I read many Trip Advisor reviews of this hotel before I went there, and I think many of the comments are either positive or negative depending on what the traveller is looking for. So I will try to be objectve so others can decide if it's right for them.
This hotel is not "family friendly," in that there's not much for young children to do (other than swim in the pool). Therefore, most of the guests or older or retired. This suited me and my partner very well, since we wanted peace and quiet, and no "programs" for children as we had experienced in other resort hotels. Each evening at 8:00 pm there is a music program in the reception/bar area, but otherwise there is no piped-in music or entertainment programs.
The location is right on the ocean, but just outside Funchal. So the view and sound of ocean are wonderful from the dining terrace, the pool and the rooms (all rooms and balconys face the ocean). But it's too far from the city to walk, and there isn't anything in the neighborhood.
However, there is a hotel bus that leaves for the center of Funchal every 45 minutes, starting at 9:00 am. If you want to get to the public bus system for hiking (as we did), this is rather inconvenient, because you won't catch a bus earlier than 9:30 or 10:00. But if you plan to spend time in Funchal, or will go on organized trips and excursions, then this is not a problem.
This hotel is also served directly by the AeroBus - the public bus to and from the airport. As of March 2013, the cost was 5 euros one-way and 9 euros round-trip.
The hotel was renovated recently, and re-opened at the beginning of March 2013, so it's very clean and in good shape. We found all of the personnel helpful and friendly, especially the people at reception. They seem to go out of their way to arrange excursions, rental cars and find information for you.
Each meal is a buffet. I usually don't like buffets because I find the food is average and not typical of the country. My partner was disappointed with the selection (he thought there should have been more choices), but I found that most of the dishes were prepared well. Although there weren't typical examples of Madeira cuisine (the range of seafood, for example), each meal had a choice of at least 2 meats and 1 fish. This would probably not be very good for vegetarians, however. The coffee was not typical of Portugal; it was from a coffee machine dispenser, and tasted somewhat burnt. The wines available for free (one white, one red) were good, but the same selection every day got boring. There is a selection of wines and other alcoholic drinks that can be bought from the bar, but we didn't want to do this at an "all-inclusive" resort.
Finally, overall both my partner and I enjoyed our stay at this hotel. Lovely location and quiet, with good food and comfortable rooms.
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- Also Known As:
- Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel Hotel Funchal
- Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel Funchal
- Pestana Bay Hotel Madeira
- Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel Madeira/Funchal