We just returned from a very nice stay at the Pestana Grand for 6 nights. We have two teenagers and a 7-year-old so it was great to able to have connecting rooms which were huge and very quiet. Really beautiful view from the Sea Side rooms we had.
We also enjoyed the extra program they had at the hotel in connection with their Brazilian and Madeiran themed buffets, since it was open even to people who didn't take the buffet. This way we were able to see a little glimpse of the Carnaval parade of Funchal which we just missed. They also had a group of traditional Madeiran performers a couple of days later so we didn't need to go to a special dinner for that.
The only complaints I have with the place are the outside pools which, though beautiful, were too cold to swim in even though we had understood that they were heated. As we live in a Nordic country, we also found the age restriction of 14 years in the saunas very strange as at home everyone uses them, no matter what age.
One thing they should improve, is the information given on different available tours on the island. When I asked which options there would be to get a glimpse of the island, I was told that there is only one operator, the one whose leaflet they gave at check-in. Even though I thought this seemed strange, this was our first time to Madeira and we assumed we could trust the information as this is a five-star hotel. However, after booking the Western tour with the tour-operator they recommended (MBtours) we obviously found out that there would have been other options. Even though our tour was essentially a private tour in a minibus, we had specifically wanted an actual tour guide and not just the driver telling a couple of things now and then, even if he was a very good and calm driver. I really cannot recommend taking the lunch connected to the tour, especially if you're at all faint-hearted. For lunch we were driven into the middle of nowhere to a wooden cabin which wasn't heated. While waiting for our food, we witnessed what seemed to be some sort of chase after this chicken which was then suspiciously silenced around the corner. Very strange, even though the food was ok.
But the hotel was great otherwise and we were very thankful for the breakfast we received in our room on the morning we left, as it was brought to us at 3 a.m. with warm rolls and all. We also loved the location next to a mall and several restaurants and the hotel's free bus into Funchal and back.
Sea side connecting rooms were huge and had a great view, as well as being quiet. We were in rooms 1...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 4, 2012
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Thank you for your comment regarding your holidays with us.
We were glad to learn that you found the rooms and our theme buffets suitable for you and your family.
Our outdoor swimming pool is not heated and yes, it can be a bit cold specially in winter time.
The restritions about children using sauna, are followed by portuguese rules and healthy reasons. We honestly regret the situation described about the information provided at the reception regarding tours around the island.
This situation has been dealt with the person in charge in order to avoid these situations in the future.
All in all we hope you really had a nice time with us.
Looking forward to welcome you again.
With kind regards from the lti Pestana Grand staff.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.