I stayed for one week, in June. at the Pestana Grand. This is a great hotel with even better staff who are multi-lingual. German, French, English, Spanish and of course Portuguese. Guests are welcomed with a glass of Madeira, and as I had had a horrible reservation mix-up (no blame attributed to anyone). I arrived upset and was treated wonderfully by the front desk staff (thanks Sr. Duarte Santos)
The breakfasts are amazing and meet British, EU and N. American palates - fresh fruit and newly baked pastries, custom made pancakes and eggs every which way, juices, and even sparkling wine (mimosas?).And for the fried breakfast crew lots of delicious bacon, sausages, yummy potato cakes etc.Sr. Eduardo Abreu will greet you courteously and seat you in almost any language.He notices little things such as I walk with a cane, so he seated me close to the buffet.
Rooms are spotless, quiet, and whether you are the east or west side sea views you have sun on the balcony for a chunk of the day. Nice touch is a turn down service with chocolate!
The hotel offers a free shuttle into town (walk along the seafront and you can pick up the cable car to Monte (great views of Funchal), Also the #2 bus into town stops just up the road. I walk with a cane so Madeira can be challenging but the bus service is great. #1 and #2 stop close to the hotel.
Tours are happily booked by staff and most are great value.
First half of my trip was 50:50 pretty much Germans and Brits the following week it was 50:50 or so Brits and French.
Lovely pools inside and out.
There are several Happy Hours a day 2 for 1 drinks and there can be nice little freebie surprises - I got an evening Madeira wine tasting courtesy of Blandys (one of the well-known Madeira wine producers) Superb although some Germans were unhappy that the presentation was in English.
Although not kid unfriendly most people tend to be mid 40+s or so, quiet (never even heard a cell go off thank goodness). The dining can be pricey in the evening, but there are a lot of local options for people wanting lighter and less fancy grub.The midday Quick Cook food on the patio is very good, but the rest of the food is so-so (my toasted ham and cheese was more sweaty than toasted, and almost no more than dried bread even after a 2nd toasting it was no better albeit browner)
Wi-Fi in the common areas can be spotty and often times out, however it is free. Did not try the dedicated and payable room version.