We visited Madeira for a short break in the middle of December, and stayed at the Oasis Atlantic. We hired a car at the airport and found the hotel easily enough, coming off at junction 16 and following the road down the hill. The hotel is quite well signposted so you can't really go wrong.
The hotel is right at the bottom of the hill and by the seafront. It's fairly large but is dwarfed by the Riu Palace hotel nextdoor which looks quite expensive. There is a car park at the entrance to the hotel, and plenty more free car parking around the hotel too. As it was a fairly quiet time for tourists we had no problem with parking spaces.
On arrival at the hotel our passports were taken for the first evening, which we were able to recover in the morning. The reception area was quite spacious, with a nice big Christmas tree in the centre and a few little shops selling souvenirs and general supplies.
We had booked a garden room, and found ourselves on the first floor. The room was a very nice size and faced southeast, with a nice view of both the garden and the sea behind it. Behind the large patio door was a reasonable balcony with two seats and a small table. Despite another part of the hotel opposite facing north, it appeared the hotel had been designed in such a way as to allow the sun to always shine on our side of the hotel. Obviously the north-facing rooms would have got no sun at all and their balconies appeared a bit smaller, more of a wedge shape than rectangular.
The room itself was quite large, with two single beds pushed together but made as singles. We found that there were too many covers as it didn't get cold at night, so removed some of them and put the in the large wardrobe. The room had a TV with about 30 channels, including a few English ones - BBC World being the main one. There were also local stations, other Portuguese stations, and Spanish and German stations as well as MTV and VH1 for music fans.
The room also had a fridge which was surprisingly empty, a sofa, a couple of small tables, a desk, several lamps, and in the bathroom was the toilet, a bidet, bath, shower, basin, and hairdryer. The shower, although from the mixer tap, was powerful and warm. There were plenty of towels, and some sachets of shampoo, packs of soap, and shower caps. There was also a standard shaver socket and a tissue dispenser in the bathroom.
Now for the rest of the hotel. On the first floor are some conference rooms, and a general leisure room with some comfy chairs, a TV and some books to read. There are also a couple of computers which are connected to the internet, which are free to use. They ask that you spend no more than 30 minutes however this doesn't appear to be policed, generally it's up to everyone to be sensible about it if others are waiting to use the computers. With the majority of people staying at the hotel being OAP's it was never a problem getting onto the computers.
On the ground floor there was a lounge with lots of comfy chairs and a nice large window with views over the pool and the sea. Also here was housed Rita, the African grey parrot that everyone has talked about. She has an interesting repertoire of songs and whistles, and even speaks in English! Behind the shops there was a games room with a full-sized snooker table and a table tennis table, both in good condition. Equipment was freely available from reception, and like the computers were usually not being used due to the age of the residents.
The main staircase from reception took you down to level minus 1, which contained two restaurants, a bar area with stage, and behind all that a small gym and a swimming pool with sauna. There was also a nice nativity scene. Doors outside led to the outdoor swimming pool and sun loungers. The pool and loungers looked clean but we didn't see anyone using the pool in the time we were there, and only a few on the loungers. From the pool were more steps down to another level with what looked like beach chalets. Then there was a gate which was security-code locked to prevent unwanted people gaining entrance to the hotel. The security code was given to us when we checked in so we could come and go as we pleased, however the gate was locked permanently at 11pm. Outside the gate was a promenade which ran to the left to a small man-made sandy beach and a beach restaurant, and to the right past the Riu Palace hotel and up some steps into the "main" part of Canico de Baixo.
Of the two restaurants at the hotel, we only used one which called Aqua something. It is a buffet-style restaurant serving different styles of food each night, and you can go up and help yourself to any of what they have on offer for a set price of around
€25 per person. The two times we ate there the food was pretty good. The other restaurant looked a bit smarter and I think was a more traditional restaurant rather than buffet. For breakfast we ate in the same Aqua restaurant, again it was a help-yourself buffet with a choice of traditional English fry-up food, cereals, fruit etc, with hot drinks also included. The main waiter there will greet you with a big smile, a warm welcome and probably a kiss if you're a lady! He was a real character but friendly and charming with it at the same time.
In the evenings there is always some form of entertainment happening on stage. The first night there was a duo singing covers of well-known songs, and they were reasonably good. Sunday was cabaret night, with a male singer and some scantily-dressed ladies dancing around. It looked like some of the more elderly gentlemen in the audience were getting quite excited by it all! Unfortunately the whole thing only lasted 30 minutes. Then when there was nobody else on they had Brian on his keyboard singing covers, again he wasn't too bad.
In the vicinity of the hotel there are a few restaurants within easy walking distance. Origens was quite nice, they served traditional Madeiran beef on a skewer hanging from an iron stand. There are plenty more restaurants in Canico itself but unless you're very fit they are not within walking distance as they are a fair way up a steep hill. If you have a car it's about 5-10 minutes' drive but then you can't drink. One of the restaurants in Canico runs a free minibus service from the seafront hotels and this can be booked at reception. We didn't go there but another couple we spoke to had been and said it was the one of the best restaurants they've been to.
There is a bus stop outside the hotel which will take you into Funchal, however I'd recommend that unless you are intending to spend most of the time at the hotel or in Funchal that you hire a car. There is so much to see on the island and some very nice drives if you like twisty mountain roads with excellent views.
All in all Madeira is one of the nicest places I've been to and the hotel lives up to the rest of the island. It's peaceful, it's in a nice setting, and it has everything you would need - as long as you're not into clubbing and partying till the early hours of the morning!
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Views Oasis
- Four Views Oasis Canico
- Four Views Oasis Hotel Canico
- Four Views Oasis Madeira/Canico