First of all, I need to say the location of this hotel is spectacular. Our apartment hangs directly over the ocean which means we are woken up each morning by waves lapping up against the rocks, and our balcony view is of the endless ocean. Absolutely stunning. It's a short 20 minute walk into central Funchal, and on our door step is a plethora of fantastic restaurants and supermarket.
We stayed in one of two of the larger apartments which has two bedrooms, a sitting area, 2 kitchens and a double balcony. The rooms were tidied and cleaned daily, and if we wanted more towels then the staff would happily provide them. I can't really fault the room too much, if I were to have any comments then I would say that they perhaps need a little more attention to detail, for example there are a few marks in inconspicuous places in the living areas, and the bed sheets sometimes were not pulled all the way to the edge of the bed. Quite little things really, and none that really spoilt the experience. The beds were adequately comfortable, I would have preferred if the pillows were a bit thicker, but I think that's just my preference.
The living area had a large flatscreen TV, but I think we only used it once or twice but it seemed to be in perfect working order. The apartment had two bathrooms which were practically identical. The one I was using was perfectly fine and houses a toilet, a bath/shower, sink and beday. A small criticism, and I mean small, would again be that some attention needs to be paid to the aesthetics of the room. Some of the mirror surface has worn off, and the grouting around the tiles of the room needs a bit of retouching so it looks smarter. As before, these things don't exactly ruin the experience of staying here and are fairly minor.
The staff at the Pestana Palms are always happy to see you, never look grumpy and are always attentive to your needs and wishes. I really can't fault them in anyway. They even print off your boarding pass and leave them in your room so you don't have to worry about sorting it out yourself, and there was free Wi fi provided which extended to the centre of Funchal, which was useful for those quick facebook/twitter log ins!
We didn't have the chance to eat in their restaurant, but we did have a few drinks either by the pool or in the reception area bar. The cocktails they provide are delicious and they have a pretty good drinks list overall.
The biggest and greatest aspect of this hotel, as I mentioned before was it's location and it didn't stop with the view. Because it's right by the ocean, your swimming time isn't confined to their pool (which, is lovely) but you also have direct access to the sea, and if you have brought a mask and snorkel you can experience some fantastic sights of the life below, as the area around the hotel plays host to a wonderful variety of sea life. Be careful though, because on a few occasions a Portuguese Man of War did float over! The hotel also houses a dive center (which is operated separately from Pestana) which is very handy as my partner and me are divers.
Overall this is a fantastic hotel, and out of all the ones we saw during our two week stay it's probably the only one that goes directly down to the sea which is such a huge bonus. The exterior needs a little bit of repainting and updating but as of writing this, someone had already refilled and repainted the outer walls so clearly this is something the hotel is working on!
I am going to miss this place when I leave tomorrow, but I highly anticipate returning here in the very near future and recommend the Pestana Palms to anyone who wishes to stay in Madeira.