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“I've given it 4 stars but I won't be back”

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Hotel Riu Palace Madeira
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Canico
Certificate of Excellence
glasgow, scotland
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“I've given it 4 stars but I won't be back”
Reviewed June 13, 2012

We have just returned from this hotel. It is in Canico which is a village about 8km from Funchal in Madeira. There is a shuttle bus from the hotel into Funchal as well as frequent local buses. It's a very nice hotel, a little old fashioned in décor but nice. The hotel staff were universally friendly and helpful and could not be faulted. The rooms are a good size, but nothing special. The twin room had two very comfortable arm chairs which were much appreciated. There were 2 good size wardrobes with a reasonable number of hangers. One problem is the safe which was on the floor so I had to kneel down any time I wanted to open/close it. Also had to pay to hire the safe, which in a good class hotel is just cheap. The rooms are clean as was the bathroom which was nice and a good size although the hair-drier is the old fashioned kind attached to the wall and very slow with not much power, so if you have long hair or want a different style, take your own hair-drier with you.

We had a view to the side of the hotel with a partial view of the sea, with a reasonable size balcony. The 2nd room was a single with a double bed and was a good size also, but the view again was to the side, but also of the service area of the hotel which was very unattractive and noisy.

There are 2 good sized outdoor swimming pools (and thank goodness when we were there almost no children it was so good to be able to swim and exercise without dodging the kids). The clientèle is mostly middle aged to elderly, mostly German with a few Spanish and British. There is an indoor pool, a sauna, small spa, gym and hairdresser. There is an outside pool bar/snack bar.

The restaurant has 2 sittings for dinner 6.30 and 8.30, in hindsight we should have chosen 6.30 as 8.30 is really a bit late unless you go clubbing after, but for that you would have to go into Funchal or there is entertainment in the hotel every night, but we didn't stay for the shows so can't comment. The food was good, buffet mostly although there is a limited table service if you prefer. Lots of good salads and plenty of hot dishes mostly beef, fish and pork, with occasional lamb but most people would find something to their taste, there was a reasonable variety. There is a speciality restaurant but we didn't try it as we were only there for a week. Most nights we went for a walk to one of the local café's for a coffee after dinner. There is a nice little cliff walk at the back of the hotel, but it only takes about 10 mins to go from one end to the other, so no real use for exercising or having an evening stroll.

Breakfast was buffet and good lots of salad and continental as well as hot "full English" style plus the chef would do omelettes to order.

We liked the hotel but the reason we will never go back is the beds. The beds are rock hard, it was like sleeping on a plank of wood. I ended the week seriously sleep deprived as I woke so often and lay awake for hours on occasions. I have honestly never slept on a bed as uncomfortable, even when we went to Hong Kong which is notorious for hard beds. We decided one day to have a day in the hotel and went to the "play room" where they have the internet connections some card tables plus a small library with some sofas, the sofa was soft and comfortable and I ended up stretching out and having the best sleep of my holiday on it. So although I liked the hotel I will never be back.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank LJC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sintra
Level 6 Contributor
456 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2012

I just tried the buffet restaurant as an out-guest and the result is somewhat disappointing. The food is merely passable except for the cold appetizers and salads. The pasta bar is very limited and the meat stand offers you beef or pork, both of the hard type. The fish was limited to one species, with or without sauce.
The worst were the desserts which looked all too industrial.
For 25€ a person with no drinks the dinner seemed a bit expensive and un-rememberable .

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Polskiman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffs
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2012

This is an excellent hotel [as we've come to expect from this chain - our fourth stay in one]. We won't spend much time nit-picking, we've yet to come across the perfect hotel, yes the Riu Palace has its negative points but still gets a well deserved high recommendation from us. Its clientele was mainly middle-aged couples; children and teenagers were thin on the ground as were younger couples.
Our room was hard to fault, it was spacious, well-maintained, clean and comfortable. We've added some photos to illustrate this. The food was of high quality and there was plenty of choice and variety. You had the option in the restaurant of either buffet service or waiter service, the staff here were charmingly attentive as were all their colleagues in other parts of the hotel.
The entertainment was well received by the majority of the guests who were mostly German & British, however, there were smaller numbers of French, Dutch and Russian guests - it put on a variety of acts to cater for its cosmopolitan audience.
The pool area was well laid out and was made up of two largish pools with plenty of sun-loungers with no congestion problems! No dawn rush here!
The resort itself is nothing special and the actual village of Canico is a energy sapping 40 minute walk away [all uphill! it's not any easier on the walk back because as you'll find Madeira is a very steep island and your knees will feel the exertions next day].
Funchal, the capital is a 15 minute transfer from the hotel - the hotel runs a free and very efficient, well-organised shuttle service throughout the day.
We spent a week here at the end of May/beginning of June, the weather was excellent and the island is a little gem. We did a lot of sightseeing, visited some of the excellent gardens, went on the cable car, did the toboggan run and viewed the spectacular scenery in the west of the island.
We don't tend to revisit places that often, Crete last September was our first revisit in 10 years but with the lure of the whale and dolphin sighting trips, a visit to the island of Porto Santo and the chance to try out the many levada walks makes a return visit within the next couple of years a certainty for us. On our return when asked by friends what Madeira was like we answered that it was a cross between Sorrento and Tenerife, but better than both! Give Madeira serious consideration when planning your next holiday destination - we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank JatnRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, GB
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2012

The standards overall at this hotel are excellent and the staff are both friendly and efficient. The reception staff deserve particular praise for being able to deal with all requests made of them, cheerfully and competently. The rooms are bright, airy, comfortable and spotlessly clean and this standard is also maintained in the public rooms. Meals are varied and of a high standard. We have found this to be typical of RUI Palace hotels.
One very small criticism, the juices at breakfast left something to be desired.
The hotel offers an excellent complimentary bus service into Funchal. The location is, however, only really ideal for those wishing to hire a car, go on organised excursions or enjoy relaxing around the pool. Walking in the immediate area is very limited and the resort offers very little.
If you hire a car make sure it has a big enough engine. We hired a 1100cc Renault Clio which, although brand new, was reduced to first gear on many occasions, even on the main roads!

Room Tip: A higher floor gives you a better view.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank High-Plains-Walker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2012

Having visited this hotel many times, yet again we look forward to returning in the near future. The staff are second to none and that includes all depts. from room maids to management staff. Food was of high standard ,prepared and presented extremely well. We can offer no negative comments to the services received. We do not rely on the entertainment provided in the hotel therefore we could not comment on this aspect. The hotel is situated on a short promenade which is lovely to meander along, however like most of Madeira the rest is up-hill however the hotel bus service to Funchal is excellent and the local bus stops outside the hotel. We thoroughly enjoy our stays here and look forward to returning in near future.

Room Tip: Worth paying for sea view, high situation
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JessBG42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sutton, Surrey
Level 5 Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012

This was our third weeklong holiday at the hotel. As on previous occasions we were made vey welcome and the comfortable room (facing West) was to our satisfaction with a partial sea and land view. The restaurant food was generally to a high standard with plenty of choice and a friendly and highly professional level of service from the staff – something I have never experienced in a UK hotel! However, our only complaint was our last (Sunday) evening. The service in the restaurant was not up to their usual standards; I had to get up from the table to ask for my pre-ordered main course (our usual highly efficient waiters were employed elsewhere in the restaurant). Furthermore, after dinner it was impossible to get any attention in the bar – we were simply ignored by bar staff we had not seen before. We did report this to reception but were told it was due to the hotel being particularly busy with additional guests. I would kindly suggest it is up to the hotel management consider this. Overall, I would still say that this is an excellent hotel with high standards of service except for particularly busy occasions when the staff are struggling to cope.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nigel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
costa del solway, cumbria
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2012

We visited this hotel in May 2012 travelling with Thomson. Having stayed at several other Riu Palace hotels, we knew what to expect and weren't disappointed. Check-in was painless with a glass of Madeiran wine. The room was excellent with a large balcony, cleaning faultless, and the food quality and choice possibly the best of any Palace we've visited.

The buffet breakfast had a wide choice of fresh foods and fruits with all manner of egg dishes cooked to order, and unlimited cava for those who wished. Evening meals always had a wide choice of fresh produce, with 3 or 4 fish and meat dishes cooked to order. All food is kept hot and dishes replenished before they empty, with quality unquestionable.

Pool area was peaceful, plenty of loungers and parasols, with 2 heated pools. The only comment we would make about the lunch-time snack bar, is that the portion sizes are large following a huge breakfast and before a substantial evening meal.

The garden area gives direct access onto a promenade which is probably not much longer than one kilometre before merging into residential properties. The opportunities for walks beginning from the hotel are limited. The centre of the local village, Canico, is about 30 minutes walk away, but is directly uphill and about a thousand feet higher! Not for the infirm!

The hotel provides a free bus six days a week to Funchal, at least five times a day which is very popular and must be booked a reception the previous evening. The local bus service picks up from outside the hotel and costs about 2 euros to Funchal. There are very many buses available in Funchal for a fixed journey price of €1.90.

This was our first trip to Madeira and we enjoyed the levada walks and tourist attractions of the island and will definitely return.

Room Tip: We ahd room 1463 which hs a very large balcony.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ledor54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Madeira

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Madeira
Address: Praia dos Reis Magos | Canico de Baixo - Portugal, Canico, Madeira 9125-024, Portugal
Phone Number:
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Canico
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Canico
#1 Luxury Hotel in Canico
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Canico
#1 Family Hotel in Canico
#1 Spa Hotel in Canico
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Madeira 4*
Number of rooms: 327
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located opposite the oceanfront promenade of Canico de Baixo. 8-Storey building. 10 M to the sea; access to the ocean across a walkway. 13 Km from Funchal (complimentary shuttle service from the hotel; weekdays and Saturdays. Not available on public holidays). 2 Km from the city centre. 2 Km from various shops. 10 Km from the airport. 50 M from a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Madeira Canico
Hotel Riu Palace Madeira Canico

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