6 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The best holiday ever...
"My friend Jagoda and I , we went to Madeira in Middle of May 2015, we specially chose this hotel as it was not in the Capitol Funchal or any town, we wonted to have peace and to relax well ,after busy London! The rooms were good size, very clean , we had fresh towels every day and linen as well, all rooms had balconies and fantastic views of high Mountains. The very friendly proprietor and staff in Restaurant and reception spoke also English , French , German .... We notice that Most of the gusts were in organized groups, or individuals from France, Germany Czech Republic or Scandinavia, who come there to walk in Mountains or had rented cars like we had ,so exploring this Island was not a problem and a pleasure , we visited most of towns and attraction all around the Very Beautiful Madeira. Food was excellent, good selection of cold meats for breakfast and eggs , juices local bread and fresh rolls. Could be little bit more vegetables or vegetarian option as I do like fresh tomatoes or avocado for breakfast, but most people like hot cooked breakfast. Evening meals had salad bar with six different salads , hot tasty soup of the day, and big selection of cooked meats and fish dishes, cooked veg and two different potatoes. Desert: fantastic, plenty light deserts, Creme caramel, etc and selection of fruits, we had fresh pineapples, strawberries , local fruits which I did try first time, papayas, melons etc. The restaurant also had big selection of Madeira table wines and Madeira (fortify wine), ports, and beer, We notice that many people during breakfast were making extra sandwiches and was taking those and fruits with them for lunch in Mountains.! After breakfast we were driving down 60 bends!! to Rio Brava the small town by the sea The hotel is at over 3000 feet high (or 1100 m ) above the sea level . Only 15 minutes drive to the beach, which was not the best yet, as black ash with the stones, but this summer local beach should have layers of sand from Morocco, as some beaches had. We rented car at Funchal airport from "Bravocar", car it was strong 1300cc to get up on second gear usually, to the Hotel after day of exploring Madeira wonders. The car we rented cost us for a week Â£80 plus Â£46 insurance. And we managed 7 days on two tanks of petrol so on petrol we spend Â£70, but I was driving every day .... Over 100 km a day. This hotel is an excellent choice if you can drive and really would like fresh air and peace. Or hiking in Mountains. Most holiday makers I think coming to Madeira are staying in or around Funchal , with plenty restaurants , small shops and attractions, We chose this hotel for its remote location in Mountains .!!!! Food was good as restaurants hosted also during our stay local party meeting for 500 gusts, wedding and Christening party . Looks like is well known and appreciated by local people. If one likes beach Holiday or type of Turkey Marmaris resort or Spanish Benidorm, Then this place offers tranquility and nature, no swimming pool and not all hot sunny days at least in May? To get sun we were driving down to the sea level where it was hot hot and sunny in May . Most enjoyable, satisfactory and the perfect choice we made, and will consider returning in the future to explore more of beautiful Madeira from this hotel. Perhaps in the future more English not only News Channels will be welcome. Margaret Guida"
- Travel date: 27th May 2015
Near a mountain top in Madeira
"Spent a week Feb 11-18/2010 and will definitely go back. Estalagem Encumeada sits about 3000' amsl so you can be in cloud if that sort of weather is about. Although Madeira has had the worst rain in living memory (and we got plenty of it) it was NEVER cold even at 3000'. My wife is temporarily off climbing etc. but I found the best way to walk the trails and the Levadas around the Estalagem was to wear a thick tee-shirt, light shorts (like for swimming?) and open thick-soled sandels. On top, a light strong zip-up rain-jacket and for the head an adapted supermarket bag. I managed to survive torrential showers with that kit. We had read the reviews here before we went and wondered how it would actually pan out. We'd hired a cheap and cheerful little car to cope with the remoteness of Estalagem Encumeada and had realised it was far from the madding crowd. Absolute must the car really but you need to be very brave as the turns going up and down the valleys are so tight you can almost see the back of your own head at times. Estalagem Encumeada staff were very helpful considering we had absolutely NO Portuguese on arrival and why should we expect them to speak our language? But they DID. We found almost every member of staff had SOME English. The girls who clean the rooms didn't really but sign language a few smiles and a 2euro coin got me extra pillows within 2minutes of arrival in our room. The CH was working perfectly and although it did take a day to dry out the humidity from then on it was perfect. Our room was on a corner so we had TWO views both absolutely stunning The main people in the hotel had excellent English (and I think French and German and Spanish also). We learned to say the number of our room, how to say good morning, thank you (different for men and women) and a couple of versions of goodbye. We found the same language skills in gift shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, wineries, you name it. Madeirans are reserved but friendly people. Many, indeed most we met were absolutely delightful and love discussion. They are fiercely independent. Time and again they told us "Madeira First, then Portugeuese". We've fallen in love with this island, its scenery, its people and especially its wine. You gotta taste the island drinks. Their fortified wines are a law unto themselves and you gotta do the Blandy Tour to learn about this wonderful drink. Estalagem Encumeada has a formidable celler of madeiran wine and only slightly dearer than in the shops. We scoffed a different bottle of 3yo each afternoon for â¬9.50. (â¬8.80 in Funchal shops 20 miles away) I could just go on and on but I'm supposed to be writing about the Estalagem Encumeada. (walltoall yahoo co uk if you want the fuller picture)The food at the hotel was superb. Signs on, they specialise in outdoor catering for much of the island as well as weddings and parties on-site. Every night there were some locals or other in for dinner and of course we did the Valentines night with ALL locals. None of the hotel guests except us ventured the experience so we had a great time. While we were there, we shared with the Portuguese national FOOTSOL team who were there to train in the mountains. Best holiday ever. We hated coming back to chilly England. But God was on our side the airport was closed due to a massive storm on our departure day so we were overnighted in the Tivoli and flew out (with easyjet) on Friday before all hell broke loose and the rest of the strom devastated the island "
- Travel date: 21st February 2010
"st back from a week at this hotel and although we love Madeira the staff at this hotel seemed to never want you to come back again. We arrived at 9pm on a Saturday and could not get parked as their was some party going on. Eventually got to reception and was made to feel welcome by one girl (who we never saw again...she must sacked for smiling) the rest just glared at us. In alJul the staff were a very unpleasant bunch and just appeared miserable all the time... No thanks you's at all. The first nights food was eaten near the bedrooms as we where relegated upstairs and was almost unedable apart the salad and desert. And this was at 13.5 euros each (we found a restuarnt called Dorisol down the road that charged 20 euros for a superb meal and service). Now to the Hotel decor.... The stair carpet was worn and in two places ripped (a real danger). The corridor stunk of sewage and the bathroom had a sewage smell coming from the vent in the floor. Each day we found creepy crawly's in the bathroom. The beds were OK apart from only being provided with one tiny pillow, so that sleeping was not easy. Add to that a bunch of school kids shouting and slamming doors!!! EEK On the final day I settled the bill and without a thank you I was presented with a metal safe box and told that I could leave a tip ...... I was speachless All in all we can put up with a lot..but rudeness NO. Please do yourself a favour and pay a little more and don't go to this hotel"
- Travel date: 6th September 2009
Well, What can say. Madeira is a beaut...
"Well, What can say. Madeira is a beautiful island and the Hotel is well located mid way up into the mountains, miles from anywhere and very peaceful and quiet. (This is not a place to go if you want the high life) but perfect for a tranquil setting. You definately need a car to stay here. The hotel itself is very clean, tidy and quiet and now the downside. The staff are the most unhelpful depessed bunch of individuals I have ever come accross and go to great pains to be as miserabe and unhelpful as they can. The buffet which is served for breakfast and dinner is at best uneatable and at worst cold cheap trash. The staff seemed relucatnt to offer the Half Board menu in addition to the buffet served but the meat on a skewer from this menu is the only edible food available and you are lucky to sometimes get a side salad and sometimes frozen chips with it. Saturday is wedding day and as a guest you are relegated to eating in reception area whilst the dining areas are given over to the wedding parties. This means the food is left from 7.00pm and is cold if you arrive after 9.00pm and the closing time is 10.00pm. Please and thank you from the staff is non-existent and in truth I felt during the two weeks I was there I was made to feel "in the way"."
- Travel date: 26th August 2008
I would suggest that the previous report...
"I would suggest that the previous reporter's travel agency were at fault here. The area of Encumeada is definitely NOT one for young people expecting a lot of entertainment and things to do. It is a beautiful, tranquil mountain area, perfect for those who appreciate nature, peace and quiet and everything those things have to offer. You need to take a good book and enjoy walking, hiking, plant and bird watching etc I would suggest that next time the last reviewer does her homework before booking a holiday - if you want MTV, discos, cinema, fish and chips and Watney's Red Barrell this hotel is not for you - stick to the Algarve or Benidorm (which personally I would not go anywhere near) As regards the hotel - the price is 40 euros per night and you can't expect five-star luxury for that. The rooms were adequate (although in need of a bit of a make-over) and the view from ours was fantastic. The bathroom could have been better. BUT they were both perfectly clean. The food was NOT 'awful' but was typical Portuguese middle of the road buffet food. Again - if you don't want to try local food don't come here. It was perfectly edible, although not anything to rave over. But in general the food in Madeira was not too special - I'm afraid food catering to mass-tourism has taken over here (a tip - look for reataurants and cafes that are full of portuguese-speaking people and off the beaten tourist track - you will eat much better and more cheaply and in Madeira everyone speaks English) As regards transport from the hotel there is in fact a daily bus service into Funchal and possibly other towns, so no need to take expensive taxis. Again, even the bus drivers speak English! As regards the hotel staff, we found that they DO speak English. Even though we speak Portuguese most of them were all too eager to speak English to us. I had a long conversation with the reception staff before I left, firstly in Portuguese and then in English, regarding the fact that a few improvements were needed to update the rooms, and perhaps provide a bit more 'entertainment' The hotel staff agreed with me. No, we enjoyed our time there Do yourself a favour - only go there if you are the sort of person to enjoy what it has to offer - otherwise stick to Benidorm etc and leave places like Encumeada to those who appreciate it!"
- Travel date: 5th June 2008
The worst holiday me and my boyfriend ha...
"The worst holiday me and my boyfriend have ever been on. We arrived on Christmas Eve for one week. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere at the very top of a mountain with absolutely nothing to do. Staff DO NOT speak english, food is extremely poor and rooms are absolutely disgusting. We did not even get a chance to look around Madeira as we were stranded in the middle of nowhere and we were not going to pay 65 euro to get in a taxi to nearest town. We spent Christmas Day in bed watching non english TV and booked a flight to come home boxing day. Please do yourself a favour and do not go to this hotel!!!!"
- Travel date: 13th February 2008
Top traveller tips for Hotel Encumeada
"Rent a car!!! Is a Must if you do not plan the hike ."
"peace, quiet, country, scenery, walks, accessability to WHOLE island by car or bus, value for money"
Hotel Encumeada is also called
- Estalagem Encumeada Hotel
- residencial encumeada ribeira brava