Take a look at the best value hotels in Funchal.
Funchal is known for its steep hills, but this 317-room, upper-middle-range all-inclusive is in a walkable area with access to the oceanfront promenade. The hotel's exterior resembles a cruise liner, and the large outdoor pool, kiddy pool, and massive deck all face the ocean. The spa's saltwater pool has romantic cave-style designs and the spacious gym offers spin classes. The hotel stands out as one of the only all-inclusive options in Funchal (and the best); in addition to the main buffet restaurant with live cooking stations, there are Japanese, Italian, and Madeiran theme restaurants. Bars offer live entertainment. Rooms are modest with simple (but comfy) design and all have full or partial sea views from balconies; some suites have kitchens. The Melia Madeira Mare Resort & Spa offers more modern rooms, but doesn’t have all-inclusive rates.
Ocean Gardens is a three-pearl family-run hotel set off a clifftop road, a 15-minute drive from Funchal's historic center. Stunning ocean views are seen from numerous vantage points, including all 47 rooms, two restaurants, and the pool terrace. Interiors and rooms old school and dated, though the lovely gardens are some of the best tended in the Funchal area. Some rooms can be prone to occasional traffic noise and there's nothing within walking distance, though for guaranteed sea views at very reasonable rates this is a solid option. For a hotel that's a bit closer to the city center, the Madeira Panoramico Hotel has more modern rooms. For cheaper rooms along the coast, travelers could consider the mid-range Dom Pedro Garajau Hotel, though views are less impressive.
The mid-range, 109-room Quinta Da Penha De Franca is housed in an old traditional house and expanded with a more modern annex, set among tropical gardens and with views of the sea. Spacious rooms -- some of which are dated -- come with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and sitting areas, plus some have sea-view balconies. The immediate streets offer plenty of dining, and brief walks take visitors to Funchal's old town marina, cultural landmarks, and tourist attractions. On-site amenities, however, are limited to a pool with lots of loungers, restaurant with adjacent bar, and pathway to the hotel's sister property for direct access to the sea. Travelers may prefer Four Views Baia, which has more modern rooms, plus spa and fitness facilities.
The 286-room Pestana Carlton Madeira is an upper-middle-range resort complex overlooking the Atlantic on the western side of Funchal. Along with some impressive dining and drinking options, the property has outstanding leisure facilities that include a total of four swimming pools. The addition of spa, child-friendly facilities, and direct access to the sea make this property appealing to a wide swath of travelers. Rooms are spacious with most offering sweeping sea views, though the style is a bit plain. All in all, guests get a lot for relatively low rates, though the same could be said for the Pestana Casino Park Hotel close by, which occupies an iconic building nearby and has similar features.
The 52-room, three-pearl Hotel Madeira is a quaint, affordable property located on a quiet side street of Funchal's Old Town. While it is decidedly mid-range in terms of rooms and amenities, the rooftop pool -- with gorgeous views of Funchal and an adjacent bar -- and on-site massage services give it extra value. The rooms are charming and modern, equipped with flat-screen TVs and air-conditioning, but some lack mini-fridges and are small. There's no full restaurant, but a well-reviewed and plentiful buffet breakfast is served. This is an excellent pick for couples, but families should check out the Pestana Carlton Madeira, which has more kid-friendly facilities.
The mid-range Hotel Girassol islocated a seven-minute walk from the beach and 30-minute walk to the historical center of town. Common areas received much-needed refurbishments in 2016, but the 134 rooms still have some dated furnishings and lack air-conditioning. However, they're comfortable and come with flat-screen TVs, kettles, and furnished balconies. All rates include a free continental breakfast at the buffet restaurant, and there are three bars on-site. Facilities include a pleasant pool area, two saunas, massage room, and tiny gym. It's worth checking out the slightly pricier Pestana Carlton Madeira, which has a plethora of kid-friendly features and air-conditioned rooms.
Apartamentos Sao Paulo e Alegria is a bargain option nestled in a quiet and historic area of Funchal, outside Lido. This lower-middle-range, family-owned property feels more like a guest house, and has 31 contemporary apartment-style units spread among three beautiful buildings with views over the neighborhood's narrow cobblestone streets. Expect gorgeous parquet wood floors, antique furniture, flat-screen TVs, and kitchenettes, but no air-conditioning; some rooms add balconies. On-site, there are two outdoor terraces, a small breakfast room, cafe serving snacks and drinks, and a small tropical garden with a barbecue area and hammocks. Babysitting, parking, and in-room massages are available for a fee, while Wi-Fi is free throughout. Travelers willing to pay more can snag rooftop pool views at Hotel Madeira.
The two-and-a-half-pearl Madeira Regency Club is a strong budget option for apartment-style accommodations -- but walking to the town center is a bit of a hike. The hotel’s 96 units are large and bright, with decently equipped kitchens and furnished terraces, but the decor is tired, and they could use a revamp. Standard amenities include AC, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, and safes, but Wi-Fi is only available in the property's public spaces. Features include a sizable saltwater pool and deck with views of the Atlantic, and a fitness area with a squash court and sauna. Buffet meals are served in the hotel’s full-service restaurant, but the food gets mixed reviews. Guests looking to stay closer to the center of Funchal might want to try the Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel.
The Raga is a pleasant mid-range hotel that gets the basics right: a decent-size pool, cafe-style pool bar, two restaurants, and a good Lido neighborhood location with a sea view (over the rooftops). Its 170 simple rooms all have a balcony with hillside or sea views, plus air-conditioning, free (sometimes spotty) Wi-Fi, and small TVs. The price can be a real bargain; however, it’s not the best quality hotel in the area by any stretch and is set up a steep hillside off a main road. Interiors are bland and plain, bordering on dated in spots. For travelers looking for sharper modern style, The Vine is an upscale contemporary hotel that’s closer to Funchal's historic center -- but rates will be higher.
Hotel Alto Lido is a three-pearl property located on the main strip with plenty of restaurants in the immediate area. The 311 rooms are split between dated rooms with patterned carpet and old-fashioned wood furniture, and more contemporary and attractive apartment-style units. All, however, have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and furnished outdoor spaces -- some with sea views. Much-needed renovations are scheduled for the end of 2017, but in the meantime, decent features include a main outdoor pool, heated indoor pool, squash court, and a sauna (fee). There are two restaurants and two bars on-site, and guests report the food quality as average. Couples may prefer the adult-only Madeira Regency Cliff, which has better views, modern rooms, and a spa.
The Jardins d’Ajuda Suite Hotel is one of Funchal’s larger two-and-a-half-pearl hotels, with an outdoor pool in well-kept gardens. It has a decent location on the outskirts of the Lido neighborhood, and some of the cheapest three-pearl hotel rates in the city. It’s impressively clean, though the once-classic decor is tired and dated, even for Madeira. The rooms (there are 227) have old-fashioned patterned fabrics and small, old TVs, and there's no in-room Wi-Fi. The hotel appeals to more mature couples and groups who are less concerned about the basic amenities and lack of style, as well as a few families taking advantage of the bargain rates. For the area and features on hand, it’s hard to top for affordability -- The Raga is the closest competition.