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“Average hotel but probably best bet on the island”

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Pestana Bahia Praia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 26, 2011

Stayed here August 2011. The Hotel has seen better days but still was nice and reasonable. The rooms were very large (suites with multiple rooms). You could not ask for more in the rooms. They were clean and I would say above average, but not luxurious. Pool area was ok but no staff. No one at the bar area or asking for drinks etc. In fact, to get pool towels you have to check them out at the front desk. But one day when we asked for towels at 11 am we were told they were out…”we should have gotten there sooner!”. Er, ah, a so called resort hotel running out of beach/pool towels at 11 am? Come on! and internet? wow. 3 Euros an hour (2 for a half hour)…with no start and stop rights. So if you want to check your emails in the morning, and again say afternoon and again in the evening, well that will cost you three times! And it only works in the lobby area! I thought some of the staff was accommodating and nice, and others were just, well, rude.

Food was just ok. They have one restruarant for breakfast buffet and lunch, and another for dinner. Lunch place was basic and reasonably priced. Dinner was just ok, and high priced for what you could get elsewhere. Towns in either direction, 10-15 minutes, are a better bet.

I would say photos you see on Tripadvisor, Expedia etc are accurate.

The location is good. Central on the island. Easy to get everywhere from there in an hour or so. I would agree with the other reviews that you should stay here rather than in the hotels in Ponta Delgado or other big towns.

Beach is a short walk from the hotel. It’s a decent beach. Sandy not rocks or pebbles. You can go in the water, but the break is to sharp to body surf etc.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 - 142 of 359 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2011

We stayed one week in this hotel. Had read some reviews and didn't have too high expectations about the food. So we got really surprised about the breakfast. Beside different kind of bread, cereal, bacon & eggs there were different kinds of fresh fruit every morning as well. The buffet at evening was OK, but one could long for something else sometimes. The a la carte menu wasn't big, but when one thinks about the number of tourists you couldn'g expect a large menu either. The room was spacious and the beds comfortable.
Perfect position nearby the beach and the garden around the hotel with its beatiful swimmingpool was also nice. We rent a car for two days to explore the island and walked up to the nearest village Vila Franca do Campo, a walk of about 45 minutes. There is bus stop nearby the hotel. If you like quiet surroundings, being near the seaside/beach this is a perfect location.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Hennie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2011

I must start by saying that if you go to Sao Miguel do not stay in the bigger villages or Ponta Delgada, stay near the ocean and nature. The hotel exceeded our expectations, room (junior suite) was really spacious, own balcony with beach/sea view, fridge tv, bath, shower, everything and the room was cleaned every day. As hotel guest you could freely play tennis, billiard and pingpong or enjoy the siming pool. The gym was quite old-fashioned but you could do upper body excercises. At swimming pool mattresses, sun shades and towels were free and the swimming pool was big enough for longer swims too. There was lower end for children too. About the food we had HB and enjoued the dinner buffet every evening. They had 4-5 different salads to start with, daily soup (mainly vegeterain ones), fish, meat, warm veggies and potatoes/rice to go with the main dishes. The dessert table was amazing and really delicious. There were 5-6 different desserts from whitechocolate mousse to fruits and pies. The breakfast was also good they served different fresh fruits, youghurt, bread and croissants, cereals, cheese, ham, bacon etc. all the basic stuff and you could eat it outside at the terrace. In daytime you could order snacks like fires and hamburgers from the restaurant and buy ice cream. Evening time the Bar American was open and you could enjoy cocktails for 5€. There's only 150m to the nearest beach ("praia") which is one of the best ones in Sao Miguel. There's really nice beach bar where you can buy snacks (toasts, baguettes, fries etc.), drinks (Fanta 1€, beer 1-3€, cocktails 2,5-3€), ice cream and sun lotion. They have really friendly staff but sometimes little shy to speak English. The beach bar was open until 11 p.m. About grocery shopping, the hotel isn't far from Vila Franca do Campo but the terrain is tough to walk and roads bit narrow in some points. It took 45min to walk to nearest market Sol Mar which is in Vila Franca do Campo. Taxi from Vila Franca do Campo to the Bahia palace cost 6€ and from Ponta Delgada to the hotel 16€. There's also free hotel bus on weekdays to Ponta Delgada, it leaves the hotel 10.30 a.m. and comes back 4 p.m. Local buses don't run very often but there's a bus stop near the hotel and you get the schedule from the reception. I do recommend hiring a car and go around the island with your own pace but the hotel staff also helps you to book excursions. Roads are in very good condition and the landscapes are amazing, sometimes a bit narrow but very easy to drive and there are at least 100 viewpoints along the way :) One nice curiosity was a small chapel outside of the hotel, where a wedding was held during our stay. And one tip for water activity lovers, it was difficult to find bodyboards or swimming mattresses, so bring your own if possible. The waves at the nearest beach were amazing to ride when it was more windy for couple of days and Vila Franca do Campo's beach is crowded with bodyboarders. You will definitely enjoy this region!

Room Tip: Ask room with beach view!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Saima11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2011

Arrived before check in and was promptly, and not nicely, told that we could not check in until until 2:00pm (it was now 10:00am). No offer to take our bags, recommend a restaurant, cold drink, etc. I had opted to stay at the Presidential Suite because I was with my two sons and my Dad. I wanted a room where we could all stay together. The first surprise was that the Presidential Suite was on the first floor, just beyond the game rooms and the the Bar Americano, where they had a band playing music (loudly I might add) until well after 12 midnight the second night we were there. The wall to the bar abutted a bedroom in the suite. A walk to the "private terrace" found old, moldy resin beach chairs, some with cob webs and cushions that were torn, discolored and warped. We also had the added bonus of having five floors of rooms above us peering over (not really the privacy I had expected). The manager, Phillipe, was nice, but ineffective in my opinion. He had assured me that the music that was scheduled would not be loud as he had spoken to the band and that it would end at 11pm (neither happened). We also had no working phones in the room during the entire of our stay. Couldn't call the front desk, didn't even know there was room service until I visited the bar and saw a menu. The restaurant was very limited in its selections and the breakfast (which was included in our room rate) offered an assortment of breads, cheese, fruits, and hard-boiled or scrambled eggs (not always very warm). The breakfast was nice but it did not vary very much and by the end of our stay we were pretty tired of the same old stuff. The pool bar was never opened and there was no place to buy a drink except the bar (2 Euros for a small glass of soda adds up quickly!!!) The dining staff were always very nice and friendly as were the housekeeping staff. The Front Dest staff had several staff members who tried to be helpful but they were the front line of hearing complaints. They were not helpful at offering suggestions for restaurants. The hotel is near the beach but there is nothing around it, you have to drive to the city of Vila Franca for anything. Americans be warned, not many places take VISA. Thankfully, my father brought cash as we did have to convert it to Euros - even for tours and many restaurants!!!! I was fortunate to meet a Canadian woman who faithfully returns with her family to this hotel in the the hopes that its great potential will be met - but certainly not this year. No gift shop, no vending machines (there are for cigarettes, though). The WiFi was terrible, so if you need to be "connected" do not choose this hotel, I felt very isolated, even though one staff member tried for over 20 minutes to help us with the connection.
In short, I felt for the money I paid for a suite, this hotel was not worth it. I would hardly call an un-stocked refrigerator in a closet a "mini-bar" but that is what we had. The staff seemed unprepared to anticipate a guest's needs. So if you are looking for a luxury hotel in Sao Miguel, Azores, do not choose this one. Thankfully, we had a rental car or we would have really been stuck.

Room Tip: Do not spend the money on a suite, it is not worth it.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank MaryBeth27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2009

One of ower best vaction's, something to see, experiense, and do. Wale safari was verry god. Sao Miguel is a beautifule island all over. The only down side are that the food are not eanything spesial, it is only food.

Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
Thank WiggoS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2009

Even though we expected the food to be bad after reading some of the comments here we were disappointed. No taste, too dry, overcooked and not very nice looking. After a week at Bahia Palace we couldn't wait to get home and cook for ourselves. Unfortunately somebody had put water in the airfuel so we had to stay another night, but that is a different story...

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lolinona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

My husband and I returned from a romantic two week holiday in the Azores. The Bahia Palace Hotel in Sao Miguel provided us with the refuge and quiet we needed, after a very cold and snowy new year in Canada.

The Bahia Palace is located on a hill overlooking the majestic Atlantic Ocean. Surrounded by beautifully kept grounds, the hotel is ideal for couples who wish to rediscover the romance of 'sitting quietly by the shore, holding hands, feeling the spray of waves kiss your face.' The spring-like temperatures allowed us to travel in shirt-sleeves during most days, and in light jackets in the evenings.

The Hotel food was very good, especially the delicious hot oatmeal porridge for breakfast, and the savoury chateaubriand for dinner. Also appreciated were the fresh fruits available daily for breakfast. Coffee, light snacks, and special Island cocktails were available in the American Bar from morning till late evening.

We had no complaints about hotel service and cleanliness. The waitresses and front desk personnel were always friendly and very helpful with information regarding the hotel and surrounding towns. When the weather turning to rain, the front desk receptionist offered us two umbrellas so that we would not change our plans.

The architecture of the hotel is outstanding. The woodwork in the lobby demonstrates superb workmanship. Walls, ceilings and doorways are adorned in solid mahogany,and light marble floors and ten foot oriental vases add color and luster.

We plan to return again to this wonderful hotel in the near future.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank TravelMarme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Bahia Praia

Address: Praia de Agua d'Alto, Apartado 8 | Praia Baía de Água d’Alto, Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel 9680-365, Portugal (Formerly Hotel Bahia Palace)
Location: Portugal > Azores > Sao Miguel > Vila Franca do Campo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vila Franca do Campo
Price Range: $68 - $180 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Bahia Praia 4*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pestana Bahia Praia is a 4-star hotel located on the Azores Archipelago, on São Miguel Island, with direct access to the Baia de Água d'Alto Beach and with fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean. São Miguel Island is the largest of the archipelago and has strong links with the sea and nature. Throughout your entire stay, you will be able to enjoy an external fresh-water swimming pool, two restaurants and a bar. In your free time, play a game of tennis on one of the two courts, play in the game room or stroll through the expansive garden which features a chapel from the 17th century. The rooms are spacious, were recently remodelled, feature modern furniture and each is equipped with a flatscreen TV and Wi-Fi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bahia Palace
Pestana Bahia Praia Vila Franca Do Campo, Azores - Sao Miguel

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