When we booked our holiday through Expedia, we got an absolute bargain. Good flight times and the room was reserve now and pay at the hotel. Fantastic we thought, until a few days before we were due to stay....
I received a call from the hotel a few days before we were due to arrive to say they were overbooked and so we would have to spend our first night at their sister hotel, Quinta do Monte. There wasn't much I could say or do at the time so said we would deal with it when we got there.
Having checked out their sister hotel online, it was poles apart from Quinta Mirabela. This hotel is chic and modern where Quinta do Monte is something out of the 80's, 5-10 minute car journey away tucked up in the mountains with little to no reception and reminded me of my nana's house (on a much larger scale of course).
When we arrived, they reiterated they were fully booked but would arrange transport for us to take us to the other hotel. I told them we were unhappy as the other hotel was not of the same quality and even less per night than what we had paid and in fact they were still showing as having rooms available on Expedia and other hotel booking sites since they rang me to that very day but at a MUCH higher price (like more than the cost of our total stay). They said it was something they did so as to keep showing in searches so they did not lose their place but actually they didn't have any rooms left. The hotel was extremely quiet, no guests around that we saw, and I very much doubt they were fully booked and just kept rooms to be able to charge at an extortionate rate.
In fairness to them, they arranged transportation for us to the sister hotel and then back then next day, put us in a suite at Quinta do Monte and gave us a voucher for dinner at Quinta Mirabela the next evening, so to give them their dues we cannot grumble at that but would not have got that if I hadn't complained but still can't understand why they overbook rooms and upset guests just to remain higher up on hotel searches. We were only there for 3 nights and it was an upheaval having to mess about unpacking and repacking.
If you are lucky enough to stay here for your whole trip, you will not be disappointed with the hotel. It's out of town but in a beautiful quiet location with gorgeous views over the city and of the mountains behind. They have a shuttle bus that runs twice a day taking you into town and back which was very handy as it's quite a walk away.
Breakfast was nice and lots of choice. Excellent bar with great cocktails (they make a really good caipirinha!) and the dinner we had was nice too in their restaurant.
There is a rooftop lounge area where you can gaze out over Funchal, a pool and spa facilities with sauna and jacuzzi.
Room was very nice, comfortable bed, lovely decor, little balcony with seating and great shower/bath.
I would have rated this 5 stars had we not been booted out the first night, and I upped my rating from a 3 to a 4 (because I am nice) based on what they did for us and, in hindsight, I suppose it gave us a chance to explore further up Monte than we probably would have ventured. But when all you want/need is a relaxing holiday and begin with an argument it's not a good start.
There is a lovely local cafe just round the corner (end of the street to the right, just round the bend in the right hand side) that does REALLY good coffee and gorgeous local pastries that you should visit.
Watch out for cheeky taxi drivers - the first night we paid €20 to get back from town but the next 2 nights paid only €10 at most.