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“Generally good - eat out for dinner!”

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TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 7, 2012

We stayed here for 1 week 29th October to 5th November 2012, booking through Thomson. The hotel is situated to the west of Funchal city centre and (like the rest of the city) on a steep hill. Transfer coaches cannot get to the front door and a short walk from the coach (or transfer by taxi) is required to get there.

The hotel is clean and well maintained with helpful and efficient Reception staff. Our room was one of the cheapest (termed a "Mountain View") at the back of the hotel. It did indeed have a view of the mountains and overlooked the gardens and roofs of the properties behind, though this was absolutely fine. The room itself was clean, comfortable, modern and well maintained. I agree with a previous reviewer that the hotel doesn't replenish tea and coffee - so take your own supplies if you want to use the kettle! Rooms are equipped with a Samsung TV with limited hotel remote and most channels (even local ones) have English programmes (with Portuguese sub-titles).

The grounds of the hotel are quite small and on several levels (it's on a a hill remember!), however the star feature is the roof top panoramic viewing deck equipped with sunbeds, a (free) jacuzzi and (wonderful idea) an honesty bar with drinks, snacks etc.

The downside of the hotel is the restaurant. Perfectly adequate for breakfast, but we went half-board and found that the quality of the dinners was lacking. The salad bar is fine and the deserts looked ok but the main courses were motorway service station standard. Admittedly they were trying to cater for the British tourist with food from home but they were poorly cooked and often inappropriate choices to languish in a bain-marie for long periods . Avoid the soups; it takes genius to make French Onion soup tasteless but they managed it! There are plenty of restaurants within a few minutes walk so unless you have mobility problems I would eat out.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Veritas_Vir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 6, 2012

Most reviews about this hotel are excellent, and we would agree with them. However, the 4-star rating did not seem appropriate for some aspects.

We booked two weeks beforehand with Thomson as a package deal. The 'mountain view' room was small, and the tea and coffee facilities were only provided for the first night - an extra payment was required for the rest of the week. The small room was adequate, but not really 4-star, and tea and coffee facilities come in nearly the most basic of hotels.

We were most surprised to find that wifi was not included in the price. There was an old Windows PC in the basement, which worked most of the time, but it wasn't used very much, although it was free to use. Wifi was available for 5 euros per hour, although it was a very weak signal on the fifth floor. The 5 euros could be used in one single chunk of one hour, or broken up into smaller chunks throughout the hotel stay. However, we discovered that it was very difficult to switch it off - impossible by switching off the laptop's wifi, or logging out of a user account. Even switching off the laptop, and then switching it on again found the wifi still connected (and still using up the 5 euros). There was no way to log out of the wifi, and no way of checking how much had been used. The reception staff evidently knew of some of the problems, and willingly issued another free hour's worth. It may be that it all works perfectly on Windows, but not on our MacBook Air, which works perfectly everywhere else. (These details have been provided just so that future visitors may be forewarned of the problems.)

Overall, we enjoyed the hotel and the food. We loved the island with its possibilities for walking and intend to return. We might return to the same hotel, as we found its position to be ideal. A different 4-star hotel may have full 4-star facilities…

Room Tip: All sorts of extras are possible for extra costs.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ColinBut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

This was a good, four star hotel. The facilities were excellent with an good sized pool, well situated on the ground and a hot tub on the roof terrace with great views over Funchal. The hotel had a spa offering a range of treatments and a free sauna. The hotel had a number of areas where you could relax with a book. The staff were excellent and, because the hotel catered for an older clientele - no guests under 18 with an average age (I guess) nearer 50 - the place had a quiet ambience.
We had half board and the breakfasts were good although the evening meals were unadventurous and on the boring side.
The rooms were spacious, clean and well appointed with tea and coffee making facilities. We had a sea view and enjoyed great views over the area.
As long as you were fit the walk into town was easy. However, if you have mobility problems this would be an issue. However, the hotel had good access to public transport - the local bus (24) stopped outside; however it only ran every hour.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Exiled_Cumbrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

We chose this hotel because it was 4* Adults only and recently refurbished. We were thrilled with it. We had a beautiful spacious room, lovely bathroom, comfy bed, all spotlessly clean. The staff were hardworking and helpful, the food plentiful. I loved the fresh fruit salad available at breakfast and also in the evenings! The pool area was great, lots of sunbeds and umbrellas, the pool clean and warm enough once you were in it. The roof garden was a nice idea, fantastic views in the evening. I imagine rooms at the back (not sea view) were perhaps a bit disappointing. We paid extra for a suite which gave us an additional room plus a huge balcony. Being on the top floor the views were fantastic and although expensive we loved it! The Thomson team were faultless, so friendly and good at entertaining although we weren,t too keen on the quizzes each night other people seemed to enjoy them. The hotel is up a hill but so is most of Madeira , we were prepared for some stiff walking but not everyone had done their homework so some guests found the location hard. It took us an hour to walk into the old town and up to the cable car (all downhill). A taxi back cost 5e which we though good value. We also walked to the end of the Lido promenade again this took about an hour.There is a bus stop just outside the hotel and lots of guests seemed to use this to get into the town. We thought the hotel represented great value for money and wished we had booked two weeks and not one!

Room Tip: Worth paying for a sea view the rooms are a little larger and sunny
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Santoriniblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

I couldn't agree more with all the comments about this hotel. I desperately needed a rest and my every need was catered for. I agree completely with the comments made by Bronxyglenn who was staying there at the same time as me. Paula is a fantastic Rep and is always on hand for any problem - I've personally never known a Rep to work so hard. As for the Entertainment Team they are unbelievably talented. Carl, Jen, Matt and Sarah work very hard to ensure that everyone has a great holiday and Thomsons should be proud to have five dedicated and enthusiastic people working for them. I thank them especially for making my holiday so memorable. I'm usually quite happy to sit quietly with a book but, probably because there was no pressure to get involved if you didn't want to, I actually did. Spending an hour, out of the sunshine in the middle of the day, making earrings was a welcome break. My only criticism is that we had to wait an hour and a half on arrival before we could get into our room. This should not stop anyone spending a holiday at this hotel because it is a holiday I will remember for a very long time and I wouldn't hesitate to return. The free internet was also a blessing for me because my 96 year old mother was rushed into hospital two days after I arrived and it was a relief to be able to communicate with my brother in Australia and my son in the U.S. and keep them updated on her progress.

Room Tip: Choose a room with a sea view, you won't regret it.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Valerious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

A Thomson Holidays Couples hotel with no guest under 18 and a mainly mature British clients.
Clean, comfortable, welcoming and relaxing where everyone- including the guests- were well behaved!

Our room at the rear had a small balcony and little direct sunlight and that kept the room cool.
Rooms were clean and comfortable with a TV channels including BBC Entertainment, BBC and Sky news.
Good features - the sun deck on the roof was spacious with excellent double loungers and a jacuzzi and an Honesty bar with hot and cold drinks and snacks.
Games deck with giant chess/draughts, golf driving net, matted putting "green", boules pit and shuffle board provided some amusement on a cloudy morning.
Location is a half hour down-hill walk into Funchal centre with a 45min uphill walk return.

Minor niggles - drinks purchased at the bar cannot be taken into the dining room - range and quality of wine is restricted - and if you use the drinks bar and pool bar a lot you will find a hefty bill at the end of the week - replenishment of tea & coffee in the room have to be paid for - I have marked down the Value score for this.

Thomson ran a faultless service with a experienced reps with the evening entertainment in the basement lounge bar of singers and musicians performing with backing tracks was not to my taste. The "Hole in One" Pub a 10 min walk downhill from the hotel provided better live entertainment in my opinion. Each to his own as they say.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms have larger balconies and get all-day sun - they overlook the pool where early evenin...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SoloMan_York_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

Arrived home 8th october after two weeks at the Savoy Gardens.. brilliant. can't fault this hotel & will definately return, i don't think we have ever been to a (mainly brits) hotel & found so many available sun-loungers & parasols, never saw anybody try to reserve a bed !
The staff, the entertainment team & Paula the rep were all great. we had a room with a sea view on the 7th floor & could often watch the cruise ships come & go, walked in to Funchal most days or evening so much going on with festivals etc. was great to sit outside at one of the many bars or restaurants & listen to some great musicians,
Once again... a very friendly hotel, a great resort. lovely climate, if your thinking of booking this hotel... dont think anymore, 'just do it' !!

Room Tip: choose a high floor.. great views.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank chaddertoneric2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens

Address: Azinhaga Casa Branca 7, Funchal, Madeira 9004-543, Portugal (Formerly Savoy Gardens)
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Funchal
Price Range: $113 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens 4*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cradled against an oceanfront hillside and located in a quiet and sunny suburb of Funchal, within approx 2km from the city centre, the renovated Hotel Savoy Gardens (ex-Vila Ramos), renowned for the provision of friendly and personalised service, offers amazing mountain and sea views across lush verdant plantations. The Savoy Gardens is a friendly boutique-style hotel that provides its guests a modern feel and a traditional quality. All 119 completely renovated rooms include 9 suites. All have their own furnished balcony and are equipped with air-conditioning, direct dial telephone, flat screen TV set with interactive TV, FREE internet wireless system, tea and coffee making facilities, safety box and mini-bar, plus a fully equipped bathroom with bathtub, shower and hairdryer.The elegant and new interiors are all designed in soft colours with excellent materials to create a relaxing atmosphere throughout the hotel. The Savoy Gardens Hotel features the Restaurant Laurissilva, serving a daily buffet breakfast and themed Buffet dinners with cooking station. In a reserved cosy area, this restaurant also features a elegant a la carte dinner service. The Cica cocktail bar serving evening cocktails and the Palmeira bar serving snacks, hot and fresh drinks throughout the day as well as a daily suggestion of healthy and delicious light dishes for lunch. One outdoor freshwater heated swimming pool, a panoramic rooftop 360º view terrace with sun-lounges, jacuzzi, shower and self-service bar - the ideal location to spot the daily arrivals and departures of cruise liners in Funchal's harbour. Some of the facilities are also located in the lower-ground floor, such as the Spa with themed and seasonal promotions and special spa packages, the hairdresser, a games and TV room with internet desk and the Night Club Magnolia with nightly live music and entertainment. The Savoy Gardens Hotel is a new concept in Adults Only accommodation. Conceived as a place for rest and fun specially dedicated for those seeking a relaxing although extravagant vacation: unique experiences, amazing entertainment programmes, personalised service and attention to detail and all the commodities and services of a hotel for guests over 16 years of age. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Savoy Gardens
Savoy Gardens Funchal
TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens Madeira/Funchal

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