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Hotel Riu Palace Madeira
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Canico
Certificate of Excellence
Upminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Would return”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

Having just spent 11 nights at this hotel, I wanted to share our experience. The receptionists are extremely helpful and efficient. Everything we asked for was dealt without delay. Our room was on the top floor and had a full sea view and was spacious. The hotel is spotlessly clean. The food in the restaurant was not the best we have experienced at a Riu hotel, but there was always a good choice of dishes. The waiters were always attentive and our glasses were always filled quickly. We were staying on an all inclusive basis, which was good value for money. The staff all spoke very good English, so there was never a communications problem. As there is no beach in the location, the pool area does get quite crowded. Although there is not a great deal in the hotel vicinity, the hotel does run a shuttle bus into Funchal, which is only about 15 minutes away. There are two sittings for dinner and as we had the second sitting which was at 8.30pm. By the time we have finished dinner, the entertainment had ended. Therefore, the entertainment could start a little later, so that the second sitting diners have the opportunity to see the acts. All in all, this is a very well run hotel and we would certainly return.

Room Tip: High floor rooms have a better view
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brenda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kent
Level Contributor
45 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Just spent a week at this hotel and due to the weather had a really good time. Not a very good location if the weather isn't too good as there's nothing there. We always travel to Riu hotels so know what to expect from them. The service here is excellent so I can't see why people have complained. There were only 2 staff waiting on the pool area but we never waited long and if you were in a hurry then you could just go to the bar yourself. The restaurant staff were brilliant and our wine glasses were never empty. Considering we were all inclusive I was really pleased to be waited on instead of queuing up and getting my own drinks. What is nice is the staff all speak really good English so no communication problems. I would say this is a good value hotel with good choice of food if you go all inclusive . (Paid lots more for half board at other Riu's) Only slight complaint was our room wasn't cleaned very well and we had to ask a couple of times for extra toilet rolls. Really enjoyed the holiday but not sure whether I would return.

Room Tip: Request a high floor room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank jak467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Durham UK
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

We have just returned from this hotel after a fairly relaxing break in this hotel. As someone has said this hotel takes you back in time and the clientele tend to be mainly retired people. The Hotel as already said is immaculate with beautiful gardens and views. The beds are very hard and need updating along with the thinning towels provided in your room. Whilst there is a fridge in your room there is nothing in it (have stayed at other Riu all inclusive and this has been provided).
The sunbeds are of the hard plastic type with thin old mats that go on to them, you collect your towels daily from reception which we found quite strange, with assurances that sun beds cannot be reserved, of which this is not correct. Beds are left with towels on all day and not used, on our last day people where using chairs from their balconies as there was not enough. We recently stayed in a resort where there was a towel rack outside and you collected towels if the bed was empty over an hour and the beach boys knew exactly what was going on, towels were removed and any belongings left in a designated area this worked very well.
The food is of excellent quality and the staff are one of the best we have seen in their hospitality. As the hotel has recently gone all inclusive they need to sort a couple of areas that we believe is putting too much pressure on the staff. You have a waiter allocated to your table, we were always having to ask for wine along with other people, it seemed once they gave you the first small glass they moved on, and it caused a few problems with customers. The staff seem too focussed on setting tables and not on the customers (breakfast and lunch) they are being asked to wait on clear plates get drinks and reset tables all at the same time and its too much. Have one person serving drinks all of the time, one clearing one setting. Service from the pool bar was good if you were around the pool area, but again can take ages as they have mostly one barman making drinks three waiters all waiting all of the time, so waiting twenty minutes was normal, the same at the piano bar upstairs. We finished dinner one evening 10.30 thought we would have a night cap and waited 25 minutes, not enough staff making drinks.
We would not return to this hotel due to it being dated and the lack of service which was in no way a reflection on the fabulous staff, the management just have not got it correct.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

On arrival we were welcomed by the very friendly and helpful staff and the Madeira wine. Our room was spacious and clean with a fridge. The balcony was private and we had a partial view of the sea. There was always a good selection of food at every meal and good quality. A shuttle bus was on hand to take you into Funchal where there is the cable car up the mountain and if you're adventurous you can come down in a basket which was great fun! Where the hotel is situated there is very little to do as it seems to be in the middle of nowhere. We found our holiday rep (Sarah) very helpful organising and making suggestions regarding trips out. All the staff in the hotel are really good in helping you out with absolutely anything. The service was always good although the bar staff were always rushed off their feet trying to keep everyone hydrated! (The cocktails were great)!! Over all we had a really good holiday and it certainly helps when the people are friendly! Our room was cleaned every day to a high standard.

Room Tip: Rooms not overlooking public areas, such as the pool area are less intrusive.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sue H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dartford
Level Contributor
77 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Have just returned from a week at this hotel. As you walk into the hotel you are transported back to a bygone era and you are treated to a glass of Maderan wine.
The rooms are spacious and clean with a fridge in the room. The staff are friendly and helpful the hotel is always clean and tidy. The food is of a high quality with sufficent choise for everyone.There is a second restaurant which you can use once in a seven day stay.
They provide a courtesy bus to Funchal which drops you off at the front next to the cable car station.You need to book this the night before at receptionThere is a gardens at the top which if you buy a combined ticked is about 23 euros or you can walk from the top a few yards and have the fun of riding some of the way down in a wicker basket
The pool area is nice and peaceful (no blaring music in the back ground).
Go in June as there is a firework festival in Funchal every saturday in the harbour.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank iandartford13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed July 2, 2013

We have stayed at the Riu Palace many times over Christmas and New Year. The long serving Manager, Mr Cid and his staff are adept at making you feel very welcome. The Canico de Baixo resort has little to offer except a pebble beach and a nice, traffic free, seaside promenade for short walks, though the environment has been degraded by the installation of ugly, soft drink vending machines (by the Municipality?). There are a number of cafes nearby but it's an uphill walk to get to them. We have found the cafe at the Eastern end of the promenade to be good and reasonable with a wonderful view of the sea.

The dining room is very attractive and the food at the hotel, now all buffet style, is still good though those of us who know it from some years ago miss the option of having the main course served at the table and with it the absence of the filet mignon and sole meuniere dishes. We found the introduction of rabbit and squid on the menu not to our liking and the cooked food in general too salty, something we have mentioned on the questionnaires but which seems to have no effect. The cooks at the in situ cooking in the dining room keep a bowl of salt and use it liberally. Also, the otherwise excellent soups are often too salty. Since most guests are in the 60/70 age group and need to watch their blood pressure levels, this is something which needs to be taken seriously. Less fried cooked food would also be welcome. Food which is described as "grilled" is usually fried and not grilled. Drinks are expensive and wine 3/4 times the price in the local supermarkets.
Botlled water for your room is available from the shop next door. There are no tea or coffee making facilities in the hotel rooms.

The standard of cleanliness at the hotel is impressive and could hardly be bettered. We did suffer from the vomiting sickness at Christmas which as going round but very much doubt that this was anything to do with the hotel. Unfortunately we missed our Christmas lunch but as the food is generally very good this wasn't too much of a disappointment. We had no problems over the dengue fever outbreak in Funchal which had died down by the time we arrived. The Tourist office in Funchal dismissed our inquiry there saying that it was over. We did however use a Deet roll-on bought cheaply at the Pingo supermarket in the Anadias shopping centre in Funchal and insect sprays are also available there. We were disapppointed that the Madeiran authorities
gave out no information about any counter measures they are taking against the mosquitoes such as spraying parks, gardens and draining stagnant water, though it is understandable that they do not wish to publicise the problem. It would, however, have been reassuring.

The hotel has a frequent, complimentary bus service into Funchal which takes 20 minutes though one has to listen to the driver's pop music. Fortunately, for us, here is no background music in the hotel, unlike the hotel next door where it can be very intrusive.

The hotel rooms are a good size and comfortable, though the beds, as we have found everywhere else on the Island, are rather hard.

In sum, anyone going to the Riu Palace Hotel in Canico is unlikely to be disappointed though those who know it from years gone by will miss the little touches which helped to make the experience so enjoyable. Economies have been made but at the same time funds have been used to give the entire staff new uniforms of a different design which seemed to us unnecessary.

Room Tip: The hotel is right on the seafront and those sensitive to the constant pounding of the waves on the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 90Gordon_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
173 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013

The hotel is situated about 12 kms from the main airport (in itself an amazing feat of construction on the side of a steep hill) and about the same distance from Funchal. At check in we were given a glass of Madeira wine, very welcome after a long journey. A beautiful flower arrangement in the centre of reception of strelipsia and local flowers is a delight.

The staff are friendly and welcoming and indeed this was a key feature throughout our 1 week stay in May 2013. All the staff, without exception are polite, very helpful and are a credit to the hotel from the general manager to the cleaning staff. We were on a fully inclusive arrangement and all food and drink was included with the exception of some wines and spirits, but there was nothing on the pay list that we particularly wanted. We felt we had value for money and this contrasted with some rather unfortunate holidaymakers we met staying at a new hotel nearby who had to pay for extra tea bags, cocktails and many of the drinks.

Our room (1314) was a good size with a view out to sea and across the valley. It formed part of a block within the hotel but built so that it jutted out from the main building line. Great view and really good size balcony, not just the postage stamp you get at a lot of hotels. All the usual facilities were on tap in the room. My only slight criticism is that the rooms are starting to look a bit out dated but still perfectly OK.

The hotel has a large dining room where guests are allocated a table for dinner when you check in. We took a look at ours before service and decided we didn’t like where they had put us. A chat to the restaurant manager soon put that right and we had a super position for the rest of the holiday. The buffet food is good quality and varied each day. They had some really exotic fruits one of which was called Anona and tasted absolutely gorgeous. So much so that I bought some in the market to bring home. At breakfast there is the full monty if you want it and copious bottles of sparkling wine which I much enjoyed. Well, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it.

The large bar is comfortably furnished and for the most part service is good but early evening you can wait a while to get served. The staff are a bit stretched serving on the terrace and the bar with only two waiters.

On various evenings in the week a special themed cuisine is offered in the poolside restaurant which you can only go to once in a seven day period. We chose the Brazilian evening which was really good. Vegetarians beware, this is a meat fest on a grand scale. A Spicy sausage to start followed by huge skewers of chicken, beef, then lamb served at the table and as much as you want. You need a big appetite for this.

After dinner you can go into the entertainment theatre set out cabaret style where there are different acts each night. Hotel entertainment has come quite a long way since we first started travelling and we enjoyed the various singing and dancing acts on offer.

Although the hotel fronts straight on to the sea there is no beach to speak of, but then that is pretty much true for Madeira. It is not a beach destination, more mountains and hills all clothed in rich green vegetation and various flowers and fauna. There are two good size pools set in the gardens.

There is a library and games room where you can play cards, surf the internet or just relax. Wifi in the hotel is generally good but better the nearer you are to the main lobby. There is a small charge to use Wifi.

The hotel provide a very good free coach service (a 52 seater,)at various times to Funchal and back which you need to book in advance. This is full most trips, so you need to book the day before with reception. Alternatively you can take a taxi but that is a minimum of €33 each way. The public bus service is a bit tight if you have long legs but only €2.50 each way and drops you right on the sea front in Funchal or right outside the hotel on the way back.

Overall, we would thoroughly recommend this hotel on the basis of good food, great staff and a good standard of accommodation.

Room Tip: If you don't want to splash out for a sea view room, ask for one on the right hand side of the h...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Julian P
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 - Madiera, 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 Luxury Hotel in Canico
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Canico
#1 Spa Hotel in Canico
#1 Romantic Hotel in Canico
#1 Family 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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