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“Wonderful gardens but food and drink very poor value for money ... and as for Options!!”

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Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel
Ranked #26 of 87 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Sandown
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful gardens but food and drink very poor value for money ... and as for Options!!”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Stayed here for 11 days (May 6th - 17th) for the flower festival using our first Pestana Options credits (this is a scheme we were coerced in to joining a couple of years ago - having paid £5000 up front it enables us to stay at any Pestana hotel or their partner hotels for up to 10 weeks in 10 years across the world for 30 Euro's or equivalent per night in a studio apartment, this is literally just the room and does not include any food). When we joined the scheme we were led to believe we would be valued, treated as VIP's and have a bottle of wine in our room on arrival however in reality things were different.
As it was our first time at the Village and I have never had to book all aspects of a foreign holiday seperately before, I requested by email that 7 of the days to be half-board so we wouldn't have to organise a meal when we got there, but this was not to be. The reception knew nothing about it and the Owner Relations office was closed with it being a Monday (we were not told). We checked in and we and all our luggage were briskly taken by some Herculean male to our room and abandoned. No mention of where the bar, restaurant or Owner Relations office was.
I have MS and limited mobility so the hill up to the hotel was a huge problem.It would have been nice if hotel staff rather than another guest had told us that it is much easier to access the Village Garden through the Mira Mar car park entrance (alongside the jewellery shop) and taking the lift to floor 7. The hotel knew I had problems as we were allocated a room with a call system accessed by just 3 steps which I managed OK.
The hotel room 3003 (a studio apartment with kitchenette) was clean and well maintained and although a number of other guests did seem to think it was acceptable to blatantly stand and stare into it through the balcony doors (it was at ground floor level) we did find the privacy curtains useful.
The gardens are indeed beautiful and an Oasis of calm (they won the flower festival hotel garden award whilst we were there) and even my husband managed to unwind and relax there (he prefers gardens to pools and beaches).
I found the pool area clean and there were enough longers for all - it is not permitted to reserve them! However during the first half of the holiday the water was too cold for me to use the pool but in the last 4 days the heating must have been turned on and it was slightly warmer than the air temperature so was very pleasant and it was lovely to ease my aching legs from the walking in Funchal.
Now, the food... The buffet breakfast at around 12 Euro's is probably the best meal they offer - traditional hot English or continental with fruit, cereal, yoghurt, fruit juices, cheeses, ham, salami and a variety of breads, rolls and croissants along with tea and coffee are an excellent start to the day and I always ate well then knowing the evening buffet was not always up to scratch. No complimentary water is available for the evening meal and at over 4 Euros for a bottle of still water for 2 people and other drinks even more expensive we refused to pay for any and had to cover the bland and repetitive evening buffet food with the sauces to add some liquid to them. There was hot food - chicken, pork or beef usually braised but as this is obviously the way the Portuguese cook it and we were in their country I cannot fault it from that point of view. I chose the cold buffet though with salad and pasta/tinned tuna etc (it is safe to eat salad there as the water is safe to drink from the tap so food washed in it is also OK). However this buffet was alittle repetitive after the fourth night. We would return to our room after dinner and have a glass or two of red wine which was perfectly acceptable from a 3 litre box we brought from a supermarket for a little over 5 Euros!! Hubby also managed to buy some beers on special offer from the small Spar shop just outside the Mira Mar entrance as being a bitter man (drink not temperament!) he found the local lager weak and unpalatable.

Getting there was easy - we caught the aerobus from outside the airport and which stops outside all hotels on the way to Praia Formosa - at 5 Euro's each this was excellent value and much better than the prices the hotel tried to charge with a taxi (25 Euro's each way) or shared minibus (15 Euros per couple each way). Whilst waiting at the bus stop for our return journey a taxi driver who was heading there to collect a friend took us to the airport for 10 Euro's - 'good for us, good for him!' and he took us practically to the check in having loaded our luggage on the trolley etc.

So in summary
1.Use the Aerobus to get there and if you have limited mobility get off at the Mira Mar then:
2.Use the Mira Mar car park entrance and take the lift to level 7
3.Buy alcohol elsewhere and drink it in your room (it is not permitted to consume items not brought on the complex in public areas for obvious reasons)
4.If you are on the Options scheme don't arive on a Sunday or Monday if you have pre-ordered food vouchers.
5. Go for breakfast and fill up, it might be wiser to eat out or prepare evening meals in your room if you don't like buffet dinners and ridiculously expensive drinks. There is a small Spar shop ouside the Mira Mar entrance
6.There is free wi-fi available in the reception area which is useful
7. There are a few UK TV channels if you need to keep updated with the news, weather at home (hehe) or your fix of soaps.
8.Probably not an ideal hotel for children as quite a distance to the beach and it is probably more suited to horticulturists who want a calm and peaceful escape.
9.Take the Open Top bus tours - the yellow bus is 12 Euros for 2 days and it is a wonderful way to see Funchal and the surrounding areas, the cable cars to Monté and the botanical gardens are also amazing if you are brave enough (we have done them 3 times over the last 4 years).
10. Taxi's to and from the town centre are around 5 Euro's (catch to the Mira Mar and use the entrance as above) or you can use the Giro tickets on local but somewhat crowded buses.
11. Do not be put off by my experience - having MS I obviously suffered a number of issues able bodied folk wouldn't, and dispite it all I had a wonderful holiday and didn't want to come home, and using our 'Options' we are planning a trip to Gran Canaria next year.

Room Tip: There are no lifts at the Village Garden so request a ground floor room if you have mobility problem...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank LoftyislandLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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London
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

After thinking about visiting Madeira for some time we finally bit the bullet and were impressed. Perfect for a peaceful, relaxed week in the sun. As others have said, be aware of the hills - but it shouldn't be an issue unless you have particular mobility problems.

The hotel itself was very well kept and the chambermaids very keen! We were suprised to have one knocking on our door at 8:30am one morning to see if it was OK to clean the room, We were up and dressed but it struck us as rather early to be starting the cleaning! We put the 'do not disturb' on the door after that.

Other things to mention - Food: we were B&B so can only comment on the breakfast which was perfectly fine. Would have to mention however that it was slightly varied, eg. the orange juice was very good for the first two or three days but then disappeared and there was only apple / passionfrut of the watered-down / squash variety. And one day there were no 'regular' teabags so tea had to be served from a machine at whatever strength was programmed in.

Pool area: was very nice and plenty of sunbeds for all. We didn't notice any reserving of sunbeds which made a pleasant change. The pool itself was pretty chilly but we braved it!

Gym: had sufficient equipment, all well-maintained and was hardly used. There was also a steam room and sauna although we didn't use these as it was too hot outside!

All in all a good week. We would recommend going B&B rather than upgading to half board as there were plenty of good restaurants within a 10 minute walk.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Abbeyholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

I stayed from 8th-22 April,hotel is excellently sited on a bus stop only 15 mins downhill stroll from Funchal..Rooms were large with sitting area and a small kitchen sufficient to make a drink or a sandwich.I stayed B &B the breakfast had one of the best selections I have seen outside the UK. The gardens were beautiful,having won several awards in Madeira.All in all this a great hotel which I would like to return to in the future

Room Tip: rooms facing the pool will be sunny, those facing the mountains will be cooler
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leicester
Level Contributor
108 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

This is a good hotel situated amidst beautiful gardens, perhaps the best gardens of any hotel I've stayed in. Moreover, there were sunbeds and seats in the gardens themselves for guests. The rooms are large, perfectly adequately equipped and kept beautifully clean, serviced everyday. The facilitiies are good, a spacious pool, plenty of seating for sunbathing. The restaurant breakfast is comprehensive and well presented. Although a buffet it works very well. Other meals there are perhaps a bit expensive. The bar area is relaxing with good entertainment.
It is not 5star but excellent 4star. Highly recommended.
Just out of the town, an easy walk in, up a slope coming back. Surrounded by good restaurants.

Room Tip: We had 4106 which was on the first floor and looked out over the gardens with just a glimpse of the...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank hayesej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Had a week here 25th March so were there over the Easter weekend. Stayed in a two bedroom apartment which we had exchanged through RCI. We could not find fault with anything. Apartment is a good size and the bedrooms are really spacious. Two bathrooms and a small kitchen area. Daily maid service even on Easter Sunday, bed linen changed everyday as were the towels. Weather was very warm so we used the pool area and even had a swim although this a little chilly. Bar area is lovely and I don't think is overpriced, restaurant buffet experience was a little frantic but not too bad. Reception staff are the most friendly I have come across and nothing is too much trouble. Location is excellent with good taxi service (very cheap) and bus service straight outside the gates or a 10min walk down into the town. Would revisit.

Room Tip: Ground floor are good but you must be higher up the resort otherwise you have no light because of th...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Thorner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We arrived home yesterday evening to a wet Gatwick from a very sunny and hot Funchal. Great holiday! The Pestana Village did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed our 11 day stay. One week is not enough and 2 weeks we feel would be too much. Check out the whole Island via the tours which can be booked through the hotel (Marcos in reception). Quite hilly but we took our time and sat and enjoyed the views whilst catching our breath! Be prepared to come home with a little more excess baggage than you went with (due to enormous breakfasts!).

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank IPlato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Israel
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We can only say the best things about this hotel and the Miramar which is the time sharing attached to it.The location is gret, the facilities outstanding except that the pool and gym are only open 8 - 8 and too often we weren't around.l The staff was totally accomodating and everything was great. The beds not hard enough for us but otherwise they met all of our needs and then some. Great choice unless you must have WIFI in the room, this was a major drawback and most inconvenient only in the lobby. Get a room on a high floor for the fabulous views of this sensational island. Can't comment on the food or lobby entertainment but the tourist services and all the staff couldn't be beat.

Room Tip: ask for high up and see if they are improving the wifi service.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank meitals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel

Property: Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel
Address: Estrada Monumental 194, Funchal, Madeira 9000-098, Portugal
Location: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#23 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#23 Family Hotel in Funchal
#25 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel 4*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The architectural design of Pestana Village and the landscaping of its gardens have been especially planned to be in harmony with the natural beauty and tranquility of the resort’s setting. This sensitivity to the environment will give the resort a truly village-like feel, with low-rise traditional style buildings surrounded by a wealth of colorful and immaculately cared-for gardens. The Pestana Village shares the grounds and services of the Pestana Miramar Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel Hotel Funchal
Pestana Village Garden Funchal
Pestana Village Garden Hotel Aparthotel
Pestana Hotel Funchal
Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel Madeira/Funchal

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