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Vidamar Resort Madeira 4.0

Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Sleek and contemporary resort set in tropical gardens
  • Clifftop setting overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  • All rooms have balconies with partial or full sea views and minimalist decor
  • Three swimming pools, including one indoor and a kids' pool
  • Choice of five restaurants including a la carte options
  • Thalassotherapy spa with sauna and Turkish bath
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Squash and tennis courts, plus a putting green
  • Colorful kids' club 

Cons

  • 10-minute drive to Praia Formosa
  • Drinks not included with the half-board package
  • Reservations in advance required for a la carte restaurants 
  • Children’s pool unheated
  • Some rooms prone to mosquitoes

Bottom Line

The Vidamar Resort Madeira is a sleek, contemporary, upscale resort set on a cliff that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Clever design means that superb views can be enjoyed from numerous vantage points, including in the 300 bright, minimalist guest rooms. Three swimming pools are rarely crowded and the spa is particularly stylish. Dining options are aplenty and a half-board rate is standard, and though there's a sushi restaurant the buffet choices can get dull. Vidamar is certainly one of the chicer options on the island, but it's a 10-minute drive to the sands of Praia Formosa. For traditional luxury and more history check out Belmond Reid's Palace, just up the coast.

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Scene

Bright, contemporary resort with cruise liner aesthetics and sea views

The first sight of the Vidamar Resort Hotel is that of a pair of sleek, contemporary buildings that make up the main body of the property, sitting resplendent on the cliffs and resembling two docked ocean liners. Stepping inside the huge, bright, modern lobby area -- furnished with long leather sofas and orchids in glass vases -- there are further parallels with cruise ships as a central atrium opens to reveal tiered, deck-liked hallways. Two large modern lounges, one with quiet seating area and the other with snooker tables, have floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal a vast expanse of sea and sky. In fact, glass facades and clever design mean that there are breathtaking ocean views from almost every part of the hotel. Many decks, terraces, and outdoor seating areas can be found throughout the tropically planted gardens, also all facing out to sea. Below the main buildings and overlooking the two infinity pools and the sea sits the long, low glass-fronted building that houses the spa. The many facilities and activities attract families but the hotel is also popular with couples and the more senior traveler -- many often on higher-end package trips.

Location

Clifftop setting overlooking the Atlantic in popular Sao Martinho area

The hotel’s cliff-top setting is located on a quiet road just off the coastal road of Estrada Monumental in the the Sao Martinho area of Funchal. Popular with tourists, the area has many shops, restaurants, and bars within fast walking distance. The city's historical center and most of its tourist attractions are five to 10 minutes by car. The long stretch of beach at Praia Formosa is a 10-minute drive, while Madeira Airport is around 20 minutes.

Rooms

Furnished sea-view balconies and marble bathrooms

The 300 rooms at Vidamar Resort are minimalist and contemporary. Each is done in a muted palette of white and gray with tile floors and modern furnishings. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, minibars, and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. All feature furnished, south-facing balconies with partial or full sea views. Rooms on higher levels have the best panoramic views of the water. Marble bathrooms have bidets and shower/tub combos, and many tubs have hydro-massage functionality. Robes, slippers, and the hotel’s brand of bath products are provided. Some rooms on lower levels are prone to mosquitoes and other insects from the surrounding gardens. Noise and cleanliness aren't issues here. 

Features

Infinity-edge swimming pools and a range of dining options

Buffet breakfast and dinner from the Ocean Buffet dining room are included in the rate, along with the option to also eat dinner from set menus at any of the hotel’s other four restaurants -- serving Madeiran cuisine, Italian fare, sushi, and seafood -- not including drinks. Reports suggest buffet dinners can be uninspiring and vegetarian options are limited, however a la carte options are available in all the restaurants at an extra cost. Further, reservations must be made in advance at the a la carte restaurants. Evening cocktails can be had at the Lisboa Bar, which has a grand piano and sea views. The hotel has one indoor swimming pool with glass wall and sea views, two outdoor saltwater infinity-edge pools, and a small kids' pool (which can get cold). The Mar Spa specializes in thalassotherapy and offers many seawater-based treatments as well as a whirlpool tub, Turkish bath, and sauna. A well-equipped fitness center looks modern and provides spinning bikes and Matrix cardio machines. Outdoor tennis and squash courts are also on-site. Wi-Fi and parking are both free of charge.

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Address

Estrada Monumental 175-177, Funchal, Madeira Islands 9000-100, Portugal