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Travel Blogs from Funchal
... she has been living on the Island for over 50 years.
Nelly overlooking from the top of Monte. Our ship can be seen in the far distance.
... covered in a thick layer of bird droppings and feathers. Hurrying we walked into town. Oddly enough the map given to us by the tourist information didn't match the street names, but eventually and only five minutes late we arrived at church. This was after walking up a road that was definitely only meant for cars and having a guy leaving out a car window shouting, "What are you doing?" It was an Anglican Church aptly named 'The ...
... he said was just 'there'. So as we walk down the very very steep hills into town we were badgered by many taxi drivers who offered us a reprieve from the steep craggy streets for just 6 euros. But no, Len was determined to walk regardless of the bad strain on these tired and dodgy knees that I own and so we commenced the long trek downwards. As the stress between us became uglier and uglier along came a taxi who was clearly watching this old married coupe and detected ...
Well its been 7 days since we left Barbados for our trans atlantic crossing and have enjoyed every single day, this being the first we have not had out on deck in the sun. We've had mostly moderate seas with some swells up to 3 metres, which seem to peak in the middle of the night. However its hard sometimes to work out if its the rough seas or just that last glass of champagne!!
We have really got to know the crew who are all fantastic and can not do ...
Madeira island might be the favourite stop for each of us. We started the day by shopping, which would have been enjoyable if there weren't 5 ships in port today. We have been spoiled by the lack of crowds otherwise.
We changed our plan and went down the toboggan run instead. Two people hop into a fragile wicker basket and are accompanied by ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Fitness/Health center
- Wheelchair accessibility
Historical Traveler Reviews Quinta Mirabela Funchal
Noch ein fantastischer Urlaub!
Wir sind gerade von einem weiteren ausgezeichneten Aufenthalt im The Quinta Mirabela Hotel zurückgekehrt. Da es Ostern war, war das Hotel voll, aber durch die vielen ruhigen Plätzchen zum Sitzen und Entspannen wirkte es nicht hektisch oder überfüllt. Wir haben an 5 von 7 Abenden im Hotel gegessen, einschließlich zweier wundervoller Gerichte Karfreitag und Ostersonntag. Das Menü und die Liebe zum Detail waren einfach hervorragend! Hier nur ein paar Vorschläge und Empfehlungen für Sie: Wir kamen mit den Bussen am Ort sehr gut zurecht. Fahrkarten kauft man in der grünen Hütte an der Bushaltestelle oder im Bus selbst, 1 Euro 50 für eine Rückfahrt. Wir sind immer mit der Linie 23 gefahren, die in der Nähe der Kirche hält. Man kann auch mit der Linie 19 fahren, aber wir haben keinen Fahrplan für diesen Bus gefunden. Alle Busse sind äußerst zuverlässig! - Durch die Nähe zum Äquator ist es wichtig, viel Sonnencrème zu benutzen. Ich neige sonst nicht so schnell zum Sonnenbrand, aber in Madeira bin ich schon zweimal verbrannt. - Falls Sie noch nichts organisiert haben, um vom Flughafen zum Hotel zu kommen, können Sie vor Ihrer Abreise von zu Hause das Hotel anrufen, das dann ein Taxi bestellt, um Sie abzuholen - 25 Euro. Wir würden dieses Hotel für einen perfekten, ruhigen Urlaub empfehlen.
Gerade zurück von einer Woche im Quinta Mirabela, Funchal. Es ist ein sehr schönes, modernes Hotel, etwas vom Zentrum von Funchal abgelegen, weit oben am Hang mit ausgezeichnetem Blick. Taxis und öffentliche Busse leicht zu finden - wodurch man das Stadtzentrum bequem erreicht. Angebote sehr gut, Personal hervorragend: aufmerksam, unendlich hilfsbereit und freundlich. Kostenloser Breitbandanschluss auf jedem Zimmer. Auf jeden Fall ein 'Designer'-Hotel, das mit viel Sorgfalt von der Quinta/Villa zum 5-Sterne-Hotel transformiert wurde. Sehr empfehlenswert. HV & SG (London)
Another Fantastic Time!
We have just returned from another excellent stay at The Quinta Mirabela Hotel. With it being Easter the hotel was full but it didn't feel busy or crowded with plently of quiet places to sit and relaxe.
We ate at the hotel 5 nights out of the 7 with two amazing meals on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The set menu and attention to detail were just superb!
Just a few thoughts and recommendations for you;
- We managed to use the local buses very easily. You need to buy tickets from the green hut at the bus terminal or you can buy them on the buses themselves 1 euro 50 for a return journey. We used number 23 bus which stops near the church. You can also get the number 19 but we couldn't find a timetable for this bus. All the buses are very reliable too!
- Being nearer to the equator it is important that you apply lots of suntan cream. I'm not the kind of girl that burns easily but I have on both occaions we have visited Madeira.
- If you haven't got arrangements for getting to the hotel from the airport, if you ring the hotel before you leave home they will arrange for a taxi to meet you - 25 euros.
We would recommend this hotel for the perfect peaceful break.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Quinta Mirabela.
It's quite a small hotel, very personal and friendly.
The staff were always very courteous and helpful.
Decor is very modern and the rooms are very comfortable and stylish.
All rooms have a view out over Funchal/the sea.
We didn't have a balcony (only the superior rooms have these) but it was still very good.
Breakfast in the hotel is excellent - fresh fruit, home made yogurts, fresh bread/rolls, cheese/meats, cereals, fresh fruit juices and even champaign on ice for all! Cooked breakfast also available.
We had 3 meals in the restaurant - the food was delicious and very well presented - and not overpriced.
Try the afternoon tea (it used to be a teahouse so serves many varieties of tea)- it's not quite what you expect, but very good nonetheless (and very filling).
We knew very little about Portuguese wine, but had a recommended white wine which was lovely - with a honeyish bouquet and taste.
You need good legs to get about as it's on a very steep hill - the toboggan run road actually - it's good fun watching all the tourists squealing on their way down!
There's a good bus service about a 100 meters down the hill or a courtesy bus service twice a day from the hotel (morning and afternoon) - but you do have to book it!
We'd definitely stay there again.
Just back from a week at Quinta Mirabela, Funchal. Its a delightful, modern hotel, some distance from Funchal centre, high up the hill with excellent views. Taxis and municipal 'buses easy to find - giving easy access to town centre. Facilities very good, staff were outstanding: attentive, endlessly helpful and friendly. Free broadband in each room. Very much a 'designer' hotel with careful thought given to tranforming this quinta/mansion into a five star hotel. Highly recommended. HV & SG (London)
Beautiful and modern, far cry from the traditional and oldfashioned hotels
Visited Madeira first week in January. Having booked two five star hotels on the net at quite good value, Quinta Mirabela was the second hotel we stayed at. I have got a passion for cool designer hotels, however most are outrageously expensive. Most hotels in Madeira arent really my taste at all, a little too eighties Dynasty if you know what I mean, and a lot of effort was made googling for "design" "boutique" Madeira hotels. So when I found Quinta Mirabela (Superior Room, 94 Eur per night), I reallly felt housekeeping I'd found a gem. And - I had. The hotel is hip and trendy, at the same time comfortable, and the staff are very friendly. The view from the hotel is amazing, best enjoyed from the balcony. The balcony is great and sheltered from rain and wind, even on a rainful night it is a joy sitting on the balcony resting your eyes on the beautiful view of Madeira. To get your own balcony, you have to have a Superior Room, and it is definitely worth the extra Euros (for us EUR 7 a night. The bathroom is geat, and the mirrors are more than big enough (if you need full lenght just step out in the corridor!) The matress was a little on the hard side though, so housekeeping put an extra duvet on top of the matress which definitely helped.
It is a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The brekfast is great, try the walnut and fruit bread, nice. The restaurant is aspiring to live up to the house restaurant of a five star trendy hotel, but clearly has a way to go. they were "out" of Lamb, even if we were only the second couple in the restaurant, and having only three or four Meat options on the menu, it just doesn't serve a five star restaurant to run out of the main courses especially on a quiet night. The
waitress english was poor, and it was difficult to choose from the all Portugese wine list when you know little about Portugese wine when there is no explanation on the menu on what to expect from grape/district/etc. The chosen Tornedeo (mind spelling), was quite chevy and tasteless, mind you the taste was possibly killed by overpowering spices. Bearing in mind you could eat the most amazingly tender stak in town for just about half the price (Golden Gate), the the dinner adventure at the Qunta Mirabela was the one and only. Forget the hotel bus, as it doesn't run very frequently, get the local bus instead!
Local bus nr 19 runs quarterly (daytime) and half hourly (night) - it takes less than 10 minutes, jump off at the second stop in Livramento, and walk the 100 steep metres to the hotels. It will set you back only Eur 1.30 and walking the last steep hill you get burnt off some of that lovely steak from Golden Gate aswll :-D You can also take the 23 bus (busstation up 100 metres from hotel) up to Babosas (next to Monte) to try the nearest Levada to the hotel. Some stunning scenery.
I don't understand if the guest who didn't find a single chair or sofa to slouch in was in the same hotel as me...The hotel isn't big, but there are chairs and sofas inside and outside, and to me they were comfortable enough. And I have got quite high standards. If you look on the bright side, Quinta Mirabela is a wonderful place to stay where, if you are after the negative sides, well I guess you will always find them - no matter where... Enjoy your stay.
Not quite 5 star
We (a couple) stayed at this hotel for 4 nights at the end of October. Madeira was excellent, and we will definetly return there to see all the things we missed. The hotel though, will not be hearing or seeing any of us again so soon. I can't say that most of the staff was not helpfull and nice, because they were, but a 5 star hotel must pay attention to details in order to earn that classification, and that was not the case.
In the bedroom there is no complimentary water to the guests, as happens in most of the 5 star hotels in Portugal (continental) that I was used to; bathroom amenities are very poor; no bedroom slippers to match the bathrobes; no coffee and tea making facilities; no umbrella in the room (which would be quite handy for the sudden Madeira rain showers); Besides all this, we were supposed to have a fruit basket in the room on arrival, and that was simply "forgotten", as was my request to prepare the twin beds as a single bed (as there were no more king size bed rooms available).
As I said before, by the second day of my stay I was already thinking that the hotel was not quite "there", but was willing to accept that they where probably still on the process of "growing" to become the quality hotel they claim to be.
This totally changed the day before we left, and what happened then really made me forget any plans of ever coming back to this hotel. We had payed our stay, in full, one week before arriving, throuhg my homebanking service (the money was tranfered directly to the hotel's account), and the certificate of the payment was sent via fax o the hotel. The day before was left Madeira (10 days after the payment) we were asked, during breakfast, to present ourselves at the reception. We found this very odd and headed there right away, only to be informed that our money (that I knew was no longer in my account) had not yet reached the hotel's account. I was alarmed and immediatly asked if they had checked the certificate I sent, verifying if I had tranfered the money to the correct account. They said I had made no mistake, the account numver was right, but it simply was ot there yet, so they asked me very plitely if I did not mind to go to my bank agency in Funchal and check if there had been any problem tranfering the money.
I did so immediatly, and honestly speaking, I was ready to make a complaint at the bank, because I was at this point, convinced that the money probably had been mistakingly placed at a different account that the one I ordered. To my surprise, when I got there they told me the money had already left their accounts, and had not been misplaced anywhere else. I went to another agency, this time a representative of the hotel's own bank, and they confirmed me thet the money was made available at the hotel's account 6 days before.
So, as you can imagine, I lost an entire morning running around Funchal, only to discover that the hotel is not able to properly check their own bank account.
This has never happened to me at ANY hotel, of ANY classification, let alone a 5 star. I find this unacceptable, and I am truly sorry that a hotel with such potential provides this kind of service.
I hope this was an isolated case, because certainly if this happens to many guests they will end up with none, as I surely will never return to this facility ever again.
We stayed at this hotel in August and had a great week; this hotel provides everything you require in a small hotel and more. The hotel is very modern and well designed; we found the staff to be relaxed and helpful.
The food was good we used the restaurant on a couple of occasions and particularly enjoyed the fruit and good bread at breakfast. We had a lovely room with balcony overlooking the pool and the city of Funchal with the sea beyond.
You do need to use a car or taxi's to get around as the roads are very steep and difficult to walk. If you can, get out of the city and see some of the island, the views are great with many good walks to suit all abilities.
Chic Modern Hotel with Fabulous views.
I have felt compelled to write this to complement the hotel on the fantastic week we have just spent here.
Contrary to the other reveiwer we came here expecting a modern hotel a la mode - definitely can see touches of Phillipe Starck in the decor. Teh staff have been very freindly and have been more than accomodating whenever we have needed anything - booking restaurants and ordering taxis and opening the great little spa just for us. Had a great massage for 45 euros - would highly recommend it as a relaxing way to spend an hour.
The rooms are clean and modern ours has a lovely balcony with great views of the whole of Funcahal bay over the great pool. All that was needed was a DVD \ CD player and iron\ironing board - always a bug bear of mine in Spain and Portugal.
the restaurant is head and shoulder above any where else we have eaten here including the Casino Park and Reids.
The only slight annoyance is the hotel location half way to Monte, but they have a bus to run you to town and a taxi has notcost us more than 10 Euros in either direction from any where.
All in all a great little hotel with a personal touch fromt he staff that has made it a most relaxing week
Design at the expense of comfort!
We returned home on the 31st January 2005, having enjoyed a fantastic week in Madeira. The hotel was disappointing in that we'd expected some of the original character of the old building to still be apparent, but it wasn't. It's ultra modern throughout. An interior designer has obviously been employed to furnish and decorate the place, which looks fantastic, but very much at the expense of comfort!! Lots of wierd shaped settees and chairs, but not one seat in the entire hotel that you can simply slouch in and read a book and relax in (the only comfortable seats were on the landings, but who wants to relax on a landing???). No lounge area, just a couple of "settees" in the bar in the restaurant. There is a games room down in the basement, which leads to a very well equipped gym and pool area, which we didn't use as it wasn't really hot enough.
We had dinner in the hotel once, and the food was delicious, but we were the only people in the restaurant, so not much atmosphere.
We had one of the larger rooms in the main building, but again, a couple of niggles. Huge room, beautifully decorated, but very poor use of space. No full length mirror, only one chair and no table (what you are supposed to if you order a full three course meal from room service is anyone's guess - sit and eat it on the bed I suppose!). Again, nowhere to sit and chill. No tea and coffee making facilities (BIG black mark in my book), and the dressing table was squashed into a tiny area by the main door, where you had to have the light on all the time if you wanted to use the mirror.
The hotel is located up a steep hill; the views over the bay of Funchal are to die for. The road is the one used by the famous toboggans. You have to get transport into Funchal. The walk would have been lengthy, and very steep (a killer on the knees!). We never tried it. The Quinta Mirabella operates a courtesy bus but at fixed times only - they may not suit your itinerary (to Funchal 1030 & 1500, from Funchal 1330 & 1700). Local buses run on those roads running perpendicular to the one the hotel is on; bus stops are near the crossroads both downhill and uphill from the hotel.
The walk up the hill to Monte (very pretty, where the cable car ride begins, and there are cafes, gardens, walks etc) is VERY steep, and takes about 40 minutes on a good day with lots of rests - it's relentless! But exhilerating nonetheless (we are in our 40s). The toboggan run begins from here too, so you can always get one back to the hotel, as they whizz right past the gate (cost is E20 per couple).
Taxis into Funchal centre will cost around E8 - E10, as they have to come up to take you back down (their justification, not mine!!). Returning shouldn't cost more than E7, but make sure you agree a price before setting off, otherwise they can charge as much as E10. Taxis are supposed to use the meter but sometimes "conveniently" forget to switch it on (those that do so sometimes take circuitous routes).
If you find a good taxi driver, take his number, as we did. Some drivers make excellent tour guides & have done their homework on the geography, flora, fauna etc and if you strike up a good relationship might prove more cost-effective than taking one of the organised tours (especially if there are 4 of you).
The restaurants in the old town (just beyond the Cable Car station on the sea front) are FANTASTIC. We ate at different restaurants every night, and never had a bad meal. Ladies take heed - don't wear your high heels around this area, the pavements and streets are all cobbled.
Madeira is very much what you make it. If you want a beach holiday you won't find it - there are no beaches on the island. The busy, touristy high rise hotels, bars, casinos, shopping malls etc are all on the west side of Funchal, beyond the marina. For those wanting good food in more traditional surroundings head for the old town on the East side.
And for those who enjoy walking and superb scenery, as we do, you MUST try the Levada walks (plenty of websites on these). Incredible views, fantastic walking and well worth the effort. Take a guide book though before setting off, as it can be easy to get lost on some of them -there are plenty of books on levada walks in good book shops. If you are planning to walk, take walking boots, cagoules and a torch (for the occasional tunnel). And make sure that some part of your trip takes in the Encumeada Pass - the scenery there will take your breath away.
WARNING: some levada walks have sheer drops to one side, occasionally with no railings. If you have a good head for heights, marvel at the views and the feats of those who built them. If not, tread carefully! Do your research and take advice from locals - including taxi drivers, after all, they want you to come back too!!
Enjoy your stay - we did, and are already planning our return trip!