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“Reasonable hotel but could be better” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pestana Carlton Madeira

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Pestana Carlton Madeira
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Largo Antonio Nobre, Funchal, Madeira 9004-531 , Portugal   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #21 of 90 Hotels in Funchal
Beckenham, Kent
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Reasonable hotel but could be better”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2011 via mobile

In fairness to the hotel, our holiday did not start well as we were diverted to Oporto due to high winds in Funchal. We waited six hours and finally landed in Funchal at 2.30 am. Apparently, this is not uncommon when flying to Madeira. Tired and a bit grumpy, we were all too ready to find fault. It then rained buckets (in May) which didn't improve our disposition.

The first thing to know is that the Pestana Group is primarily a time share business, although it also owns about 130 hotels worldwide. It also owns Atlantic Holidays. Hence, you will be persuaded to attend a presentation on their "Holiday Ownership" package which is basically a variation on time share in which you buy up to ten years holidays up front, mainly in Madeira and Portugal. Whatever they tell you in advance, the presentation takes at least three hours. I am not going to comment on whether it is a good deal or not. We didn't buy.

The hotel itself is smart although a little dated in places. The facilities are fine. The rooms are comfortable, although the shower over the bath is never going to be good enough for me. The room service was very good. Bedding was changed regularly and they even changed the towels on our last full day.

One thing to which I do object is paying for internet connections, especially when wifi is free almost everywhere in Funchal. €28 for a week's connection is just irritating.

We were on half board and that was a mistake. There are lots of very good restaurants within reasonable walking distance. The hotel restaurants are limited especially the buffet on Tuesday evenings. There is an a la carte option, but on that basis one may as well try the local restaurants, most of which are cheaper.

We liked "Beef and Wine" (walk straight out of the hotel to the main road, about 400m) - excellent food and very friendly service. Also, if you turn right from the hotel and take the left fork, you will find a couple of pubs and a few restaurants. "Bernini" is cheap and the food is very good, if a little eccentric.

The biggest disappointment was the breakfast buffet. Although the spread of food was reasonable, it was often cold and almost every day the tea and coffee was lukewarm at best. We did get hot drinks after we had sent back the first round but this should not happen.

There was some evening entertainment of the local singer variety. Avoid the Casino dinner show! The hotel is well located for the town - about a ten minute walk. Funchal itself has a lot of charm and plenty to see.

There are plenty of excursions around the island and I would recommend these because the roads are not easy and I would not like to navigate some of the hills.

In summary, the Pestana Carlton is a reasonable four star hotel but definitely not five star. If you are prepared to fend off the sales team and demand hot food and drinks, it's a good place to stay. Having said that, if we return to Madeira I will look around the other hotels outside the Pestana Group in preference to returning to the Carlton.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madeiracarlton, General Manager at Pestana Carlton Madeira, responded to this review, July 22, 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your feedback. Your constructive comments have already been shared with our management team and we promise to focus on improving them.
Kindest regards
Sidónio de Freitas
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (332)
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English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2011 via mobile

My wife and I have just returned from Madeira after staying in the Pestana Carlton and will be returning as soon as possible. The hotel staff were all very courteous and helpful you couldn't ask for better. We have both travelled to many countries and rate this hotel as one of the best we have stayed in. If you are looking for a hotel with a great location, caring and helpful staff and good food this it

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madeiracarlton, General Manager at Pestana Carlton Madeira, responded to this review, July 22, 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your feedback. We are glad to Know you enjoyed your stay with us and recommend our hotel to stay in Madeira. Looking forward to welcome you back soon!
Kinddest regards,
Sidónio de Freitas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

We've stayed at this hotel six times so we must like it! The hotel is not new but has been updated and the staff are friendly, helpful and give good service. Food is good, especially the a la carte in the main evening restaurant and the facilities are also good, though not so much for children, which for us is one of the attractions. The Junior Suite we had this time was very spacious with great sea views and worth the extra (offer) price we paid for it. Adjacent to Reid's Palace hotel, this hotel is pretty central, easily within walking distance of the centre of Funchal and the more more touristy part of the town in the other direction. Plenty of good restaurants in the vicinity too.

Room Tip: Opt for a sea view room
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madeiracarlton, General Manager at Pestana Carlton Madeira, responded to this review, July 22, 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your feedback. We are glad to Know you enjoyed your stay with us and recommend our hotel to stay in Madeira. You are absolutely right our sea view rooms and suites are superb!
Looking forward to welcome you back,
Kindest regards
Sidónio de Freitas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

Just got back from a week of celebrating my wifes birthday, and we must say we found the hotel absolutely fabulous. Upgraded to a junior suite which was to die for,towels etc changed twice daily, plus bed turned down every evening. The views from our 14th floor were stupendous..overlooking Reids, the pool areas and the sea.
We must say that ALL of the staff from Augusta our cleaner to Salome on reception were absolutely fantastic, please ignore some of the negative comments from the odd trip advisor as they must have gone to another planet!!
All in all a great hotel in a good location..will certainly be back..Enjoy !!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madeiracarlton, General Manager at Pestana Carlton Madeira, responded to this review, July 22, 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your feedback and thank you for giving me the opportunity to compliment our all staff for their good performance, specially Salomé and Augusta!
You are absolutely right our junior suites are fabulous and ave a superb view over the atlantic.
We look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back.
Kindest regards
Sidónio de Freitas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2011

Very poor hotel, certainly not 5 star in our opinion. Very bad experience with the hotel lifts not working properly, memeber of family got stuck for over 30 minutes as no staff came to the rescue when they should have done. The hotel generally quite dirty for example food areas not cleaned from the night before including floor areas,bedrooms ok but not briliantly clean. Staff generally awful and rude and alsmost aggressive espcially at reception area. Have stayed in other Pestana hotels and this hotel is certainly not the standard we are use too.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madeiracarlton, General Manager at Pestana Carlton Madeira, responded to this review, July 22, 2011
Dear Guest,
We thank you for your feedback and we apology for not being able to meet, this time, your expectations. I was hoping that after having the oportinity to talk personaly to you during your stay and finding a way to compensate you for the inconveniences, you had changed your opinion. Security in lifts is important to us and procedures have to be aplied even if it takes more time, specially that we have always been in contact with you.
With our renewd apologies we would very much like to have the oportunity to serve you better. Please don't hesitate to contcat me directly so we can take good care of your reservation (sidonio.freitas@pestana.com).
best regards,
Sidónio de Freitas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Yorkshire
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

Went on package holiday with hubby (his Birthday) with Tomsons. Booked a SeaView Room, glad we did. Had a fab view looking out to sea , and towards Reids. We were on the 16th Floor not for the faint hearted but we loved it. The room was spotless, turnback service and clean towels were plenty!! We were on B & B , breakfast was good the usual mixture . On my husbands birthday (the 1st full day of our holiday) we were greeted at breakfast and shown to a reserved table which was decorated with flowers, on our return to our room later in the afternoon, a chilled bottle of bubbly with a very kind letter was waiting for us , ( a nice touch) The hotel we felt was in a good position a gentle 20 mins stroll into town. Lovely pool areas and facilities in the hotel grounds, we chose the bottom Atlantic pool (not as busy as the main) . Some good restaurants near the hotel. The Taj Mahal we visited twice, Kontiki where we had stone cooked steaks (and a free bottle of bubbly for birthday), A lovely Chineese restaurant down the small road which runs between the Taj & the small mini market. Down the same lane & opposite the pub is what we felt was the best place we ate in, what a lovely reastaurant, service, food, wine , and good price for the quality you get, just found it too late in the week to go more !!!!!
Funchal is very clean and safe, we were lucky to be there when the flower festival was on, again this was a treat to see. Went up to monte on the cable car, and did the trips on the big yellow bus (good value). Went to Reids on hubbys birthday (this is a must do) well worth the 28 euros, we were brought a yummy chocolate cake to celebrate hubbs birthday, All very nice touches. I have to mention the Red Lion opposite the hotel, great size drinks at great prices .
Maderia is a lovely island, weahter was variable , food & drink very good, Hotel brilliant.
I would recommend to travellers who love to get out and explore (lots to see) not a bucket & spade and holidays.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stirling, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

Just returned home with my wife to rainy Scotland after our first visit to Madeira and the Pestana Carlton Hotel. Could not fault the hotel in any way which more than lived up to its five star billing. Stunning location with panoramic views over the sea, the hotel itself is superbly furnished, the rooms large and extremely comfortable The swimming pool is the best I've had the pleasure to dip my toes in, surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens. But it must be said that much of the hotel's success must be down to the staff who were enourmously helpful and always smiling so a big thank you to them.
Will definitely be back. Great value for money!

JD, Stirlingshire.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Carlton Madeira

Address: Largo Antonio Nobre, Funchal, Madeira 9004-531 , Portugal
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#15 Family Hotel in Funchal
#15 Business Hotel in Funchal
#16 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#20 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#22 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Carlton Madeira 5*
Number of rooms: 285
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pestana Carlton Madeira, one of the most lively hotels in Madeira, enjoys a privileged setting in Funchal, at the top of a slope on the island of Madeira, providing fantastic views over the bay of Funchal and the sea. This luxurious and charismatic hotel in Madeira is a reference point for any visitor to Madeira, due to the excellent conjugation of a family atmosphere with the sophistication of its excellent installations. Once you are in the hotel, you will find at your disposal a wide range of services you can enjoy, including 3 leisure areas. In the Garden Pool, you will find a heated saltwater outdoor pool and a swimming pool for children. In the Atlantic Pool, there is a salt water outdoor pool with access to the sea and an indoor pool with Jacuzzi, relaxation rooms and bar. The Magic Spa offers an indoor heated swimming pool with sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, gym and treatment rooms. To promote the cultural gastronomic diversity of Funchal, this 5 star hotel in Madeira has 3 restaurants and 3 bars, with excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean, with a variety of flavours that will satisfy the most demanding tastes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Carlton Madeira Funchal
Carlton Hotel Madeira

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