My family and I are huge fans of the stunningly beautiful island of Madeira and its people. We have spent two weeks of each of the past seven years at the CS Madeira Hotel, and it’s like a second home to us now.
When we visit the CS we relive all the positive features that entice us back, though there are also a number of niggles that frustrate us. These niggles never irritate to the point of making us want to consider moving to a different hotel, but I feel the need to make a mention of them here in the hope that some of them might be acted upon.
As many other reviewers have noted the hotel is indeed kept clean, but this is a task made hugely difficult, and no doubt costly, by the ubiquitous existence of smooth glass surfaces throughout, both in the rooms and in the communal areas. Fingerprints, dust and liquid marks on these shiny surfaces demand constant cleaning, and for the many cleaners who are regularly seen busily polishing away it must be soul-destroying …..
…..and soul-less the hotel can often seem. Vast, under-utilised areas, with so much space in the complex the management appear not to know what to do with it all. The cocktail bar’s mood and decor is not warm and inviting despite the best efforts of the staff, and the pool side drinks station does not attract much custom either. It would appear the management would rather sell relatively few items at highly inflated prices rather than sell more items at reasonable prices, a policy that which would instead create a bit of a buzz about the place - not necessarily a noisy buzz but one that cultivates a sense of belonging amongst the guests (if only temporarily) to the hotel’s community. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a calm and peaceful holiday environment, but the general lack of atmosphere throughout much of the hotel’s expanse often comes across as too cold and clinical.
And now on to some specific niggles :
There are ice machines on floors 3 and 7 of each tower, but they are often out of action.
The outdoor pool side area has recently been resurfaced with smooth, cheap looking, grey concrete blocks, not unlike those seen at a lido. This new surface now sits at about 30cm above the water level, and sadly this has greatly compromised the previously striking elegance of the infinity pools that used to be a standout feature of the hotel.
The two piers leading to the sea access could do with resurfacing.
The walkways just above the pool side area are surfaced with large black tiles, and these get extremely hot under the sun, so barefoot becomes impossible. Furthermore, these tiles become dangerously slippery, even when only slightly wet eg. if you come out of the pool and walk across them.
The (single) table tennis table is in great demand through much of the day. Another table would be a welcome addition, with some greater thought given to its location.
The sauna has some amusing / painful features :
The wooden sauna benches have metal screw fixings, with screw heads almost flush with the wood. They will burn you if you are unfortunate enough to sit on them !
A notice recommends you stay in the sauna for no more than 10 mins and there is a timer (hour glass type) conveniently mounted on the wall inside. The timer however looks like it might run for 30 mins or more so it isn't really of any use.
The water pressure for the two showers opposite the sauna & steam rooms is extremely high. The shower heads, unable to be restrained by the shower head holders, threaten to knock your head off as they swing around viciously like angry snakes.
It was only on checkout that I was made aware of the “business centre”, tucked away as it is at the end of the corridor away from reception. You can recycle your books and magazines here - drop off something and pick up something else to read. If more people were made aware of this exchange point there would no doubt be a greater variety of material to choose from. Also an opportunity to advertise somewhere to co-residents for interest in tennis and squash partners would be very useful.
Enough of my ranting. As I said at the beginning we keep returning here, and for good reason. The view from the upper floors, particularly from the west tower is truly mesmerising. Watching the sun rise with fishing boats gently chugging along below is a fabulous start to each day. The beds are comfortable and the rooms are spacious and extremely practical, though the balance of the lighting is rather odd. However, the balcony furniture is cheap. The chairs have sharp corners on the arm rests, so you should position yourself very carefully before sitting down ! The chairs are very noisy when moved across the balcony floor.
The breakfast buffets are fantastic if a little chaotic at times. The staff are friendly and welcoming. The staff in the reception area too are friendly and helpful.
Overall it’s a lovely hotel but I’d give it a 4 star rating (not 5), apart from the balcony view which will always get a five star rating from me !
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- VIDAMAR RESORTS MADEIRA has a privileged ocean front position with direct access to the Atlantic. It is located on the main touristic area of "Lido", at walking distance from shopping centres, bars, bus stops, supermarkets and tourist attractions. The Madeira International Airport is only at 18 km. Designed in a modern architectural style, the Hotel offers 300 quite spacious rooms (39m2), all sea facing and with private balconies overlooking the gardens and the Atlantic Ocean. Rooms are equipped with individual air-conditioned/heated system, cable TV, sitting area and desk, tea and coffee making facilities, free safe, fridge and Wi-Fi. The room service is available around the clock. VIDAMAR RESORTS MADEIRA offers a wide variety of restaurants. Here you can discover the DINE AROUND concept featuring open air, sea view and sunset dining options. From romantic dinners to family fun restaurants, Dine Around privileges a special dining scheme that allows VIDAMAR guests to sample around various cuisines throughout the Resort: the international Ocean Buffet Restaurant, the Italian Mamma Mia, the Madeiran Casa das Espetadas and the Japanese KOI Sushi Bar. The Sea Platform, the biggest on the Island, offers infinity salted water swimming pools as well as private and direct access to the Ocean, restaurant, bar, multi-activity court and Aquatica Kids World. For those who look for a sport experience, the VIDA Health Club offers several group classes and cardio fitness equipment, floodlight tennis court, squash court, tennis table, as well as an Aqua Area with indoor heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna. All facilities are free to our guests. The seaside MAR Thalasso SPA guarantees sensory journeys or, at least, relaxing experiences assured by the animated Talassotherapy swimming pool, the 14 treatment rooms (one exterior) and the magnificent views to the Ocean from all spa areas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cs Madeira Atlantic Resort & Sea Spa Hotel Funchal
- Cs Madeira Atlantic Resort And Sea Spa
- Cs Madeira Atlantic Hotel Sea
- VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira Funchal