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“great shame about the airport”

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Hotel Riu Palace Madeira
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Canico
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 November 2012

October 15th – 29th - 2 weeks

Hotel – food – service - excellent
Room 1748 – top floor full sea view – balcony sheltered
As Riu Diamond card members we got a free upgrade to a full sea view on the top floor also hugh basket of fruit – bottle of Madeira wine – water – champagne & Riu bag

Hotel was HB but as we had a lot of Riu points (& used them) we only paid £17 in total so really it was AI - used for laundry – internet – meals in restaurants & drinks (of which there were many)

ROOMS – hotel is in a U shape – we were in the centre 1748 – sun till 3pm
A standard Riu room – good quality furniture – lots drawers & wardrobes – 2 chairs & a table & a flat screen tv - bathroom a good size with a bidet

Some rooms have hugh balconies but not sheltered
Lower numbers are west facing – get afternoon sun but also wind from the west – which was the case when we were there

Suites seem to end in the numbers – 22 – 23- 72 – 73 they are at each ends of the U shaped building with a full sea view – double balcony with chairs & loungers

POOL – lots of sunbeds - no problems getting one – mattresses provided – towels also provided from reception

INDOOR POOL – not a bad size – loungers & mattresses there too – towels next door in sauna – handy if you’ve been swimming – we spent a few days here when weather was bad

GYM – vg

POOL BAR – not normal with burgers, much more sophisticated
Large portions – we used to get a toasted sandwich between us 5E – large portions
A daily special 8E – 9E advertised in lifts & at doorway

RESTAURANT – 2 sittings – 6.30pm & 8 30pm-best waiter - Hugo
– buffet – but there were various selections with waiter service – usually 1 starter & 3 main courses – some show cooking & carvery as well
Breakfast – always champagne

SPECIALITY RESTAURANT – in pool bar – not well advertised book at reception
Ask to see menu – not very inspiring


ENTERTAINMENT – on terrace if not raining
- 7 45pm pianist & saxophonist
- 9pm group as above & singers – various – repetitive - after 2 or 3 nights repeated
again & again
- 10pm – show time – not our scene – except Madeira orchestra
- parrot show! opera – las vegas – etc etc – a bit more up market than other Riu hotels
-
SHOW LOUNGE – is excellent but not many people in until 10 pm


DRINKS – bottle of wine white angelos 13E – rose 17E
Wine by the glass – SMALL 3E cheaper to get a bottle & cork it in
Restaurant – pool bar or restaurant or take it with you
Beer local 0.3L 3.30E
Cocktails 8 – 10 E 4 specials on board 2 for 1 – 7pm – 8pm
Also a cocktail of the day 5E just outside show lounge
Excellent waiter with a sense of humour – Victor Dinnis

LIBRARY – to the right of reception along the corridor to the lifts – called games room – card tables good library separated by language – great also internet access 6E per hour – don’t need use it all at once - ven a card to log in with

RECEPTION – sell packs of cigarettes – Marlborough gold 40E (same price in airport)

SHUTTLE BUS – free-runs 5 times a day – book day before – timetable at reception
To Funchal drops off at bus station right beside cable car station
Intended to go on cable car but was very cloudy – couldn’t see the top – 15E return


Went in 1 day nice to wander around the old part – street with painted doors very interesting – at right of embroidery factory – rua de santa maria
Fort very interesting – walk past cable car station & keep going – its bright yellow

HOP ON HOP OFF BUSES – red cheaper than yellow – I think there are concessions for pensioners but not sure -

SERVICE BUS – from bus stop right outside hotel – timetable on back of shuttle bus times

YELLOW BUS – from bus stop right outside hotel – Sundays only when we were there
12 E tickets from reception – goes up coast to santa cruz & inland to santa da serra & back to hotel 1 ½ hours – didn’t go because it rained heave both sundays

WEATHER – 8 days of sun am & cloud pm or vice versa – we never had a full day of sun
3 bad days heavy rain most of the day – middle weekend very strong winds
3 days mixed sun – cloud – rain most of time very quickly
21C – 25C all time we were there – middle weekend too cool at night to sit on terrace
some nights we would go to room at 9pm – put our bath robes on (provided)
move standard lamp onto balcony get out our wine from spar & sit & talk – read & relax

short prom ¾ mile long – to the left a restaurant / snack bar drinks & food similar prices to hotel – a lot of locals used this area to sunbathe & swim
to the right seemed to be a small bar – not open when we were there then
70 ish steps up to short street with a tour office – car hire – a few bars & restaurants
& a SPAR shop – wine only 3E a bottle – beer cheap too (lots of spar bags seen in hotel)
steps in groups of 8 – 10 with level walkway between – quite a steep walk from top of steps to bars etc
ate 2 or 3 times in Habbeas Coppis – try tuna toastie large portions delicious similar prices to pool bar

TRIPS – was going to go on western wonders – thomsons 47E – similar at tour office 40E as weather was unpredictable we didn’t book it

AIRPORT – why do we always choose the slowest queues? Happened on arrival & departure
It happened on arrival & also on departure
Departure was horrendous – we shuffled along in our check in queue for 30 mins – then had to join another very long queue to show boarding cards & go upstairs – 20 mins – only letting a few through at a time because there was nowhere to go to upstairs it was so crowded – it was so hot – very little aircon – wouldn’t like to think what it would be like in the summer – best to keep your water till the last minute – took us another 30 mins to get through after hand luggage scanned – had 10 mins buying water & a quick look round duty free – prices seemed quite high for booze – cigs same price as hotel
Not much time to have a good look around –
Stood once again in a queue for 10 mins to get through to departure lounge – not very big only 6 gates I think
only waited 10 mins until our flight was called flight at times was very turbulent for about 30 mins
just about last off plane as we were connected up – queues once again to show passports
luggage came very quickly – taxi came 4.30pm once on the road we were met once again with queues as it was rush hour past the metro centre to chester le street so went the long way round eventually we arrived home (took 1 hour instead of 25mins) just felt as if the whole day was spent in queues of one kind or another

OPINION – don’t think we will ever fly into Madeira again because of airport problems it is the WORST AIRPORT we have ever been in – thought Corfu was bad
Enough but Madeira wins hands down – the only way we might go again is on a cruise –NEVER AGAIN WILL WE FLY THERE

Room Tip: room 1748 - top floor full sea view - sheltered
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank Baz2baz2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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976 - 982 of 1,619 reviews

Reviewed 2 November 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
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  • 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 30 October 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...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 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.
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  • 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 21 October 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 17 October 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 f...
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  • 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
Reviewed 3 October 2012

I get really annoyed with people who fault the staff at this hotel. During financial crisis staff have been reduced but those who remain are exceptional and nothing is too much trouble for them.
Yes the location does not suit everyone but with modern technology you know that before you go.
Food was up to its normal excellent standard with great service at dinner and breakfast. If you are looking for night life and partying this is not the spot for you??????

Room Tip: Ask for partial sea view
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jude760
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Madeira

Address: Praia dos Reis Magos | Canico de Baixo - Portugal, Canico, Madeira 9125-024, Portugal
Phone Number:
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Canico
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Canico
#1 Spa Hotel in Canico
#1 Luxury Hotel in Canico
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Canico
Price Range: $178 - $435 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Madeira 4*
Number of rooms: 327
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located opposite the oceanfront promenade of Canico de Baixo. 8-Storey building. 10 M to the sea; access to the ocean across a walkway. 13 Km from Funchal (complimentary shuttle service from the hotel; weekdays and Saturdays. Not available on public holidays). 2 Km from the city centre. 2 Km from various shops. 10 Km from the airport. 50 M from a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Madeira Canico
Hotel Riu Palace Madeira Canico, Portugal

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