Hotel The Vine is branded as a design hotel and certainly deserves this title. Located in a big building complex that houses quite a sizeable shopping mall, one would not expect such a luxurious hotel and customer experience.
The whole interior design is based on the concept of vines, from the backlit room ceiling featuring the cross section of a grape, to the matching colour scheme in slightly purple, green and maroon hues and the aptly named hotel restaurant on the marvellous rooftop terrace, Uva (portuguese for grape). I found the interior of our junior suite attractive, earthy and modern while in tune with nature rather than the oft clinical and cold feel of uber-stylish and modern design schemes.
Some features, such as the waterfall shower, felt a little gimmicky and bordering on the impractical as the floor surface was not equipped to drain the amount of water produced by that feature. Nonetheless, The Vine is unbeatable when it comes to location; just a 2-min walk from Funchal’s famous Old Blandy Wine Lodge and right in the centre of the capital, but at the same time on rather quied roads and only a 5-min walk away from the sea promenade.
One of the best features of the hotel is undoubtedly its fantastic rooftop terrace, with 2 infinity swimming pools, a bar with all the variety of Madeira wine you could want (and other drinks, too), fancy deck chairs, design tables that function as mood lighting at night, and excellent, relatively unobstructed views of the sea and the cruise ships. The only other thing I would have to criticise is its rooftop restaurant Uva, which did not deliver on quality for the relatively high price of meals; it difficult to find a truly expensive restaurant in Funchal, yet so many other restaurants delivered much better quality for much lower prices.
Staff were fantastic; friendly, always wearing warm smiles, very professional and trying to make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible.