16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Hotel Needs Refreshing
"The hotel is rated as a 4 star, which it may have been once but not now as it is looking tired and in need of refurbishment. The air conditioning was poor especially in August when needed most. We had to have our patio door open every night, unfortunately we then got the boom boom from the Naval Club Lido below, which went on to 4.00am a couple of nights but excelled until 6.00am on our first Friday. Be warned. We did not sleep those nights at all and complained bitterly only to be told it was a one off. Right! Great rep and fantastic staff but they were powerless. The gym was passable, but the hairdressers was closed; there was no beauty salon, and other facilities very lacking. The owners are rebranding. This means a few years of noise, dust and banging as they work through each of the 12 floors. It may be fine evntually, but I would give it a miss for a few years until they have finished 'rebranding' if I were you."
- Travel date: 11th August 2009
Shame about the noise
"Hotel and staff are great, always very helpful. We book a sea view room which was fantastic. Unfortunately we were woken up in the early hours, three times out of the 6 nights stay by the boom!!boom!!boom!! from a local nightclub and shouting and screaming from people along the road. Even with the balcony door shut we were kept awake for a few hours most nights. So for that reason only I would not stay there again."
- Travel date: 3rd May 2009
My wife and I booked the Baia Azul just ...
"My wife and I booked the Baia Azul just 4 weeks before we arrived on the 18-08-08. We were dissappointed when we arrived to find we'd been allocated a top-floor room facing the main road (and not the sea-view as we'd hoped). The room was comfortable and included a fridge/safe TV and air-con. The fridge was not that large but big enough to store a few bottles of water, annoyingly though, whenever the maid had been in to clean the room the fridge was left unplugged (which defeated the object of having a fridge). The rooms were cleaned daily with fresh bedding and towels left. The hotel was clean but dated (somewhat stuck in a time-warp).Reception staff were helpfull but unfriendly, the pool-side staff and restaurant staff were absolutely miserable! Facilities were not as good as advertised with no Hairdressing salon (closed for over a year) i-net usage and other passtimes were pricey. Outside of the hotel the area was very pleasant with many shops and restaurants within easy walking distance, the downside was the steep walk back from the sea front. We braved the cable-car ride to the Botanical Gardens and enjoyed the Tobboggan ride down the hill afterwards. We had plenty of warm/sunny days, a little cloudy at times but no rain. On the whole, we enjoyed the break and it was a shame the Hotel staff couldn't have made our stay more enjoyable and relaxing. "
- Travel date: 6th September 2008
We already have a timeshare in Madeira b...
"We already have a timeshare in Madeira but not until September so we booked a quick deal via Bath Travel/Palmair to the Baia Azul, great price, meal on aircraft, no suitcase or fuel surcharge, great service from dear old Bournemouth airport - our local. What we were quoted we paid, makes a change nowadays. Hotel itself is in the ever expanding tourist zone heading beyond the Lido, it is not a new build amongst the mass of concrete,it is dated in some areas but is clean and tidy, true the aircon is not the greatest but it is in a good location (splash out for a seaview) and is close to a number of good eating places. Breakfast offers a good selection, cooked, fruit, bread and cakes etc but needs a proper toast machine. Dinner at the hotel is by way of buffet at around â¬17 with lots of courses and of course the al la carte is more expensive but offers more choice, ideal for that first night meal after travelling. New shopping centre just across the road including supermarket Pingo, the Asda of Madeira. Free coach into Funchal which is useful. Lots of facilities in the hotel squash, gym, ping pong, sauna etc all in separate areas. Good bar and terrace with interesting cocktails, even more so during happy hour! Poolside is good but is sadly lacking in umbrellas and although free surely the hotel could scrounge some more from it's beeer and wine suppliers? Pool attendants are sombre individuals who never smile and point you any free umbrellas unlike the rest of the staff who are very helpfull and friendly. Sun beds are free too but need to be quick on a sunny day. Overall a good holiday experience, good location unless you simply have to be near Funchal centre, shops and restaurants nearby, mostly friendly staff. Slightly dated (aircon, decor in rooms) but good value. Just cheer up the pool attendants and get some more umbrellas!! "
- Travel date: 1st July 2008
Nice comfortable stay at Baia Azul
"Just have returned from a week at Baia Azul Hotel in Madeira. I'd read all contradictory reviews on this hotel and had a mixed feeling not knowing exactly what to expect... But luckily it went very well for me, as a single traveller I am well used to getting worst accommodation and that was probably the first time I got a decent size room with a sea view at very reasonable price! The location is superb, close to the sea and Funchal also within easy reach. The staff were helpful, polite and friendly. Yes, the hotel itself is a little bit dated but very well maintained and definitely good value for what you pay. I can not comment on a swimming pool as I never use one, neither on a restaurant, though breakfast was okay. On the whole I'd recommend to go for B&B as there are plenty nice restaurants in the area. I would definitely stay in Baia Azul again."
- Travel date: 24th August 2007
woth another visit
"I was a bit apprehensive at first..I felt the whole thing seemed like a blast from the past. However despite the need of updating the hotel had a charm of its own. Altough our room was poorly lit and the decor dark, it was clean and spacious and the view of the sea wonderful.The dining room also had a superb view and the breakfast had everything you could want, We often had lunch in the hotels coffee shop and the terrace with its large umberellas and fantastic outlook was a peaceful haven -my favourite place to sit and chill.My husband made use of the adequate gym but unfortunately could not find a partner to test his squash ability!! The pools etc were all fine however I do not understand why there was a charge for the rather treasured sunshades when the copious towels were free.We did not try the evening meals but there are many nearby restaurants worth visiting, I would give the Granny House a miss, the staff were aloof and I think the rather pretty facade far outweighed the standard of food - the house wine was atrocious. Getting back to the hotel its charm certainly grew on me - it was clean with good facilities.The staff were helpful and the hotel was conveniently located. My husband and I would have no hesitaion in returning."
- Travel date: 13th August 2007
"Having read some of the reviews prior to our visit I was a bit dubious about this hotel but did keep an open mind. I went with a friend - first time we had been on holiday together - we met at school but lost touch until a school reunion four years ago - we are both a very young 56. We found the hotel to be excellent in all aspects, the room was a very good size, lovely balcony, the staff were all fantastic and very helpful with any of our requests. The food - well we could not fault it at all. Breakfast - buffet style but excellent was a choice of cooked breakfast - couldn't believe how they could do such delicious scrambled egg "en masse" without it going rubbery but they did, cereal, fresh fruit selection and gorgeous fresh rolls and ham and cheese - something for everybody. Dinner was a choice again, soup, two fish dishes two meat dishes, two vegetarian dishes fantastic choice of salads, lovely desserts and a fresh fruit selection. Bearing in mind you could mix your dishes if you desired and if you chose something that wasn't to your liking then you could always go back and choose something elsen I do not see how anybody could complain about anything. The food was always hot and regularly topped up and a different selection every night. I would definitely return. Would agree that it is not a hotel for children but we met a few young couples and they all seemed to enjoy it. The local folk company was the highlight of the week, after which most of our party (just the people we had met from the tour company) got up on the dance floor and had a great time doing a dance demonstration!! The rest of the guests must have thought so too as we got lots of clapping when we finished!!"
- Travel date: 27th July 2007
Very good holiday. Nice location. Rooms ...
"Very good holiday. Nice location. Rooms with nice view over the Atlantic, all with balcony. Breakfast varied and good. Staff and service excellent. Honest and relaxed attitude from the staff and people in general in Madeira. Wide range of restaurants along the Promenade, all good. Highly recommend the Clube Navale de Funchal, situated just behind Baia Azul, on the waterfront - restaurant excellent and incredibly cheap. I would recommend to hire a car and see the rest of the island, it's just like a vast garden, beautiful landscape and incredible cliffs. "
- Travel date: 25th July 2007
"Spent a week on a B&B basis and loved it. Hotel was nice and staff excellent. We were given a sea view room on the third floor with no extra charge. Room was very clean. Breakfast was good and varied. Never spent evenings in so can't comment on evening entertainment. Swimming pool area ok, charge â¬1.80 for umbrellas(?), free towels. Plenty of good restaurants along the main road, recommend La Paella (on Estrada Monumental) and "The Clube Naval de Funchal" (when you leave the hotel, turn left and then second on the left) it's basically behind the hotel right down on the sea, it's a members' club but open for non members too, excellent food and very cheap (â¬15 for set menu incl. a beer or glass of wine). Good bar: "The Local" a 15 minutes walk away on the Rua da Casa Branca. Worth hiring a car (we hired a car at the hotel reception, car was dropped off and collected at no extra charge) in the south we liked Cabo Girao, Camara de Lobos and Machico, on the north Seixal (north of the island can be cloudy and chilly, very dramatic landscape/cliffs); Santana was disappointing; middle of the island Ribeiro Frio for lovely walks and drive on the ER110 from Porto Moniz to Pico da Encumeada for incredible views. If you pass by Sao Vicente stop for lunch at the Restaurant Mamy right along the seaside, huge portions, incredibly good fresh food and very cheap. The entire island was like a vast garden, flowers and greenery everywhere. Maybe not recommended for younger people as lacks drink-holes and music places."
- Travel date: 22nd July 2007
Well what can I say, my wife and myself ...
"Well what can I say, my wife and myself decided to have a last minute weeks break out of the awful UK summer and we were offered a weekâs B&B and the Hotel Baia Azul in Funchal the capital of Madeira. Well when we got there we just thought fantastic, the hotel was clean and the rooms large and comfortable with a fridge , TV and A/C. We opened the curtains expecting to look out on to the street and to our surprise we got the most wonderful ocean view. The food in the hotel was superb and reasonably priced for lunch etc. However we did not eat dinner at the hotel due to the abundance of superb restaurants only 10 mins walk away on the lido area. Another great thing is that Madeira caters for mainly adults so there were no screaming kids to disturb your relaxation and the ones that were there were well behaved. Another superb thing is that there are no mosquitoes on the Funchal side of the island due to I am told all the eucalyptus trees that grow there. Funchal is clean and very pretty but it is also very hilly so it is not very good for the infirm or disabled. Now where to go, I recommend a trip on the cable car to any of the botanical gardens, a trip to the nun's valley and to machico. I recommend a trip down the mountain on a toboggan. Where to eat, I recommend the La Paella (expensive but good) and Moby Dick's for fish, the Solar da Ajuda for the famous steak on a stone and the Espetada, if you want pizza any of the casa Italiaâs and we had the most superb curry at Khan's of London. All in all a fantastic place if you want to relax away from it all. Bad points: Not very good for kids Very hilly and in some places mountainous so you have to be able bodied Any coach trip will make you feel travel sick A/C in hotel room was not very good needs upgrading."
- Travel date: 17th July 2007
Well worth a visit
"Having read the "worst hotel..." review, we must have been staying at a different hotel because the one we spent a week at was excellent with evidence of a recent refurbishment, the reception area was most welcoming and staff friendly and helpful. We were given a welcoming drink on arrival and our bags were taken to our room.The seaview is magnificent - although I can understand the rooms fronting the main road could be disappointing. The room was spotless and the chambermaids most efficient and helpful. There was a good selection of food at both breakfast and dinner although the content depends on your view of Portugese cuisine. The pool facilities were good and the coffee shop was excellent with a varied lunchtime menu. The evening entertainment and the cocktail bar was no more than average but this did not detract from what was a most enjoyable stay and one which we would be happy to repeat"
- Travel date: 28th June 2007
Worst hotel we have ever stayed in.
"We stayed at the Baia Azul as part of a Travelsphere "Walks & Gardens" holiday; basically the hotel is stuck in the 70's and desperately in need of a refurbishment. Our room was adequate, although the housekeeping was fine, the sea view room had peeling paint and more cracked tiles than whole ones in the bathroom. Avoid the rooms at the front, we were told they were very noisy and the view of the coast road less than appealing. The restaurant is a joke; the buffet breakfast has thin orange juice, a poor selection of hot food but does have a good selection of breads and excellent coffee. Buffet dinner was so bad we ate out most of the time; long queues and a choice of three grey-looking, sometimes unidentifiable, main courses. The staff were anxious to sell drinks but there was no wine list or indication of what anything cost; it appears a bottle of beer cost 3 Euros and a bottle of water 2 Euros. Eating out is the best option, the Sumertime restuarant just along the road offers a welcome drink of Madeira, an excellent choice of starters and main courses, please a decent inexpensive wine list and a coast view which will probably disappear when all the building work in completed. Other places we tried were of a similar standard, all for around 50 Euros for two without wine. The swimming pool is fine, plenty of sun loungers but why charge 1.50 Euros for a sun shade, it must of cost the hotel more for the paper work than that. The hotel 'boasted' a gym, squash court, table tennis etc. but we never saw anyone using them during our seven days. During our stay we had tea at the Quinta Mirabela, what a contrast. Avoid the Baia Azul at all costs."
- Travel date: 23rd May 2007
Top traveller tips for Baia Azul
"Tocos restaurant with Phillipe the chef. An experience. Best to book. Head to hills for great views"
Baia Azul is also called
- baia azul hotel
- Hotel Baia Azul
- baia azul funchal