12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
This was our first venture into both 5*...
"This was our first venture into both 5* and Madeira, for my wife and I.
The hotel was superb, its location, only a short walk to the centre of the town, but a steep walk back! and the service which was excellent.
I did not use the services of the tour rep as the hotel had even better advice on hand all day.
The restaurant staff were so friendly and efficient and the food was great. The hotel exceeded all my expectations, and was my best holiday to date.
I will return soon. As for Madeira, the taxis are so cheap and the island manageable in size, with lots to do and see, but it is the local people who make it special.
What impressed me most was that from our passport photos, I never had to say my name or room number to the reception staff, even those I had never spoken to knew my name, they had taken the time to get to know our faces.
Not a great place for kids or beaches, but great for those who are 'not so young' but still active."
- Travel date: Sat 19th of May 2007
Most relaxing week
"My wife and I have just had another wonderful, relaxing week's holiday at the Quintinha Sao Joao - a real "chill-out" from the hustle of work - and we can't wait to go back!
This is a relatively small, but very friendly and well run hotel. It is located in a convenient location, in a mainly residential area, away from the bustle of the large hotels, which is something we prefer, but only about 15 minutes stroll from the harbour and a range of restaurants. As is the case in much of Funchal, and indeed Madeira generally, not very much is level and the walk back up to the hotel from the town is the usual climb. However, it's good exercise (especially after an nice evening meal!) and there are gardens to enjoy on the way. There is a Hotel minibus, which runs a service to and from the town, for those who don't want to walk, although we have never needed to use it ourselves.
The staff are all really friendly, courteous and helpful. The hotel is very comfortable and the view of the mountains behind Funchal from our balcony was a delight to wake up to in the morning.
The hotel has the usual range of facilities, including games room, sauna etc in the basement, together with parking, a roof-top swimming pool (ample for the numbers of guests), an attached restaurant with a la carte menu, and gardens set round the old house in the grounds. It's well deserving of its 5 Star rating.
We would have no hestitation in recommending the hotel to our friends, as a location for a lovely, relaxing holiday."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of April 2007
"Having recently stayed at Quintinha Sao Joao, excellent is the best word to describe it. The staff in particular, are well trained, they are very friendly and happy to be working there. The restaurant's cuisine is delightful. All this makes for a wonderful holiday and you will want to return."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of April 2007
A civilised hotel
"This is a relatively small and very civilised hotel, which is a short downhill walk to the Funchal marina where all the bars and restaurants are - if you want a taxi back up the hill, they are cheap and plentiful. From the moment we were welcomed at the front desk, the staff could not have been more helpful and pleasant. We had a room on the top floor (the third) which looked over the gardens and the small but adequate pool, and it was extremely quiet at night. There is a very agreeable bar with cheerful and efficient staff, and the breakfast is also excellent - plenty of fruit available as well as more substantial items. We only had one meal in the restaurant, and it was of a good standard - Portuguese dishes with Goan influences.
We really enjoyed our stay here and will return later in the year."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of April 2007
Family run hotel that makes you really welcome,
"so much so we will be going back
Literally flew back yesterday having stayed 9 nights at this wonderful hotel. Having never booked via the internet we were a little concerned, but we had nothing to worry about. The staff were very helpful and so friendly, they are a credit to this hotel. The rooms were very spacious and well laid out. They had everything you could want. The rooms were clean and very tidy, and again the staff that looked after the rooms were a credit to the hotel. The pool was not heated, but no sooner had you got in and moved about you soon warmed up, and as the swimming pool was on the roof you had smashing views of the surrounding hills and mountains in the distance.
We booked B&B and if you wanted an evening meal you booked this in the morning. When we visit Madeira again we will definately stay at this hotel and book half board, as the meals were varied and excellent. The bar area was very posh, and made you feel you were really upmarket, with a patio area outside which was wonderful, with lovely laid out gardens. The piano being played in the bar of a evening was the icing on the cake. We would fully recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of September 2006
Lovely hotel, friendly staff
"I stayed here in 2003 and had posted an earlier review. After the last reviewer's remark about the Dutch visitor (me) having stayed probably in a different hotel, I had my bad review removed because my rating was only based on one fact that will not be the same for everybody. My room was near the reception and that caused some noise, which caused me to close the door between reception and my corridor.
I had a garden level room which meant having guests in front of my window.
The location was not quite so far from the busy road as I had seen on a map, but overall the hotel is nice and wonderful. Great breakfast, nice staff. NIce garden, quiet, facing the Hotel Sao Joao, nice view, but it is smaller than you would imagine from the hotel's website pictures. The stylish lounge was also nice.
So this hotel is quite recommendable but try to make sure you don't get a ground floor room. The hotel is a bit of an uphill walk but not much and quite walkable from the centre of town. There's a large supermarket (Pingu Doce) at the beginning of the busy road that leads up to the next door Sao Joao Hotel. I found that handy for my own refreshments."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of June 2006
A delightful hotel
"My wife and I stayed at this hotel for a week in March 2006. It was highly recommended by an Ilminster friend who had stayed there for several years running, and we were also influenced by the very favourable Trip Advisor reviews. (I think the Dutch visitor must be talking about a totally different hotel - there is huge Sao Joao Hotel nearby which he may have confused with our much smaller Quintinha) We found all the praise entiredly justified as every effort was made to cater for our comfort. The hotel is small and situated close to the centre of Funchal, yet has its own beautiful gardens and one gets the impression of seclusion and peace. Our room which overlooked the garden was large and extremely comfortable. Our breakfasts were mouth-watering with plenty of fresh fruit (not tinned as in most hotels) and a wide range of hot or cold foods. There was even Bucks Fizz for those who wanted it. The cuisine in the restuarant is Goan - lovely curries ! - plus imaginatively served more traditional dishes.
Rosie Borges, in charge of guest relations, is British married to a Portuguese. She looked after us well, whether it was tickets for the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra or recommendations of where we might eat.
The food in the resturant was so varied and good that we found ourselves "eating in" every evening. There is a courtesy car which runs guests to and from the city centre twice a day.
Altogether an exceptional hotel for those who are looking for a small, quiet and family run hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 29th of March 2006
We loved the Quintinha Sao Joao
"We were delighted with all aspects of our stay at the Quintinha Sao Joao and are about to book another week, just 5 months after our first stay. The hotel was immaculately maintained, the atmosphere was very welcoming and the standard of service was faultless. The hotel's location, perched above Funchal suited us well as we could walk off any evening indulgences on our way home! There was clearly a devoted clientele of "returners" and we are unashamed in joining their ranks."
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of December 2005
"Excellent hotel in a far better location than those hotels in Funchal situated out in the hotel zone. Guests are well catered for, hotel is clean and the buffet breakfast is superb.
However, while the hotel is is a good location please note it is situated up on a hill meaning a walk back from city can be a little tiring."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of December 2005
great placed, the Quinina
"Our third visit to this hotel. Only about 1 km from the centre of the city - walk down and if you are tired, taxi back! All hotel staff very friendly and helpful and will arrange (for instance) walking tours along the levadas (water courses). Restaurants in the Old Town 1.5 to 2 km away, at the port 1 km away and try the restaurant in the hotel.
If you walk a lot, as we did, you'll appreciate being able to crash out around the pool."
- Travel date: Wed 23rd of November 2005
Small but beautifull
"Only had a week this time but will return.
the hotel has a quiet comfort and a level of service throughout which rivals any in europe and the best in the rest of the world."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of October 2005
QUINTINHA SAO JOAO If all-singing, all-...
"QUINTINHA SAO JOAO
If all-singing, all-dancing activities are what you are looking for in a holiday, then read no further because that is not what you will get. Situated within easy walking distance to the centre of Funchal, this family-run hotel is one, which, with a little imagination, will transport you back to yesteryear with its clever use of wood and marble. Because of the steepness of streets and roads back to the hotel we advise that one of the plentiful and reasonably priced yellow and blue taxis be hired. Alternatively, a courtesy bus is provided.
We have just completed our tenth visit to the hotel, so we think we can speak with some authority and give an unbiased opinion on what the Quintinha Sao Joao [hereafter QSJ] has to offer the discerning guest.
First impressions are of a clean and not overpowering frontage leading into a cool, marble-floored reception area. Here we encounter one of the many features of the QSJâthe managementâs decision to encourage all staff to converse with their guests. We have patronised many European hotels but none have matched this, to us, very important factor, although some have come close. Off the reception area is the first-class La Morgandinha restaurant where there is an excellent menu and where breakfast (self-service) is laid up. A good selection of local wines is available. If you have no knowledge of Maderian wines, donât worryâthe restaurant manager will advise you.
Leaving Reception, with its marble staircase to the upper floors and a lift, we come to the lounge area, which can only be adequately described as elegant. The Maderian love of wood and design has been tastefully incorporated with antique or reproduction furniture. Comfortable armchairs and settees are placed in strategic positions.
From the lounge we descend marble steps into the magnificent Vasco de Gamma bar with its superb dark hardwood floor. Again there is comfortable seating and a grand piano is a feature. The bar opens out on to the terrace and gardens and it is here that we spend a lot of our time making new acquaintances.
Ascending to the first floor we have another feature of the hotelâa lounge area on the landing (repeated on the second floor), again comfortably furnished. Also on this floor there is a rooftop swimming pool overlooking the gardens. All bedrooms are en suite, generous in size, extremely well appointed and very clean and comfortable.
For those clients who like to keep fit a fitness centre and games room are situated on the lower ground floor; in the garden there is a tennis court.
To summarise: In our view, having travelled considerably, we have in the QSJ a first-class hotel, worth every one of its five stars. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff, all professional in their approach and very well trained.
Over the years we have attempted to find an adequate word or phase that encapsulates the atmosphere of the QSJ. During our last visit we realised that the QSJ is not a hotel as we know it but a ââprivate family clubââ, with high standards of service, comfort, attention to detail and quiet efficiency.
Welcome to the family of the Quintinha Sao Joao.
Eileen and Douglas Batten, Exmouth, England<"
- Travel date: Tue 31st of May 2005