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“nice stay”

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VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira
Ranked #19 of 86 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Brugge
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“nice stay”
Reviewed October 4, 2013

we did our reservation by e-mail contacting the reservation service: all requests were furfilled; the hotel is on a good location, 20min walk to a shopping centre, 25min to the old town and harbor we apprecied the service from all staf members «from reception till the poolboys»; The dine arround is very interesting , the food quality and ambiance is very nice in the Flamemco tapas bar as well in Mama Mia italian restaurant However the restaurant in the hotel could use a facelift to become a more cosy restaurant; breakfast could be taken outiside on the terrace The superior room had a nice sea view; overall we are satisfied with our stay «price/quality» and a professional service;

Room Tip: tip: make contact with the reservation services
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank johan_bruges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

we stayed here for one week half board at the beginning of september and found it very relaxing.

the hotel as u arrive is very imposing and has the largest sea frontage of any hotel on the island.

we booked a superior sea veiw room which is located on the last 2 top floors for maximum vantage point and found it clean, spacious and comfortable, worth noting that all rooms here face the sea, bar a few garden rooms.

we were now quite impressed and after a few lift rides and a few ramps headed down the the pool area, 2 infinity pools and 2 kids pools and access to the sea on both side via a big ladder, we went out of season so cant comment if its always the case but never anymore than 20% of sunbeds were ever used so loads of choice, the only real let down here was as you walk around the hotel you can tell no expense has been spared from materials used to the excellent finish and then you walk out to the pools which look much like southend sea front with 2 pools cut into the endless concrete, ok it doesn't get hot but a real let down.

now to the food, we were there for 7 days and were on the half board tariff and could use their 'dine around' card for 4 speciality restaurants, this was excellent, as the restaurants are open to the public the food is at a very good standard, mama mia being by far the best! you book a day in advance and have from 8-12 to do so, thus never a panic or rush

in the evenings the entertainment if you can call it that is quite dire, the best we saw briefly was a guy on a casio keyboard playing along to what sounded like lift music, with no singing! however in their defence this was much the case in all the places we went so were in bed most nights very early, the talent clearly goes home for the winter in madeira......

that all said we did have a relaxing time, at night too relaxing, and would recommend this hotel but for us, we would return to madeira as love our sand and beach holidays too much

Room Tip: floors 9 and 10 have the best views
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank dilly-dally007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Level 6 Contributor
202 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Just returned from a week at this hotel. There is much to be said for it - a lot is a repeat of what others have said as is often the case. I think perhaps the best way to describe the Vidamar is perhaps it is what you make of it and that obviously depends on what you are looking for. To try and make it clear I'll break the review into categories and start with the positives:
Great facilities:
The rooms are spacious and our seaview room had a great view with a nice size balcony.
Beds very comfy - good black out curtains and quiet A/C unit
The bathrooms are a good size too and there is plenty of storage space for clothes as well as suitcases.
The room was very clean and kept spotless throughout our stay.
The pool area is large - two good size infinity pools - plenty of sunbeds - never an issue in getting one and plenty of towels are provided.
Indoor pool area - albeit quite small but offers a small jacuzzi, steam room and sauna for no charge
The Atlantic Spa which has a charge attached is fantastic - its very large with a brilliant range of treatments and a wonderful Thalasatherapy pool as well as further steam room and sauna, different shower types and rest areas - all in all very relaxing surroundings over looking the sea. This is a real asset which the hotel should promote much more.
Good gym which you are free to use as much as you wish as well as take part in any classes they are running.
Location is great - plenty of bars and restaurants in walking distance and a cheap, regular bus ride or longish walk into the centre of Funchal. Views out to sea are lovely too.
Good selection of food on the buffet breakfasts
Good service:
we had an issue with air con not working - we went for dinner whilst they tried to sort and on return they had given us another room as couldn't fix it
Concierge are helpful with recommendations on places to eat
The guy who was the main one in the Piano bar was very hard working and no matter how busy always insisted we sit and he would bring us our drinks
Pool staff always helpful with towels and sunbed matresses
Gym staff very friendly and offered any help if needed
Not such good facilities:
We had a bottle of water in our room on day one - this was never replenished.
Only one robe and set of slippers in our room despite there being two of us
Buffet nowhere near as extensive on the Madeira night as it was for breakfast - this put us off trying another night even though we were half board
No real facility for drinks by your sunbeds short of having to walk to the poolside restaurant to collect - no waiter service or even a menu of drinks and available snacks to tempt you - we felt the hotel were really missing a trick on this point
Dine around option is a great concept but the reality is the restaurants other then the buffet get booked quite early in the morning by keen guests and by 10am you had little or no choice on availability. The Italian was very popular and despite being told we could only eat at 7.15pm - early for us - as no availability - there were many empty tables still at 9pm the night we visited - didn't make sense
Not such good service:
Buffet breakfast was manic - often had to wait for a table if wanted to sit outside as it seemed to take them forever to re lay a simple breakfast table.
Service in the Tapas was poor - friendly but poor - our starters never arrived and neither did our paella - this was recognised and we were not charged for drinks but would rather have had the meal we wanted
No real personal treatment - we were referred to by room number always and never spoken to by name - usually you give the room number and you get spoken to by name afterwards
On check out reception never asked if we had a nice stay or thanked us for staying with them
The Piano Bar was always lacking in staff - the main guy waiting was great and should be commended - we tipped him as felt strongly he did so well - but people were leaving as could not get served - management need to address this.

Food reviews:
Main buffet restaurant - great breakfast selection - our one experience of evening themed buffet - not a great range but what was there was very nice
Mamma Mia Italian - wonderful food - very tasty and well cooked - the veal dish was delicious - service was very nice too
Tapas restaurant - service friendly - slow and food forgotten so cancelled - poor show. The tapas we did have was really not very good so very disappointing
Sushi restaurant - we did not try as was fully booked a couple of nights

Some of my negatives may seem like small things and if i was reading a review like this for some places i would think it was over the top - however, this is billed as a 5 star hotel and it lets itself down in the small points as above - as they say its the little things that make the difference and will set this hotel apart from all the others in Funchal. Or more to the point - make it a full 5 star. Currently I think they are resting on the facilities they have to maintain the 5 star as opposed to the overall experience guests will have. I suppose the best way I can summarise the service is that it's not very forthcoming - its there - if you ask - but you shouldn't have to ask!

Vidamar has no real character as it is a very modern building which in itself is no major problem. I believe it therefore needs even moreso to bring some personal touches and a personal feel to its service. As a business I feel it is really missing a trick on the poolside service - well lack of - and also not promoting what is a great spa.

I know that there has been a recent takeover and read about all that before going - as well as some of the negatives others had experienced. I think some criticism is a bit harsh - perhaps fuelled by the small niggles - but some is very fair. I've tried to be constructive with mine as all in all we had a really nice time and I would actually return to the hotel because of the positives mentioned. I would seriously think about going only on a B&B basis though due to the dine around restaurant issues and the choice of great restaurants locally serving excellent food at a very reasonable price.

Perhaps the transistion period will see Vidamar take note of the comments and feedback on here and im sure they get elsewhere and they will improve their service and in some plpaces attention to detail.

I would still recommend this hotel but I am sure it has stiff competition from the many surrounding hotels and I hope it can find its personality and be a true all round 5 star experience.

Room Tip: I would think the pool view rooms may not offer the most private of locations. We were originally on...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank sarah_gray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Like many of the reviewers on this site this hotel is probably a four star in uk stars we got a great deal but it was half board and to be quite frank I wish it was b& b as I felt the dine around restaurants let the hotel down we went to the mama Mia restaurant expecting great things but were sadly let down .
Breakfast at the hotel was very good yes it was the same each day except some days pancakes some not but there was lots of choice and I would defy anyone to tell me that they eat that much at home no way from fresh fruit to anti pasta scrambled egg bacon etc etc etc my only suggestion on breakfast is take some pg or tetleys tea gas as the tea has trouble getting out of the pot it is so weak so be warned if you like builders tea take your own and pop a couple in.
Our room was excellent no there was no sky tv but you can watch tv at home the view out the room of the atlantic brilliant all I would suggest to the hotel is maybe open a bar outside the dining room so pre dinner drinks can be bought be a bit more sensible with the pricing in piano bar and you will get more custom since return I have tried to book again on a b&b basis but it seems impossible all in all we had a brilliant time and the hotel was in the best position possible

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Turkiish60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staines
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

I have just come back from a week's holiday at the Vidamar. First impressions were good but hasn't got the wow factor when you walk in. Have stayed at many 5 star hotels but this doesn't come up to the same standard. We checked in around 11.30 am but our room wasn't ready so went for a walk and came back around 2.00pm. A lot of hotels offer a cold drink when you arrive but nothing was offered. We went to our room which were lovely and the views were fantastic. Unpacked our cases plenty of coat hangers and plenty of storage. The bathrooms were big but was expecting a separate shower to the one over the bath. I then looked where I was going to plug in my hairdryer and there was a desk with a plug socket but no mirror. Phoned reception and they bought up an extension cable. So I plugged it in then dragged a chair opposite the wardrobe and balanced my hair dryer and brushes on my lap which I ended up blocking the entrance into the bathroom - not impressed and once finished move the chair back . We went down for a drink and between 6.30 - 7.30pm which is happy hour and is the only bar they had open in the hotel. There was one barman struggling to take orders, make the drinks and collect the money so during happy hour were lucky to get one drink. We did go back after dinner and there was still only one barman on duty. There was a lack of entertainment in the bar only n a few nights during the week.We were half board and went down to the buffet in the main restaurant. The choice of food was very poor. We chose to sit outside on the balcony but sat next to a table where they smoke so not very pleasant. Also can't believe they didn't have salt and pepper pots but little packs of salt and pepper which was near the buffet. The breakfasts were better than the dinner buffets. We had the dine around options but the other restaurants were not that good and the service was poor. On the whole this hotel is a good 4 star but not a 5. I will say something positive the staff were really friendly and the hotel is very clean but I would not go back there to stay but would go to back to Madeira as this is a wonderful island to stay.

Room Tip: We had a superior sea view room excellent.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank Lynden1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blazeboyo
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Just returned from an 8 night stay.
This is a strange hotel. The reception and customer relations staff are excellent but the hotel has absolutely no character. It has a wow factor in as much as the outside pool area is superb. You cannot get an afternoon tea or coffe/drink inside the hotel without taking a trek down to the pool area. We visited other hotels in the area and without exception you could get a drink at a terrace bar or close to the reception area.
The breakfast buffet is fine but the evening one is extremely poor. The Mama Mia restaurant is the best of the 'Dining around' concept. You are supposed to only visit there one time in aweeks stay. Due to various problems with our room ( how can a maid for example not notice that our room was the only one without a balcony table?) we were allowed 3 visits.
We had other room issues that took ages to settle including one farcical problem involving finding us a bottle opener so that we could actually use the contents of the mini-bar.
The Tapas restaurant is a joke. We did not use the sushi one but other guests said that it was not worth the effort.
The hotel bar has no atmosphere and the guy serving there was doubling up by helping in the adjacent sushi restaurant. It is a pitiful experience and even the appearance of live entertainment does not enhance the general feeling of a slow death.
Our room after the initial problems had been resolved was perfectly adequate with good air conditioning. It was cleaned to a good standard and had lovely sea views. It was always a pleasure to get back to. The supplied dressing gowns were in a distressed state. They had shrunk considerably over the years and one of them had a big year under the armpit. We asked for bigger replacements that we could tie up. These initially came without belts. We did not use the provided slippers that looked as though they had already been used.

It is a shame as this hotel has some lovely front of house staff such as Carla and Simone. The pool area is a big plus and the \Mamma Mia restaurant is a delight. We were on half board and found the wines not to be expensive and we always left a tip for the good service.
The pool area and the hotel location to Funchal are also a another plus.
The management of this huge wasted spaced hotel have lost the plot. Both my wife and I have been in the hospitality business for many years and it is easy to see that there are obvious problems. The main one being the staff shortages in certain areas and the complete absence of any attempt to increase the hotel's revenue by additional guest services. The hotel is like a ghost town in the evening.

Now here is the paradox. Would we return? Nowing what we do now probably yes but on a B & B basis.
The Vidamar is not a 5 star hotel because if it is then it draws unfavourable comparison with Reids and the Cliff Bay hotel next door.
Shame really and feel sorry for the front of house people that try so hard with little support from the manager whoever he is.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Blazeboyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Like the reviewer below, I would probably give this 4.5 stars if I could because there were some issues. But in general was excellent so heres a list of plusses and minuses:
- The views, the pools are very good as the reviews say. The pools are saltwater and a bit cold, so take some getting used to.
- In our room, 512, we could get slow but free wifi. Not sure if its like this in all the superior rooms or because we were above reception.
- The hotel was very quiet, no noise issues day or night.
- The bed was super comfortable, one of the best hotel beds. The €6 mini bar deal is great, and you can use the fridge for chilling your own drinks for the rest of the week. There is a Spar shop around 2 mins down the road.
- The breakfast buffet was good, but didn't vary at all over our week. It was exactly the same every day.
- Our deal included one free buffet meal in the evening. We didn't enjoy this at all. Would recommend going B&B and eating nearby.
- There were a couple of issues with our room on arrival (broken toilet seat, balcony door not locking, tv remote not working), but these were sorted out within an hour, well done to the staff on this.
So overall brilliant.....but, the one thing this hotel is missing is a good bar area. The piano bar, open from 1800 was generally empty and lifeless and the drinks were too expensive. If they had a bar in one of the garden areas and took a euro off the drinks prices they would probably massively increase their turnover.
Recommend Bar El Silencio down towards Lido for pre dinner drinks.

Room Tip: In the towers
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank kevintiobraid
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
#14 Family Hotel in Funchal
#16 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#19 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 And Sea Spa
Cs Madeira Atlantic Resort & Sea Spa Hotel Funchal
Cs Madeira Atlantic Hotel Sea
VidaMar Resort Hotel Madeira Funchal

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