More about Porto Mare Hotel Porto Bay
Porto Mare - An Excellent Hotel
My partner and I just spent 11 nights at the Porto Mare. We had a lovely room, booking a suite which was tastefully and expertly furnished. The hotel is officially a 4-star one, but it does have delusions of being a 5-star one. All the staff are very friendly. The only thing missing is a bell-boy service.
Our room had a refridgerator, kettle and safe, although you had to rent the safe for a small daily charge. The room overlooked the main pool and gardens, with a view over the Atlantic Ocean. The only down side to this hotel is that it is quite noisy in that you can hear the doors to the different rooms shutting - especially annoying if you want to get up late and are a light sleeper.
The hotel has many bars and restaurants which are all excellent. The hotel is part of a complex of 3 hotels (The Eden Mar (146 rooms), The Residence (96 rooms) & The Porto Mare itself) which share all their facilities. There is a small shopping centre underneath the Eden Mar which has several souvenir shops and a large supermarket, called "Pingu Doce", with much lower prices than the mini-market in the "Monumental shopping centre".
The hotel is situated about 2 km from the centre of Funchal, and has an excellent location overlooking the sea, promenade and lido. There are so many excellent restaurants within a 5 to 10 minute walk of the hotel that we ate in a different one for each of the nights of our stay. The hotel runs a free bus to and from the centre of Funchal, and we had no problems in booking this. A taxi back from Funchal to the hotel costs 4 Euros including tip.
There are 2 outdoor pools and one indoor one. The pool area is surrounded by some wonderfully landscaped gardens with lots of areas that sun beds are located in, so you never feel that you are by a large pool. Pool towels are provided free in the rooms and if you want to hire a sun-umbrella this costs 1 Euro.
The island of Madeira is extremely hilly. The coutryside is quite stunning and I would recommend 2 drives through the mountains (1) from Funchal to Santana over the mountains (not on the expressway) and (2) the drive from Porto Moniz to Funchal using the road that runs through the middle of the island through the national park.
Reids Palace Hotel (10 minutes walk from the Porto Mare) has afternoon tea on the terrace for 25 Euros each, but personally I would recommend the Porto Mare afternoon tea at 9.75 Euros as it is the same.
We would definitely return to Madeira, and we would only stay at the Porto Mare as we enjoyed it so much.
Another great stay at the Porto Mare
My wife and I have just returned to the UK after 2 weeks at the Porto Mare. We have stayed in the other hotels within the Porto Bay Group but we prefer the Porto Mare.
We suggest that you stay on the bed and breakfast rates and have your evening meals at the many restaurants close to the hotel or in the town centre.
We always start our first evening meal at il Basilico before visiting Solar de Ajuda which is situated on the side of the Monumental Lido and Tapassol in the old town centre.
You will be served lovely food at reasonable prices at the Portao which is almost the last restaurant by the Porto Santa Maria Hotel, well worth seeking it out.
Casa Velha at the back of the Carlton is a little bit pricey but worth it for a special occasion.
And if you like your fish go to the Doca do Cavacos overlooking the sea at Praia Formosa.
Avoid the Bamboo Inn.
We enjoy our twice a year stay in Funchal and we hope that like us you find a little corner of Madeira to enjoy and chill out.
A really lovely hotel
My wife and I have just spent a lovely week at this excellent hotel.
We stayed in a suite and this is well worth the extra cost.
The Breakfast was first class. As we were on a B and B basis
I cannot comment on the food served at the hotel for Dinner.
However, the Italian restaurant connected to the hotel was
very good indeed.
This hotel would especially suit couples.
The entertainment of an evening was mostly very good.
Madeira is a lovely island and the weather for us was perfect..
We would certainly return to both Madeira and to Hotel Porto Mare.
Good Value For Money
We spent one week at the Porto Mare as part of a package holiday. The total cost for two persons with B&B was c. £500.
My objective observations of this hotel are as follows:
1. It is modern (three years old) and is one of three Porto Bay Hotels situated together in a complex in the Hotel Zone just west of Funchal. The other two hotels are Eden Mare (slightly older than Porto Mare) and Porto Bay Residence (self catering apartments built the same time as Porto Mare). We understood from the hotel (and there were certificates on the walls to proove it) that Porto Mare is one of the most awarded hotels in Funchal.
2. The hotel has several swimming pools (both indoor and outdoor), a modern gymnasium and is set in well kept Maderian gardens.
3. The staff were professional and well trained with excellent English.
4. The hotel and our room were kept spotlessly clean. This was something that impressed me throughout my stay - I cannot recall a hotel I have stayed in to be so throughly clean.
5. The buffet breakfast was comprehensive but unremarkable other than for the excellent choice of breads.
6. The location of the hotel is on the sea about 2k west of the old town of Funchal. Most of the tourist industy in Funchal is situated close to the hotel. We found this very useful for hiring a car/taxis etc. There is a promenade walk beneath the hotel which starts at the Lido and goes almost as far as Camara de Lobos.
My subjective opioion of this hotel is that whilst it is not a luxury hotel (nor is it particulary historic or charming) it is a very comfortable and well run. It is unlikely that anyone could find much fault with this hotel and we doubted that there were many better hotels in Funchal in its price range. As such I would certainly recommend this hotel.
Finally, if anyone reading this is intending on doing a Levada walk in Madeira in winter I would heavily recommend doing this as part of a group. The mountains in Madeira are high and in the week that we were on the Island there were almost always in cloud. We attempted the Levada Negra walk to Santa Antonia from the Ice House in the mountains. The weather at the top was extreame (snow) and needed proper equipment.
My husband and I stayed in the Porto Mare Hotel at the end of September. On arrival we were very fortunately upgraded to a suite and if you are planning to go to Maderia this is the hotel to stay. Absolutely wonderful. There are no BUTs. We had a great time. I would suggest just to go B & B as there are any number of good restaurants in and around the hotel. The hotel staff are very friendly and totally efficient. Go and see for yourselves. We intend to return. The west trip is a must the views are fantastic. The icing on the cake was the catamaran sea trip. We were lucky enough to see two whales!!!
My partner and I are just back from spending two very relaxing weeks in Funchal, Maderia. We stayed in the Porto Mare Hotel in Funchal. From our time of arrival to departure we found the staff in the hotel professional but also very friendly and without a doubt helpful. The facilities of the Porto Mare were exceptional. Our room was fantastic as was the view from it. We booked a room with a sea view, but It would appear that most rooms have a sea view with the exception of the extremely low garden view rooms.
On our first week of arrival the Island was experiencing a heat wave, so most afternoons were were spent by the fantastic pool and outdoor areas. We did eat at the hotel on a number of occasions and found the selection of food fantastic. However, there are a number of lovely local restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and definately worth trying out. Before leaving you should definately try out the local fish "espada".
If spending the day by the pool isn't your thing, we went on some trips of the island by local taxi - definately worth going to the West and East of the Island. A half day tour will cost approximately fifty euro, and is definately worth the money. The views are spectacular. We also spent a half day at sea on the Santa Maria Columbus, again a great way to see the island and also if lucky see whales or dolphins. We also went on the Sea Born Catamaran where we caught sight of pilot back whales. A trip definately worth doing. We also made time to vist the gardens and local markets.
There are a number of large shopping centres on the Island and most open until 11 p/m/ each night.
This was our first trip to the Island and we can definately say, we will be coming back in the very near furture and will certainly stay in the Porto Mare. We are in our early thirties and wanted 2 weeks of total relaxment - which without a doubt we got. I would also say this place is a perfect location for a honeymoon as it is very "couple" orientated.
Great modern hotel
Went for 10 days to Madeira. The hotel was the best part of the stay! Funchal seems to have a feeling of a place stuck in the 80's and many of the hotels there reflect this. Fortunately Porto Mare is a lovely clean modern hotel with all the facilities you could wish for.
-Spacious air conditioned rooms
-Fantastic pools and spa
-Amazing breakfast - I couldn't think of anything they didn't offer!!
-Med restaurant was excellent quality modern food
Cons (not many!)
-Annoying little charges for some things - room safe(10 Euro), pool umbrella(1 Euro), tennis (about 10 euros for an hour with gear).
-Bar staff/Cocktail waiters were not as good as you often find.
Holiday to Remember
Just stayed at the Porto Mare Hotel and had amazing weather no rain at all. We wanted to say how much we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a beautifully designed hotel, with lovely spacious accommodation, very comfortable and absolutely spotless, towels changed regularly too. Gorgeous tropical gardens overlooking the sea. The main restaurant which is where breakfast is served was beautifulwith a lovely view of the gardens and the sea beyond. Breakfasts were wonderful with so much choice of fresh fruit, pastries, hot and cold dishes. The evening buffet had an amazing choice of courses. Staff were very friendly and efficient. The Lido bar put good entertainment on every evening and the Oceana had a very good duo on, with a dance floor and the beautiful comfy settees and chairs to sink into after a busy day of sightseeing or lazing by the pool. The outdoor and swimming pools were beautiful and not strongly chlorinated which can be very offputting. Also nearby the hotel just up the road there were a good choice of Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurants and also a very good supermarket is only a five minute walk away to pick up anything you need. Regular transport takes you into Funchal which is a five minute walk from the hotel to the stop and the hotel runs courtesy buses a few times a day. The Strawberry World agency organises excellent trips on the island and are very reasonably priced - we tried two of the trips and thoroughly enjoyed them.
We booked our trip through Solia who market the hotel as 5*, we were dissapointed when we checked the Portobay website to discover that it was a 4* resort. However, upon arrival, we were delighted to find what essentially was a 5* residence.
We had a wonderful room with a pool/sea view, we were half board and enjoyed the buffet, good quality food and plenty of it. Unfortunately we did not get a chance to dine at the a la carte restaurant, we ate at the pool bar for lunch, and the food was OK but the service could certainly be better, nice waiters (for the most part) but veeery sloooow.
There were plenty of pools and the main one was wonderful, cold on arrival, but I guess several people complained because by our second day, it was considerably warmer. There were plenty of sunbeds to go around.
The staff were nice, we had a wonderful waitress so we hunted out her station and stuck to her. The reception, however, could certainly be nicer.
I enjoyed an excellent massage in their SPA.
The only thing I missed was a kids club.
I would love to return but, alone with my husband at least until they have a kids club.
The wife has already wrote her review, and I would have to agree.
This place was tremendous. Everything about the hotel screamed quality, from the location, the rooms, the room service, the pools...well everything.
Due to the lack of activity on the island, the hotel was crucial to making our honeymoon, and it just didnt dissappoint. The pools were excellent and clean, the spa was beautiful and plenty of sun loungers to go round.
The breakfast buffet was unbelieveable and i made sure i took full advantage every morning!!!
One sore point, the staff on the pool bar were a little lazy, if thats the right word - they didnt seem to care that much, but that shouldnt be any reflection on how outstanding this place was.
Oh, and if you go, and get asked to go have a look at the residence apartments, do - there is no hard sell (im a salesman and I was impressed), and you get 40 euros off your overall bill!
The courtyard of Forte de Sao Tiago.
Special Birthday Trip to Funchal
Hello. I will be visiting Funchal for the first time in March, to co-incide with my special birthday (40th). We have our hotel booked, but decided just to take bed and breakfast, so we can eat out at the various restuarants. The trip is independent, I hate being packaged. Flights are booked and when we get to the airport will need to arrange a taxi to the hotel. Does anyone know, do the taxi's have set tariffs or do you need to agree a price before getting in?
Any recommendations for nice places to eat? I don't eat meat, but my husband does, but we both eat fish.
Also any recommendations for good cakes?
What is the best way to get around the island? Does the bus cover the island or is one best to use a taxi? We do not want to hire a car.
We would like to go to Porto Santo for the day, is this possible as an independent traveller?
Many thanks for any help/advice.
RE: Special Birthday Trip to Funchal
Taxi price is by the meter, depending on trafic conditions this should be about 25 Euros however I found out to my cost that travel on a Saturday evening incurs a 20% loading.
Local buses are plentiful but can take ages to get to some of the more remote parts of the island.
You may like to reconsider car hire, driving is easy, for instance the road from the airport to Funchal is dual carriageway,however some roads are very narrow and twisty, just take your time and enjoy the scenery.
For food, well we tried numerous restaraunts, most were OK but you do get a really big meal, do not accept the garlic bread often this will be served even if you do not ask for it, you will be charged up to 5 Euros.
You can take the ferry from Funchal to Porto Santo or fly if you wish.
I hope you have good legs.