The Calheta Beach has a rare advantage over many of the hotels on Madeira in that it is close to the beach. Although it is a public beach, there is no taking away from the hotel's location next to it, right on the seafront. The Calheta Beach is a comfortable establishment with pretty decor, although some of the furniture could do with being replaced. Most of the guests at the hotel are German, and increasing numbers of French tourists also stay here.
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The Calheta Beach takes its name from the town of Calheta where it is located on the south-west coast of Madeira, about 45 minutes by car from Funchal. Allow a further 20 minutes to get to the airport.
The Calheta Beach has 140 guest rooms distributed in two buildings linked by an aerial bridge. There are three categories to choose from: standard, suites and apartments (the final category are all on the other side of the road). Inside, the decor is very pleasant, colourful and welcoming, and the light wood furniture creates harmony between the different features. All in all, the place has a certain charm. However, although the bathroom does have a bathtub, it remains a rather depressing affair. All the essential amenities are provided, except for room service. From the balcony, you can enjoy unobstructed views over the sea...
The hotel opened in 1999 and was most recently renovated in 2009, and from the outside is not the most attractive of establishments. It looks like a rather unattractive block of concrete, but once you are inside, you find yourself in an attractive interior where a friendly and welcoming team of staff will look after you. The first wall you see is covered with flowery wallpaper, but luckily it does not make an appearance anywhere else! The rest of the place is decorated and furnished in a much more modern fashion, with lots of colours, and turquoise in particular. However, the lobby's low ceiling does prevent light getting into the room. From this space, you can already see a nice view of the beach and the sea, but it is out by the swimming pool that you will have the best views. Although the pool is not very big, it is in a really nice setting. Having said that, the row of plastic deckchairs laid out beside it does not constitute a strong point. The hotel also has a relaxation area inside the building, which is comprised of a swimming pool and sauna as well as a jacuzzi and a little gym. There are only two rooms reserved especially for massages.
Food and drink
Guests have the choice between two restaurants here. The main restaurant, the Calheta, is open morning and evening, and operates as a buffet. The style of its decor looks like something out of the Sixties. The buffet counter is at the centre of the room, which makes it easy to access. There are large picture windows offering a clear view out over the marina and sea. However, the outdoor terrace could do with being slightly bigger. If you want to order your meal à la carte, a second restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and serves up international cuisine. At lunchtime, you can also get a snack from the bar next to the swimming pool.
It is impossible to give the beach just next to the hotel a rating, because the hotel does not actually own the stretch of sand in question. Although it is artificial (there are no real beaches in Madeira) the setting is actually quite pleasant. The sand is fine and the water quite clear, so you can really enjoy the pleasures of a seaside holiday. Deckchairs and parasols are available, but command an additional fee.
The Calheta Beach has water sports facilities, but they can only be used for an additional fee.