Madeira accommodation types

When searching for Madeira accommodation, you will often see hotel names that include the words Estalagem, Quinta, Pensao, Residencial or Poussada.
But what does that mean exactly ? Here's an overview and descriptions :
  • Estalagem.
    An "estalagem" is a 4 or 5 star hotel. The atmosphere is somewhat less official compared to a classic hotel, mainly due to the authentic interior and decoration which easily makes you feel at home.
  • Recidencial.
    A "residencial" is an accommodation that offers a very basic comfort. Often, but not always, there is a small number of rooms and half board or full board is not always possible.
  • Pensao.
    A "Pensao" or pension is usually situated in the city center. Equipment and decoration is very basic. The comfort may vary from a 1 to 4 star accommodation.
  • Quintas.
    The name "Quinta" stand for a domain, somewhat identical to the French Chateau or Domaine. This type of accommodation can be found a lot on Madeira. Usually they are manour houses set in the middle of a vineyard or an exceptional garden. The rural environment guarantees a green and peaceful holiday resort.
    The name Quinta is used for 4 or 5 star hotels and also for a group of landhouses (holiday homes) in a rural environment.
  • Poussadas.
    A "poussada" is a hotel in an authentic building with rural, romantic decoration. They are set in a peaceful environment, desolated between mountains or beautiful nature.
    There is a maximum number of 20 guest rooms.
    Due to the type of construction, eg. an old convent, fortress or exceptional original building (with the latter being typical for Madeira), the accommodation consists of guest rooms and a restaurant. They don't have a sauna and solarium or swimming pools.
    As a result they are a low cost hotel accommodation.
    There are a lot of poussadas in Portugal but the number on Madeira is very limited.
  • Casas and villas.
    The names Villa and Casa mean that the house can be rent as a holiday home. Sometimes one rents the entire house, sometimes one rents a private room with shared facilities such as tv room and kitchen. Casas can be found everywhere on Madeira. Tourists will especially select them as their holiday accommodation in the North of the island, due to the lower hotel capacity over there.
    Many casas are set on the country side, outside the city center and will offer mountain view and/or sea view. At Madeira this type of tourism is called Turismo Rural.