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Reviewed November 2, 2012

We visited for the third time in October, and as usual the hotel was excellent. From the check in with the extremely helpful Paula, to the complementary bottle of Madeira, everything was superb.

We had upgraded to a junior suite this time, and it didn't disappoint. A walk in wardrobe, a living room with a sofa, two tv sets and a great big balcony with sun loungers and chairs. We had a great sea view.

The food was, as always, wonderful, particularly the mint choc chip ice cream.

Can't recommend this hotel highly enough, it really is a superb place for your holiday.

Room Tip: Go for the junior suites, well worth the upgrade
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank LondonClaireW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Getting to the hotel is frought with difficulty. The Airport is the worst I have ever experienced, 2 passport controllers with over a 1200 people to get processed? long queues and one very officious woman who was so, so slowwwww..be prepared to bein the arrivals for 2 hours plus at least. The transfer to the hotel was fine and swift , being only 12 minutes from the airport, but rarely did we see or hear the aircraft. The hotel was very friendly and the staff very eager to help in any way. I guess being mostly German clientel, it was bound to be good, if those client's were of advanced age, 55+. This hotel has the basic facilities you would expect of a decent 4* place, the rooms have 3 stations on the TV for the British visitor, BBC 1 and HD plus the World service News. The remainder was varied between German and Portuguese stations. There is complimentory bus service which is easy to book and use being 10.30 am then on the hour to 17.30 hours. After that I am afraid it is a taxi, which tend to be dear for the distance covered at £25 Euro. However, having said that, we used a taxi to do one of the premier attractions the English Church (Catholic) and the tabogan trip. WoWeeeeee. Two lads guide the wicker sledge down the narrow streets which are worn smooth by their actions. They push and alter their weight to send the basket down at a fair speed and combine this with deep gutters and sheer walled buildings makes the women scream in delight, but never the less an enjoyable experience. But if you care to use the over head cable car up the hill, then walk down the steep streets to the English Church which marks the start of the tobogan run. Often with lengthy queues however, this goes down fairly quickly as you get serenaded by the street musician and bird on your arm, photographers. the down set of this, is you then are left half way down the hill and unable to jump on the cable car to continue the journey,and you end up using the Taxi anyway. We paid 80 Euro for the taxi, for 4 adults. Up to the church, waiting for us then a scenic viewing point for views of Funchal, going on to the Tropical gardens with bird aviaries and many trees and forna grown on the sub-tropical island, which are very colourful in the warm and wet island. The weather was mostly wet this last week, due in part to the large super storm which is currently hitting North America, the rain was very heavy indeed, stair-rods almost. It might be worth mentioning there is another Stairlift on this part of the island which is often over looked. This is a sheer drop of 500 feet+, and this takes you down to a volcanic beach with some areas of dark sand and an excellent cafe well worth the 2 Euro trip down. At the top of this lift is what one can only describe as a smaller version of the Brazilian statue of Christ at Rio, but only 40 feet tall. One other organised trip held by Thompson hoildays was the trip to the East of the island. This takes you up to the 3rd (only a slight difference in height) highest point on the island. On a clear day you can see 2 coasts and the breath taking views down the mountain of sheer drop volcanic valley's with new cloud rising from the ground, as the sun hits the tree hit lower reaches of the area. Even up here it was 10*c but with the chill factor of the wind, it felt very cool and you need a coat to visit the exposed viewing spots. But when visiting Maderia, don't be fooled as we were to taking all the trips around the island, this trip cost us nearly 100 Euro!!! for 2 adults which did include a 3 course meal in a cafe. Which was good, not excellent, but then with 50+ people popping in, its as good as your are going to get. The only slight down falls are ......the room safe is dear at 16 euro per week, The drinks at the bar are or don't seem to be alcoholic,(read that how you like), Sue had 5 G&T's with no effect what so ever... the beds are poor quality with spring mattresses and hard, the hills are steep, so not for those with bad knees or legs, and on the other side...there are few flies and mossies, so very few bites, except on the levardas (forest walks) in the hills.
All in all, an excellent holiday, but even being a very wet one, we meet some lovely people and will visit the hotel again in the not too distant future.

Room Tip: If noisey, the sea view rooms cost a little more and it makes sense to choose one as it can be worth the extra as ships go by and there are often small boats passing, which adds interest.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Have just returned from our 3rd Riu Palace holiday, and booked again for Christmas - enough said?
The Staff in every Department from Reception, to Restaurant and Bars, and Housekeeping Staff go out of their way to provide excellent and friendly service, and the food is very good. The rooms are spacious and well equiped, and most have a sea view, if only partial. It isn't central to Funchal but a courtesy bus is provided and there is also a local bus service. Can't recommend it too highly if want like a well-run, quiet, and relaxing holiday - although this may change if Heaven forbid, the Hotel goes all-inclusive.

Room Tip: Don't think you can have a bad room, we have been delighted with all those we have stayed in.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank 650Frequenttraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 21, 2012

For those wanting a quiet break in a comfortable hotel with great friendly staff then this is the place. The food is good with special themed evenings. It is a few miles from the capital Funchal with absolutely nothing of interest within walking distance.

Bearing in mind the remote location it could do with free wifi (you get 60 minutes each but only in the bar) and cheaper bar prices.

That being said, we were a party of 4 and very much enjoyed our time there. Again, every credit to the staff, no matter where they worked, for making our stay enjoyable.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Sted1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 17, 2012

Larger than the type of hotel we would usually stay in, the Riu Palace, Canico is wonderful. The service is superb. They really make you feel like an individual, not just one of the masses.
Mainly used by Germans, so the standard expected is very high.
Food was great! Vast choice, buffet or table service, your choice every night. Breakfast can be taken in the dining room or on the terrace, if you get there at the right time. Again loads of choice. Omletes made to order if you wish. I recommend you wonder the dining room to discover all the options. Some residents only found the cereal options in week 2, so had cooked breakfast every day for the first week! Not a dreadful problem to have!

Room Tip: Request a room with a view of the ruined castle [in the wing on the right of the hotel as you view from the entrance. You can hear the waves lapping the coast as night. Also the Porto Santo ferry as it passes at 8.20am and late evenings on it's return. Also rooms get sun in the PM.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Harricobean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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