We (myself, my wife and 12 year old daughter) have just returned from 11 nights at the Pestana Promenade Ocean Resort Hotel) and it was a very enjoyable experience.
The hotel has a modern design with a clean plain decor. This makes it feel a bit 'clinical' but certainly not 'cheap'. In fact, driving up to it made me feel like I could be approaching a medical centre (this is not meant to be a criticism- just an observation). Once inside, I must say that the greeting we got from the staff on reception was one of the friendliest and most professional I have come across. Our room wasn't ready because we arrived before the normal check out time so this was understandable. We did not mind waiting (not for long) as it gave us time to explore and the staff handled the situation very well.
Once in our room we found it spotlessly clean although our sea view balcony was a bit small. The TV had enough channels to keep our daughter occupied whilst changing for dinner. This hotel has really got the acoustics right. We hardly heard our neighbours, or the people above us and the corridors seemed to soak up the sound of the odd door being slammed very effectively. For once it's nice to find a hotel that understands that some people like plenty of pillows and can simply choose not to use them if they don't want to (rather than the other way around). 11 very comfortable night's sleep thanks to good air conditioning, comfortable beds, quiet rooms and pillows!
Reception is on the 5th floor and the pool area is on level 0. There are two lifts and I must say one more could have been useful, particularly as the stairs are accessed from part way along the corridor serving the rooms and initially we thought that they were for emergency use only.
The pool area is very nice indeed with plenty of sunbeds. It accommodates a lot of people and yet never feels busy or overcrowded. The outdoor pool was one of the warmest I have been in making an early morning swim very pleasant even on cloudy mornings. Obtaining a sunbed was not a problem, some beds did get 'reserved' (against hotel policy) but it was not excessive and the pool attendant did a good job in removing the towels where blatant reservation took place - he even removed mine one morning after I had been reading for an hour or so then gone for some breakfast at around 9.30 - not a problem, it was my own fault and there were still plenty of beds left for us to use. The hotel provided towels for use by the pool which I like.
There is an indoor pool (reasonable size) and Spa with steam room, sauna and a large Jacuzzi. The sauna and steam room do not operate between 11am and 4.30pm but outside of these times are very effective. A nice touch was the provision of free lockers for valuables whilst using these indoor facilities. There are treatments available but we didn't use them.
There is no 'animation team' or activities during the day for children. This was fine for us as we wanted a quiet relaxing holiday. Some evening entertainment was provided but not too intrusive.
The Gym is small but adequate (you don't go on holiday to work out - or so my wife kept telling me) but a really nice touch was the provision of sanitary wipes so that the equipment could be cleaned after using it and a water dispenser. It never got too busy.
We stayed on a Half Board basis with drinks with our meals. The restaurant has a nice terrace area which was a nice place to eat. A good selection of food was available on a self service basis. There was a reasonable level of variety and it was kept hot - well done. The buffet area is smaller than I would have expected but even when very busy (at breakfast) this was not a problem. Very good selection of food available at breakfast. We did use the a la carte menu one evening and I must say that the meal was superb. The drinks package was very good value indeed and the house wine (white) not bad at all. One small point was that the deserts tended to be similar and I was getting a bit fed up with them although this comment could apply to almost all of the hotels I have stayed at. The restaurant is a bit 'clinical' and somehow lacked a bit of atmosphere (just my observation) but the friendly staff compensate for this. The hotel obviously has many guests staying on a self catering (or B&B) basis which probably explains why the restaurant does not need to be anything too fancy.
The drinks are not cheap but this was to be expected. If you want to sit in a nice environment served by well trained, nice people with excellent language skills, then you have to pay a little more for it. There are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby along with supermarkets and shops so there are plenty of options.
It is a 10 minute bus ride to the centre of Funchal EUR1.80 each way and the buses are regular and the bus stop not too far from the front of the hotel. I did walk to Funchal one day but it's a bit too far for a family stroll. The promenade and general atmosphere of the Lido area is very nice so I would recommend the location.
I would definitely recommend this hotel. They have great attention to detail and it's the little things that they do that make it so nice. Every single member of staff that we encountered seemed genuinely interested in making sure that we enjoyed our stay and they succeeded! We do not tend to revisit the same location, as we prefer to try new places. However, if we decide to return to Funchal, this hotel will be our first choice
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pestana Promenade is a 4-star hotel in Funchal, Madeira and is one of the newest and most sophisticated contemporary hotels in Funchal. It is 2 minutes on foot from the beach and near Lido with direct access to the promenade that stretches all the way to Praia Formosa. Take a stroll through the vast garden area and discover one of the largest swimming pools of all of the hotels on Madeira. Visit the Spa with indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, whirlpool bath, sauna, Turkish bath and gym. It offers two restaurants and a bar. Most rooms offer a relaxing view of the sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pestana Promenade Ocean Hotel Funchal
- Pestana Promenade Ocean Resort
- Pestana Promenade Madeira/Funchal