14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
This hotel is in a good location with go...
"This hotel is in a good location with good quality decor & a really nice pool/sunbathing areas. There are however a number of problems which leave it far short of its claimed 5 star status.
The breakfast service is very poor with all cooked items served cold - even the rock hard fried eggs! The tea is consistently lukewarm & weak & there are recurrent crockery shortages
There is 2 euro charge for a parasol & 6 euro per day charge for tea/coffee in your room (yes that is Â£5 per day). Generally food prices are very high even by 5 star standards but unfortunately standards are average to poor.
The housekeeper has a habit of knocking on the door & barging straight in before you have a chance of answering to "check the toilet".
With the exception of the very friendly & helpful doorman & shopkeeper the staff were distant & surly.
The above are observations not in isolation but in comparison with the Pestana Grand where we have stayed on two previous occasions.
All in all this is nowhere near a true 5 star hotel. "
- Travel date: Sun 14th of September 2008
Lovely hotel - just pray the weather is good to you
"This really is a lovely hotel which deserves its 5 stars, and has very helpful and firiendly staff. However, our holiday was spoiled by the awful rain that we had. Madeira is a very green island and has a lot of rain, and you might get stuck for things to do when the weather is miserable. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our stay in this hotel, which is a 10 minute walk from the centre of Funchal. This walk is not suitable for those with restricted mobility, because of the steep hill involved. The rooms are comfortable and clean, with spacious balconies and tasteful bathrooms. However, they do not look like they do on some photos on some holiday websites. I think t hey must be showing the premier suite or something because our room looked very different from how it was advertised and althought it was still a nice room, we were a little disappointed. The hotel does food, although we only had breakfasts and snacks in the hotel. Both were of good quality though, with breakfast having lots of choice, ranging from continental to full english and lots of madeira cake. All the staff were polite and helpful and the friendly manager even held a complimentary cocktail evening for the hotel's guests, which was great fun. I would recommend this hotel, but I wouldn't return to madeira for a while as it isn't hot enough for me."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of January 2008
Great service and comfort at the Carlton
"We have just returned from a week at this hotel. We found this 5-star hotel just great. From the welcome by the chief doorman - who always had some element of conversation for us whenever returning to the hotel - to the waiting staff in the restaurants and bars. The room, which we understand had been refurbished recently, was very comfortable, of a good size and with a good size bathroom (and separate toilet). The breakfast buffet was extensive, with hot and cold selection and for dinner, the Taverna Grill restaurant was excellent. The grounds were well kept and the hotel itself very clean. We met a number of people who have returned year after year. A good value luxury hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of December 2007
Great place to stay!!
"This hotel was an absolute joy to stay at. Whilst some of the decor is a little old fashioned (they are having the reception modernised in January 08), it was immaculately clean and the staff went out of their way to be friendly and helpful at all times.
In particular the staff in the cocktail bar (on 5th floor) were fabulous and we certainly enjoyed sampling their menu - try the banana colada, it's fab! The pool area and gardens were well kept. The facilities in the spa area were good and the staff were absolutely lovely. We only stayed B&B, but breakfast was lovely and the food had lots of variety.
Don't be put off by some of the negative reviews, if you want a chilled out break with great facilities and lovely staff, then you should go to the Pestana Carlton!"
- Travel date: Tue 4th of December 2007
We first visited Pestana Carlton Madeira...
"We first visited Pestana Carlton Madeira in 1989. Our reception was second to none. The staff are so helpful 10 x 10 and all requests are met with prompt and efficient attention. We walk and walk in Madeira and the island is just plain magic. We have now been back over 20 times, most times in December and sometimes in May.
Our room is breathtaking overlooking the harbour and atlantic beyond and we always feel so sorry for those on cruises who only call in for a couple of days at most. Even though self catering the linen is changed every day and the room is always sparkling when we return from our activities.
This is a home from home and we are looking forward to getting back there tomorrow."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of December 2007
We will return
"I have just returned from this lovely hotel and feel compelled to
write about some of the recent negative reviews on this website,
firstly I did not find any unhappy miserable staff from the front
desk to the cleaners, even the doorman was very amusing and
never failed to speak to you if you where heading out or returning in the evening. As for the people who said it looked more like a 2 star, they must have been to some amazing 2 star hotels.
We had a lovely room, with a wonderful view of the Sea and the
flowers and trees looked beautifully green.
Some people in the hotel had stayed there 22 times, so this must say something for the service.
I have been a Travel Agent for 33 years and I must say I could
not fault this hotel and will hopefully return in the spring when all the flowers are blooming.
- Travel date: Tue 20th of November 2007
great weekend break
"Just had a quick weekend via lastminute.com
The taxi driver was friendly and set us up for the weekend.
The hotel entrance looked good and the lobby/reception did not disappoint.
Receptionist, all other staff etc so friendly and helpful. it really made the weekend.
The rooms are spacious an recently refurbished, the food very good and the pool was warm.
A great stay and can't wait to return."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of November 2007
"We stayed at The Carlton in October 2007 with our baby girl (18 months) and we really enjoyed it. We had a superior room with plenty of space and a big balcony. The room was newly renovated and very nice. There was a baby cot waiting in the room when we arrived and the maids made sure we had extra towels, tissues etc. for the baby. All the staff was friendly and helpful. The restaurants have high chairs for the children. There is a childrenâs pool and a playground for the small children and a game room with pool and table tennis for the bigger children.
The hotel is just a short walk to the city - no problem with a stroller (take Avenue Infante). You pass the garden at the âpresidential palaceâ where there is a great playground with both indoor and outdoor facilities, if the children need a break from sightseeing.
I can definitely recommend the Carlton!"
- Travel date: Fri 16th of November 2007
Great place to stay
"Great place to stay in Madeira with excellent facilities and close to Funchal. I've really enjoyed my stay there."
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of November 2007
deserves not the status of a 5 star
"To start with the positive aspects :
- rooms with view to the ocean are splendid, in terms of scenic view and in terms of quality. Completely renovated in a very fashionable way.
- pool area, ok
- quality of restaurant, average, but that judgement depends on your personal preferences
a 5 star is characterized by location, ambiente, food and drink quality and very important service quality . Here are the gaps
- the employees are often unfriendly and in kind of a bad mood, a smile is for most of them uncommon.
- the bar is not well equiped, no famous world-wide known brand names available, out of lemon !!!
- real improvements are possible when talking about room-service. Minibar is filled - on request - but no glases, no opener. No automatic refill.
- recommenadtion of the management : one pool-towel per guest, even stated in the service catalogue of the hotel
- sun umbrella 2 Euro per day.
- parking is a mess. you are forced to pay each time at the reception desk you leave the parking area
To relax you are looking for an active service helping you to make your stay comfotable and nice. that is clearly improvable."
- Travel date: Fri 5th of October 2007
5-stars. I think not.
"This hotel does not deserve 5 star status. I was there this year in August 2007 and found many faults.
The staff were very unfriendly and in particular one displayed an agressive manner.
The service in the bars and restaurants was very slow.
The restaurant staff tend to ignore you and a simple "thank you" or "you're welcome" is beyond them.They are very uneducated when it came to restaurant service protocol. Don't ask for advice on wine...not a clue.
We were disappointed when we arrived to the reception..it has a very 70's and old looking decor. I thought I had arrived in some 2* hotel in Blackpool.
They have the same old CD playing outside in the terrace every night..bad cover versions of old country music songs for example. The live entertainment would only suit the 60 somethings.
It was impossible to regulate the temperature in the shower - either too hot or too cold. The pressure was extremely low also..a drip.
The swimming pools were freezing so you may as well swim in the Atlantic.
They don't even have coca cola behind the bar you have to drink some local imitation called Briza...it's a bit much when you are being charged top dollar for a bacardi and coke."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of September 2007
The ONLY place to stay in Funchal
"I have returned to the Carlton for the past 19 years as my family own time share at the Beach Club and you can't beat it for a great holiday! It's a relaxed, friendly place to stay which attracts regulars year on year. On a whim my husband and I decided to try the new Radisson SAS last year and made a HUGE mistake and spent all our time back at the Carlton. It's a great place for family holidays or couple's of any age to stay, is informal and well located for a huge selection of bars and restaurants and 15-20 minute stroll either down the hill into the town centre or harbour up up the hill to the lido area. The Pub is great for cheap/light meals, not sure about the restaurant/half board option as we stay in the apartments but we do occassionally go down to the restaurant for breakfast which is always good. Fantastic Indian Restaurant opposite the hotel, and if you want a bit of glamour Reids is within walking distance and Choupana Hills (taxi drive) both really worth a visit to see stunning gardens/have afternoon tea or use their spa facilities, also very good fine dining Madeira is in a fab time warp and we love it!"
- Travel date: Sun 5th of August 2007