 7 opportunities to try local restaurants. The Rose Garden restaurant food was buffet style with a good selection most evenings. Service was excellent and food quality was good. We tried a local Turkish restaurant (the only one on the island) and found this to be excellent.
Breakfast had a really good selection and probably the best we have experienced.
If you want a change or a snack try a little café on the road into Funchal called Petit Fours. They do some decent cakes and teas/coffee. On left opposite Reids Palace.
Staff
Plaudits to the staff in the restaurants, bars, reception, poolside and cleaners. All were friendly and made you feel comfortable. Particular mention for Paula in The Rose Garden and the hard working and professional Maitre ‘D’. We didn’t use the spa or go to the Gallo D’Oro restaurant but expect that the staff were equally good.
Poolside and Bathing
Pools and external areas well maintained. Jacuzzi is a bonus. Access to the sea is down a ladder and probably not suitable for children although a lifeguard is always around. Loads of bathing areas with no shortage of comfortable sunbeds and free towels and many secluded areas for those who value some privacy. Children’s pool and facilities were really good although this hotel didn’t have many children staying while we were there.
Nightlife
This is a quiet hotel so don’t expect an active scene. The Cliff Bar had varying groups / singers each night to suit many tastes but as one might expect of a hotel of this nature, nothing exciting. That said, we don’t think Madeira is the type of place to find a lively night scene.
The pub across from the hotel, ‘The Hole in One’ gets quite lively from around 8/9pm and this is worth making a visit to.
Clientele
The guests were from varying nationalities with a predominance of British while we were there and the hotel staff were proficient in dealing with all languages. Whilst there were some younger couples and families staying the majority of people tended to be mature couples and many clearly had been coming back for many years. Returning guests get Prestige status and receive loyalty discounts. This is not a young crowd place but we believe it would benefit from a wider mix of age groups.
Transport
Taxis right outside the hotel and the hotel operates a courtesy bus into and from Funchal at various times. We dodged the longwinded tours and got a taxi to Nun’s Valley (half day) for 60 euros. For 4 people this would prove economical. Just ask the receptionist to book it.
All in all a great hotel which we will return to should we visit Madeira again.

Room Tip: The inland view rooms are just as comfortable and we got the evening sun on the balcony.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank boydie007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, May 21, 2014
Thank you for your complete review here at tripadvisor. I am pleased that you found our staff and services offer to your satisfactions. Madeira is a beautiful destination with much to offer.
I hope that we get the pleasure of welcoming you back in a near future.
Yours Sincerely

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2014

We have just returned from our honeymoon at the Cliff Bay, this views from this hotel are stunning, the breakfast is sublime, our room was immaculate, we regularly used the pools which were in great condition. Used the spa facilities for facial and back massage both were the best I have received. Nice touch on arrival we were given a free bottle of wine. Staff were all very friendly and nothing was a problem to them.

Thank you Cliff Bay for making our honeymoon extra special

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jacq5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, May 21, 2014
Thank you for your kind e-mail. I am delighted to hear that you had a special honeymoon stay with us. I am also pleased that our staff members corresponded to your expectations.
I hope that we get the pleasure of welcoming you back for the upcoming 1 year wedding celebration.
Yours Sincerely

Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
79 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2014

When we were looking for information about afternoon tea in Funchal, Madeira, it was hard to find concrete information. Most travelers go to Reid's Palace where afternoon tea is served at 33 Euros. A very good alternative at about half the price can be found at the Cliff Bay where tea is served from 3.30 PM to 5 PM every day. Tea is served either inside or outside in the lounge one floor down from the lobby. As the weather was very good when we went, we sat outside overlooking the sea from the peaceful terrace which is surrounded by beautiful gardens. When we first presented ourselves the waiter looked at his watch and realized it was 3.30 pm already and told us we could find a seat at any empty table. First they served a selection of four different sandwiches, then the sweets and scones followed on a three tier plate holder. The scones were lovely, light and not too heavy accompanied with jam and clotted cream. The selection of sweets was pleasant and enough for us to enjoy. The staff were friendly and hospitable although I did not appreciate the fact that the bill was presented at the beginning, instead of at the end. In general we enjoyed afternoon tea in the Cliff Bay very much and I would recommend it to any other travelers looking for a pleasant location for afternoon tea.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kjongman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, June 23, 2014
Thank you for you feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed our afternoon tea. Many of our guests especially enjoy the gardens when relaxing in the afternoon.
Hoping to welcome you back to our hotel.

Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marlow Bucks England
Level Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2014

Excellent 9 day stay in May. This is truly excellent hotel with excellent facilities and staff. The hotel is spotless from top to bottom. It is not cheap but worth it.
In answer to a previous comment, the hotel fly a Harris Hawk in the grounds for an hour in the morning to give a clear message to pigeons and seagulls to stay away. In the last few years these were becoming a real problem stealing food from tables. Now, not any to be seen. Brilliant job. And the Harris Hawk is a captive bred bird (called Sky) and although it maybe better in the wild its keeper is very empathetic and the bird is beautifully looked after. He would have to be transported a very long way to be in the wild in a place he would have a chance of survival.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NeilofMarlow2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Thank you for your feedback. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us this may. Thank you also for explaining about the Hawk. Your bird knowledge widely exceeds mine and I pleased that we are doing our sea gull limitation in a good way.
Hoping to see you soon in Madeira again.
Yours Sincerely
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
123 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2014 via mobile

The Hotel is beautifully located close to Funchal, above the impressive cliffs. From most rooms you will enjoy a wonderful view over the Atlantique and to the city of Funchal and its harbour. We had a suite in the 6th floor, which consistent of a spacious living room with seperate toilet, big master bedroom and very good size bathroom with bath tub and shower, double sink and separate toilet. The furniture is a bit dated, however still in good condition.
Daily room set up was ok as was the general cleanliness, with the exception of the water drain in the bath tub. We did not enjoy the daily turn down service, which took place about 6pm. When we returned from our late afternoon swim, the curtains were closed, bed side table lamps turned on and outside, still full sunshine, does not make a lot of sense.
We rate the room size 5 star and service from housekeeping between 3 and 4 star.
Breakfast at Gallo Restaurant was ok and we even found a perfect waiter, his name is Antonio. Professional, friendly and with a yes I can do attitude. Some mornings the service was extremely slow, they forgot the orders and when it arrives, egg dishes were already cold.
Location 5 stars, overall service 4 star.
Reception was a very busy place and some of the ladies and gentleman surely doing a very good job. Unfortunately we had several encounters with very poor service and an attitude "no I can`t do" which one would not excpect in a 5 star property.
The half inside/outside pool aera was nice, again a bit dated however clean and well maintained. The Fitness room is spacious, with fantastic view, windows not regularely cleaned and Equipment ok. The best experience was in the SPA, which with guess is outsourced to ESPA, which has Fantastic service, fabulous treatments and excellent products.
Many guests come through Touroperators and have most likely lower expectations than we do. We travel far over 150 days per year, staying most of the time in 5 star properties.
We did not find the soul of the Hotel, nor the passion in the people for service (with a few exeptions). No one was realy hosting the guests and we are not sure, if regular employee trainings are taking place.
The management of the Hotel aknowledged our experience and offered us a voucher at the Cliff Bay or one of their other, smaller properties, which we found a very generous gesture. If we return we will certainly choose the smaller property where individual service is more likely to happen.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Christine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Thank you for your feedback. As I mentioned in our previous correspondence I am sad to hear that we didn’t manage to completely correspond to your expectations. We much appreciate all feedback as it helps us to further improve our services and facilities. I don’t believe personally that guests travelling with Tour operators are likely to have lower expectations but this comes merely in differences between people. We are very proud of all our staff that also include our spa, many of them has been with us for quite some years.
I still hope that you enjoyed Madeira and that our beautiful island might get a return visit.
Yours Sincerely
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen, Norway
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2014

Me and my partner went here for our first vacation together, and it was extravagant to say the least. If you want to be spoiled on lovely (and I really do mean LOVELY) breakfasts and views, surroundings, mornings, nights, then really, you should go here.
There is swimming oportunities in the pool upstairs at the hotel, this is heated and is partly outside. I recommend getting up early before breakfast and taking a swim in the sunrise here, its quite something. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven some mornings there. Theres also a bubblebath in this area. But that was out of order for big parts of our stay. One day the water was yellowish and then it was out of order..
Another pool is found down by the sea. This is very salty, and you float very easily. Eyes can get sore so use swimmingglasses. A smaller pool for the kids is also found here. There is also possible to swim in the sea, which is just across from the salt water pool. This is for people who dont get scared when fish swim around your feet or waves come splashing in (which I was). I was much happier standing on the pire looking down at the colourfull fishes swimming around... (some people brought bread to feed them with, that made them crazy, in a good way I guess)

Back to the breakfast... You really gotta be carefull with those croissaints. I know they are tasty, I know you want to make it worth the pay, but really, I gained alot of weight from two weeks of croissants, fruits, cheese....you name it. But maybe thats just a part of vacationing? It was a lame thing to come home to though ;)

The staff is usually very helpfull and friendly, and the room was big and nice. We had a room at the 4th floor with a view to the hotels front. Not the sea-view in other words. It was nice enough, we didnt go on vacation to sit on our terrasse, anyway, we just had some tea there now and then.
The woman who cleaned our room was extremely nice, nicest person there I think.

We also tried the free sauna and steamshower which can be reached from the pool areas desk. Ask one of the girls there and they will show the way. There is also a big bubblebath there.

The only minus of our trip was the falcon show they kept having in the rosegarden. A man holding a big bird then letting it fly. Then calling for it. Where is the fun in this? Nowhere. This usually happens during breakfast. We asked the hotel to stop with this in our review to the hotel which they send out every week. We hope they listen and that more will complain. Birds belong in the wild.

We will go back to this lovely island, but next time we will go to a less posh place where we feel more on level with the staff. The way it was now, it was almost like having personal slaves bringing towels and fixing everything. Not our cup of tea, but what would one expect from a luxury hotel?

The nearby resturants are okay, but we prefered to go to the city for dinner. Bigger variety and better food. We tried some in Lido and were not extremely impressed. Some were good, but some were not.

Highly recommended to people who want to be spoiled for a while! Great place for relaxing.
ps: the double bed is really two single beds pushed together.

Room Tip: the terrasse with the view to the front of the hotel is more than good enough.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Line F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanRingertz, General Manager at Hotel The Cliff Bay, responded to this review, May 19, 2014
Thank you for your feedback. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our hotel offer many facilities and the sea water pool is a much appreciated one. Breakfast is a treat and most of the year you can enjoy your meal on the garden terrace.
The resident falcon is not intended as an activity of show. The beautiful bird is the natural way to ensure that we do not get large number of sea gulls that can cause much inconvenience. Just the presence of our falcon gives much respect from the local wildlife.
In case you are interested in a small and friendly four star country house experience the Porto Bay Serra Golf might be an alternative…
I hope to see you soon again in Madeira.
Yours Sincerely,
Jan E. Ringertz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#1 Spa 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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