I can't really add much more to what the previous reviewers have said - the Eden Mar / Porto Mar complex really is tremendous and, speaking for both of us, we had a marvelous vacation here.
We had room 1116 which was adjacent to the reception, and directly over one of the bars, but we never had a problem with noise or disturbance.
We were half-board, for ten nights, and ate mainly in the Portuguese Restaurant, "Alfama", as we wanted to taste typical local fare. The standard was extremely high; food was cooked to order, and plated up with a flourish normally found in decent restaurants outside of hotels. We had a couple of meals in the buffet restaurant, "Atlantica" and found the food standard to be top-end hotel buffet standard, and it seemed to be used more by our continental cousin than Brits. You can make reservations at the Basilico and Med a la carte restaurants, and if you're half board basis could transfer 17euro each against the bill. We didn't so I can't comment.
Entertainment was pretty good in the bars around the complex - far better than some I've been to in Greece and Mexico - though I can appreciate that it may not be to everyones taste.
There were a few kids here - not many - and although there's a nice crèche room, I never saw it used, nor did we see any "animations" specifically aimed at kids. Parents should check before booking. For adults, the hotel offer (free) guided tour around the gardens (gorgeous gardens in their own right), kitchen tours, Portuguese lessons, a guided tour round the old town, plus lots more.
All of the staff were professional, and nice people too, and in this I include the receptions girls, the waiters and waitresses, the pool lads, animation team and, perhaps controversially, the Time Share girl!
Yes, there is a timeshare element to the hotel (The Residence section) but the selling is very, very, "soft-sell" and nothing like the almost legalised kidnapping that one can find in other parts of the world. We accepted the "free" glass of wine one evening, listened to the young lady's sale blurb, and politely turned down the offer to view the suites on offer, purely because we prefer to book spontaneous holidays at varied time through the year. Friends (Bill & Christine) took the viewing tour and received vouchers to use round the hotel, which was nice, but for us, time in the sun was more precious.
The hotel is a fair walk into the main town, maybe a mile and a bit - a taxi ride of typically 6 to 7 euros - and there is a lot to see and do, depending on your preferences. During the day the hotel lays on a nice courtesy coach into town (leaves from outside Porto Mare entrance) and back, but take my advice and make sure you know exactly where the pick up points (theres two) are in town, and at what time, because it can be a bit irregular.
I strongly think that, if the complex maintains similar reports, we'll be back next or year or the year after. We loved the climate, the hotel and all the local people we met.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Divided into studios, superior studios, junior suites and suites, this four star hotel's 146 spacious rooms have been redecorated with textiles in warm pastel colours, completely new furniture and LCD televisions. The kitchenettes have been completely renovated and are equipped with a stove, fridge and microwave oven. The Suite Hotel Eden Mar belongs to the Vila Porto Mare resort, and shares facilities which are also common to other outlets – Hotel Porto Mare and The Residence. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Suite Hotel Funchal
- Eden Mar Madeira
- Suite Hotel Eden Mar Madeira/Funchal