This chic, adults-only hotel enjoys one of Funchal’s most coveted locations, just footsteps from the old town waterfront.
Hotel Porto Santa Maria is one of the few hotels right on the promenade of Funchal’s old town, so you’ve got lots of traditional restaurants on one side and Atlantic Ocean views on the other.
The hotel’s a 10-minute walk to the centre of Funchal, plus you’ve got the cable car close by. A lake-like pool overlooks the ocean, and there are a couple of restaurants serving international and Madeiran dishes.
This was our first visit and will definately be our last. We booked a junior sea view suite and as per the picture on the Thomson website we expected a large balcony with two sunbeds . When we went up to the room no sign of the beds and the balcony would not take one let alone two beds. When I queried this with reception I was told this was misrepresentation by Thomson and only one junior suite had sunbeds and it was booked for the duration of our stay. When we turned the TV on in the room the Porto Bay TV promotional channel and also the Porto Bay newspaper in the room showed sunbeds on the "magnificent" balcony. When we complained we were told that just because sunbeds are shown it doesn't mean we will get them - so why show them and why one standard price for some rooms with less facilities.
Having paid just short of Â£3,500 for this holiday the least we expected was a welcome pack i.e a couple of tea bags and coffee sachets etc in the kitchen to start us off but the only thing left was a bottle of water in the fridge with a 3.80 euro price ticket on. It seems this courtesy is reserved for repeat guests only. It also seems the toiletries in the bathroom are in short supply. One shower/bath gel and ONE toothbrush between both of us.
I totally agree with the comments by Freeman N. During our stay we witnessed many occasions of the difference between repeat and first time guests and no more so than in the dining room. Food in the dining room was ok but not up to standard of previous Thomson A La Carte or Gold hotels we have stayed in.
These are some of the reasons we will not return to this hotel, or indeed Madeira, but in fairness the hotel is spotlessly clean, right on the prom with beautiful gardensMore
NorthEastKaty, North East
VERY COMFORTABLE STAY
just returned from a week here- have to say it was a lovely week, even with the noise from the pneumatic drills along the front- which hopefully will have stopped by now. The reason for the extra work was that someone had decided that they wanted to add lights to the promenade. However we were given the princely sum of 10 euros per room to spend in the hotel; which we did in the bar. The bar was lovely and packed between 6 and 7.00pm - happy hour- when all drinks are half price(except bottled beers). Even the drinks at full price weren't too expensive. We had a sea view which was superb. I would agree that the view over the public park area is one I personally wouldn't saviour as it is also quite dark due to a few trees and the dogs and a couple of winoes!
The breakfast was lovely, the poolside bar snack was okay- only had one so cant really comment - however I asked for wedges and the portion size was enough for 3 !
The bed was most comfortable we have ever had - a firm mattress with a memory foam topper.
The air-con was freezing, if a little noisy.
The surrounding area is fantastic- lots of restaurants , with a wide range of food at very decent prices. Romano , Al Muralha and Trapassol to name a few. Lovely atmosphere in area at back of hotel.
Decent trips- we did East Madeira with Thomson which was all day and included a three course meal with wine- 2 bottles for 4 people-hic! If you do the trip it includes a short Levada walk- please wear sensible shoes and wear a cardigan as it is a little chilly- especially the visit to the second highest point on the Island. The cable car is brilliant and the Monte Palace gardens very good- but they are very steep- not an easy walk back up!. I was expecting to see lots of flowers-but didn"t, so a little disappointed with that.
Overall good choice of location.More
joker87, near Birmingham
Excellent, couldn't fault it.
Having read several of the reviews for this hotel I can only say that you are not going to please all the people all the time.
We (two couples) stayed for a week and had rooms overlooking the park towards the cable car. During the afternoons and into the evenings we found the card and domino games on the park benches quite amusing to watch, especially the heated debates.
We had two nights when a pack of dogs were barking in the park which was a bit of an annoyance and there is considerable rework of the harbour area being carried out to enable more cruise ships to dock. The hotel gave us credit on our room bill for a couple of days which were apparently worse than usual for noise but we were not affected as we were out most days. On the few afternoons we stayed in the hotel we did not find the noise too intrusive. The harbour area, including the area immediately outside the hotel, should look superb when it is finished if the current standard is maintained.
The rooms are typical Premiere Inn style but very clean and well maintained. There is a shower on a flexible hose in the bath, a bidet and large area to put toiletries around the wash basin. There is a kitchenette with hob and sink if you really want to cook but we mainly used the fridge. Tha safe has to be paid for which seems a bit churlish but the air con was free. Wi-Fi is available free in the public areas but has to be paid for if you want it in the room.
We thought the food was excellent and had three dinners in the hotel during the course of our stay each with a different theme.
There are ample sunbeds around the pools and the roof terrace is the place to go if you fancy somewhere quieter as it has sunbeds and a jacuzzi. There is a telephone for ordering drinks and food.
One of the reasons for booking was the No Children rule which we found to be very calming. All the staff were very friendly and helpful and reception were happy to book restaurants or sort out other queries.
A lot of the guests we spoke to said they had been to other hotels but once they had stayed here they came back year after year, Overall, we would definately stay here again and are planning to return in a couple of years.More
Grumpy64, Lee-On-The-Solent, Hampshire
porto santa maria
I was A little dismayed by the last comment from the gentleman from washington
My wife and I stayed at this hotel in August All I will say to these comment he said ...was he at the same hotel as us ??? we have been going to funchal for 5 years and seen all the building works on the front .he was aware before he booked .the hotel is excellent in all areas as for the comment about the greeting in the restaurant .we did not find this true at all
so I personally wouldn't take too much on what the gentman said to heart
I know we all have our own opinion but seriously please only put true factsMore
SRB101, Mansfield, United Kingdom
Diappointing. The niggles outweighed the positives
Like most hotels this one has both positive and negative qualities:
(1) A quiet adult only hotel situated right next to the promenade in Funchal
(2) The decor in rooms and public areas is excellent. It is clean and well maintained
(3) The hotel grounds are spacious and there are plenty of sunbeds
(4) The food is ok, though at breakfast time chipolata sausages seem inappropriate.
(1) The promenade is undergoing extensive renovation and in places is literally no more than a building site.
(2) There is no sandy beach nearby just stones and concrete.
(3) If you like to swim the outdoor pool is very small and shallow. The indoor pool is larger but no deeper.
(4) Beware of upgrading to a garden room. Some of these overlook a munipal park (and I use the word "park" loosely). It can be frequented by vagrants, noisy students and local men playing cards and dominoes into the early evening.
(5) Beware of upgrading to a junior suite. Not all have the same facilities , i.e. "magnificient verandah's" and sunbeds, but they all cost the same.
(6) If you are not a repeat guest this will become obvious, and no where more so than the dining room. Repeat guests are greeted, hugged and shown to a table of their choice. If its your first time chances are you'll have to fend for yourself.
(7) The evening entertainment is, if I'm being kind, mediocre, or if I'm honest its rubbish.
Overall the niggles outweighed the positives, which is a shame really because we too had read so many good reviews about the hotel and the area around it.More
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