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Forums Other Destination advice Maderia or (possibly) Tenerife

  • Misty 311 posts

    Hi

    Am looking to book a 7 night break sometime in the late Spring. We are a retired couple and are looking to go somewhere we haven’t been before. We like nice views, beautiful gardens, decent restaurants and hotels that have good service. Would go B&B and eat out of an evening.

    We are being pulled towards Madeira, but I can’t get my head round the layout, most seem to stay in Funchal but worried it might be a bit concrete (is it a city?) There are decently flight with BA for both, would prefer LHR.

    Would love some hotel recommendations and if anyone has been to both a comparison would be good, if it’s Tenerife we would probably go to the North of the Island

    Froggee 1,008 posts

    A kind-of colleague has been sending me pictures from Madeira this week and it looks spectacular. But she has been doing treacherous walks and threatening her husband with divorce.

    When I read what you are after though, Hotel Botanico in Tenerife sprung to mind. I was very close to booking it when we went to Tenerife but the longer transfer and more sophisticated atmosphere made me think I’d best leave it for people like you to enjoy rather than imposing my kids on you!

    Misty 311 posts

    Ha, Ha, re the kids, I did my years of imposing mine on others although I did do the decent thing for 3 years and went AI so that others didn’t suffer, and I didn’t go broke. I’ve heard about the walking, I think it’s called lavada walking, presumably its not compulsory, maybe they do a nice gentle coach tour for the older voyager.

    I will have a look at the Hotel Botanico – now envisioning 3 days stuck on booking.com to look things up and then booking the first one I looked at.

    Many thanks for your reply.

    Jill Kinkell 161 posts

    We are current in Madeira. Just had a day at Monte Palace Gardens and Botanical Gardens. As a gardener , they were fabulous . We are retired too! All the hotels we’ve seen in Funchal look very good. We are in Porto Mare Hotel B&B which is very good and we feel good value. it took us 50 mins to walk from the fortress to hotel . Spent the first day ‘doing the sights’
    Plenty restaurants to choose from. Going an a tour of island, but expecting foul weather!
    I m sure we will be back …. Madeira is delightful

    Tracey 231 posts

    Madeira is far greener than Tenerife and has many walking routes. It can be hilly but there is a cable car to a couple of points. Botanical gardens are well worth a visit. There are many restaurants.

    For hotels, Reid’s palace is a traditional 5* with excellent service. For a more modern hotel, Savoy Palace.

    degsy 156 posts

    It would be Madeira every time for me @Misty – there is so much to see and do. Culturally, we found Madeira richer and much less spoilt by tourism. Great food and very reasonably priced too. Funchal is ok, I wouldn’t describe it as an overly concrete city, but there are plenty of options in the surrounding areas.

    The island is very hilly though, so beware, it’s not for the faint-hearted! And planes often need to divert as a result of inclement weather (pilots need a special qualification to be able to land at the airport).

    Michael C 731 posts

    Another +1 for Madeira. We stayed at the Eden Mar, not luxe but definitely great value and lovely: quite
    old-school, with a sort of Billy Joel piano bar session every night ;o))

    Anna 458 posts

    The north of Tenerife is extremely green and you’d be hard pressed to even find many English speakers in towns like La Laguna. There are rain forests and the stunning Anaga mountain range. The weather can be unpredictable over that side though, you could get a full week of cloud and rain at any time of year, which is why most tourism is based in the dry south of the island!

    Hbommie 220 posts

    Madeira for me, but with your preferred options I instantly thought of the Italian Lakes which may fit the bill. Bergamo is lovely small city to explore then on to Lake Como.

    Misty 311 posts

    Many thanks to you all for you replies. I was leaning towards Madeira (maybe Tenerife in the Autumn). I kind of assumed the weather would be similar in Madeira and Tenerife but I guess the mountain can put Puerto de la Cruz in the shade.

    Flexible on dates probably anytime in April or May, but avoiding dates that include a bank holiday. I did look at the Porto Mare and I think it was the Cliff Bay hotel (?). They both looked very nice.

    I think I need to book the flights to focus my mind.

    Jill, I hope you continue to have a fantastic holiday and the weather is kind to yoou.

    MilesOnPoint 80 posts

    The Cliff Bay hotel is fabulous in a very understated, slightly old fashioned way. (we’ve stayed there on 3 occasions). Breakfast there on the cliff top is a wonderful experience.

    Excellently positioned at the edge of Funchal town, around a 15mins walk in to where most of the restaurants are but also a stones throw from Reid’s Palace (great for a cocktail or indulgent lunch/afternoon tea) and with a beautiful vista out over the Atlantica (sea view rooms are must).

    I felt like the Savoy Palace is very ritzy looking from the outside in a “heavily marketed on Instagram” kind of way but service levels and functionality were missing on both counts. Avoid IMO.

    So much to see across the island. Walks along the various Levadas (ranging from very easy to more challenging/hiking level) are spectacular and not to be missed.

    RobL 72 posts

    I have stayed at Quinta do Jardins twice in Madeira.

    Highly recommend it.

    There are some reasonable michelin style restaurants I could recommend also if you like.

    jj 557 posts

    Hotel San Roque in Garachoco, Tenerife, is wonderful: adult only, sophisticated, great service, amazing food, and beautiful rooms set in a historic merchant’s manor. Garachico was once the island’s capital until a lava flow filled in the harbour, so it has real character with several great restaurants. As Anna says, the North of the island has spectacular walking and some fascinating village with few tourists.

    You need a car to get around, though.

    Anna 458 posts

    Garachico is lovely – and you can sit on the beach and look at the remains of that lava flow! I’m fact the whole island is heaven for geologists, especially Teide National Park. Also astronomers – the clear skies and altitude make it a magnet for such lofty academics as Drs Brian Cox and May!

    Jill Kinkell 161 posts

    @misty,thank you. 3 days so far have been very pleasant. T shirt and shorts,or in my case ,crop trousers weather! Madeira is hilly, so expect a bit of a workout when walking about. Cable car up to the gardens gives great views, and if/ when we return, we would do some of the Levada walks. Booked BA flights using an old 241 expiring end of Nov, and hotel on booking.com. Booked many moons ago. Reid’s seemed ridiculously expensive, Cliff Bay a contender, and friends recommended PortoMare, so good enough for them=good enough for me!. Large resort hotel , but nice gardens. Currently on balcony sipping a local Rosé in late sunny afternoon, as a cruise ship disappears . We upgraded room so have gardens and ocean view. For £870 6 nights b&b not complaining at all.personally I think it’s great value
    Weather next few days not looking so good, but afternoon tea at Reid’s tomorrow might soften the blow! A tour of the island planned for next couple of days…. Might be wet, and someone else driving is always a bonus.. we will just have to return to see it all in cloudless glory!
    Whatever you choose I’m sure will be fine

    forensic 15 posts

    Stayed at the Cliff Bay in June. Would happily return so I guess that’s a recommendation.

    If you haven’t seen this thread you may find it useful.

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/funchal/

    Misty 311 posts

    WOW thank you so much for al the further input, It’s going to be Madeira, Tenerife and the Italian Lakes ( thanks Hbommie) firmly on the bucket list.

    The link to the other thread is great so much good information, I’ve had a quick look but need to go through it more thoroughly.

    Will probably go with either the Cliff Bay or Porto Mare, the former seems to be about £400 a week more, unless I am pricing it up incorrectly

    Glad you are having a good time Jill.

    Off to make some notes the old fashioned way – on an A4 lined pad.

    Misty 311 posts

    WOW thank you so much for al the further input, It’s going to be Madeira, Tenerife and the Italian Lakes ( thanks Hbommie) firmly on the bucket list.

    The link to the other thread is great so much good information, I’ve had a quick look but need to go through it more thoroughly.

    Will probably go with either the Cliff Bay or Porto Mare, the former seems to be about £400 a week more, unless I am pricing it up incorrectly

    Glad you are having a good time Jill.

    Off to make some notes the old fashioned way – on an A4 lined pad.

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