"Relaxing hotel with great service & pretty gardens"
My husband and I stayed four nights and had a very positive experience. The staff was unfailingly friendly and helpful and allowed us to check in early. The hotel has a low density in terms of number of rooms and a relaxing atmosphere was prevalent. The breakfast buffet (included in price) was excellent and provided a good variety of good quality choices. The pool, while outdoors, was heated sufficiently to allow a swim even when the temperature was on the chilly side. The room was clean and everything worked well. Free in-room wifi was a pleasure to have. The bar/lounge was comfortable and had a nice offering of wines and snacks. The gardens on the grounds are gorgeous and well maintained and plants are well labeled. The location was outside of the old town but only a nice 20 minute walk away. Walking the other direction leads to a nest of touristy hotels and restaurants so Casa Branca has a nice position in that it is not in the midst of all the tourist hotels not in the busy and louder old town - it is nicely located in between. This is probably a hotel that is better suited to couples than families with small children. We had dinner one night at the hotel restaurant and unlike the bar/lounge and the breakfasts, we were disappointed. We had the impression the chef was trying too hard - food was well presented but the flavors did not live up to the appearance.
We have just returned from a weeks stay at The Vine Hotel Funchal, what a fantastic stay. We were celebrating our honeymoon and my birthday also fell during our stay. We were greeted by very friendly staff who showed us to the roof top pool and 360bar which by the way are fabulous. We had a complimentary drink before being shown to our room. I read a lot about the lights and difficulty people had using them, if you just take a minute to look at the layout there are no problems. We were given a bottle of champagne as a honeymoon gift which was such a lovely touch. I cannot speak highly enough of the staff at The Vine they are wonderful. The view from the roof top bar is amazing and just allows you to see how central you are in Funchal, perfect location. We thought Madeira had a reputation for the older generation, and it does still attract an older age range, but I'm pleased to say that with Hotels like The Vine the trend is definitely moving towards those in their late 20s early 30s, cocktails and infinity pools!
Funchal has a lot to offer from whale, dolphin watching, to amazing botanical gardens and local traditions. By far the best restaurant that we had the pleasure to eat at was Restaurante Do Forte at Rua Portao São Tiago, for 29 euros each we had a 6 course meal, amazing staff and a beautiful view, but you have to book early as it seems everyone loves this place.
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