Vila Gale Santa Cruz

This hotel has a beachfront spot near Santa Cruz. And you’re only a short drive from the capital, Funchal.

This hotel opened in 2006. The contemporary décor incorporates lots of leather sofas and arty photography. And outside there’s a gigantic Olympic-sized pool with its own little café.

Nearby there’s a pebble beach, a little harbour and a quaint little town. It’s also about half an hour from the island capital, Funchal – there’s a free shuttle bus that gets you there.

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

Based On 539 reviews

  • Official Rating
  • 1Building
  • 6Floors
  • 262Rooms
  • 4Lifts

All Inclusive - Here's what you get


Buffet meals. Snacks and ice-cream 10.30-18.00.


Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including house wine, draught beer, cocktail of the day, Madeira wine, mineral water, soft drinks, tea and coffee 10.30-23.00.

Sports and Activities

All are included except where indicated.

Read more about the facilities »

Facilities► View all

Outdoor pool

Large pool with swimming lanes, sunbeds and parasols around the edges.


Open Monday to Friday and 9am to 9pm at the weekend. Facilities include Turkish bath, roman bath and Jacuzzi®.

Buffet restaurant

For breakfast, lunch and dinner with either a buffet or set-menu.

Rooms ► View all

twin room

Twin room sleeps up to 3 - can be sold as a single. With twin beds and a camp-bed or similar with maid service daily, linen changed twice weekly and towels changed 3 times a week. Minibar is chargeable.

twin room with sea view

Twin room with sea view sleeps up to 3 with twin beds and a camp-bed or similar with maid service daily, linen changed twice weekly and towels changed 3 times a week. Minibar is chargeable.

TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews Show more reviews »

Wonderful Holiday

Santa Cruz nice little village pleasant locals, a festival was on at the weekend we where there we saw the local children put on a wonderful show. Yes it's near the airport but surprisingly not as noisy as you might expect, Vila Gale is a little gem of an hotel,if you have mobility problems then this is the hotel for you, next to the seafront and an easy walk along the promenade to the village and just some small inclines, The rooms are well kept and spacious,and our room was ready on arrival ,the beds were very comfortable got good quality sleep. the staff are very friendly and helpful , Food was delicious first day had poached salmon and the portions were cut in generous sizes,I don't usually eat meat when I am away in case it has gristly and chewy,but I must say my husband asked me to try it and it was so tender and all meat nice,I'm very picky with food but really there was always something nice to have, Not really suitable or geared for the older children . did not use the wi fi leave the technical stuff at home your on holiday We made a good choice in choosing this hotel for a quiet relaxing holiday deserves more than it's 4 stars.More

Jennifer S, Bromley, United Kingdom

Lovely Hotel

The taxi from the airport to the nearby village of Santa Cruz where the hotel is situated took only ten minutes and cost eight euros. Check in was quick and the room allocated,3075, third and top floor of that wing was ready. Lovely room with one king size bed and with the sea view I had paid extra for (17 euros per night) From the balcony you can see the end of the runway where the planes turn ready for take off. Food generaly was good with a fair choice but take some Knorr cubes for the soup, although looking good was tasteless. Making toast at breakfast was a nightmare as the toaster was totally inadequate and so inefficient. Come on hotel get a new toaster as we Brits like our toast at breakfast. Entertainment was basic, singers, folk dancers and bird shows (2 in the week) Funchal was easily accessible by the hotel minibus or the local service bus which ran every half hour or so. Did one half day excursion to the mountains, booked through reception, worth every cent of the 17.50 euros to experience the scary mountain roads and the views. In conclusion a lovely clean and well maintained hotel in a lovely island with very friendly staff and locals just a pity the weather could have been better.More

11barlaw, scotland


I can endorse David's comments regarding this hotel/resort. I did venture to Funchal which took about 35 mins in the hotel's courtesy bus which ran 4 times a day in each direction. Local buses are available nearby. Not much in the village of Santa Cruz, don't expect clubs and pubs, it's very quiet. Couldn't walk far along the seafront in either direction, one end is the airport, the other ends at a small harbour. Aircraft taking off and landing not really a problem, was quite interesting watching them. Runway a bit scary, you just have to hope there are not any crosswinds as heard all sorts of horror stories about having to land in Tenerife instead. How true that is I'm not sure but i wouldn't be surprised. No sandy beach, all giant sized pebbles impossible to walk on, guess they were rocks at some point which have been eroded. I seemed to have caught the gardens between spring and summer, lots of green but not many flowers, rather disappointing as I had heard the flowers were beautiful. Went to the Monte Palace Gardens and the Botanical Gardens in Funchal on the gondola. Lovely views and well worth the effort. Didn't use the sledges to come down, I used the gondola, cost around 39 Euros which wasn't bad for a whole day out. Didn't appear to be anything for the kids to do at the hotel so wouldn't recommend in that respect. Looked at maybe doing some walking but the organised groups were very expensive. Went on a day trip to see some of the east of the island, lovely forests and fabulous views. If you want to go to Madeira would suggest staying in Funchal which is an interesting place with some lovely buildings, the Vila Gale is too isolated, the big plus as David pointed out is the very short transfer from the airport. Think David has covered all the other points very well so I won't repeat them.More

Jenny C, Paignton, United Kingdom

Half Term Family Holiday

Lovely hotel, staff helpful with whatever we asked for, good selection in the dining room and bar, all spoke good English. lovely setting for a quiet holiday... other than the aeroplanes - somewhat entertaining watching them land! We booked a car via reception ,very competitive rates and no hassle (hotel is well placed to get out onto the main roads). Only negative was the entertainment which was a little amateurish but others seemed to be enjoying themselves.More

Stephen T, Surrey

Week in Madeira from 8 to 15 June

My first visit to Madeira. Flight took off on time. Impressed by the brief transfer time, clocked at around 5 minutes. The downside to such a brief transfer is, of course, aircraft and their close proximity to the hotel. However, one gets used to this. And for those who don't know, the airport at Madeira is number 4 on the World's Scariest Runway! This is due to the crosswinds that the island experiences. As you come in to land you get a view of the runway which does look a little "not fit for purpose"..... I guess with the island being so steep it is a little difficult as to where a runway could be built. Now for the hotel: checked in with no problem even though we did arrive before the check-in time of 2.00pm. I think the hotel has something like 250 rooms. Reception is 1st floor and the bar/dining area/pool are -1. There is air conditioning but it didn't feel particularly effective. Rooms are well appointed and the hotel is clean. Surprised there was no coffee making facilities in the room but you can get coffee from a machine in the bar downstairs and you can ask for a kettle. Something to remember: when you are charging your phone/tablet, etc, you need to be in the room as the card needs to be inserted in the slot to turn on the power. WiFi is available both in the rooms and in the hotel complex. Download speeds very good. Was able to watch videos on YouTube with no problems. There is also an indoor swimming pool with a sauna but, as there are four powerful jets of water, it is rather noisy in there so if you are expecting some peace and quiet you will be sadly disappointed. Food: I thought the food was very good. There wasn't an awful lot of variety but what there was was of sufficient quality. The waiters/waitresses were very attentive and always ensured you were supplied with drinks. Particular favourites were dauphinois potatoes, chocolate and banana crumble (strange combination but it worked) and cheese and biscuits(the brie being particularly good). There is also a well equipped gym with free weights, a cross trainer, treadmill, bikes and weight machines. Top marks for me for using this for 6 of the 7 days. And now for the weather..... very disappointing. Most days were cloudy and warm but Friday 12 June it was overcast and showery for most of the day. Being a stoic Englishman I braved it until the rain lashed down and decamped to the bar for a few brandy and cokes, the measures of which were very generous. Saturday - half an hour of sun and then more cloud and light rain. Sunday looks much more promising so may get some more sun before the return to Blighty on Monday. Sunday was indeed the best day of the holiday; only downside being this was my last day here. I did get talking to a couple who had been here for 2 weeks and they said the first week was glorious! Bully for them! Entertainment on an evening was at best patchy and at worst lamentable. The male/female combo on one of the nights was instantly forgettable and had all the allure and appeal of a general anaesthetic and then one night the entertainment was someone bringing in an owl and an eagle and I think they flew round the room. Not quite the kind of birds I was hoping to meet! Maybe there was an Owl Helpline - the number for which was probably 2820 2820! I was surprised also that through the day there is only a very small bar open (seats around 12 people!) which closes at 6pm while the main bar (which is next door and much more spacious) does not serve drinks throughout the day and does not start to serve until 7pm. Friday night was a turn which could be described as the Portuguese version of Morris dancing but without the maypole. Saturday night's entertainment highlight (well lowlight really) was parrots (more birds, yes) and ambient music (the sort of music you would hear in a lift) which were both instantly forgettable...... The last couple of days of the holiday were made much more palatable with talking to two ladies: Fiona and Dorothy who more than made up for the holiday's distinct lack of sunshine by their scintillant and bubbly personalities - thank you both. And it was also nice to meet Jenny who also was a lovely lady and was good company. And you know when you are struggling to say something positive about a holiday when an item in the inflight magazine makes one guffaw with laughter. They interviewed a male steward on the 787 Dreamliner and asked what his highlights on stewarding these planes was and he said serving Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz! Really! Not exactly A list is she, in fact she ain't even Z list. Oh and the guy in passport control recognised my Leeds United shirt, top man. Summing up, the hotel was adequate but the entertainment on an evening was very disappointing and I had the feeling of being totally underwhelmed by the whole experience. I would rate the hotel 3/5 and on balance I could not recommend this hotel for a stay in Madeira. Madeira for 2016? I don't think so.....More

DavidWHuddersfield, Huddersfield

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Vila Gale Santa Cruz
Rated: 4.5 /5 based on 539 customer reviews
from £491.49