13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
6 Visits and even better
"Well I can recommend the Cliff Bay to everyone, nothing to fault at all. You are made to feel that this is your local and everyone knows your name without prompting, I suppose that they should after 6 visits. Whilst this was our 12th visit to the splendid Island of Madeira, Cliff Bay is certainly now the top of our list of world wide hotels.
As Jock would say "Haste Ye Back"
R the D."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of June 2010
We first visited the Cliff Bay last year...
"We first visited the Cliff Bay last year in 2006 and had the best holiday ever. Decided to return again and on our 2nd visit to this hotel, it even out surpassed the first time.
Absolutely superb in every aspect, hotel exceedingly clean and comfortable, staff could not be more pleasant, have no hesitation in recommending this as the best hotel we have ever stayed in and will return again.
The buffet breakfasts were to die for, everything you could wish for always being replenished and nothing a problem, the buffet evenings meals - themed each evening, some were better than others but again the food as hot and fresh each time.
Bar prices were what you would expect to pay for in a hotel so nothing new there but staff were very polite and could not do enough for you.
Plenty of sunbeds and towels whichever pool you visited, there was one swim in and out of by the spa and one freshwater down by sea level with a children's pool area again plenty of sunbeds available.
Plenty of choice of food if you wished to use the other restaurants and the reception staff were very helpful whatever.
A must to visit if you want a relaxing atmosphere, no stress and no children!!"
- Travel date: Fri 28th of December 2007
This is a fine five star hotel in...
"This is a fine five star hotel in Funchal. Food great facilities fine, sauna and spa facilities although I did not use them much other guests said were good.
Bathing pools even in January were fine. Staff could not do enough for youâd intend to return in August and next January to this fine hotel.
Madeira is fine for people wanting a nice restful holiday but also caters for people wanting a walking holiday.
The mountains are fabulous the flowers and fauna have to be seen to be believed. The cafes and restaurants are in general good but watch out around the marina some there I am told are not great.
However staying at the cliff bay one did not eat out much the food was so good.
The people of Madeira are very nice indeed."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of July 2007
Everything you expect
"This hotel is everything you would expect and you won't be let down after reading all the excellent reviews. The staff are all helpful and friendly and the food is very good (if fairly expensive). The bathrooms are out of this world and the beds are huge (you'll need a map to find each other!!) and very comfortable.
We also ate out regularly and would recommend the Laurisa Portugeuse just 5 minutes from the hotel - go to top of the drive and over the crossing on the left. The restaurant is just round the corner on the right - the food is excellent and the staff are really friendly and welcoming.
Would definately go back to Cliff Bay if we went back to the beautiful island of Madeira."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of August 2006
"The Cliff Bay lived up to all our expectations. A top class 5-star hotel in all regards. The staff were excellent, the reception staff, the restaurant staff, the spa/pool attendants, the maid service, in fact everyone couldn't do enough to make our stay as comfortable and pleasurable as possible. Plenty to do without leaving the hotel - the pools are great, the spa excellent, the games facilities if you want them are plentiful, the choice of restaurants and the food are amazing. (if you want to eat out, I'm told that there are a couple of very good restaurants within 5 minutes walk of the Cliff Bay without going all the way into Funchal, which is about 30 - 40 minutes walk
The coutesy minibus into town is very useful and runs fairly frequently during the day but a taxi would be recommended if returning after an evening out. It's quite a steep walk from Funchal back to the hotel.
We will certainly be going back to this hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 21st of August 2006
"First visit to Madeira and we were most impressed during our 2 weeks. Can't believe we have being missing out all the years and just 3.5 hours from the UK.
One observation, there were no 'English Breakfast or Sunday Roast' signs outside the restaurants. What a relief.
The Cliff Bay was excellent in all respects and it would be hard to think of anything that could improve the service without being really picky. Would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
Great restaurants again couldn't find fault with any, however can recommend Le Jardin & Tapasol (next door to each other) in the old part of Funchal near the cable car/bus station by the taxi rank, great food with very friendly staff.
The only part of the holiday I didn't like was the driving on the narrow roads and being British driving on the wrong side of the road made judging distances difficult, however would suggest hiring a good taxi driver for the day or half-day and let him show you the sights.
Definitely on our list of places that we must re-visit."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of August 2006
All we had hoped for
"Just got back from a week's stay. Given all the positive reports on this site we were not sure the hotel would live up to our expectations. If anything, it was even better. Great room with the most stunning sea view and plenty of space, plus a beautiful hotel, impeccably kept. Staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful, without being pushy. The pools were large and clean with plenty of space and never crowded or noisy. Meals in the Rose Garden restaurant were outstanding and we particularly enjoyed breakfasts on the terrace. The choice and quality of the food were excellent. We also enjoyed evenings on the bar terrace. We have stayed in a number of five-star hotels and the prices for food and drinks were very reasonable, given the star-rating. Evening entertainment was enjoyable without being flashy. We had afternoon tea + one evening meal at Reids Palace to compare and the Cliff Bay won hands down. Treatments at the Spa are pricey but a cut above what you usually get for very little less elsewhere. The best holiday hotel we have stayed in and we were not surprised to meet so many people who keep returning year after year. We loved everything about the hotel, especially the relaxed nature of the place. We will definitely recommend it to our friends and we will be going back."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of August 2006
A Wonderful Holiday
"This was our first trip to Madeira & we had no idea what to expect but in no way were we dissapointed with any aspect of this holiday. Only 30 minutes after landing our bags& ourselves were in our hotel room. We found the Cliff Bay to be spotlessly clean all the staff very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The bedrooms were large & well equipped. 2 large very comfortable double beds, bathroom to die for! Fluffy towels and dressing gowns! Lovely view overlooking the gardens at the front of the hotel. Complimentary fruit & wine.
If you want to indulge I recommend the Total Body Massage and the Hand and Feet massage and do try the Pink Mud and Indian Head Massage well worth every Euro. Truly relaxing experience!!
Breakfasts were amazing, everything was available from fruit to cereal to full cooked breakfast to suit every taste. We didn't eat in the hotel as there was an excellant choice of restaurants within easy walking distance. Can recommend Steak on the Stone at Sol Da Azur next door to Joe's Wine Shop ( left out of the hotel lessthan 10minutes walk away) Also recommend O'Tonnels up the hill from the hotel difficult to find but by far the best food we came across.
Funchal was within walking distance or a 5 Euro taxi ride. The cable car to Monte is well worth a visit and the toboggan run is very exhilarting!!
We will certainly be back to stay at the Cliff Bay as it is not often my Husband likes to visit the same place twice!! So take it from me it must be good."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of August 2006
"Having looked at Tripadvisor and had the Cliff Bay recommended to us by a friend, we were confident that the hotel would provide us with the short honeymoon we wanted where the sole aim was to collapse and recover from a very busy (but fun) time. The Cliff Bay delivered exactly what we were after - quality but relaxed stye, limited number of kids, very good customer service and the ability to enjoy the sun.
The food was good, from breakfast through to dinner, but it is not cheap for the lunches and dinners. As others have said there are choices either close by or in the centre of Funchal. We were too lazy to go out much though so can't comment much. The other nice thing was that the hotel made sure there were enough staff to provide quick service in the restaurants and bars, which is a step up over a number of other 4-5 star hotels we have been in recent times.
We would go back for a short trip."
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of August 2006
Everything we expected, and more
"I always research holidays extensively before booking (thank goodness for tripadvisor) and can only agree with the overwhelming majority of excellent reviews for The Cliff Bay. Although we had an early flight ,and had not expected our room to be available, it was, and our check-in was very smooth and speedy. We were delighted with our spacious room, which had an excellent sea view. There really wasn't anything that could have made our holiday more enjoyable. The pool areas were always spotlessly clean, and we never had a problem finding sun loungers. The food was varied, plentiful and of a very high quality, we were glad we had booked on a half-board basis. I agree with the reviewer who said lunches were expensive, as were drinks, but we had expected that from a 5*hotel. Out week at The Cliff Bay was extremely enjoyable, and we will certainly return."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of July 2006
Cliff Bay - 5-star all the way
"Booked the Cliff Bay for our honeymoon destination at the end of June/beginning of July. Given the amount of money we spent we had our fingers crossed that it would be worth it however our concerns were soon dispelled. This was a 5-star hotel that delivered 5-start treatment to its guests and with top quality of service.
30 minutes after landing we were in our hotel room, a bottle of champagne waiting and luggage delivered quickly and efficiently. The rooms were very spacious, the sea view was worth paying for, the bathroom was immaculate and we immediately felt relaxed.
The pool areas were always clean and well maintained, there was plenty of room for everybody and the noise level was almost zero (except for the odd child but nothing compared to previous apartments we have stayed in). The private jetty was a god-send and allowed me to go snorkelling everyday. The sea water was slighty warmer than what I expected and certainly comfortable to spend long periods of time in.
The only thing I would dare criticise is that you can expect to pay 5-star prices for the lunches (30 euro for a couple of drinks and sandwiches) but you should expect that. We never ate in the hotel as we prefer to eat out in the evenings so cannot comment.
Madeira itself was very quiet but after the wedding and the stress of getting things ready for the big day this was the kind of honeymoon we required.
And we would definitely go back!"
- Travel date: Tue 25th of July 2006
"We have just returned from a ten day holiday at the Cliff Bay and after reading the reviews, we were not disappointed, in fact we were delighted with our stay. How can anyone fault this hotel, the location gives you the option of either walking to the new promenade or into Funchal and the marina. You can take the minibus provided by the hotel, to get into Funchal which you can book in advance and then pick-up again to return. The drivers were most obliging as were the reception staff who efficiently checked on our return flight for us, and organised a taxi for the trip to the airport. The hotel itself is clean and spacious, as was the pool areas. Plenty of sunbeds and parasols and lots of space so that you were not cramped. We had a delightful seaview room (and we could see the sea!!!) and also a garden view overlooking the terrace. The two double beds were exceptional quality (very comfy) and we also had tea & coffee making facilities in the room. I must mention the breakfast!!! Everything on the buffet you could think of and more. The buffet was always full and there was a good selection of fresh fruits, cereals, breads, jams, cheese, smoked salmon plus all the hot food and a cooking staition for making your eggs the way you like them!!! I cannot comment on the hotel restaurants, as we always chose to eat out in the local restaurants, but they looked very nice."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of July 2006