13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
howling dogs - holiday spoilt
"When we arrived we thought the hotel seemed lovely, but we hadn't accounted for the howling, barking dog in the next building that would wake us up several times a night and would mean we couldn't use our room in the daytime. We tried one afternoon and the dog barked incessantly for the whole time. Never again. When we bought bus tickets at the Tourist Information the lady asked us how we were enjoying our holiday. We told her where we were staying and said we had just one complaint. Before we could say what it was, she said 'the dog'!! Obviously many complaints. We told the reception, ringing also in the night. We were told nothing could be done - so it wasn't. We tried unsuccessfully to change our room. We are pensioners and the annual holiday is special. This one has been spoils for us. We will not be back and I hope other folk heed the warning."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of September 2015
The apartments at the Pestana Village ar...
"The apartments at the Pestana Village are spotlessly clean and of a very good size. The gardens are lovely and very well maintained. The entrance to the complex is up a very steep hill so not very good for the elderly, disabled or generally unfit. The pool area is nice, plenty of sunbeds and a good bar, however, they could do with putting non slip tiles round the pool. The staff were helpful and friendly.
The walk into Funchal is very nice but the walk back is up another very steep hill, take a short cut through the park to avoid at half of the hill climb.
The nearby mini markets are very expensive so head for the Pingo Doce supermarket which is well stocked and cheap.
The Strawberry World island tours were very good value. We took two tours and thoroughly enjoyed both.
Funchal is a nice place to visit if you want a quiet, relaxing holiday. There isn't alot in the way of nightlife. The September wine festival is very good, lots of wine tasting, traditional and modern dance and music."
- Travel date: Fri 12th of September 2008
We own an timeshare in this complex, and...
"We own an timeshare in this complex, and absolutely love it, but it is not for everyone.
We like the character of the apartments with their local tiles and very madeiran furnishings, but they do look slightly seventies now and are not slickly luxurious like some of the later Pestana resorts. The resort itself is quiet, so if you like discos or good night life then this may not be your sort of place.
However, this hotel is not one vast homogenous bee hive of a place as there are relatively few apartments on this site. I think that all Pestana resorts tend to offer superb service and cleanliness. The lovely gardens- which are beautifully maintained- with little shady nooks rather than just a pool to sit round, the wonderfully helpful owner relations, the unpushy sales staff, the sea and garden views, the luscious smell of datura wafting up to our balcony in the evenings more than make up for it. Many good local eating places are within easy walking distance of the resort, and Funcal itself is about 10-15 minutes away through municipal gardens for the most part. Do get out of Funchal, though, as the smell of eucalyptus and pine in the mountains, and wonderful views on the levada walks, are magical.
Enjoy your holiday, wherever you go!
- Travel date: Sun 29th of June 2008
"This was a back up plan as our main holiday failed and we were moved into Pestana by RCI.
However, we were not disappointed. Our apartment was reasonably appointed (no dishwasher or a/c) but we were made very welcome and the resort is spotlessly clean and very friendly and well managed. We will return with enthusiasm.
Can't really say better!"
- Travel date: Sat 28th of July 2007
"We stayed in a timeshare studio at the Pestana Village for a week in June and loved everything about it. The studio was well laid out, and the mini-kitchen well supplied. We had a patio opening to the gardens. The gardens were like being in a botanical park (though we were told that in the winter the paths can get slippery). The hotel served a buffet dinner most nights that was good. Location was excellent for visinting other restaurants, getting into the city (by foot, bus or taxi), picking up groceries and doing other local shopping. Our only complaint was the smell of cigarette smoke coming from another tenant who ignored the no-smoking signs."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of July 2007
"This was our second visit here. We rarely return to a resort, let alone a hotel, but this one is an exception.
The hotel is within walking distance of the town centre and sea-front, alternately there are plenty of buses which stop just outside, â¬1.40 per journey. There is a wide variety of restaurants in the area, as well as a choice in the hotel. The less-mobile should be aware of a steep path and driveway from the main road. Taxis can drive up to the hotel entrance.
The large studio room is well-furnished, but the kitchenette is really only suitable for snacks because of the tiny hob. However, there is a fridge, microwave, toaster, coffee machine and ample utensils. There is a dining table and chairs in the room, but we chose to eat on the balcony and to enjoy the views. Hairdryers need updating and, given the overall quality, maybe the TVs too.
This hotel is every bit as good as the photos suggest, with wonderful gardens, set back from the road. It shares facilities with the Miramar hotel next door, giving a choice of two outdoor pools and one indoor, as well as a gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room which were never busy.
We thoroughly enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea (â¬8) at the Miramar in the elegant lounge bar. The hairdresser and beauty treatments are also good value. The Winter Garden (pictured) is beautiful, surprisingly under-used. The bar is discretely tucked away at the back, with tea and snacks available too.
Contrary to the previous reviewer, Iâd say the water-carrying is worth it! I found the local water revolting. Itâs a pity the hotel doesnât provide at least a bottle, on arrival.
A small âminusâ was that on return to reception to collect cases after check-out there was no courtesy room offered. However, weâd been able to keep our room longer than usual for a later flight, but it would have been nice to be less public while re-packing swimwear!"
- Travel date: Fri 15th of June 2007
Beautiful place to stay
"We spent a lovely, relaxing week at this aparthotel. The gardens are beautiful, all the staff are welcoming and attentive and the place is spotless. We had a room overlooking the Village Pool which was fine but rooms overlooking the gardens or Funchal have a better outlook.
Madeira is very hilly and the pavements are cobbled stones or crazy paving - so stilettos are not recommended unless you travel by taxi! The Village is adjacent to the Miramar - in fact the two merge together and guests enjoy the facilities of both hotels. There are plenty of good restauraunts within walking distance and Funchal is not too far, downhill. Taxis and buses are cheap, if you don't want to walk (good for coming back up the hill!)
A real plus side to Madeira is that not only is the tap water safe to drink, it tastes delicious - which saved the usual drag of having to haul 5 litre bottles back from the Supermarket. Remember to ask for it in restaurants too - it is free - so you can splash out on a more expensive bottle of wine!
All the other reviews are spot on - I really cannot fault the place and would definitely go back there again. If you are planning a trip to Madeira, do try either the Pestana Village or Miramar - you will not be disappointed."
- Travel date: Thu 29th of March 2007
Truly a Garden Resort
"The Pestana Village really lives up to its name of "Garden Resort." The grounds are full of flowers and plants and immaculately tended.
We stayed in a twin-bedded room. Although it is advertised as an aparthotel it would be difficult to prepare anything more than drinks and snacks. There was a full sized fridge and sink but only two small electric hobs and very limited storage and preparation space. This didn't detract from our holiday as we didn't plan to cook any meals. Our room was spacious, very clean and comfortable and we had magnificent views over the grounds to Funchal and the mountains beyond.
We stayed on a B&B basis and breakfast was excellent - choice of English and/or Continental. It was so generous that on some days we didn't even eat lunch. We also ate at three of the hotel restaurants - we enjoyed the "Adega" the most. There are plenty of other places to eat within walking distance too.
When we stayed, most of the guests were older people. There were a few high chairs in the restaurant and cordoned off areas in the pools for children, but the atmosphere was quiet and sedate -maybe not ideal for children. The staff were very helpful and attentive and the facilities pristine."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of February 2007
"We had a great 4 nights in this hotel. We were particularly impressed with the beautiful gardens, immaculate pools and the fitness suite. The complex had a village feel to it and was much more attractive many of the other hotels.
The position of the hotel was excellent - it was an easy walk into town and there was a great choice of restaurants nearby.
We really enjoyed Madeira and hope to be back sometime. We would definitely consider staying at the Pestana Village when we return."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of February 2007
"We stayed at the Village for two weeks in October on a timeshare exchange and had a wonderful holiday. The unit was on the top floor and had a superb view from a sun terrace. Lifts in the building saved having to climb the stairs. The resort was immaculately clean and if you wish you can use the adjoining Pestana Miramar Hotel facilities which is also a beautiful hotel. Also very handy for bus into town although not too far to walk. I will definitely be going back as I know how really excellent this place is."
- Travel date: Thu 26th of October 2006
"Located close to Funchal centre, which is a bonus. Most hotels are away from the centre of Funchal. Please be careful that the Pestana Bay and Atlantic Gardens are miles away from the centre. There are 5 Pestana Hotels.
Staff is lovely. Rooms and pools are spotless. The breakfast buffet is fantastic. You can park your rental car too as parking is quite difficult. I would not have wanted to stay anywhere else on Madeira."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of June 2006
Paradise on Earth
"We first went here in Feb 2004 and have been back 5 times since, always to the Village. Facilities are excellent, restaurants good, location good and with the sun shining its perfect. The gardens are fantastic.Have now recommended everyone else to try out this beautiful island. Never bored. Need to go, getting withdrawal systems thinking about it!"
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of March 2006