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“You get what you pay for !”

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Sensimar Savoy Gardens
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
275 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 310 helpful votes
“You get what you pay for !”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Had our eighth visit here and it is as good as always. The only rooms to have are the seaview rooms, they are worth the small extra they charge. Food is just average but some excellent local restaurants around and not that expensive.

Given the popularity with package holiday guests, this is a wise choice and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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SUSSEX
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

We have been to Madeira 10 times before but not for 8 years so it was great to be back.
Not the best transfer, we were dropped off some way from the hotel and had to walk up a fairly steep hill with our hand bags to the hotel entrance with little help from the transfer rep.
Our rooms were not ready so after some delay we made our way unassisted to our rooms.
OK so a bad start but things got better. The rear room on the 4th floor had a nice views of the Hotel garden, rural Funchal and mountains beyond.
The breakfast and evening meals were good what i would expect from a buffet at a 4 star,Hotel food was always hot, and each evening there was a different country theme the waiters were friendly, willing to help and fun to be around. All the other staff in the Hotel are fantastic. I had tooth ache and the receptionist got me an oppointment and taxi all in 5 minutes 10 minutes later i was sorted thank you so much.
Our main reason for comming to Madeira is levada and mountain walking, for the first time we had guided walks with MADEIRA EXPLORERS see their report. For anyone new to madeira there is an easy levada walk just behind the hotel. go up a steep narrow road between the hotel and its car park, on reaching some steps go up and turn left on the Levada dos Piornais
This water way can be followed for one or two hours or to the start of walk 1 in the sunflower landscapes series.
We were concerned after reading press reports about Dengue Fever just before we left, There was no advice in Thomsons web site and in responce to emails said they follow government guidelines and it is safe to travel. Not very helpful Thomsons. So armed with insect repellent we leave expecting to see loads of mosquitoes around every bend waiting to pounce. But nothing was the DEET that good or was this little problem all blown up out of preportion.
Our walking guide said yes we do get a problem now and again but its not that serious if they are about use the spray, so dont be put off comming to Madeira.
The Christmas lights and decorations the two weeks before Christmas are fantastic and the farmers market that went on all Sunday night was great I think everyone from Madeira was there, dancing, singing, a little drinking, It certainly put us in the mood for Christmas.

Room Tip: sea view rooms are larger, more furniture, bigger bathroom face south so sunny all day, but this ma...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PERCE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruthin, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013 via mobile

Read.the.reviews before we went

Hotel was lovely

Lots to see and do on Madeira, with only a week.we d recommend the tour of the west and the.tour of the east sides.of the island
We had a great time and will.definitely go back there
No kids.. Heaven............

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A1bossywoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Wonderful holiday from start to finish. The comfortable and immaculate Savoy Gardens would be hard to beat. The variety of very fresh and good quality food was extremely enjoyable. Nothing was too much trouble for any member of staff. The reception desk were very informative about the island, advising what was going on locally, such as a concert by the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra, as well as selling tickets for the local bus service and a large bottle of water at 1.50 euro. The New Year's eve gala evening, where the wine flowed freely, was followed by spectacular fireworks across Funchal, viewed from the roof garden. The lavada is just above the hotel, a short but sharp walk to start, but it is certainly worth the effort as the reward is beautiful, changeable and interesting scenery for miles. At various points one can leave the lavada and catch the no. 24 bus or taxi back to the hotel. The part downhill walk into Funchal takes approximately 20 minutes but recommend catching a taxi back which costs approx. 5 euro or the no. 24 bus. Thomson provided a wonderful holiday from start to finish and we will certainly return to Savoy Gardens in the future.

Room Tip: We were on 6th floor, facing mountain and heard no noise.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hazel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Professionally run hotel with very efficient, friendly staff. Good quality food - especially the New Year's Eve gala dinner which was first class. Comfortable, clean, modern, well appointed rooms - definitely worth paying a little more for a sea view room. Lots of room around the pool but need to brace yourself to venture in the pool - exhilarating if you persevere! Agree with comment about trying to charge guests extra for seats on the plane together - felt really wrong. We didn't pay and were fine. Entertainment good. Hotel location is a little out of the way but as the food is generally pretty good not really an issue. If you do go out - and it is good to have a bit of a change - highly recommend the Restaurant do Forte in the old town - fabulous! There is a list of the week's themed buffets so that can help you decide which night you wouldn't mind missing. Spa worth a visit - reasonable prices compared to home and seemed really quiet.

Room Tip: Pay a little more for a sea view and ask for a higher floor.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank HilaryJH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Before my review of this excellent hotel there is something I must get of my chest about Thomsons.
Wishing to go to this hotel I went on Thomsons web page in July and was surprised to see that there were only 6 seats left on the plane so I booked there and then.
Talking to a couple whilst waiting to board the plane I learnt that they only booked three days earlier.
Once on the plane I noticed that there were still a dozen seats empty so this means that no one other that that couple booked after July and also 14 people cancelled and lost their deposits, or did Thomson get its sums wrong ? you decide.
But that was not the worst of it by any means.
A couple of days before returning home a letter was put under our door stating that the plane was full and we may not be seating together unless we paid 7 eu each to the rep.
Can you imagine how a family of 5 must have felt knowing that unless they gave Thomsons £30 their children would be split up from them all over the plane.
I believe that Thomsons have a duty of care for their customers and should do all it can to get them seated together without this sort of emotional blackmail.
My own wife suffers from a mild form of claustrophobia and cannot sit in the middle seat of a plane with comfort but I still did not succumb to this dispicable way of raising money.
If we all paid they would have raised about £1,500 on this flight alone
Why do they have to charge, are they paying their staff extra pay to do it, do they give more money to the Airport for this service, I think not.
I did not pay the 14 EUs and still got the seats we wanted when we got to the Airport.
This holiday cost me nearly £4,000 so the extra £12 was not the point, I always thought that the Tour Operator was there to help the customer not to rip them off.
Anyone of Thomsons loyal past customers reading this will make their own mind up but I think it will be the 32nd of the month before I fly with them again.
Now back to the Savoy Hotel.
Reception, perfect English and very helpful, I had asked for a high floor room but got one on the first floor which unfortunately had a huge tree blocking the light and making the room very dark, I asked if it was possible to move and was told that as it was Christmas Eve all the rooms were full but if one became available she would let me know.
On New Years day we were upgraded to better room with a sea view at no extra charge, 10 / 10
Bar staff, great fun once they knew your sense of humour they had everyone laughing 10/10
Restaurant could not have asked for better, Food excellant and a great choice at all times and again the staff were so freindly that by day two they knew your first name and you knew theirs.
The Christmas Eve and New Years Eve nights were out of this world with as much wine as anyone could drink 10/10
Hotel room, spotless and with a bed big enough for four people to sleep in. 10/10
Animation team, four young people from Home who really knew how to entertain, no Reggae, Hip Hop, or Rap, but music from the 60s,70s, and some of the best West End Shows, 10/10
So what were the worst points about this Hotel, well only two I could find and the Hotel could do nothing about either of them.
The Hotel is on the side of a steep hill and so if you have any sort of walking issues it meant a Taxi everywhere and the other thing is the dogs barking in unison when you are trying to sleep on one of the sun loungers.
Tips if you are a fist time tripper to the Island, think twice about getting a car, the roads will frighten you near to death up in the Mountains.
Best two trips are the Eastern Island trip and the Western Island trip both include a meal and plenty of wine and cost about £40 each, cheaper if you wish to use the Operators down on the water front.
If there are four of you a good alternative is to hire a Taxi for the day and they will take you places that even the coaches cannot reach but do ask two or three of them before saying yes as prices very quite a lot,

Room Tip: ask for an upgrade if you are not happy.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank royston c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Hotel Savoy Gardens - Room 502 - 17 December to 31 December 2012

Overall an excellent holiday that has been tainted by the many 'hidden' charges at this hotel. The receptionists are very helpful apart from the one man who works evenings and is most aggressive and argumentative. At one stage he intimated that I was lying - customer service does appear to be on his agenda. Although I have complained to the Holiday Rep about his tone and manner I have yet to hear the outcome of the complaint. Nor have I received an apology. Sitting in the foyer I noticed that his manner is the same for all guests.

Internet access very expensive and not the 'nominal charge' that the hotel mentions. It costs 10€ (£8.20) per day. Offer on in room TV of 37.45€ (£30.63) per week and includes films. Note that only ONE device (laptop or iPad or iPhone etc) can be connected. You can NOT log off from one device and reconnect with another using the same username & password. Also, you do not log on automatically but have to enter your username & password each time. Expected to pay again for each device you want to connect to the Internet. There is no 'User Guide'. Free Internet access at most cafes or pubs nearby. Also free at McDonalds in the shopping centre.

Happy hour (18:00 to 20:00) at 30% off in Cica bar (5.55€ (£4.53) for a pint and a glass of house red wine) but you are NOT allowed to take your drinks into the dining room! You are expected to pay the higher price (7.90€ (£6.46) for a pint and a glass of house red wine) for drinks ordered at dinner. Drinks very expensive when compared to the local pubs - for 13.50€ (£8.34) at The White House we got two halves of draught Guiness and three pints of beer. Also, buy your beer & wine at the local supermarket very cheap and put into your room fridge. The majority of other guests also thought that the bar prices are too steep and went elsewhere.

Telephone calls are very expensive it cost us 4.00€ (£3.27) to make a local call to confirm our booking for an excursion!

A cheese sandwich alone cost 5.50€ whereas at the local cafe nearby two toasted tea cakes and two latte coffees cost only 4.00€.

You only get one set of tea/coffee supplies for your entire stay but you can buy more from reception! Unlike most hotels where they are free and replenished daily. We brought tea bags and coffee from the UK and bought milk (UHT) from the local shops.

My thoughts are that the Savoy chain is desperate to make money out of guests. The reconstruction and redevelopment of the original Savoy in the centre of Funchal has stopped due to the lacks of funds!

Hotel information is virtually non existent and they could do better by providing better information packs in all rooms. Local events such as markets or festivals could be made available. Although we stayed over the Christmas period we were not told of what the arrangements were within the hotel for meals until Christmas Eve.

No information regarding how to operate air conditioning in your room. All doors and windows must be closed for it to operate. How do you set the temperature or fan speed?

One of the light switches at the entrance to the room also isolates the wall sockets so if you hope to charge batteries etc overnight you could wake up to find that it didn't happen!

No notice to the effect that boxes of flowers can be ordered at Reception for you to take home. These boxes of flowers do not become part of your luggage allowance.

No notice that you can buy bus tickets at reception and that they are cheaper than on the bus. No bus timetable unless you ask for one but one on Holiday Reps desk.

The dining room is a very pleasing experience. The menus are varied and cater for all tastes. The waiters are very friendly and most obliging. The Christmas Celebration meal was excellent and the staff worked very hard to please. There is an 'al a carte' restaurant but at 15€ (£12.26) per person over and above the half board price I think that it is very pricey.

I have not discussed the good aspects of this hotel because other ratings cover these.

Room Tip: Go for sea view with balcony
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Anthony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sensimar Savoy Gardens

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — 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
Sensimar Savoy Gardens Madeira/Funchal

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