Hotel da Vila

Ponta do Sol, Madeira, Portugal Book from Book from £64 per night

Cheap and chic beachside hotel in Madeira's sunniest town, designed with real wit
We were thrilled when Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, one of our favourite hotels on Madeira, opened their little sister hotel in 2011. The little town of Ponta do Sol is the island's sunspot and this hotel is one of many putting Madeira in the spotlight for its design. If you're after gin and golf, this ain't for you.

Just 20m from the beach, Hotel da Vila has 16 rooms, and was designed by Portuguese architect Duarte Caideira. Once the town's prison, it now feels like it's been crafted from Madeira itself, using its stones and wood with quirky touches like plastic and wheat headboard pillows. It's not the kind of design that suits everyone, but it references the arresting and edgy Portugese interior design movement.

Apart from the restaurant and dining terrace, there's not much more to the hotel than its rooms. But take a short walk up the hill and you'll find Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, with its glorious infinity pool, sundecks with sea views, spa and restaurant, all of which are at your disposal. Fantastically priced and perfect for a ray-catching autumn or spring break, we loved our stay at HDV.

Highs

  • It's small and informal, with really friendly young staff
  • A sleek and classy restaurant serving excellent food
  • Airy rooms have sea views and are so close to the water that waves lull you to sleep
  • There's more sun in Ponto do Sol than anywhere else in Madeira
  • Use of the facilities at Estalagem da Ponta do Sol makes this a great bargain

Lows

  • Rooms are on the small side, and are all twins, so couples will have to be content with beds pushed together
  • The restaurant service is on the relaxed side
  • If you're coming in a rental car, which most people will, parking is tricky - the hotel only has 3 spaces

Best time to go

Ponta do Sol is the sunniest part of Madeira. Enjoy it at any time of the year, but if you’re looking for nightlife, summer is busiest. In July there’s Madeira Dance, a weekend festival, and Madeira Dig, the digital arts and music festival sponsored by the hotel, takes place in December. It's your chance to hobnob with Japanese graphic designers and DJs from Berlin as well as weekending Lisbonites.

Our top tips

If you're after the hip side of Madeira, ask at reception (or at Estalagem da Ponta do Sol) - these people know what they're talking about and can put together an itinerary of nightlife on the island, hip art galleries and more.

Ask for a room on the 3rd floor for the best sea views.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 16
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Pool Table
Room:

Rooms

The 16 compact rooms all have a sea view, and are largely the same: airy, bright and white, with windows opening onto a Juliet balcony and the sound of the waves in the background. It's all blissfully calm and we slept like babies.

Duarte Caidera is the man responsible for the interior design - he has used elements of the chic and the rural side of Madeira to create unique but calming spaces. The colour palette is pared back, using mainly wood and white in the bedrooms, as well as a quirky wheat pillow headboard (we guarantee you won't see this anywhere else!).

The bedrooms aren't all singing, all dancing - we'd describe them as a notch above functional - but they are cool and contemporary, and you get bathrobes, toiletries and satellite TVs. We've read reports that when they are set up as a twin room for friends, rather than couples, they can be a bit cramped. And the small shower bathroom, which is partitioned off rather than in a separate room, means you'd want to know your friend quite well...

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Hotel da Vila's diminutive seafront restaurant is lovely - all geometrically-shaped walls, soothing wood tones, groovy chairs and modern storm lanterns on the terrace. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and there's also a sleek and dark-toned bar with a cocktail list and experienced mixologist at the helm. There's no room service, however.

And the food is fantastic without being the least fussy - a fresh, Madeiran/Mediterranean fusion. Perhaps beef fillet with parmesan cheese, rucola and watercress; veal steaks with Parma ham, cheese and Madeira wine, or tuna steak with onion sauce. We relished the fresh salads, including a Caesar/anchovy variation, served at lunchtime. The island isn't famed for sophisticated dishes - outside its designer hotels, you're likely to find a lot of heavy meat dishes - so this restaurant is quite a high point. They're also very proud of their sizzling limpets, which you have to try once. Guests are welcome to eat at Estalagem do Ponta do Sol's restaurant, which serves slick dishes alongside a fantastic view.

Breakfast is a continental buffet, with eggs, bacon and sausages cooked to order.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Watch the Hollywood sunset from your room or the terrace; or swim in the waters off Ponto da Sol's protected pebble beach

  • Uncover the hippest aspects of Madeira, including the Casa das Mudas modern art gallery in Calheta, which has touring exhibitions from New York

  • Make use of Estalagem do Ponta do Sol's facilities: infinity pool, sundeck, sun beds, indoor pool, spa, pool tables, bars and restaurant

  • Hire Estalagem's yacht plus skipper for a day or two and cruise down the coastline. It sleeps 4. Or take a 4-hour cruise in its catamaran to see dolphins, seals and turtles. They also arrange trips to the Desert Isles: marine reserves off the southeast coast

  • Visit the island's capital, Funchal: the hotel provides a shuttle bus to the centre every day except Sunday. We love the Tropical Gardens

  • The diving and snorkelling off the coast near the hotel is superb

  • Catch the shuttle to EPDS's private beach, Faja dos Padres. It’s a volcanic black sand beach with a little restaurant. The shuttle also ferries guests to Calheta Beach, the art centre of Ribiera Brava and Palheiro Golf Club

  • The hotel arranges mountain levada walks daily, with drop off and pick up, weather permitting. Levadas are irrigation channels that usefully provide a wonderful network of walking trails throughout the island

  • Jump in the car and explore the fishing villages on the southern end of the island

  • Ooh, go on then: sip a G&T or explore the island's golf courses, to the east beyond Madeira. It's what Madeira is famed for, after all...

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Pool table
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wildlife

Kids

Not a bad option for families, particularly if you're on a budget, but rooms are small and there are no extra beds so you'll need to book 2. Take advantage of the sister hotel's shuttle bus to its private beach and to other sandy beaches nearby, or tire the kids out walking the island's levadas.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

You can fit a baby cot into each room but it's a bit of a squeeze. All the hotel's rooms are the same size.

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The hotel's food is light and tasty. They don't offer room service but you can get food all day here. There are plenty of child-friendly cafés along the south coast of Madeira that suit families.

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches
  • Swimming pool at Estalagem do Ponta do Sol
  • There are playgrounds in many of the larger towns, including Funchal

Families Should Know:

Watch out for the balconies if you have little kids; the hotel is right on the road, so eating outside might be a bit risky with little ones. There's a pharmacy and supermarket in the village.

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Hospital: 30 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 17 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Rooms
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
10/10
Value
9/10
Overall

A modest hotel in a nice position but perhaps looking a bit tired. <br>However - it merits an excellent for value when you take into consideration that you can use all the great facilities at the large sister hotel on the cliff top. Food was a bit hit and miss at both hotels.

7/10, , March 2017

Lovely, well run hotel just by the sea. Excellent being part of slightly larger hotel with facilities but being down in the village. Staff in both hotels were really excellent and we will hopefully return.

9/10, , January 2017

We returned from Hotel de Vila after a long weekend and had such a wonderful time. The beautiful location , amazing food food and warm, friendly staff made this hotel a great choice and value for money. You can watch the sunset over the ocean with your evening Poncha in a gorgeous location! Being small, the hotel has a wonderful sense of local community and feels friendlier than its larger sister hotel Estalgem Ponta Do Sol. However, it was great to be able to lounge like a celeb at the glorious infinity pool...and then return 'home' to the intimacy of de Vila and our seaview room. We especially want to thank Susanna, Liliana and Roberto. They are a credit to the hotel and they even went out of their way to serve us amazing Madeiran food, even the Espada with banana and passionfruit, which was off menu and simply delicious! What a first impression of Madeira. I can recommend this hotel as a perfect couple's retreat! We will definately be back!

10/10, , January 2017

Fabulous hotel with excellent service including transport out to the Levada walks above the town and to the contemporary art gallery in Cahletas then back to Funchal at the end of our stay. Loved being able to hear the waves at night and the breakfast was good. The spa and pool are beautiful on the cliff and it's so easy to to back and forwards between the two sites, also enjoyed a great dinner in the cliff-top restaurant one evening. The only thing I would add is a bit more colour in the designer white room, maybe some books on the bookshelves, as it can seem a bit too monotone. Not a criticism, very comfy and clean.

10/10, , October 2016

The fact that we were able to use facilities at Estlagem, the lovely town of Ponta do Sol, how accommodating they were - driving us to and from the airport, up the mountain for walks and free of charge, providing yoga mats, allowing us to eat breakfast at Estlagem one morning so we could make an early yoga class. Love the pool up there. The hydromassage was a bit like just having a bath. Nice, but we thought it was going to be an actual massage. Maybe tell guests to save it for the end of the day, rather than in the middle when you just go back in the sea and get dirty again anyway. <br>Baloo is an amazing natural ice cream vendor, made by a French lady that lives near Ponta do Sol, and the people who sell it are so friendly and enthusiastic - parked on the seafront outside one of the other hotels. We liked all the bars really - particularly the one in the back alley behind our hotel, next to the Pharmacy store. Walking to Madalena, or attempting to cycle there wasn’t the best idea - the bikes we borrowed from Estlagem were very rickety, and the ground quite uneven, plus you go through several tunnels and uphill. Madalena was a bit disappointing anyway - not worth the hassle of trying to get there. Oh and go and eat at the restaurant at the top of the cliff - the one you can see when you swim in the man made cove on the beach - it’s absolutely delicious grilled fish - so simple and well cooked. The black scabbard with banana on top is a must, and the chocolate orange cake.

9/10, , September 2016

We are just back from Hotel da Vila and we had the most lovely of times and would definitely recommend it. The Hotel is immaculate and the service is very friendly and relaxed. Having access to the 'big hotel' up the hill (Estalagem) was great although we didn't really use it as we preferred the beach. The only thing I would say is that as the beach is stony it would be helpful to have those shoes that you can wear into the sea. Ponta do Sol is tiny and there is really very little in it which suited us but everything that is there is great. We will be back.

10/10, , June 2016

We thought Hotel da Vila was exceptionally good value and was a perfect base for a relaxed holiday on Madeira. We used the free airport transfers and shuttle to Funchal and the Levadas, so didn't need to hire a car during our stay. We loved the inifinity pool and spa at Estalagem, which was a few minutes walk through the charming village. The room was spotless and fresh, with the bonus of a sea view. Breakfast was fantastic and we enjoyed working our way through the menu at the restaurant. We did find the restaurant service quite slow - the service in general was not as slick as at Estalagem. Also, there was some street noise until late on 2 nights when there were outdoor concerts in the village. Overall, however, Hotel da Vila was a gem and we had a fantastic holiday!

8/10, , June 2016

We had a wonderful stay here in February. The hotel is small and simple - spotlessly clean with lovely views of the beach from all rooms. It was incredibly good value as we made full use of the Estelagem hotel up on the cliff which was really a stunning place - views to die for and fantastic facilities. They also offer free transfers into Funchal and various other places, that only add to the incredible value. <br>Before going, ask the hotel for their list of activities and perhaps pre book the transfers - save on hiring a car. Otherwise you end up a bit stuck relying on taxis. <br>There is a cute street behind the hotel with a few bars and a couple of restaurants on the beach. The hotel food is good and breakfast plentiful. <br>I can't wait to return - the island is just gorgeous and the two hotels together make an ideal base.

8/10, , February 2016

We loved our recent stay at Hotel Da Vila, from the moment we arrived we had excellent service, a lovely clean room and great views too. The food served here was delicious and I think we tried everything on the menu, from great steaks to beautiful fish and seafood dishes. The staff were incredibly friendly and with the facilities at Estalagem to use and the super shuttle service to Funchal and levada walks in the mountains too this was a wonderful holiday. Thank you!

10/10, , July 2015

Excellent choice ,attractive hotel in charming location. We were particularly lucky that they had a new festival over the period of our stay.

10/10, , May 2015

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Rates for Hotel da Vila