Pestana Casino Park
15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"After reading negative reports after booking a bit worried but thought too late and you really do have to see for yourself and also a holiday is what you make of it. What some people would moan about you wouldn't even think of mentioning .
What a wonderful holiday we had. We would certainly return. Large spacious hotel unique design. The location was brilliant 5-10 minutes you are in the old town and harbor, don't worry about the hill up to hotel its not as bad as it looks people of all ages were walking up it, and buses run very regularly 3.90e for two or a taxi 5.90e, the bus price is the same wherever you travel to, good regular service and run at least until 11.00 at night.
The room was just as described we had a classic with side sea view on the third floor which was lovely, we looked over the mountains which was lovely at night when lit up, and a good view of sea. The rooms were very clean and linen changed every day, if you read information given you can say when you want your room cleaned.
All the staff were so polite and attentive from when we booked in to when we left and nothing was too much for them.
We stayed on Bed and Breakfast (Breakfast was wonderful such a variety) as we wanted to sample the restaurants in the town which there were plenty, you could have snacks or fine dining we tried both and the prices were no more expensive than here at home Just opposite hotel near where you would get off the bus from town is a cafe which serves Beefburgers all different flavors, made to order,and you can see them preparing them really tasty.
Maderia is a lovely clean Island with lovely polite people living there.
- Travel date: Fri 8th of July 2016
Second Class Guest
"We have recently returned from the Casino Park Hotel. We were originally booked into Pestana Bay on an All Inclusive basis, but as this was closed due to re-furbishment we were 'upgraded' to the 5* Casino Park. My family and I have never stayed AI before and were really looking forward to this Christmas treat.
The Hotel itself was lovely; we were welcomed through the main entrance, although reception staff were quite slow. Our rooms were lovely, clean, tidy and maintained daily. All the common areas were well kept, bars, restaurants lobby areas etc.
Our first night was awful, our room was opposite the Casino and as this was the start of the party season we were kept awake all night. The next morning I politely asked if we could be moved as lack of sleep was not an option. I was told, quite rudely, that I had booked a garden view room (Casino view), I was given a garden view room (Casino view) and to be moved to a sea view room would incur quite a substantial charge. I politely informed the lady on reception that not only had I NOT booked a garden view room but I hadnât even booked THIS Hotel! After talking to her colleague very loudly, and quite aggressively in Portuguese, which I donât speak so didnât understand, she offered us an alternative. This room was far better and much more comfortable.
The problems began shortly after we started exploring the Hotel, it became quite clear very quickly that those of us who were AI, wearing the white identifiable wrist bands were made to feel like second class citizens, not only by other non-AI guests (mostly German) but more annoyingly by Hotel staff.
All bar areas were separated â it was like them and us â we were only offered a very limited selection of non-alcoholic & alcoholic drinks and were made to stand around waiting for service while paying guests were made to feel like royalty. We had to clear our own tables, were shouted out by the staff on the poolside bar for not showing our bands properly. I was ordered to use the coffee machine inside the hotel as the one at the pool bar was broken (it had been for 3 days!) and the staff member refused to make me a coffee even though he was happily making hot drinks for paying guests.
The bar staff had a massive problem with all AI guests, they clearly felt we werenât paying guests so werenât entitled to service. What they fail to understand or care about was the fact that we had in fact already paid for our drinks (almost Â£3000 worth). On my first visit to the pool side bar my friend asked what wine was available, the bar man replied âitâs free so what does it matterâ â this was a disgraceful response but he didnât seem to care. Bar staff need to be made aware that all guests are to be treated the same way and just because I wasnât paying per drink the drinks werenât in fact free and had been paid for in advance.
We did complain about the appalling service we received to Management, I donât think we were taken seriously though, even though one of the occasions I was complaining about was Christmas day and there was only one member of staff working at the pool bar on this day I was sent around the hotel to try and find out what his name was â surely there must be a schedule for staff where management would be able to check which staff members were working on which day?? I couldnât find him so was unable to give his name. Management could do no more!
This was clearly not an AI hotel and Iâm sure for those guests not expecting and AI service was perfectly acceptable, but at the end of the day I didnât book this Hotel and I was offered it as a comparable alternative to my original booking, on inspecting my original booking information it seems that what I would have received at Pestana Bay and what I actually received at Casino Park were two completely different things!
This experience hasnât ruined my view of Madeira which was beautiful, it hasnât necessarily ruined my view of All Inclusive hotels, but it has unfortunately ruined my view of the Pestana Hotel Group â I have given them my hard earned money for the first and last time.
- Travel date: Wed 9th of January 2013
Excellent Hotel 12th July Till 19th
"Read All the negative reviews after booking the Holiday, So, went with an open mind, just returned had a "FANTASTIC Holiday", "Staff" could not do enough for you, "Hotel" Beautifull and Spacious, "Dining Area", Lovely and Bright, "Food" a wide choice, Dont Just Cater for the British, but you can always find something to eat & good quality, the Park Grounds, Harbour + the Stunning Views, make this a must, the City itself is just a strol away. Good Value For Money, we will Return. "
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of July 2010
just arrived back from staying at this h...
"just arrived back from staying at this hotel.where do i begin,well my wife and i stayed on a flexi dine basis.which meant we had breakfast in the hotel and paid for 3 nights evening meal.then we could eat out the other evenings.one breakfast ,my wife found a hair in the bread basket.about a foot long. which she reported to the waiter in charge.then fri night she had another hair in her salad ,which she again reported to another waiter. she recieved an apology, but nothing more.when we came to settle the bill, we asked if we would be having anything taken off our bill because of what had happened.we were told to come back next morning ,when a manager would be on duty.after looking at our bill, we found we had been charged 77 euros for a meal we hadnt had.so this was something else we had to sort out next day. we eventually got the 77 euros taken off the bill and 20% taken off our bar bill.but not much of an opology. i dont think this hotel deserves to be listed as 5 star, we had lots of noise from the road nearby and the casino next door. there were coffee making faciliies on day of arrival.but if you wanted more after that you were charged 6 euros a day.noy what you would expect when we had paid over Â£1.3000 for the holiday. i love madeira and this was my 3rd visit ,but this will be my last to the pestana casino grand."
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of April 2008
Having stayed in hundreds of hotels over...
"Having stayed in hundreds of hotels over the years, this has to be the worst holiday of my life.
This was meant to be a birthday surprise which ended me paying an additional Â£300 for the privilege of having a room with a view, despite specifying it at booking.
The staff were inconsiderate, food mediocre, and the whole Prestana experience geared to getting as much money out of you as possible - stay away pick another hotel - and be warned Atlantic holidays are owned by Prestana - this is no ways a 5 star hotel 2 at the most!"
- Travel date: Fri 14th of December 2007
Good hotel, but not 5* overall.
"Stayed here for 4 nights with a Titan tour package - it was by far the best hotel of our 3, and overall was very enjoyable.
Recent reviews give a pretty good idea of what it is like, especially the September one by Ali (although our experience was not totally the same).
It may be worth adding a bit to those comments. It is not the prettiest of hotels, and although it looks as if rooms will be identical, they certainly are not.- there seems to be quite a lot of variation, so if you do not like your room, try to move (watch extra charges).
* location - the best of the major hotels, and very handy (apart from a walk back if you skipped the taxis!).
* public rooms - big, well designed and quality fittiings, wonderful views. A pleasure to use.
* staff - a bit rushed in Reception, but otherwise very good (friendly, helpful bar staff etc).
* bathrooms - small but well equipped, separate toilet, decent bits and pieces.
* breakfast - excellent choice, good quality, lovely views, very enjoyable (they have now added an omelette chef)
* live music in bars etc - we enjoyed all this, including a big band one night! (justified the bar prices...)
Less Good Points
* views: some said "sea views rooms" (at extra 30-40E per night...) looked mainly over commercial port - our "mountain view" look over car park as well as mountain! Nice enough though.
* only one set of lifts, and then long walks to reach some rooms - one friend timed it at 4.5 minutes from their room to reception!
* our bedroom (471) was seriously small - it was fully fitted (lots of mirrors, shelves etc) but little room for cases, and we kept tripping over each other. Only room for one chair with table. Too small to be a 5*.
* room had kettle but no cups etc, and minibar with no contents (you have to order 6 drinks to start it off). Silly.
* we did not eat there in evenings, and heard mixed reports - some good, some poor (set meals seem to be about 36E). We ate out - 2 good meals in Casa Velhe next to hotel (about 30E inc drinks) , but two very indifferent meals elsewhere. Restaurants mainly full of ageing Brits!
* we arrived as a party of 48 - reception could not cope, and it took over 1.5 hours to get from coach to room with luggage. Not good enough!
* the "Tourist Office" in the grounds seems to be a front for timeshare. Poor idea in a major hotel.
Having said that, most people will enjoy staying here as it is well worth 4*. Funchal itself is mixed - it seemed crowded, mainly with Brits, and overloaded with coaches etc. Things generally seemed rather expensive (more than mainland Portugal for sure). - meals in local cafes in old town MUCH better value than on harbour side where we were shamelessly ripped off . Best part was catamaran trip to see 150+ dolphions (with babies) and 2 whales - great (althouh no commentary!!)!
Many people clearly love Madeira and return often - I doubt that we will, but if we did the Casino Park would be a potential choice."
- Travel date: Thu 4th of October 2007
Pestana Casino, well worth a visit.
"Overall the Pestana Casino Hotel is a great place to stay in Madeira. It is well located near the centre of the old town and a stone's throw from the sea. The hotel actually doesn't look great from the outside as it looks like a typical 70's low rise office block BUT don't be fooled. The interior, also rather stuck in the 70's 'works' as they say and is attractive and stylish with grand marble floors and plenty of place to sit and natter or have a drink. The staff are really nice and helpful. The rooms which are all down extremely long corridors are very pleasant and clean. Sort of similar in appearance to Hilton hotels. It is worth noting however, that 'sea view' rooms overlook a rather tacky and noisy working port and if you like your window open at night, wear some ear plugs! Rooms are much better overlooking the gardens at the road entrance end. Avoid also the rooms overlooking the car park. Otherwise I can thoroughly recommend this lovely hotel. I loved the pool too. CP, London."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of October 2007
Great Hotel in the Best Location
"The Hotel is very smart as it had recently had a complete overhaul. All the public parts are very plush and the restaurants are modern and clean. The rooms are also very nice though we had a kettle but no cups! The outdoor space is very nice with the infinity pool and the downstairs spa area with pool, sauna & 2 steam rooms are excellent. The hotel is the closest hotel to the main town, down a shallow gradient (1/4 mile). On the right as you go down there is a colonial building with an armed guard. Go in and you will be amazed at how lovely the park is with lots of fountains and exotic birds. Then go in the park immediately next door and go down the hill through the park. There are some lovely restaurants down the hill to the right (or left as you come out of the hotel) down towards the harbour particularly a superb asian restaurant. If you go do the flexi dining where you have 3 meals in the hotel. Do 1 at the casino, 1 in the main restaurant and 1 in the Dockside restaurant overlooking the bay and the cruise ships. To recap a very nice hotel and great location."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of September 2007
Bad Start to holiday
"Bad start when our coach party arrived, 45 guests with one receptionist , individual check in for each person! took quite a time. followed by only one porter to deliver cases. Ours took 2 hours 20 minutes, after a long day traveling, not good enough. Also booked Twin but given Double. Otherwise food and facilities great."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of September 2007
Perfect for a relaxing spa break - but more 4*superior than 5*
"My boyfriend and I have just returned from a fabulous relaxed week at the Casino Park Hotel (a last minute holiday booked through Atlantic Holidays). We are both 29 and therefore slightly younger than most of the people who visit Funchal, but this didn't put us off, and there were a number of other young couples staying in the hotel. I liked the fact that there was a huge mix of nationalities staying at the hotel - and everyone was friendly - alhough the reception staff could possibly have been more friendly!
We chose this particular hotel primarily for its fabulous spa facilities, which really are out of this world. Use of the gym, beautiful inoor pool (with current features and built in jacuzzis), sauna, steam room, ice room, hammam (aromatherapy steam room) and the jacuzzi is free to all guests, and all are open from 08.00 - 20.00. The area around the indoor pool is very comfortable with a number of recliners and sofas - it really is paradise and perfect for simply chilling out. Towels are readily available and the changing areas are spotless. The staff could not have been more helpful if they had tried and nothing was too much trouble.
A number of spa treatments are also available at an extra cost, and before and after your treatment you are taken into a separate area which is beautifully furnished with soft chaise-longues, water features and drapes, which is an oasis of tranquillity and calm.
My boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a couples massage, which we thought was well woth the â¬130 for a 1 hour session (considering what you would pay in the UK). The therapist were more than capable and the massage was dreamy! Look out for the fetching paper pants though!!!
I also opted for a seaweed wrap, which was fabulous (although involved more paper pants!) and a bargain at â¬65 for an hour (especially when it actually lasted for almost 2 hours!). It was pure indulgence! I really would recommend booking a treatment during your stay, as the therapists are wonderful and if you're on holiday you deserve to treat yourself! There are so many treatments on offer - it was a job to limit myself to just two ....
Th outdoor infinity pool was lovely and there were plenty of (free) sunbeds, so no need to rush down in the middle of the night with your towel! The pool is (I believe) slightly heated, which is always nice, and although it was apparenty salt water it was not overly salty by any means.
Our room was on the third floor and had a side sea view looking out over the tennis courts and Rua Imperatriz d'Amelia, a street where a number of good restaurants are located, although the traffic noise is minimal. Our room was large, airy and spacious and we had a balcony (as all rooms do) with 2 sun chairs.
The bathroom is also large, with double washbasins and a separate tiled room with a toilet and bidet. The bath is huge (room for two!) and very deep, and the shower is over the bath (perfectly adequate but not really a power shower). An interesting feature is the window between the main bedrrom and the bathroom - great for watching TV whilst soaking in the tub, but with venetian blinds should you prefer to protect your modesty!!!
I have no complaints about the bedroom. The twin beds (pushed together) were large, with luxury mattresses, duvet and two HUGE square pillows, and were extremely comfortable. The floor is carpeted and everything was in full working order. The flat screen TV was great, and channels included Sky News, BBC1, BBC2 and ITV1. There is a safety deposit box in each room (which is free) and all rooms have hairdryers.
One thing that was slightly odd was that there was no dressing table as such. There was a writing desk on one side of the room and a thin mirror above one bedside table in the corner, but no other mirror in the room - although of course there was a big mirror in the bathroom. Maybe I am just too vain, but I would have preferred a larger mirror above a proper dressing table.
Again, I have no real complaints about the bathrrom, which was clean, although little points such as one of our towels was dirty on arrival, and one day I was not given a new towel, and the fact that the sanitary bag holder remained empty all week did indicate that the hotel is perhaps not QUITE deserving of its 5 star status. These were just very minor points which in no way detracted from our overall enjoyment, but as I work in the travel industry I am trained to look out for such things! I just felt the attention to detail was slightly lacking.
Our bathroom also had a rather unsightly and unfinished looking false ceiling and it was possible to hear and see the pipes above, which wasn't too attractive. Again a minor point, but I doubt this would be the case at Reids!
The hotel has 3 lifts which serve all levels of the hotel, from the spa in the basement to the top (5th) floor.
The reception area and all of the bars are set over a vast open space and the interior and decor is very modern - think marble and minimalism, interspersed with the odd orchid. I personally loved this aspect - it felt very fresh and clean, and there were maids forever polishing and dusting.
There were a number of bars which were all well stocked with comfortable seating. The prices of the drinks were not too extortionate (as drinks in hotels often are) and the bar staff were polite and helpful. I believe snacks were also available, although we did not try any.
Breakfast is served in the gigantic restaurant, which is perfectly situated by the poolside and offers fantastic views over the Atlantic. Breakfast is served from 07.00 until 10.00 and most people arrived between 09.00 and 10.00 so it could get a little busy and we sometimes had to wait a few minutes to be seated and give our room number, but this was fine. We were greeted by the sunny hotel guest relations lady, who is brimming with enthusiam and excellent at her job with a knack for bringing a smile to people's faces! You are then shown to your table by a jolly waiter (think Manuel from Fawlty Towers) who dashes around at a rate of knots checking everyone is OK. Breakfast was wonderful - there was everything you could POSSIBLY dream of - even champagne if you fancied it! There were cold meats, salad, cheeses, fruit, cereal, cakes, breads, buns, croissants, toast, bacon, eggs in all shapes and sizes, beans, tomatoes, omlettes, hash browns, and a good selection of juices. I don't think anyone could have any complaints at all about breakfast - there was nothing more you could ask for.
On the second evening we were invited by the manager to a cocktail reception on the terrace, which I think is a weekly event to welcome all newcomers of all nationalities. This was a nice touch, and drinks and canapes were freely available and it was nice to meet the manager in person and also chat to other guests.
We were, however, surprised to be invited to another cocktail party the following evening which was hosted by Pestana, the hotel chain. This was not as enjoyable, as it was clearly a "hard sell" opportunity, with the Pestana rep desperate for people to sign up to go and visit one of their new resorts (i.e. timeshare!). Obviously people had the right to say no, but I felt she was rather pushy and this is not something most people enjoy whilst on holiday - or at all. We drank our free cocktails, and were mightily relieved to read in the small print that the timeshare was not available to Under 30s (not that we had any intention of signing up anyway!) so we bade a hasty retreat.
Apart from breakfast we did not actually eat in the hotel, but my advice from listening to other guests and reading past reviews is to stay on a bed and breakfast basis and eat out every evening. There are a whole plethora of excellent restaurants nearby where the prices are very reasonable. We feel that part of the joy in going to a new destination is eating out in different restaurants and discovering the real ambience of the country we are in. I would recommend Casa Velha, Villa Caffe, Sheng, Restaurante Dona Amelia, the Jardim do Infante and the Vila Cipriani (which belongs to the exclusive Reids Palace Hotel). All of these were excellent and represent good value for money, and furthermore all are within easy walking distance of the hotel.
To sum up, I would definitely recommend the Hotel Casino Park to people of all ages. The location is superb ... it is one of the closest hotels to the old town of Funchal, which is only a 10/15 minute walk away (albeit up/down an ALMIGHTY hill - be warned!). Many of the other hotels are literally miles away from the main centre and in my opinion the touristy "hotel district" lacked the charm of the old town and marina.
The Casino Park is an exellent hotel and I am sure you will enjoy your stay - particularly if you are planning to simply relax and take it easy.
In both my personal and professional opinion the hotel does not quite warrant its 5 star rating but it is a good 4 star superior standard and I do not think you will be disapponted, as the facilities are superb."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of September 2007
Good facilities but be warned...
"We booked our holiday based on Trip advisor recommendations, so thought it only fair to give our opinion having stayed a week there. To summarise:
The facilities are very good - the hotel has recently been refurbished. Pools, sauna etc second to none.
Staff are friendly
Good location - only 20 mins to the old town and a stones throw from shops and the harbour.
Food - Make no mistake, the main restaurant is appaling and very expensive. Breakfast is OK for fruit etc but do not expect good hot food. The al la carte resturant is OK but again v. expensive and not as good as any local restaurants.
Service - Whilst the staff are friendly, everything takes an age to arrive.
Rooms - In our party, I would say at least 50% had issues with their room. Whatever you do, dont book a junior suite. We did and ended up swapping as it was facing the car park and had camp beds set up instead of a living area. We ended up swapping for a sea view room which was OK.
To summarise, this is not a 5 star hotel and I would not recommend, however thee pool areas are very good."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of September 2007
overall a great hotel with everything you need for a relaxing holiday
"we stayed at the hotel with our two teenager sons, 13,14, just for a relaxing lazy break. we had 2 rooms, which were clean comfortable and had lovely views over funchal. we found the hotel immaculate, bright and airy. hotel staff were great and friendly. pool was cold on a cloudy day or when the sun was not on the pool.we used the spa every day for sauna etc.. and had a few treatments where staff were excellent. we stayed at the hotel on a bed/breakfast basis, which you could not fault, but this got busy around 9.30 in the morning so you had to queue! we ate in restaurants which were excellent at around Â£20 a head. tobbagin and cable car were good but expensive !!!! overall excellent stay and we will be back!!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 29th of August 2007