Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca Hotel, Funchal
Reviews - Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca Hotel
- Age Group: 41 - 50
- From: United Kingdom
- Traveller type: Young Couple
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca Hotel
One oft the best hotels all over the worldfrom elcoco1
5 Star Excellencefrom Annaliza
The evening meals were excellent, very imaginative to suit all tastes.
Breakfast and lunch was very good, service with a smile every time.
The rooms were clean.
The swimming pool area was kept very clean and tidy. New pool towels every day.
We would definitely stay there again.
Relaxed? You bet!from ChrisBoston
We knew we were onto a good thing when we were collected from the airport by a very courteous driver and whisked to the hotel on the very good roads, taking only 20 minutes or so
On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by a very keen, attractive staff who were very eager to make our stay comfortable.
We were shown to our room, by one of the staff who explained everything in the room very well, how the ac, tv, and door security card worked.
We had lunch, perfect. Later we had dinner, again perfect.
The restaurant has won awards, and it is easy to see why, the service and food very both very good
The atmosphere in the hotel, and in the restaurant was just so relaxing
The hotel is set in some lovely gardens, the pool is a short walk from the rooms and is adequate for the number of guests. Towels are plentiful and changed in the room twice a day, the bed linen is changed daily and are turned down each evening for you
We used the spa but not the gym, the full body massage was very good and all beauty treatments were carried out very well with good advice
Will we go back? Oh yes!
Stunning Hotelfrom Villagers
Restaurant was excellent and we could have eaten in every night but we did try other places to eat. The very best of these was Casa Portuguesa in the old town run by three charming ladies - beautifully decorated, small restaurant(probably about 25 people?) and wonderful food - try the steak on a stone - marvellous! Couldn't recommend this enough!!
Fantastic hotel!from Travelmakers
The facilities in the hotel were first class, especially the pool area and the quiet areas like the library and the Deck Bar. There was never a problem obtaining a sunbed even though there were only about 24 of them. The sunbeds were very comfortable and towels were provided on the sunbeds and in your room for the sunbeds on your terrace. A nice touch was the free cold drink served to us at the pool at midday.
Food was excellent, especially breakfast where there was a good choice. Home made yoghurts and muesli were available as well as hot and cold dishes and an abundance of fresh fruit. Meals were served in the evening in the hotel's restaurant which was located in a separate building (as was breakfast) and generally the food and service was excellent. The evening meal usually took about two hours, but we didn't mind because there was nothing much to do in the evening anyway.
Between 3 and 6pm every day afternoon tea was available and we used to go up quite often and sample the delicious cakes, and scones with jam and fresh cream!
Madeira itself is a beautiful island but has no beaches so can't recommend it for children. We travelled extensively around the island and there are some beautiful views to enjoy, but generally speaking there is not alot to see and do. It is worth taking the cable car ride, and visits to Porto Moniz, Santana and Camara de Lobos are recommended.
The weather is very humid, and although it can be very hot and sunny, we also had a few cloudy days.
Overall we had a really relaxing fortnight and can thoroughly recommend this hotel.
Good, but could be better.from tourthe.eu
Mainly friendly, efficient and quick. Sometimes appearing a little disinterested (ie. not genuine) but this seems to be widespread on the island.
Location and environment:
The location is excellent relative to many other hotels in Funchal since it is on the city centre side of the hotel zone. Funchal centre is about a thirty minute walk and the old town could be reached in around an hour. Taxis are cheap, most are metered voluntarily, readily available and comfortable. The via rapida (dual carriageway) is only a few minutes drive through only occasionally congested city streets. The hotel building certainly deserves its reputation and is, though small, quite stunning. The hotel grounds (gardens really) are very well stocked with interesting and attractive plants and are better presented than the island's botanic garden.
The room we had seemed uninspiring compared with the rest of the building and we have no reason to expect that any of the other standard rooms would be any different. The sleek looks of the rest of the building make the frumpy brass uplighters, standard lamp, and floral pattern tub chairs look out of place. There was nothing generally wrong with the room; it was well maintained, clean, and comfortable. The bathroom has a separate toilet and bidet room. The bathroom was of the standard you might expect in a slightly dated lower four star hotel in the UK and was, again, pretty uninspiring. On the positive side the patio area is pleasant and the furniture on it is entirely appropriate.
The restaurant gave the impression of being short-staffed despite being very small - around 10 tables I think. We waited about five minutes to be seated by the maitre d' who was visible serving dishes to tables and who had definitely seen us standing waiting with one other couple just seconds behind. Our table was booked but we were not specifically expected and were initially asked if we had booked. There was no sign of a list of bookings. Service was slow from the outset. We waited too long for menus and had to ask separately for a wine list. It was at least 20 minutes and possibly as much as half an hour before we managed to place our order. Getting the attention of a waiter often took several minutes and there were regularly no waiting staff visible at all.
Salads in the hotel were not the standard lettuce, grated carrot, grated beetroot, two slices of tomato, and an olive efforts that are ubiquitous on the island. Cooked vegetables were, similarly, not boiled to mush. This made eating at the hotel a welcome change (despite the later comments) from all of the other establishments we visited. Unfortunately the quality of the food was not consistent. During our meal at the hotel restaurant we returned one starter (undercooked and cold scallops) and were served one disappointing main course (parrot fish) and two disappointing deserts (chocolate soufflé, tasted like a 'cocoa omelette' and Madeira wine tiramisu). Our other dishes (one starter, goat’s cheese and one main course, beef) were perfectly presented and delicious. The menu is very limited both in the restaurant and for room service but this is a very small hotel.
There is an extra charge for use of the safe in the room. At time of our visit it was 9 euros for the week with a 10 euros deposit (which since I had no cash on me at the time they did not bother to take, I assumed they had charged it to the room but this was not the case). The hotel requests that the 9 euros be paid in cash rather than being added to the bill, even if paid when checking out. An electronic safe and an extra 1.50 euros per night on the room rate would have been more convenient and less confusing!
Having scoured the brochure, we settled on coming back to Madeira for the second time, after previously staying at the Carlton Park Hotel. The thing that stood out most for us, was that the Quinta Da Casa Branca had only 46 rooms, plus it looked just that bit different. We have never been a fan of the high rise hotel, so this looked right up our street.
We booked the holiday online through First Choice, as we have always found their website to be a lot cheaper than booking through their high street shops. As this was from the Adult brochure, this also included the Premier upgrade with regards to flight etc., Therefore, we had 30kg baggage allowance instead of the standard 20kg, a separate check in desk and were allocated seats in the first 5 rows of the plane where you get extra leg room.
On boarding the plane, we were given a complimentary bucks fizz and then a drink of our choice as well, so all in all a very nice service from First Choice, apart from the baggage handlers at Bristol and at Madeira not following the instructions allocated to Premier passengers. Premier passengers luggage are clearly marked with a big yellow label stating 'Load Last, Unload First'. Sadly, this was not the case when reclaiming our luggage! Never Mind!
When we arrived at Funchal, we were then transferred by minibus to the Casa Branca, and our first opinions were 'Oh My God!'. The first view you see, is that of the glass walled reception area, the fantastic gardens and the wonderful views.
We then were met by the first of what can only be classed as superb, efficient and attentative staff. After a smooth and quick check in, the receptionist asked us to leave our bags, as they would be brought to our room, and to follow her to our room. She clealry pointed out where the Garden Pavilions Restaurant was for breakfast and lunch, where the swimming pool was and where the Casa Brance Restaurant and Cigar/Cocktail bar was for dinner. She then led us down the stairs and along the long wooden Scandanavian style corridor to our room, number 120. She showed us how to use the Air Con, the mini bar, the patio doors, where our towels, robes were etc., a fully comprehensive check in, which we have never received on our previous travels to Turkey, Egypt, Itay, Madeira, Malta, Crete and Skiathos.
We then took a walk around the hotel ourselves, following the receptionists directions to where the pool area was and also to the wing of the hotel where the suites were. Here we found the wonderful, peaceful library, which also contained a PC with free internet access.
We then discovered the air conditioned gym, which featured a treadmill, a rower, a bike and a multigym weight machine. There was also a steam bath, a sauna, a jacuzzi, a treatment room and a wonderful, wonderful chill out area.
From this first look around we were highly impressed.
The first full day, we spent around the pool until around lunchtime, but to be honest, after that, we spent all of our time on the sunbeds outside our room. We felt that there was no need to go to the pool area, unless you want a swim, when we could lie on the sunbeds outside our room, and have all the facilities such as the toilet, air con if you needed to cool down etc., right next to you. Don't get me wrong, the pool area is very nice and the facilites there match the hotel standards with fresh hand towels for everyone to use, showers etc., etc.,
Having been to Funchal before and having stated that we wanted to use this holiday as one to unwind, we opted to do no excursions at all this time. Therefore, our days were based solely around the hotel, just lazing in the sun. We would start our day by visiting the gym for a light work out, shower and then go down to the Garden Pavilion Restaurant for breakfast. I can only describe the breakfast as being first class. Freshly squeezed juice, fresh mango, papaya, pineapple, kiwi fruit, mixed fruit salad, fresh yoghurt drinks with fruit, various mueslis, muffins, croissants, fresh bread, fresh bread rolls, scrambled egg, mushrooms, sausages, grilled tomatoes, cheeses, cold meats, smoked salmon, fresh BIG tomatoes......fantastic! A range of herbal tea was also available, as well as an a La carte menu if you wanted something cooked to order.
We then spent the days sunbathing, only stopping to visit the restaurant for lunch. We can personally recommend the chicken caesar salad, the tandoori chicken fillets, the steak sandwich and the confit pizza. Excellent food. Again the service from the waitresses was exemplary. The only exception was on the Sunday when they were extremely busy, but this was not an issue. What showed their attention to detail even more, was on the Monday, when Olga, the waitress said to us, 'I hope we can give you better service today!'. We quickly informed her that their service was always exceptional!
In the evenings, there is no entertainment, but personally, we prefer that. I don't really want to listen to cover songs by a guy and a keyboard etc., so this suited us down to the ground! After grabbing a cold Coral beer, we would head down the hill (didn't like walking back up it after a nice meal, but burns the calories!) and then either turn left to go into the city centre or turn right to carry on into the Hotel Zone. More on the shops and restaurants later.
The thing about the Casa Branca that impressed me so much was the serenity of the place. It really is a little haven of tranquility. No wonder it is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World. The staff are alwasy busy, but not in an obtrusive way. The gardeners are always busy looking after the fantastic gardens, the maids are alwasy cleaning, although the hotel is spotless and the waitresses and reception staff are always on the go. Your room gets changed every day, and in the evening, your bed gets turned down and fresh towels are supplied once more. Amazing! The gym facilities were lovely, and we soon slipped into the habit of having a sauna and a jacuzzi before getting ready to go out every night!
We both had seen that there was a spa at the Casa Branca, and before we went, we both decided to have a treatment each. This was absolutely fantastic! I had a full body massage with aromatherapy, which can only be described as heaven! You should treat yourself to one.
So, all in all, the hotel is faultless. We did not eat in the main restaurant, but the menu looked fab, and after seeing the hotel and the restaurant both in the top 10 places to stay and eat in one of the books we read, you can see why!
As for shopping and eating in Funchal, we tried the following:
Forum Madeira - new shopping mall at the far end of the Estrada Monumental. Very nice. Picked up some bargains in Zara.
In the main city, they have boutiques such as Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger, plus mens outfitters selling Ralph Lauren etc., but you can easily find your more traditional shops such as the wine, cake, lace etc., etc.,
As for eating we tried the following restaurants:
Grannys House - a pizzeria but also offering traditional Madeira cuisine. Slightly odd vegetarian pizza I had. I was expecting peppers, mushrooms, sweetcorn etc., but instead got carrots and artichoke!! Nice views though!
The Beatles Boat - ok for nostalgia and the food was ok, but the service was very poor.
Berninis - small Italian that we had eaten at on our first visit. Still recommended.
The Red Lion - do a fantastic pepper steak and also salmon skewer. Great service with complimentary madeira wine on arrival, again after your meal with a slice of cake and then a free drink from the bar!
Taj Mahal - Indian. Very nice, but why put a boiled egg on top of my chicken balti?!! The Madierans seem fascinated with eggs! My wife had tomato and onion soup at The Beatles Boat and had a boiled egg in it! We later found out that this is a Madeiran speciality. Odd though!
O Bacquerio - simply one of the best fish restaurants you will find. Right at the end of the Estrada Monumental, below the Pestana Grand Hotel I think, you also get fabulous sunsets. Be warned though. You will never eat all the food they put in front of you! We had a mixed salad to start, where one would have been enough for the both of us! We then had swordfish, but they made room in the middle of the table for not one, not two, but three casserole dishes of extras! We had about 15 boiled potatoes, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoe, corn on the cob, broad beans and a whole dish of paella!!!!! Simply could not eat it and felt awful to see it go to waste! Fantastic food though.
So to sum up, get yourself to Madeira and if you want to chill out in a fantastic environment, then the Quinta Da Casa Branca cannot be beat.
Very good hotelfrom ALLondon
The hotel itself is situated up a hill (like most of Madeira) off of the main coastal road. It is about a 30 minute walk to the Lido area and about a 30 minute walk to the main centre of Funchal.
We had a superior room which is in the new wing of the hotel on the ground floor that had double sliding doors opening onto a terrace. The room was large and spacious as we had an extra seating area. The bathroom was lovely, all marble and glass with 2 sinks, separate bath and shower. Our room was very clean, they came in the morning to clean the room and then they came back in the evening to turn down your bed and give you fresh towels again.
It is a small hotel with the same restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is taken in the Casa Restaurant which used to be the main house of the estate. We were only on a B&B basis. We found breakfast to be rather limited, although they do food cooked to order, the cereal/fruit etc was more or less the same every day. The lunch menu was quite small but ok for a week, think that we might have struggled if we were there for 2 weeks. Dinner was very good, we ate there one evening, was very good value for 3 courses. The service was very good in the restaurants, staff were friendly and accommodating. We found a great restaurant within walking distance of the hotel called Solar De Ajuda, it has all sorts of food ranging from traditional to Mexican, we actually ate there 3 nights as it was so good!
We went on 3 trips around the island which were very good, be warned that the roads are very windy and wherever you go you have to go over and through mountains. The sheer drops are not good if you don’t like heights!
The spa area was very good, there’s a small gym with adequate equipment, a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. We didn’t have any treatments but they weren’t badly priced.
It’s not the kind of place for children as there are no kids clubs or entertainment.
We did have a few issues:
1.On arrival we were told that our room wasn’t ready and to come back in 3 hours and to basically amuse ourselves. We were not shown where anything was or even offered a drink after travelling. Not the kind of check-in we would have asked for?!
2.The hotel is set back from the main coastal road although it has a road going around it and you can hear the traffic. It is set it large gardens but was not the kind of peace and tranquillity we were going for.
3.No tea/coffee making facilities in the room.
4.We had to pay for the use of a safe, not what you expect from a Small Luxury Hotel of The World.
There are repeat guests that go back year after year to the Quinta. However, I think that we would probably try another hotel if we went back.
Overall we did have a great holiday and would recommend the Quinta.
Qinta de Casa Branca is exceptionalfrom CAROLKATRINA
Try the local transport to visit the attaractions, much cheaper than the organised trips and an experience you will enjoy. Funchal is getting very built up now which is a shame but if you want a relaxing break without lots of children and loud music, and you enjoy walking and admiring all the flowers it is definately worth a visit. The island is spotlessly clean and very friendly.
The tourist infomation offices attract you in by offering discounts on local trips, in return you need to spend approx 2-3 hours where you are shown other hotels. The idea is to sell accomodation for a number of weeks - not time share- it's worth the time as there is no hard sell and you can get a bargain trip!
The Levada walks are amazing, there are different levels of walks to cater for all fitness levels, take a rain coat with you as you may need it!
The only downside to the hotel was the climb as it is quite hilly, although at the end of the week it became easier so maybe not so bad...and what you get at the end of it is well worth it.
wonderful gardensfrom super.sonic
The fantastic breakfast (served until 10.30am) is a fine spread including cheeses, cured meats, homemade yoghurt, fresh fruit, freshly squeezed fruit juices, cereals, local breads & rolls, and Full English cooked to order, taken overlooking the wonderful gardens.
We had three nights half board, the menu choice was limited, but this changed daily and the food was beautifully presented and very good.
We also ate at a local restaurant in the same Rue (road) Sabores do Paquete, which is run by a local family, the food was excellent, as was the attentive service.
Top Local Tips for Funchal
try the yellow buses go to the bus kiosk on the Esplanade near the cable car and pick up a rechargeable electronic bus pass or a 7-day pass. The map provided is reasonably clear.
Four seasons in one day! The weather in Funchal was lovely and warm when we were there, but most of the sightseeing tours are in the mountains and the temperatures can be quite chilly to very cold so wear layers including a waterproof. Also comfortable walking shoes even when walking around Funchal since it is very hilly.
Restaurants close to the Quinta Da Casa Branca Try the Case Velha and the Dona Amelia both 5-10 minutes walk away and with excellent varied menus.
Other names for Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca Hotel
- quinta da casa branca funchal
- quinta da casa branca
- Address: Rua da Casa Branca, 7 - - Funchal - 9000-088 - Portugal
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