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“A lovely hotel but felt like being on a saga holiday!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Madeira
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Canico
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A lovely hotel but felt like being on a saga holiday!”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

Visited in mid July 2013 as 2 adults and 1 child.
Went all inclusive as it seems the best value for money.
Room
When we arrived they put use in a suite, which consisted of two rooms with a walk way in-between two double beds together and a single bed in the other room for my 11 year old son. I don't know if they have recently changed the mattresses but the beds were ever so comfortable, most holiday hotels I end up with back ache after the 1st night, but here I slept all night without trouble. The room had a/c and two ceiling fans. Two flat screen telly's which had BBC1HD & 2HD and a few other English stations. There was a free safe (for All Inc) and a fridge with free water from reception (sparkling or still). There was a wall in wardrobe before you get to double sinks with a bath behind and a WC and bidet at the end.
Activities & Entertainment
There were daily excursions and car hire from the hotel or rep and a free bus trip into the Funchal each day. There was a gym 2 outdoor and an indoor pool which stank of chlorine. a tennis court with free use of rackets and balls. The entertainment was mainly local singers and the hotel band which on the first night seemed quite pleasant but after you have heard Stevie wonders "I just called to say I loved you" every night then its gets a bit samey.
Wi-Fi is free for an hour each day otherwise you have to pay. It's awful. why can't hotels these days give it free all over the hotel. We're not living in 2004 anymore!!!
Food
Food was excellent and well organised, as there are two sittings its never a rat race to get your dinner. The waitress and waiters were first class and provided excellent service.
Drinks
I would say this is the best All Inclusive hotel for drinks I have ever been too. The local wines were lovely. The beer was branded Portuguese Super Bock (on draft) and Coral (bottled). The sprits were also branded and free apart from expensive cognac and champagne. They had Drambuie included :-) The A/I would close at midnight, but by that time the bar was normally empty so there's no last minute rush
Location
The location is a little isolated, but if this doesn't bother you (like us) then its not a problem. There is a large carpark and a bus stop right outside. You can walk around but you may be faced with some hill climbs.
For Kids
They cater for kids and there are a few families who come. There is no kids club or very much entertainment for them. The hotel have an entertainment team, but I only saw them an hour or so a day. If you have kids under 10 then I wouldn't recommend this hotel. Older Children can use their tablets and keep themselves amused.

Summary
Good points:-
Room, Food, drinks, service and cleanliness
Poor points:-
Entertainment for children, location and useless Wi-Fi,

Room Tip: BBC HD, Branded Drinks
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2013

Select this hotel if you're looking for value for money, happy hotel. The jewel in its crown, the staff. Food is served buffet style on a weekly rotating, so expect the same on subsequent week(s). All inclusive is by far the best and most economic method.
At busy times the pool area and seating in the evenings can become a little crowded.
On the whole it's a lovely hotel from which you can explore this wonderful island.

Room Tip: The west facing side over looking the tennis courts whilst having a reasonably decent view up the va...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Peter-Janine-W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We stayed in the Riu Palace at the beginning of May. The aim of our holiday was to walk the levadas and take on the annual flower festival. We don't like being in very busy places so we chose this hotel to allow us a bit of peace and quiet. At this particular time of the year the hotel was reasonably quiet, which suited us fine. There is a free bus from the hotel into the city several times per day ( but you need to book the night before) which was even better. From the city, we took local buses to the starting points of our walks, which was very easy practical and cheap. The service at the hotel was excellent when we stayed! The staff could not do enough for you. The room we had was very clean and spacious with balcony that had only partial sea views but it was very nice indeed. Overall the location and the hotel were great, but now for the negatives that were our opinion only and not necessarily an issue for others: upon check in we were asked if we would like first or second sitting at dinner (6:30 or 8 pm ) mmmmmm ..... Not a restriction we have been use to on previous holidays particularly when it was buffet style servings, so not impressed. Anyway we went for the later sitting as we were not sure what time we wold be back from walking. On our first arrival for dinner we were told to sit on a certain table and that would be our table for the week. Mmmmmmm........... Another restriction that we were not use to. We sat at our table which was a table for two but strapped right next to another table for two (so may as well have been a table for four !). We were extremely lucky that we had the pleasure of another welsh couple which we got on very well with, but it could have worked out very different. Personally, when we go on holiday we want to eat when we want to eat and sit where we want to sit. At this time of year we also found the average age of the other guests a little older than ourselves and whilst we met some absolutely lovely people there were times when we thought we were on a saga holiday. The entertainment at the hotel was good and the club was very comfortable but we found ourselves the only people left in the club after 10:30 some evenings ! This may have been the time of the year so shouldn't be too critical. The other negative was the rip off trip to the flower festival organised by Thomsons - we paid 16 euros each for a bus trip into the city to see the flower festival, we probably could have got a cheaper taxi and had more time to enjoy the parade. If you visit at the bringing of May the flower festival is an absolute must, but don't be ripped of by your tour operator. Bottom line re the Riu Palace - lovely hotel, great staff, quiet location, and although restricted at meal time still worth a visit (if you are over 50 !)

  • Stayed May 2013
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Janie-NorthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan Lancs
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Thinking of going to Madeira for a value for money break or 7/14night stay all inclusive, then try the Riu Palace based in the coastal village of Conico de baixo. Situated between Funchal and Santa Cruz right on the south coast, 20 yards from the pool area is the sea separated by a promenade that's how close you are a lovely walk along the promenade will take you to a small shopping area, the other end will lead you to the end of small jetty and a few houses.
The hotel has all you need for an all inclusive stay, but if you would like too do some sight seeing you can choice to book a coach tour which I found really good visiting most of Madeira and tasting the famous Madeira wines and cake, also there is a meal provided at one the coastal restaurants which was brilliant all included in the price also a visit to the Botanical gardens. Or you can hire a car, or take a bus ride to Funchal a wonderful historic city try the cable ride to the top of the mountain, or just walk around looking at all the sights, there are plenty of shops, bars, cafe's, and restaurants too choice from and the main market has some wonders to offer you, the bus station is situated on the coast road of Funchal facing the harbour for the cruise ships,you wont be disappointed at what Madeira has to offer .
The hotel is wonderful spotless as are all it's rooms and amenities, firstly the restaurant we were show to our table and allotted a waiter very polite and happy to serve as were they all, the food was superb a wide range of starters, mains, desserts, and the wine need I say more. The breakfast is the same a wide choice of menu and various choice of beverages. After your breakfast you may like too take a dip in one of the three pools of one interior, towels can be obtained from reception on request free of charge, there is also a snack bar with waiter service for drinkies near the pool or a bite to eat if your feeling peckish, Oh what choices we have too make when on holiday (bring it on). There is an entertainments room adjacent to the restaurant and has some wonderful shows to be seen very entertaining evenings with waiter service. We stayed here in 2007/2011 and loved every minute..

Room Tip: Ask for what you prefer room wise when booking and you will receive.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotherham
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2013

We went all-inclusive for a week to Riu Palace Madeira at the end of July 2013.

Overall, the hotel is extremely well run with hard working staff. The restaurant was a buffet style with plenty of variety but became very "samey" after a week. For Brits - as usual on the continent, bacon is poor but also here, the sausages are like chipolatas but not as tasty! I was disappointed that you can only have the evening meal at set times - 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The advertised two alternating specialty restaurants was actually only one, which was disappointing. The one night specialty restaurant though was outstanding quality and the two waiters was absolutely fantastic with the guests, I could not praise them enough.

We had a "limited sea view" and there was nothing really limited about it, it was a sea-view! The room was very comfortable and impressive in size and decent in decor. The staircase to the 3rd floor needs some work to the wall as there is a huge crack showing.

The bars were very good, serving a very good variety of food, drinks and complementary nuts in the evening. There was a saxaphone player and pianist between 7.30pm (I think!) and 9pm, which created a good atmosphere.

The location is in a very quiet resort. There is absolutely nothing happening outside of the hotel! A bus ride into Funchal is provided by the hotel free of charge - book after 6.30pm the previous night. This takes you to the bus station/entrance to the cable cars. If you go to the top of the mountain in the cable cars (€10 per person) and fancy the toboggan down (not down to the bottom as advertised) - €30 for a couple, be aware that this is a honey trap for people flogging tat from photos to you on the cable car (€10 with strangers and Madeira music CD!) and another €10 for a photo on the toboggan. The people don't take kindly to being turned down!! Then you have the taxis waiting to fleece you too, they tried to charge €20 to travel 2.5 miles! Needless to say we walked!

Excursions really need to be booked before you get there as they fill up quickly. The organisation is chaos when there are several buses.

In summary, if you want a relaxing holiday where you don't want any hassle outside of your hotel and don't want to fuss about food, then this is the perfect place for you.

PS Madeira is extremely hilly!!

Room Tip: Sea View is a must
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank CraigRotherham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Me and wife booked this knowing the Riu Brand is always reliable.
Was a nice quick transfer from the airport, 10-15mins, which is always good. Lovely location on the beach front, i knew it was a pebble beach before i booked and was fine with this. Some lovely evening walks along the beach front - lovely views!
Hotel was very grand, entrance lovely and bright, nice and spacious. Checked in straight away, lady on desk was very nice, easily done. We were given room 1364. lovely room, ok-ish view. Little bit noisy on mornings and late nights,with tables being cleared and made for next morning, but we are not ones to moan so we got on with it.
Rooms nice and spacious, nice TV, plenty of space, 2 bottles of cava waiting for us, nice touch.
I was little disapointed there was no mini-bar( i know its free all day and night, but thought all inclusive would of had this)?
Beds were not the nicest, neither were the pillows. But you dont spend much time in room do you? and table and chairs on veranda.
Weather was nice - cloudy for 1 day, little bit of rain, which was welcome from the heat.
Plenty of space to get a lounger by the pool. Some people keeping them even though no one arrived all day which can be annoying, but nevermind.
Food - dont know how people can say they get bored, different everyday, some people must be so picky.
Staff - everyone we came accross we great, especially Fabio and Eugeunio( i think thats the spelling) he was great, always happy, always wanting to help! "no TV tonight" - he was great!
Pool - was very cold, but nice break from the heat. Never seemed to get to busy, prob because it was to cold.
We did use the bus to Funchal which was a great day, cable cars were great. Would def recomend to do this.
All in all, great time but dont think we would go here again soon. think the devide from Half Board to All Inclusive isnt good!
But great week away and great weather

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank peter b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Easingwold, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I was bored, ready for home after 3 days. I am no party person but I am still breathing so would quite like some lively entertainment, the in-house band were good, played some cracking tunes but the in-house dancers were dire. I was all generally poor except for one night when an opera singer and pianist had us mesmorised.
The staffing around the pool is poor with your orders taking ages. One order of a tequila with ice came as melted ice, no tequila! then more waiting to order again, another twenty minutes for drinks. I went to the bar myself after that, just a short walk to a queue free bar area, easy. It was waiter service in the bar at night as well. One waiter would come and collect the drinks order, go away, and another waiter would bring the drinks, it was slow, We waited ages for a drink and again decided to go to the bar ourselves. Lunch time eating was great with the waiters topping up your glass with abandon.
I read there had been a diarrhoea and vomiting outbreak which has been ongoing for several weeks. There was a hand gel dispenser at the entrance to the dining room but no one was encouraged to use it. The hotel management is not instituting effective hygiene and infection control standards. Some areas of the building are in need of repair and decoration, a bit shabby with repairs being visible and partially done but not finished. An example was in the reception area, the gents toilets, where cracks in the plaster had been filled but not sanded smooth or painted.
Free WiFi is available for one hour daily. The free hour has to be taken all at once in any 24 hours and it is slow.
Another gripe is the smoking policy. As in England the smokers have been banished to the outside areas, all well and good in England, out in the cold, but on holiday we like to do most of our drinking and eating outside in the sun, beware at this hotel, the smokers descend on the veranda area and it is not pleasant. They light up when they have eaten their breakfast next to you while you are eating yours, you forget how foul it is. Can we segregate the smokers further, to one part of the veranda and let us non smokers actually enjoy the fresh air.
The man who identified himself as the manager had a boys night out in the bar as we watched the entertainment, they were a bit boisterous to say the least and had to be asked by guests on several occasions to quieten down.
There is no where to go unless you take transport, no bars to walk to of any note, no shops of note. This is a 100% relaxing holiday. A courtesy bus is provided into Funchal. It was a change of scenery. You cannot just get on the bus like some thought, you have to book a time to go and a time to return. Some thought you could come and go as you please. These people (French) had to be turfed off the bus holding everybody up while the driver went around double checking their tickets. The cable car is worth a go, a walk into the fish market was great, but Funchal is a noisy place. There were cranes and wagons working on sea defences in the harbour, workmen cutting up the roads about 50 yards away and the loudest lawnmower I have ever heard cutting the lawns, what a racket. A walk around any corner and there were jack hammers, cranes, wagons and diggers obviously spending EU money on upgrades.
The room was ok and the food and drink were excellent. We have stayed in many Riu hotels in the past all far superior to this one. I would not say it was in anyway a palace standard. Very well short of that title and not good value for the money.
Would I go back? No, I'd prefer a hotel with more entertainment and with more activities within walking distance.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cypeman
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 Spa Hotel in Canico
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Canico
#1 Luxury 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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