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Fantastic hotel, so peaceful and the staff were friendly and helpful. We upgraded our room and it was the best we've had, although I think every room has its benefits...like being next to the pool or having two balcony's. you can't fail with this hotel really. It's quite a walk into Funchal but we enjoyed the walk (hilly 20 mins) or there are plenty of buses going into town. Not that there's much to look at in Funchal, the best day we had was going to The Monte Gardens at the top of the cable cars.
Vila Vicencia was perfect for myself and my son. The room was spacious and clean, although the balcony could have been a bit bigger. Breakfast was good with lovely fresh bread each morning. The resort was wonderful. We visited in Local Arts Week and really enjoyed the festival atmosphere with school children singing in the parks every day and we also had the Saturday night fireworks which happen each week in June. These would have been spectacular from any vantage point but were extra special viewed from a catamaran accompanied by champagne and strawberries. Favourite restaurants included The Atlantic, with its wicked Paris Cafe steak, Mama Mia for excellent pizza, and Chalet St Vicente with its awesome chocolate mousse. Almost every restaurant also sells the delicious local scabbard fish, which we were a bit reluctant to try due to its off-putting name, but which turned out to be divine.
We took a mini-bus tour of the South East of the island and found ourselves above the clouds, which was a breath-taking experience. This was something we did at the end of the week after mooching about by ourselves, as we suddenly felt we'd be missing out if we didn't do it and I have to say we were glad we did, as the guide was a fount of knowledge and we learnt such a lot about the island and its people.
We also bought a 2-day ticket with one of the open-topped bus companies which proved useful for getting around but we later discovered the local service buses were excellent - frequent, inexpensive and even available to take us home at 11.30 pm after the fireworks.
We didn't go to Madeira for a walking holiday and never visited the Levadas but we still managed to walk for miles and miles up and down hills and over the beautiful cobbled pavements so my advice would be to take a large pack of blister plasters!
Vila Vicencia is like a little oasis in an urban area it is very well run good breakfasts cooked or cold, rooms cleaned every day my only critisim is that the rooms could do with a small fridge in them. It is very near to quite a few restaurants no need for a car. Many trips can be booked by mini bus to see most of the places on the island. If you stay here I can reccommend restaurant Shelter only a 5 min walk we ate there 10 times the food and prices were so good, staff very friendly.
A week or so in the Vila Vicencia is to be recommended for those wanting a comfortable holiday in quiet surroundings. This small hotel is run by friendly staff, is very clean, and offers ample choice for breakfast. The garden and swimming pool are good for relaxation. The proximity of local buses allows easy transport into the centre of Funchal within 10 minutes.
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