This hotel deserves all the praise it gets. Myself, my husband and our 18 month old had the luxury of a fortnight here in January and it was incredible. The hotel is beautiful to look at and the finishes and attention to detail were all first rate. We were in a suite so that we could have a separate sleeping space from the little one and our accomodation was just perfect. The suite comes highly recommended as you have a kitchen area, lounge, TV in both bedroom and lounge and access to balcony from both rooms. The finishes, cleanliness etc throughout every aspect of the suite were perfect. We were overjoyed on arrival. For other parents of very young children, one huge surprise and asset was that, unlike anywhere else we've stayed, there was a proper full sized wooden cot provided for our daughter instead of one of those awful travel cots that guarantee you bad nights sleep!
It was chocolate week when we arrived which added to the generally fantastic ambience throughout the whole place (which the excellent staff create). The restaurant and food were lovely... excellent variety, both on each night and over each week... we ate in the buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner as we were half board. I was in 7th heaven with quality of the salads, cold meats etc etc. The champagne at breakfast was a decadent touch we loved. We also used the pizza restaurant on a few occassions for lunch (you can use all the resort facilities for the 3 hotels), and it was also gorgeous. Didn't eat in the a la carte as felt it might be less suitable for a toddler.
This hotel (as I understand Madeira in general) is more popular with an older crowd. Our daughter was one of only 2 little ones the first week, although there were a few more families the second week and I suspect in season probably a lot more. However, in spite of this, the oustanding staff doted on her and could not do enough to accomodate us... we felt so welcome with her. To be honest most of the other guests seemed happy to see a toddler as well (yes there was the occassional sideways glance from the stuffier sorts of guests if she got noisy but no more than parents get used to handling anywhere else!).
The outside space of the hotel was absolutely incredible... beautiful, spotless and idylic. Unluckily one of the pools was shut when we were there but that would not bring down my rating because maintenance has to be done and this was the most off peak time to do it so it;s just one of those things. There was still the beautiful main outdoor pool and a smaller indoor pool so it's not as if there are not plenty of alternatives. The pool that was closed is a wonderful oasis indoor/outdoor pool so I look forward to using that on our next visit.
The staff.... without a doubt the friendliest team we have ever met anywhere. With the exception of one grumpy woman who worked at the pool bar (you can't win them all!), literally everyone else was amazing. We had hugs from some when we left! Some of the long term guests we chatted to said that this hotel has retained many of these staff for years and the team does not have a high staff turnover which in itself speaks volumes. They worked tirelessly but never looked like they couldn't be bothered or that they weren't enjoying it.
We went into Funchal a few times and it was a nice place to wander about. We also took a trip to Reid's Palace for afternoon tea which for a little piece of history I'm glad we did, but for the money we have certainly eaten plenty better afternoon teas and the staff we nothing compared to those at the Porto Mare.
As you can probably guess we would recommend this very highly and will be returning at the earliest point we can manage it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Porto Mare hotel occupies the central wing of the Vila Porto Mare resort and benefits from the use of all its facilities. There are many different corners and atmospheres here ... something new to discover every day. The rooms combine views over the ocean with tropical gardens. Four restaurants, six bars, an ice-cream parlour, five pools, SPA, sports and children's facilities... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Porto Mare Funchal
- Porto Mare Hotel Madeira/Funchal
- Porto Mare Madeira