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“Wonderful setting” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pestana Bahia Praia

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Pestana Bahia Praia
bath, UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful setting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2006

We have just returned from 4 nights at the Bahai Palace. We did not see the poor reviews that had been posted previously until after we had booked. Thankfully the hotel had greatly improved. The setting for the hotel is magnificent - see photos. OK, so they did not offer to help us upstairs with our 2 small wheel-along travel cases, but this would have been a bit OTT anyway. However we were given a welcoming drink when we arrived. The staff did go out of their way to please. For example: I accidently dropped a spoon on the floor at breakfast, quickly grabbed it off the floor, and an eagle-eyed waiter instantly retrieved it from me before I had even considered what to do next.
The rooms were much bigger than a normal hotel room and felt very grand: the total floor area was about 420sq ft, with a 9ft ceiling. There were separate rooms for loo/bidet, bathroom (with bath, 2 washbasins and a shower stall), walk-in wardrobe, dressing room, bedroom/sitting room, and the balcony. And the best bit was the air-con - it was inaudible, and yet still worked OK. I guess that the rooms on the east side do not have very good views.
The grounds were excellently maintained: we saw groundsmen working on them every day. The outdoor pool and its surrounding area was kept scrupulously clean, and was very inviting.
For breakfast there were several items of each type: cereals, fruit juice, bread, cold meat, cheese, fruit, fruit salad, and for hot food - scrambled egg, bacon, sausages and toast. There was always plenty to eat - it did not run out at 9:45am! For evening meals we chose to eat the buffet, but we could have selected from an a la carte menu in the same restaurant, or could have gone to the 'posh' a la carte restaurant that was also there. The buffet was reasonable value for the 20E (each) we paid. But 3 nights of buffet was enough. The down-side of the hotel's setting was that there was nowhere else to eat that was within walking distance, though I suppose we could have tried to use the bus that stopped by the gate.

  • Liked — rooms and setting
  • Disliked — cannot walk to anywhere else - need hire car or use bus
  • Tips/Secrets — get a hire car if you are not a sun worshipper
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank pdp1105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2006

We booked in to the hotel but were given no help, advice or information at all. Our sea side hotel room was not as clean as it should have been and glass around balcony was absolutely filthy. Housekeeping didn't remove glasses from room so by end of 3 day stay we had about 20 glasses! Breakfast was horrible plastic food eg orange squash diluted with water!. We told waiter that we wanted a table on our own but this was ignored and people were seated right next to us! No privacy at breakfast then! I've stayed in backpackers places which had better standards than this supposedly 4 star hotel. The Azores have a lot of catching up to do as this standard is not quaint or cosy - it just leaves you with the "I want to get away from here" feeling.

Stayed July 2006
Helpful?
10 Thank ScottishFemale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Lothian Scotland
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2006

We booked this holiday sometime ago and just before going I read such diappointing reviews I became alarmed. But my worry was unnecessary, as this hotel was lovely, in beautiful gardens beside the Atlantic. We arrived just before 10.00pm after flight delays, but we were served dinner by such friendly staff who were helpful throughout our stay.
Breakfasts were excellent, so much choice for continental, if you wanted cooked it was usually scrambled egg and bacon, but we go on holiday and expect to eat the food of the country not english food. Dinner was a little disappointing in the main dishes some days, but plenty of fresh salads and lovely bread! There was an a la carte restaurant if you wanted more high class meals. We enjoyed a lovely meal one night with local fish. I had already read in a guide book that the Azores was not a place were you would find high class food, so I was prepared for basic meals.
Our suite was large and very comfortable and having a fridge was great during the hot weather. Clean fluffy towels everyday and plenty of toiletries provided, plus hot water on demand, great compared with some mainland hotels.

Pool towels were available one per day per person, and often were still warm from the tumble drier. The pool area was always clean and we saw the pool cleaned and checked each day.

Our balcony had a lovely view of the Atlantic, small beach and hills, we listened to the birdsong and relaxed in the warm sunshine.

All the staff were great, and some of the bar staff helped us with our pronounciation for ordering, we find if you try to speak the language they will help you, and consequently can say the staff were great.

A lovely hotel and much better than some in the towns were we heard they never had fruit at breakfast! We always had plenty! Plenty of room to park cars and tennis courts and bikes to hire if you want more exercise.

  • Liked — Large comfortable suite
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — Ask for higher floor as views may be blocked if on garden side
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank jo145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2006

The Bahia Palace is not a 4star hotel in comparison to others on the island. The hotel is also not a good reflection of the people, culture or cuisine of the island. The staff were not very friendly or accomodating. We specifically asked for an oceanview room 3 times before arriving to the hotel just to be dissapointed by a gardenview. When we would ask about nearby towns and villages they could not offer us any information. This is the only hotel that has ever charged us for ice!!! We even went downstairs to the bar to get it and we were asked to sign a charge to the room of 1.50 euros! The food was also a big dissapointment. I would not recommend staying here! The only thing this hotel has going for it is the nearby beach!

Stayed June 2006
Helpful?
11 Thank offtoseetheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2006

My wife and I stayed at this hotel in September 2005, and never again. From the time we arrived to the time we left the hotel management and majority of the staff could not have a cared a damm. Arrival saw us carry our own cases, with no offer of help. Reception staff had to be questioned as to hotels facilities. Restaurant staff and the food were the biggest disappointment. Wife had hot coffee poured in her lap with no apology or offer of assistance. Service in the restaurant was so slow that getting a bread roll with your sweet course was the norm. Having a meal under stress does not make for an enjoyable experience. The breakfast hot food was always the same and after 14 days became boring, and was always luke warm, and the smoking policy transformed it into a transport cafe.
After so much we spoke to the hotel manager who stated that he understood our complains, but that the hotel is always fully booke, obviously by first and last timers like ourselves - NEVER AGAIN

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2005

We stayed at the Bahia Palace in September 2005. We arrived by car and had to struggle with our cases as no help was offered. At reception the only thing we were told was "you are in room 506". We had to ask for details of breakfast , restaurant, pool etc. The room was nicely furnished and we had no complaints about it except that the door lock was held on with tape, having obviously been damaged. The tour operator's brochure (Cadogan Holidays) states that junior suites include a kitchen. This is not true and the hotel staff were amazed when they saw the brochure. We wanted the kitchen because we had heard that the food in the hotel was poor. We had not realised how awful it would actually be! It would take too long to list all the problems with the food here. Breakfast was the worst aspect and was truly diabolical every day. It became a standing joke among some of the other guests. We all compared notes and shared information on outside restaurants as alternatives. The food was the worst I have ever experienced anywhere in the world.
The hotel is nicely situated but many rooms have their promised sea views blocked by flat roofs and balconies - be careful! There is constant and dreadfully irritating loud piped music throughout all public areas. The pool area was dirty and many sunloungers were tatty and broken. Towels were grudgingly provided for pool use (strictly 1 per day!) and were also tatty.
Service was poor and the overall impression was one of a failing hotel without proper management. Even when we had been trapped for some time in a failed lift, no one came to check we were ok or to apologise. The standard of the hotel is a shame because the island is lovely, quiet and unspoiled and we enjoyed our time there, particularly the whale watching trip with "Terra Azul" - an experience not to be missed. We would like to return to the Azores but never, never, never to this hotel!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank PaulBPortsmouth_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2005

My wife and I stayed in the Bahia Palace Hotel for a week in May 2005. The hotel is in a lovely spot overlooking a beach and a bay where dolphins were seen playing on several occasions. We has paid extra for a sea-view room, but on arrival were given a room on the second floor with a limited view because of a large flat roof extending below our room on the floor below, with several trees beyond that. The patio doors leading to the balcony were so stiff that it was almost impossible to open them. After complaining about the lack of view, we were moved to another room on the 5th floor. This had a great view, and no other problems.

The hotel generally was OK, and the reception staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. The big disappointment was the food, which was poor. We had hoped to eat in the hotel restaurant in the evenings because the hotel is out of town, with no other shops or restaurants nearby. Having tried the food on our first night, we decided to take a taxi into the nearest town (Vila Franca do Campo) every night after that. The taxi cost 5 euros each way, but it was worth it for a decent meal. We found a restaurant called 'O Jaime', where they did lovely fresh fish (Just ask for the catch of the day). The other downside with the hotel was the constant piped music everywhere you went. Jazz trumpet at breakfast isn't welcome!

The highlight of our trip was a whale and dolphin watching trip with a company called Terra Azul, based in Vila Franca. We saw loads of dolphins and a blue whale. The staff in the office and on the boat were great, and really seemed to care about the animals, and not just about making money out of the tourists. We would thoroughly recommend them.

Helpful?
43 Thank GBTravellerLondon_UK
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

Property: Pestana Bahia Praia
Address: | Praia Baía de Água d’Alto, Vila Franca do Campo, Sao Miguel 9680, 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Vila Franca do Campo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Bahia Praia 4*
Number of rooms: 101
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on São Miguel Island, with direct access to the beach "Baia de Água d'Alto" and with clear panoramic view to the Atlantic Ocean, you can find here the harmony and peace that you need for your holidays. São Miguel is the largest island of the archipelago, where more than half of the island's population lives at. Together with Santa Maria Island, São Miguel forms the Eastern Group of the Azores Archipelago. Whether for its proximity to the ocean, as well as for its large outdoor freshwater swimming pool. Every single area of this 4-star hotel was exhaustively planned in order to ensure the communion between elegance and good taste with the environment. The rooms have a balcony and a panoramic view over the ocean, along with the hills. Save some time to admire the exquisiteness that surrounds you. All the spaces were carefully planned in order to make good taste and elegance prevail in a classic and refined atmosphere, in synchrony with the surrounding beauty. This is a resort with a strong affinity to water. This Hotel has at your will a wide range of facilities that include Junior and Senior Suites, restaurants, bars, swimming pool, conference rooms, games rooms, library and reading room, saunas, gym, gardens and areas reserved for banquets, marriages and baptisms. ... 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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