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“great hotel, but has a few niggles !” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira

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VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira
Ranked #18 of 87 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“great hotel, but has a few niggles !”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2011

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 !

Room Tip: ask for rooms at 7th floor level or above to enjoy the view
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank oxfordninja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (817)
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Kent
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2011

Lovely hotel, clean with good facilities and lots of open spaces. We stayed half board and the food was okay but not brilliant so I would not do that again. The hotel does have other restaurants if you are full or half board but we did not eat there. Great location with large sunbathing area. There are two infinity pools which provide the illusion that you are in the sea. They were quite cold though. The weather was perfect during our stay. The staff are friendly and helpful. The only negative is about smoking. We are non smokers and asked for a non smoking room, however we found it very difficult to get away from smokers as they were in surrounding rooms and when they smoked on the balcony, on the outside terrace of the restaurant, and around the pool.

Room Tip: If you are a non smoker ask for a non smoking room and on a high floor.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LittleKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia, Bulgaria
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2011

CS Madeira Atlantic Resort and SPA 5* is the best hotel I have ever been! All of the rooms are with ocean view; the infinity pools are with water ftom the ocean; the staff is very, very friendly and multilingual; the food is perfect!!!

Room Tip: Higher floors have better view
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Panayotova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2011

We were staying in this hotel for 9 nights. It was a very relaxing rest. Еverything was made to have a rest.
1. Room:
+ a spacious room with a flat tv, a sofa and a big balcony with a outstanding view on the ocean!
- we disliked a furniture on the balcony (metallic and rusty!)
2. Location:
+ very convenient (close to the centre - 20-25 min. by foot), many restaraunt near the hotel.
3. territory:
+ pleasant pools, a nice small garden.
4. Breakfast:
+delicious! I don't understand the people who are writting that a breakfast is poor.
We enjoyed every minute!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GalaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2011

I enjoyed my special birthday trip to the CS Madeira last year so much that I couldn't think of anywhere better to spend it this year. We took the same package which includes a deluxe room on the top floor, unlimited access to the Spa, a massage, boat trip, flowers and chocolates in the room on arrival and a special meal in one of their restaurants. They do everything beautifully and the package really is very good value. Since last year the hotel has an added a fine dining restaurant, Mamma Mia, where I had my birthday meal and the food, service and atmosphere was superb. They also now have a different themed music evening every night in the Garden Restaurant, and a piano bar, so there's a wealth of entertainmnet to choose from. The poolside lunch was great too, a huge choice of fresh fish or meats barbequed to order, eaten looking out over the fabuluous uninterrupted view of the ocean. To date I've never found a better choice at breakfast in a hotel, acres of fresh fruit, pastries, cold meats and cheese, and a choice of hot food, eggs, bacon, etc., which was varied each day. According to my husband they do a really first class double espresso which made his morning!

The service is definitely first class and 5 star, anything you need is taken care of by the ever smiling and ever present Guest Relations Manager and we simply couldn't fault our experience. We'll definitely go back again and would recommend this hotel to everyone.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JJV60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 11, 2011

We are staying at this hotel right now……I am in my room typing this. The first and most important thing readers need to know is that if you are contemplating booking this hotel thinking it is 5 star (as per its current rating) then don’t! You will be disappointed. I am fortunate enough to have stayed in lots of good/very good hotels around the globe and this hotel is definitely NOT 5 star……I’d give it 3 at best or maybe a “holiday 4 star” at a push. The hotel comprises of two massive beautiful looking, contemporary styled buildings linked by a sort of central concourse of bars, restaurants & other facilities on various levels leading down to a large pool area and the ocean…….all very nice, at least on the surface. I love modern architecture and so was drawn to this place immediately. Furnishings are equally “funky” in the public areas but carpets are looking a bit worn out and paint on the walls could do with a touch up. Rooms are pleasant enough….a little snug but OK for the length of time we are here (1 week). The bathrooms are poor. No separate shower and the tell tale “peeling” and discoloured sealant around all the wet areas. The shower is pitiful…..you have to run around to have any chance of getting wet (which is difficult at the “taps” end of a contoured bath). Hair drier is mounted on the wall in the bathroom and is the “petrol pump” style popular in the eighties……has a sort of retro feel…and so does the warm air from it! Towels are completely laundered out and “flat”, not at all luxurious.
When we arrived the balcony of our room had some litter on it………..it has remained there all week despite several visits by the maid during this time.
We visited the poolside bar/cafeteria yesterday for a coffee and spent some minutes searching for a clean table without the glasses/cups/crumbs from the activities of the previous occupants. You will be pleased to hear that our moving of tables & chairs/cups & plates to make a space did not disturb the group of waiting staff deep in conversation up at the bar. Our coffees, when we did get them were good but, as with other “chargeables” in this place, overpriced.
To visit the “spa” mentioned in the name of this establishment requires one to part with a further 30 Euros per couple per day, something which, with the exception of beauty treatments is normally free at our preferred Madeiran hotel. Don’t get me wrong…..the spa all looked very nice but we felt it was not good value to spend 30 Euros for two of us to spend all day in a steam room or sauna….especially since we would have been the only people in there!
Breakfast is poor. Too many people, too small a selection of food and all the hotel cost cutting tricks have been played……miniature Danish pastries, tinned fruit mixed in with the fresh and the queue at the single toaster is just ridiculous.
The staff , in the main are lovely…..when you can find them. What I mean is this is a BIG place and was clearly built in more robust economic times. Things are obviously a little different now and many staff must have been laid off. The end result is that you can spend hours walking up and down deserted corridors, peering into bars that don’t open and public areas that don’t have any “public” in them and never see a member of staff.
Finally, I’ve been able to get online by virtue of “paying” to access the WiFi…..20Euros for 24 hours………….the only “5 Star” hotel in the world where I have ever paid for internet service – so out of date.
We won’t return here but we will of course come back to Madeira which is as lovely as ever. The saddest part is that not once during our stay here has any member of staff or front of house management team member asked us if we were happy………….had they done so (as in most true 5 star hotels) I probably would not have written this. I don’t want anything, I’m not looking for a discount, a freebie, an upgrade or a chocolate left on my pillow – I just want you all to know……and if the hotel find out as well then, if they do anything about it , that’s a bonus!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coimbra, Portugal
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2011

This hotel is very interesting, well designed and very comfortable! We were very well received, the staff is very friendly! Well worth a visit! From the hotel to the center of Funchal you can take public transport however if you choose to walk is just 20 minutes!
This hotel is a great experience!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MariaCoimbra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira

Property: VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira
Address: Estrada Monumental 175-177, Funchal, Madeira 9000-100, Portugal (Formerly CS Madeira Atlantic Resort & Sea SPA)
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Funchal
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#13 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#13 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#14 Family Hotel in Funchal
#18 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira 5*
Number of rooms: 300
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

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