I spent a week in late March 2014 with my fiancee at The Monte Carlo and had a mainly enjoyable stay.
The hotel in situated near the centre of the bustling Madeiran capital of Funchal, with it's steep, narrow, cobbled streets, lots of friendly bars, restaurants and cake shops. Every single Madeiran I met during our stay was pleasant, from the waiters, airport workers, shop assistants and the public in general. You also notice how clean the streets are, no litter or dog mess. Although I practiced my Portuguese phrases, most people spoke very good English.
The hotel itself was built in 1910 and to be honest it hasn't really changed much! It seems to have retained the charm of a distant age and I wouldn't mind betting it was THE place to stay at one time. There's a tiny car-park where the young woman on reception maneuvers the cars around whilst your back is turned and somehow manages to squeeze 8 cars in. The sun terrace in front of the hotel is the perfect place to take breakfast with a wonderful view of the rising sun, sea, harbour and the many red-tiled roofs of the nearby houses & apartment blocks. There's a small bar to the right of reception where a very potent version of the local brew Poncha is prepared. There is quite a large, but mainly redundant dining area to the left of reception. Breakfast is sparse to say the least, but what do you need for breakfast apart from lots of coffee and a boiled egg sandwich? They do serve evening meals if required but we didn't sample the delights.
Our room 6 was reasonable large with twin beds, large wardrobe, beautiful window with city/sea view. There was a TV which we didn't really bother with and we were lent a hair-dryer for the duration of our stay. The bathroom with the usual midget shower (I'm 6'1") was a little tired, but clean. Our room was serviced every day and we received a full set of fresh towels every day.
On the top floor and kinda bolted onto one side of the hotel is the sun- terrace and small swimming pool, although nobody was brave or stupid enough to take a dip as the weather wasn't that hot. Temperatures got up to 20/22 degrees by lunchtime which was very pleasant and the sunlight was strong enough to give me a touch of sunburn. The weather tends to cloud-over in the afternoon at that time of the year.
I suppose the best part of the hotel is it's staff, from the lovely and friendly receptionist, the barman/waiter who it seems never sleeps, to the mysterious owner who can be seen at all hours helping out and chatting to the guests whilst wearing the same, over-size, brown corduroy jacket.
I'm so glad we chose to stay at this hotel instead of some soul-less concrete block in the main tourist area a few kilometres out of town.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated within a previous Palace of Funchal’s charming and historic town centre, the Monte Carlo Hotel promises affordable accommodation and relaxing panoramic views of the bay of Funchal, and the Ocean. It’s located next to some main heritage and cultural points of Funchal, and Monte Carlo offers a relaxing stay, after exploring the magnificent island of Madeira. It takes only 5 walking minutes to reach the center and Marina, and there is a mini bus coming up to the Hotel Street every 30 minutes. The hotel provides a buffet breakfast, a living and games room with TV, a bar with Snack meals, as well as Wines and cocktails. At Monte Carlo you can enjoy a charming and friendly stay, in a unique place in Madeira. There is an exclusive esplanade, and on the top an outdoor swimming pool open all year, with a great view to see fireworks festivities in winter. The rooms are restful, cozy, equipped with a complete bathroom, telephone and TV. Some cultural events take place in the Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Monte Carlo Funchal
- Hotel Monte Carlo Madeira/Funchal