The Cliff Bay Hotel – Madeira, Funchal

What can I say – we are hoping to have our 33rd holiday booked for September this year, this Ican tell you how much we enjoy visiting this beautiful island.

We – a family of four – had our first holiday and stayed in Machico where the airport is many years ago and have been coming back ever since – sometimes twice a year. We have been to many places abroad but find this island suits our needs. On our first visit the weather in Machico wasn’t too good so hadn’t intended to revisit but a very helpful rep told us that Funchal was where we would get better weather – she was right and we have been visiting this part of the island ever since.

We have stayed at the following hotels in Madeira – all of a very high standard. The Girassol, Panoramico, Regency Cliff, Porto Mare, Eden Mar, Promenade, The Enotel, Regency Palace and eventually the Cliff Bay which is now our favourite hotel. All these hotels were very good and catered well for families – in particular The Girassol and the Panoramico.

During one of our many stays we saw The Cliff Bay being built and never imagined staying there – this hotel was opened in 1994 – during one holiday we popped in to have a nose – it was beautiful – marble floors etc – I didn’t feel that we would ever stay there with two youngish children but eventually when they had grown up and gone their separate ways we decided to treat ourselves and have ended up staying here ever since – this year will be our 11th stay.


  • You are firstly met by the doorman who takes your luggage – this will be taken to your room when your booking in and room allocated has been sorted.
  • Then you go to reception and are met by a very dedicated team of reception staff who allocate your room – you are given a nice cold drink and if the room is ready you are able to go straight there. If not you are given a voucher to have a drink in one of the bars.
  • All rooms are spacious – some face the front of the hotel, some Funchal and the harbour, some just a sea view and the others part sea view and the hotel gardens.
  • We always book bed and breakfast as there are so many restaurants to eat in nearby – often have a snack lunch in the Cactus Bar round the pool which is always very nice. The Cliff Bar serves snacks and afternoon tea. The Rose Garden serves a different theme buffet each evening. For those who really want to spoil themselves there is the Il Gallo d-Oro which is a two Michelin star restaurant.
  • There are two pools – one is down by the sea and is a seawater pool and the other is attached to the hotel – the downstairs pool has a children’s pool and play area. The downstairs pool has a nice area where lunch is served in The Blue Lagoon from salads to cooked meals – all excellent standards.
  • Spa facilities are very good but do get very busy and booking is essential. There are three jacuzzis.
  • Reception staff are very helpful and will help you in booking tours or hiring cars or just general information.
  • There is a bus that is shared with its sister hotel The Porto Mare and takes you into Funchal and back if you wish going quite regularly – timetables are readily available on reception. It is advisable to prebook the bus as it does get very busy.
  • Entertainment – there is music and dancing in Le Cliff Bar most evenings – nothing too noisy. Lovely in the warmer months when guests are sit outside.


  • The only negative I personally have is that the hotel is down a rather steep hill and quite hard now for the elderly – if you take your time though it can be done – I have done it many times and do suffer with arthritis in my knees.

Hope this review has been of help to whoever wishes to visit The Cliff Bay or the island of Madeira. The people are so friendly and welcoming.

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