Got back yesterday. Booked through 'Hotelsbooked.com'. We opted for the transfer from the airport and we were delivered to the 'Hotel Moniz Sol' even though we booked the 'Estalagem Gaivota Spa' with 'superior room' and ‘free hand massage’ coupons. It was all very annoying and confusing at first but we managed to sort it out ourselves eventually. Porto Moniz is beautifully situated at the foot of the mountains, picturesque, clean and trouble free. The locals don't hassle, are friendly and laid back. It is a super place to unwind once you have got over 'Hotelsbooked.coms' failures as an agent. The Gaivota exists as a wonderful family run establishment which is currently undertaking the completion of additional accommodation. It is yet to be completed or rated, which is why we were relocated. When finished I am sure the accommodation at the Gaivota will be great, although I am not convinced about the 'Spa' in the title or hand massages. If possible I would speak to your booking agent to see if you can find anybody @ 'Hotelsbooked.coms' who knows exactly what they are selling.--The owners and staff of the Gaivota took their obligations to all their guests very seriously and couldn't do enough for any of us. IF the additional new accommodations aren't ready by the time you arrive and your agent still isn't on top of the situation ,I'm sure something will be arranged for you. It was quite clear from my meeting with the manager of the Moniz Sol that they too were uncomfortable with the situation presented to them as they no longer accommodate parties from the U.K (although it was a SAGA destination a couple of years ago).Their brochures are in Dutch, French, German etc. Although we were on an all inclusive arrangement the Moniz doesn't offer that option either, and a degree of discomfort and annoyance came about as a result. We were informed by other couples later in the week that we could take our meals, drinks etc at the Gaivota on the all inclusive basis and this worked well, it was just a shame about the lack of communications up until then. -- O.K so there you have it, to clear up a few other points;-- the open air pool is euro 1.25 to go in all day but if you leave there are no pass outs so you will have to pay again to go in. Sunbeds are euro 1.50, cushions euro 1.50.The pool is graduated in depths max around 10ft by the sea wall. Temp was very cool but great fun. Take swimming goggles they take up much less room than a mask and snorkel you just have to hold your breath!----- Hire a car from CAEA at the Hotel Moniz Sol desk or pick up their brochure. New Smart Car euros 31 a day + 15 for full insurance (take it as it covers you against any damage) They deliver to you and pick it up, easy.-----Take the local bus to somewhere, anywhere! We paid euros 2.90 return each to Punto de Pargo to see the lighthouse but it was closed for lunch when we got there and opened again after we caught the same bus back, still it is an interesting journey!-If you fish take a little travel rod and fish from the harbour wall inside. Float fish bread on small hooks and light lines I used 6lb main, size 12 hook for small stripy things, don't blame me if you catch something bigger and it bites you! --- The market in Funchal is a must, take a penknife(seriously) and buy some passion fruit, not the boring ones like ours but the banana or pineapple varieties. The coffee counter upstairs is good value and great coffee but they can't make tea (can anyone without a paper bag?)-- and that's it. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the problems and met some lovely fellow travellers who helped make our 37th wedding anniversary holiday, I hope you all arrived home safely --Oh! just one more thing, the Hotel Moniz Sol are still waiting for replies to their 2 e.mails from last sunday week(7th Sept) and so am I from the 14th regarding the problems, if anyone at HOTELSBOOKED.COM can be bothered??? KO.
- Also Known As:
- Estalagem Gaivota Hotel
- Estalagem Gaivota Spa Hotel Porto Moniz, Madeira