With a teenage son who is sporty we booked this hotel on the strength of the reviews on here and the unusually good sports facilities on offer. The location is stunning but make sure you get a sea view as the rooms without such views tend to be next to the cul de sac for various service vehicles and visitors to the Lido. Check-in was swift and painless although as happened several times during the holiday the staff were more comfortable speaking German and hence the English translation tended to be "edited highlights"! As a result we were not advised at check-in of the meal deals available for B&B guests but not really a problem as we didn't intend to eat in the hotel more than a few times given the choice of local restaurants.
Our rooms were clean, comfortable if a little dated and the terrace with sea view and garden with sunbeds was a real plus point. Breakfasts were good and there was the usual choice you expect supplemented by a DIY omelette service where you select your fillings on a plate and hand to the chef to make your own omelette whilst you wait. Recommended! If you have a birthday whilst on holiday I advise you not to skip breakfast that day!
The public areas and pool are immaculately kept and the pool snack bar is open all day. They have a "happy hour" for certain drinks and for Kaffee und Küchen which is good as drinks are quite expensive otherwise. If the wind stays down you can use the terrace for breakfast and dinner. There are 3 dinner options - a buffet style dinner in the main restaurant which we weren't tempted to try, the fish restaurant at the Lido which was excellent and the Italian restaurant in an adjoining block which was OK.
Guests are invited for a tour of the facilities twice a week and I attended and found it interesting. Luckily I understand some German so could follow most of it (I decided not to put up my hand when the lady showing us round asking (in German!) if anyone was English and then mopped her brow in jest when no one raised their hand. In fact I am not English but that is splitting hairs). The spa looked interesting and everyone was given a leaflet for the huge amount of treatments available but when I asked if there a leaflet in English for my wife they apologised and said no just a brief price list. But it does look good.
Now to the sport: in addition to the wide range of off-site activities we were attracted to the range of sports available - squash, spinning, basketball, volleyball and football as well as the gym, indoor pool, weights room and the sauna. Having been at other hotels where team sports were organised we looked forward to meeting other guests and making new friends but it didn't happen. You receive an activities programme when checking in and 2 to 3 times a week the 3 squash courts are converted into a sports hall and a vote is taken as to which sport is played. That's the theory. On the first occasion my son and I and one German chap turned up to find around 20 locals playing squash. It was clearly a competition and there was no prospect of team sports so we gave up. Second time our German friend had given up and so were two and no effort had been made to convert the squash courts so we asked if we could borrow a basketball and one of the nets was lowered in the end court and we played for an hour one-on one. We were grateful to the staff for allowing this as otherwise we would have had to go away a second time. The third time we looked in but again no-one was about so we went for a walk instead! The gym and sports centre are actually a sports club also for locals with a large membership so squash competitons clearly take precedence and as a result there is no organised team activities as you might expect. But the facilities are good.
I would say 90% of the guests are German. This is not a problem for me as I speak a little German and have had many holidays in Germany and have some very dear German friends so this isn't about one nationality over another but inevitably everything is German-centric and as long as you don't mind that you will enjoy this hotel. My biggest problem was that most guests seemed to be happy just to chill out and not be bothered by anyone even fellow German guests so there wasn't much of a feeling of camaraderie I would say even amongst the German guests. Maybe it is marketed as such and that is what folk like there. It became clear to me why team sports were out - most folk just wanted to be left alone!
All in all we had a good holiday for a good price and compared to the other hotels in Canico I was glad to be there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel complex offers many corners of refuge, where guests may rest without being disturbed. Situated directly on the coast, it offers an extraordinary view over the sea. All the 123 rooms and suites have sea views and among the many facilities available at the hotel are 3 restaurants, 2 bars and a children's playground. This eco-spa hotel is a family friendly establishment with a 24h reception and was renovated in 2012. It offers most of the Resort's facilities, such as Onda Revital Sport & Fitness Club, (with daily class: power jump, Zumba, Step, GRIT, body balance,body combat, spinning, yoga) Onda Revital Lounge SPA, is our Spa which offers a range of beauty and health treatments and massages and ayurveda treatments. To complete the offer the hotel has a large swimming complex which lies within the underwater Nature Reserve, with easy sea access and were you can find the prize winner "Manta Diving Center" and Mountain Bike station and outdoor shop is only a few steps away."Dine around" is possible in 3 of our restaurant for guest Half board,Weekly entertainment programme (live music, folklore, presentations) WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge. Hotel Galosol provides a small Portable WiFi Router upon request, ideal for Internet access anywhere on the Island. Offers free parking onsite. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Sport Hotel Canico
- Hotel Galosol Canico, Madeira