My wife and I spent a week here very recently, (Oct 1st). This was our fourth holiday in Ponta Delgada arranged by the excellent Sunvil company. Previous stays have been at the Colegio and the Talisman. Those hotels had more of a 'holiday' feel to them and felt like family-run establishments. The Royal Garden felt more like an 'International' hotel and as such more of a conference/business rendezvous. If one were taken into it blindfolded it would be difficult to distinguish it from thousands of similar places around the world. Its décor is oriental, for no apparent reason, the reception area and the corridors adorned with huge ceramic pots and ugly lacquered heavy tables. Visible from above as one leaves the lift is an 'atrium' with many armchairs and sofas, but there is nothing welcoming about it and I saw nobody ever sit there. The square ?Japanese/?Chinese 'Garden' in the middle of the hotel has ponds filled with stagnant green water which look like a breeding-ground for mosquitoes, not that I saw a single one, but it is unattractive and the lighting never came on.
The whole place is showing its age and needs a good 're-furb'. Examples: the 'spa/gym' area is very shabby. the loungers by the pool need re-varnishing and the cushions replaced. (In fact, one of the loungers collapsed under me, luckily only damaging my pride and dignity!) The sauna was grubby and the steam-room out of commission, 'waiting for a part'.The paintwork on the outer walls is peeling; the extractor fan in the bathroom was out of order and never repaired despite three requests. However, the room was fine, with a decent balcony. Several other minor niggles but nothing too awful. We never used the restaurant but were told it was pricy, as was the bar. They advertised an 'Italian Night' - Why? To show how 'International' they are, perhaps. The breakfast was repetitive. I thought it unwise not to offer muesli and whole fresh fruit with so many Scandinavian guests, though the fresh pineapple was great. The bacon, egg and sauté potatoes always seemed less than warm, despite the chafing-dishes, and the croissants cold as a corpse.
This would be an ideal venue for a CEO to use, to close a deal or give a talk in the excellent business facilities, relax in the sauna, have an unchallenging meal and fly out again from the airport two minutes drive away. For us, we thought it was 500-750 yards too far from the centre of PD, unlike the other hotels we know. On the plus side, you can park your hire-car for free, impossible to do at the other hotels cited.
Other pluses: very friendly staff. comfortable beds in very clean rooms,good air-con, very quiet at night. The Portuguese President stayed there the night before we arrived, so that should mean it's the best hotel available. To merit that rating, it needs to spruce itself up. However, thank you, Sunvil, for finding more rooms here when the hotel in the original offer was full. And thanks again, Ponta D, especially the Café Royal opposite the Police Station!
George & Ann, UK
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Garden Ponta Delgada
- Royal Garden Hotel Ponta Delgada, Azores - Sao Miguel