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All reviews vila gale close to the airport a la carte restaurant planes landing parrot show airport runway minutes from the airport flight path lovely hotel all inclusive guests indoor pool on an all inclusive basis sea view public bus local spirits courtesy bus rocky beach
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Reviewed 7 June 2016

Hotel is clean but the experience I had and others who were there are not happy as the reception staff don't help and if you ask them a question they look at you like you stupid.
They need new and more staff and need to give correct information about the tax you have to pay before leaving if it wasn't for the Asian rep I would have got even more angry. Wel if you do go just ask your rep not the reception.

Room tip: There isn't any
Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank adam123209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2016

Dear Mr. Adam,

Ther must have been a misunderstanding about the tax which did not get to you and the Rep in the best way.

What my colleagues explained to you was that despite the fact that you arrived before the tax was introduced (before June 1st) does not mean you do not pay any tax, it means that you pay only from June 1st (since you stayed some more days after June 1st) and since the Rep came recently to Madeira, he had some difficulty in understanding how it works but he already understood.

Sorry but we do not make the laws.


Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2016

The hotel is very clean and the staff were very friendly but it is not for anyone looking for an active holiday. There is no entertainment during the day and if it rains as it did whilst we were there you have nothing to do other than go back to your room. The village of Santa Cruz is very basic with little to see and nothing to do. The food in the hotel was fine although a little repetitive, the seafood night was the best. The entertainment in the evenings was poor at the best and on several nights non-existent. This is certainly a hotel we will not return to. The wi-fi in the room was very poor although it was good in the reception, restaurant and bar. We booked the hotel on the basis that we use Vila Gale regularly in the Algarve but we found it very disappointing.

Room tip: Good to have a pool view room.
Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ken N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2016

Dear Mr. Ken,

We were very sad to know that you did not enjoy staying with us.

Concerning the entertainment during the day, it begins June 1st until September 30th and it includes Acquagym, dancing classes, darts, pool and table tennis tournaments, muscle toning and other activities.

Even so we hope to see you again at the Vila Galé Santa Cruz.

Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2016 via mobile

Last November, 13. 11. 2015 I visited the hotel together with my husband and a friend.
At the very first day I slipped and fell in the indoor pool area of the hotel and broke my wrist.

The staff was friendly and called an emergency.. we drove to the hospital by ourselves..
The hotel told us that they will get in touch with us and takeover the costs for the hospital and the plaster.

We didn't received any message from the hotel.. even though I wrote TWO emails to the hotel.

I am still handicapped because of this accident and would really appreciate if the hotel would get in touch with me & answer my emails! Then we can talk about the replacement of the hospital costs and in the next step I gladly delete this entry.

If not, I am happy to inform potential guests about how you treat guests, who have an accident in your hotel!

Date of stay: November 2015
Trip type: Travelled with friends
8  Thank Maria N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2016

This was a last minute booking for myself and my partner (4 weeks beforehand) as we were looking a cheap, relaxing week away and we were not disappointed.
Arrival at Funchal airport was hassle free with Tui Reps waiting right outside baggage collection who directed us to our coach transfers. The transfer to this hotel was a 5 minute drive from the airport and upon our arrival we found our room wasn't ready (arrived around 11am) however we were directed to a room behind reception to leave luggage and given direction to the pool bar to have a drink and a snack and we were advised to return between 1-2pm. The hotel looks exactly as it does in the pictures.
We were given our room card around 2pm and the email I sent a week prior to arriving requesting a sea view had paid off - it was a standard room with a half sea view and half view of the houses opposite on the 3rd floor. Yes, some of the houses were a little dilapidated however this just added to the charm and yes, as some others have stated we heard and saw a couple of dogs on the roof top opposite but they didn't cause us any discomfort the couple of times we saw/heard them.
The room was of a very high standard; immaculately clean and very new. Housekeeping were exceptional on a daily basis and even helped me with our luggage along the corridor as my partner had gone to the welcome meeting and in my infinite wisdom I thought I could manage all our luggage in one go!!
The food - this was of a very high standard - plentiful fruit, yogurt, meats and cheeses, breads and pastries and hot items for breakfast - you could even have sparkling white wine (very close to Prosecco) if you wished. Lunch was salads, olives, smoked salmon, cheeses and soup with various hot dishes and always an item on the grill, either meat or fish. Dinner was very similar to lunch however the tables were dressed with table cloths and the waiting staff were very friendly and always quick to take drinks orders (we stayed all inclusive).
The a la carte restaurant - this was wonderful - fillet steak and the Madeira wine at the end with the cheeseboard was actually rather lovely. We asked the waiter if we could have grapes with the cheese and he brought us 2 bowls - always with a smile and it appeared nothing was too much trouble. You can order snacks from the poolside bar during the day - a choice of baguettes, crisps and nuts and I recommend the smoked salmon one with egg - very nice.
If you like wine then the house white was more than drinkable which is very unusal for an all inclusive hotel and the sparkling wine as mentioned above is identical to prosecco which is what I drank for the majority of time and this is served at all bars and in the restaurant. The beer - Superbock is good. Enjoyed it when on mainland Portugal so pleased they had it here. We aren't spirit drinkers so didn't have any of these although people were saying the gin wasn't pleasant and they have no idea how to mix drinks - it's either half and half or just a dash of mixer which if you like your drink strong you will be fine. if not, once you explain how you like it the bar staff are more than happy to accommodate.
The pool - this is very pretty. And big. And extremely cold which is why it is virtually empty at all times! We did venture into it a couple times - it took a good 10 minutes and an inch at at time however once you are in it's lovely. Until you start losing feeling in your legs! The indoor although very small is slightly warmer and rather pleasant.
Planes - Yes this hotel it literally 5 minutes from the airport runway and yes, the planes come in past the rear of the hotel extremely low and take off over the top. This did not bother us in the slightest and we actually found it very interesting watching them fly past. The noise lasted about 2 minutes at the most per plane and we did not hear them at all during the night. Monday's do appear to be the busiest day however landing and take off positions seem to vary daily (maybe due to coastal winds) and if you stand at the bottom of the hotel on the coastal path you can see them land on the runway which is elevated.
Weather - to sum up the weather in Madeira - 4 seasons in a day! It can be quite windy and when there is cloud cover it does feel quite cold. Within a short while the sky is tremendous azure again and the sun can be very hot. Cloud cover a little while after, a bit of drizzle and back to full sun. I think we must have changed outfits at least 4 times a day so if you venture out my advice would be to take a cardigan as it can go from very hot to very nippy in the space of a few minutes. Do not bother with weather apps or forcasts - none of them can keep up with these micro climates! On the whole however the weather is wonderful and we had full sun every day for at least some part of it - so much so that a lovely tan is enevitable.
Entertainment - If you are a fan of 'Ambient Music' you will be thoroughly entertained! This is played through hidden speakers behind palm trees by the pool all day and in the bar most nights with this headlining the entertainment line up. There is a couple of singers which are ok, a parrot show which we missed due to eating the a la carte restaurant although we were assured by fellow guests we hadn't missed a lot, a birds of prey display - again we missed this due to a Casino visit (I will review this further down) and Portuguese Folk Music/Dancing of which I joined in much to the amusement of my partner!
Funchal - this is the capital which can be reached by the hotel shuttle bus free of charge - book your slots early to avoid disappointment - we did and had no issues. I hear there are local buses also and a taxi is around 35 Euros each way. It is a beautiful place and definitely worth seeing. The marina is lovely and we saw a cruise ship on one of our two visits leaving the harbour - a lovely sight. The cable cars are a must - even if your a frightened of heights as I am it was fantastic experience and the views are breathtaking, just don't look down! There are tropical gardens at the the top and tobogganing - you sit in a wicker basket-type slege and a couple of guys jump on the back while you hurtle back down the windy mountain streets being overtaken by cars!! We felt we had had enough excitement by this point and gave this one a miss preferring to come back down in the cable car at a more leisurely pace. The streets are lined with beautiful purple jacaranda trees which are stunning and there are many street cafe's and bars to relax and enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail whilst you watch the world go by.
Casino - we booked through the Tui rep at the hotel who promised us a night of entertainment, meal and drinks, caberet, gambling and the Copacabana nightclub. This costs 45 Euro's per person and we went on Thursday night. We caught the hotel shuttle bus into Funchal at 5pm and had a couple of drinks before heading to the Casino for 7:20. Please be aware this is up a very steep hill so wear sensible footwear not the 4inch stilettos I chose that night! The meal was on the top floor and all in all was very good. We went with 4 others from our hotel and chose to sit together which was no issue at all. The caberet was fun and then it was back down to the casino whilst we waited for the nightclub to open (this was situated in the basement). After a couple of hours on the blackjack table (this is a very small casino - a blackjack table and a couple of roulette tables) we were informed the nightclub doesn't open on a Thursday so if this is what you are going for, don't go on a Thursday but I would strongly recommend it as Madeira is a very slow paced and laid back island with little in the way of nightlife so this makes a pleasant change. We returned to the hotel via taxi and haggled the price down to 30 Euro's for 4 of us at around 1;30am.
Santa Cruz - the hotel is situated in the little town of Santa Cruz. This is a very quiet and very pretty town a 30 second walk from the hotel. You can get to it via the front doors of the hotel or by heading out by the pool and turning left to walk along the coastal path. There is a lovely little square with a few restaurants, cafe's and shops and we spent a lovely afternoon there under a parasol with a couple of chilled beers watching the locals go about their daily life.
Madeira itself - An incredibly mountainous island full of colour and incredibly friendly. If you haven't been here before please be aware that the average age on the island is around 75 - both for locals and tourists. It really is a retirement haven! We were quite astonished to discover on our second day we appeared to be the youngest at our hotel - me at 41 and my partner at 57 so if you are young and want nightlife and a bit of atmosphere this is not the place for you. if you have children - again this is not the place for you as they will be bored to dispair. If what you are looking for however is some time to unwind, relax, recharge and generally admire beautiful scenary, go for the odd walk, sit and enjoy a quite drink and catch a little sun then for sure you will not be disppointed - with this hotel and with Madeira iself. We will definitely be returning and to this hotel as it was almost faultless.

Room tip: Email ahead requesting a sea view room away from the front of the hotel
Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
13  Thank SunSeaandSand1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VilaGaleHoteis, Gerente geral at Vila Gale Santa Cruz, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2016

Dear Guest,

It was very rewarding for us to know that you stay at the Vila Galé Santa Cruz exceeded your expectations.

Also I would like to congratulate and thank you for the "written postcard" not only from the hotel but also from Madeira.

We will be waiting to welcome again soon.

Best regards

José Miguel Oliveira Martins
General Manager

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Reviewed 31 May 2016 via mobile

Fantastic stay at the Vila Gale. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for some time to relax and forget about the stresses of modern life!
Go all inclusive the food is just amazing, and the staff couldn't be more helpful if they tried!
We thoroughly enjoyed our week here and would highly recommend.

Date of stay: May 2016
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
6  Thank GlobeTrotting642939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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