Quinta do Furao
12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The best hotel we've ever stayed at
"A fantastic location, a small hotel with outstanding staff who all speak perfect English. We decided to book bed & breakfast after reading Trip Advisor reviews and have to agree that the choice for dinner was far better this way. The food is very fresh and superb - especially the catch of the day! We were invited to dinner in the vinyard one evening and what a perfect evening it turned out to be - good food, good wine & a full moon shining on the sea. This is the perfect hotel for people who want something a little special and away from the crowds."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of August 2009
The meaning of life
"Wonderful situation , magnificent sightseeing, very friendly and professional service. Very cosy and beautiful hotel with the possibility of exploring the fantastic nature that surrounds the place. I think it's ideal for a nice , quiet and paradisiac holidays with family and friends. I highly recommend this hotel that has a splendid view over Porto Santo. And another advantage is that it hasn't the Funchal "mess" and at the the same time is only half-an-hour driving away from the capital of the island."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of August 2009
Paradise is not completely lost!
"We booked a fly-drive package to Quinta do Furao at the 'Eliza Was Here' agency in the Netherlands. Once we got to QdF it was immediately clear that the description and photo's on internet only tell half the story! The location is really great with one of the nicest seaviews (cliffs, sea, waterfall, land-arm Sao Lourenco in the distance), all from our hotelroom balcony. Service is good and personnel is very friendly and open. General atmosfere (July, just before tourist 'high-time') is very relaxed. Room and other hotel perimeters were very clean, and garden and pool are well kept. Island (you definitely need a car) is one breath-taking garden - every turn by foot or by car is another experience in itself. Quiet, is not to say dull - try walking less known levada's, the heights only will thrill you. Same for mounting the island's peaks. Then it is really wonderful to return to Quinta do Furao at night, have a firm shower and a great meal at the restaurant (excellent value, creative food, and again lovely people). Good, good place to stay!"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of August 2009
"This is good place to stay but compromised by the restaurant.
It's got a reptutation and prices to match but the quality when we ate there was truly sub-standard.
For a start, the menu is over-elaborate and pretentious; too many ingredients smothering whatever fresh local food may lie at the base of it all. It was positively unappetising and we struggled to find dishes that appealed to us.
Worse, the cooking was downright incompetent. Some of what was placed before us was literally inedible - burnt or raw or impossible to chew. My risotto was both undercooked and burnt. Even the creme brulee, bog standard anywhere in Madeira, was an omelette like mess.
We left much on our plates and the waitress didn't seem in the least surprised.
The problem is that if you're staying in the Quinta and you don't want to eat at the restaurant you have to drive into Santana for a meal. It's not a big deal and we found a solid local restaurant nearby that met our needs for the rest of our stay."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of February 2009
Stunning location, wonderful staff
"The hotel is beautifully situated with views of the coast from all areas. Our room was spacious and comfortable, the public areas are comfortable with good views. The hotel was very quiet during our stay and the weather was not good. A car would be an advantage as the hotel is quite a long way from the village centre although the walk was enjoyable. The staff were exceptionally pleasant and helpful. The food was the best we experienced during our holiday."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of February 2009
"This is an excellent hotel, beautifully situated with views of the sea and the mountains. Room 309 is very large and has fittings of top quality. The food is also excellent - we stayed on HB and were very happy with the choices available (although vegetarians appear not to be catered for). The view from the terrace restaurant is superb. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel because of its overall quality and its position, but would suggest that you arrange a hire car for when you stay here. Booking over the internet, direct with the hotel, was quick and easy."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of August 2008
Brilliant location, food disappointing
"I have read the other reviews and agree with most of what it said.
Perhaps the difference was that we were booked 'half board', and were therefore handed the special restricted HB menu. No vegetarian option (we aren't). I know it's a matter of taste, but chicken with bacon and banana? On a different day, one option of two being octopus stew? Shades of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares! 'Good quality ingredients cooked well rather than being messed about with' was a refrain we kept coming back to, and could be used with some benefit here. Yes, the 'default' ice cream was good, but why the fluorescent orange sauce? Coffee ice cream that tastes of salt? Simply couldn't eat that.
Breakfast was very limited - same every day for 4 days, only ('wet egg'?) scrambled, and bacon that I rather suspect was microwaved - how else to explain it being welded together into lumps at both ends while remaining soggy in the middle?
I would be happy to stay here again, but I would not book HB."
- Travel date: Wed 23rd of April 2008
A Beautiful Place
"I spent a couple of nights here with my wife and daughter and found it to be a lovely place. We booked the Junior Suite option which was worth the extra money. It was spacious , comfortable and had excellent views from the balcony. The setting overlooking the cliffs and vineyards is stunning and this place was a great escape from the pressues of everyday life.
The emphasis here is on comfort rather than pure luxury. I would rate this hotel a very good 4 star but to talk about stars is to miss the point ! You don't think about stars when eating a Steak Prego and drinking a glass of wine while overlooking the vineyards ! There are excellent walks from the door and everyone who stays here hires a car to explore the island ( I wouldn't recommend not hiring a car as the setting is quite remote ) .
The restaurant served food that varied from good to excellent ( Fillet of Scabbard with Madeira Sauce, Banana and served with sweet potato was a touch of genius ! )
This hotel is for people who want to escape the crowds. There is no other evening entertainment within easy reach unless you are prepared for a 4 km drive into Santana). We did a 2 centre trip and also spent time in Funchal. That was a great combination.
I would recommend this hotel wholeheartedly as a little gem and would love to stay there again in the future."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of March 2008
Spectacular location and views, great food, excellent value
"Quinta do Furao -- Inn of the Otter, I think -- sits on a promontory cascading into the Atlantic Ocean just north of Santana, overlooking other cascading promontories flowing into the ocean as far as the eye can see. The view is really quite spectacular. The grounds are beautiful. We had a junior suite with a balcony-- all of an 18 Euro premium over a regular room, and according to the girl at the reception desk, her favorite in the hotel. It was extraordinarily large, comfortable, a delight.
Madeira is exceptionally mountainous, with many tunnels (lots of them not on even the latest roadmaps) cut through the mountains. You can often see the old highway careening off to the seaward side of a tunnel as you drive effortlessly through a mountain. Be forewarned, however, that as of this writing, the tunnel system does not exist between Santana and Sao Vicente to the west. We had earlier driven from Funchal to Ribeira Brava (easy) then to Sao Vicente and Porto Muniz (easy), returning to Funchal via the highway down the central plateau, DELIBERATELY AVOIDING the one on the west coast carved out of the cliff face by people in hanging baskets. Then we went to Santana from Funchal via Pico do Areeiro (with a little backtracking.) In the process we had failed to see the coastline between Santana and Sao Vicente, and decided to rectify this by driving west from the hotel. Bad idea. The tunnel north of Santana is very old, and looks like it was carved out of the mountain with pickaxes and spoons; if it's two lanes wide, there isn't enough space between cars for a double coat of paint. I was terrified driving through it, and I drive mountains pretty easily, but it was long and unlighted. I found the road beyond it very poorly maintained, I decided to turn around and go back to the comfort of the Quinta do Furao, breathing easily only when I was once again through the tunnel. Unless you are a daredevil, therefore, do not attempt to approach the Quinta do Furao from Sao Vicente.
We did not use the pool at Quinta do Furao because it seemed chilly. I suspect it was unheated. In fact, none of the pools at the hotels seemed heated except those at Reid's. My idea of pool temperature is 84 F, not 74 F, so I declined to jump in, but it was otherwise pleasant with its sliding roof.
Free internet access in the lobby sitting area gave me my first chance on the trip to check my e-mail without paying about eight Euros per hour for the privilege. That was pretty great.
As to the restaurant, the food was good and the dessert -- madeira ice cream with red fruits -- world class and befitting a Michelin three-star Parisian restaurant. The views from the terrace are incredible.
Truly a memorable experience."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of June 2007
Stunning location, excellent food, large comfortable rooms
"The Quinta Do Furao is on the edge of Santana, a village on the North coast characterised by some traditional thatched "A-frame" cottages. The hotel itself is a striking building on a cliff-top surrounded by vines, and the views along the coast are stunning.
The hotel has 39 rooms and 4 suites. Most rooms have balconies and are of a very good size, simply but comfortably furnished. Downstairs in the main building is given over mainly to a lounge area where breakfast is also served, but there is also a reading room with free internet access. There is a good-sized patio and a heated swimming pool with a sliding roof. On the lower-ground floor is a gym.
The hotel restaurant is in a separate building across the garden, together with a wine-tasting room, a "pub" and a gift shop. Dinner in the restaurant was excellent with pleasant service in a comfortable atmosphere.
The hotel is ideal for a relaxing "chill-out" break, but you can also use it as a base for walking the Levadas or climbing the Pico Ruivo - Madeira's highest mountain."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of March 2005
The previous review accurately outlines...
"The previous review accurately outlines the facilities available. However, our experience was much different. Our room was comfortable, with a fabulous sea view. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they were very helpful. In the evenings, the bar staff were attentive without being overbearing, and the breakfast buffet was very impressive.
The restaurant was slightly disappointing in terms of the food - quality was varied, but again, the staff were brilliant.
We also did the hotel's Madeira tasting session, and the information and detail given by the waiter with us about the wine and the hotel was fascinating.
This is a brilliant hotel if you want to get right away from the bustle of the south coast. However, you will need a car to get around. For walkers, some of the most spectacular walks were accessible from here. We will go back to Madeira, and we will certainly go back to the Furao."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of February 2008
The hotel is comfortable with a large lo...
"The hotel is comfortable with a large lounge area. There is a pool (covered in winter) and a sauna and small gym downstairs. There is a single internet-ready PC for guestsâ use. The rooms are variable. Ours (possibly a junior suite?) was very large and comfortable and overlooked the sea.
Others in the party complained of small rooms with a car park view. Perhaps check this before booking. Our impression was that they might be a little understaffed. This was noticeable at breakfast and there was normally nobody to serve at the bar in the evening until a member of staff was alerted.
The restaurant was a couple of hundred metres down the road and though comfortable with good service, the food was disappointing. We chose from the menu, which was only marginally better than the set meal which most of party ate (and were disappointed with). There are no local restaurants here so if you don't have a vehicle there is no other choice.
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of March 2007