We can only underline the many positive comments of recent reviews. These being the friendly and helpful staff at reception, the stunning lobby and public areas, and the beautiful gardens and pool area. Our room was also fantastic. The décor was modern with good quality furniture and a solid wood floor. There was a modern bathroom with bathrobes and everything was really clean. It also had a great balcony overlooking the sea and promenade.
So what was the but? We stayed in early March during a week of strong wind and heavy rain, therefore we spent a lot more time in the hotel than on a typical holiday. This exposed a couple of disappointments for a hotel claiming 5 stars. First the indoor pool & spa: although spacious it has gloomy terracotta painted walls with poor lighting – none at all during the day. The sauna & steam room are only open first thing in the morning and then after 4.30pm. Also there are broken windows adjacent to the Jacuzzi which all added to the feeling that it was not up to the standard you would expect. Our other disappointment was the small, antiquated TV in our room. This was totally out of character with the high standard fit and finish of everything else, and should be replaced with good size flat screen as a priority.
We didn’t eat at the hotel (never do) as we do not like buffets preferring to use local restaurants. As mentioned in a previous review there are several options within 200 metres of the hotel all serving good food at reasonable prices. The most popular being the Real Canoa (the nearest) which was always very busy, had a good menu, served freshly cooked food and at typically 50€ for two with drinks was much better value than the hotel’s 28€ pp buffet with no drinks.
In summary, we really liked the overall ambience of the hotel and the staff we met were all helpful and clearly proud to work for the Pestana group. We will probably return, but definitely not in March. We now know Madeira is green for a reason.