We travelled to the Pestana Porto Santo for a 2 week family break with our 2 year old son on the 19th September with First Choice. We found booking with First Choice nearly £200 cheaper for exactly the same holiday Thomsons were offering.
The flight to Porto Santo with Thomson was on time from Gatwick. The plane itself was quite old, and must have been a respray from the old Britannia fleet. Not a lot of legroom, at 6ft1, if the person in front of me had put their chair back it would have crushed my legs. For a 3hr 20min flight though, it was adequate.
After collecting our baggage we were greeted by Vee the Thomson/First Choice rep. I think that out of the 300 people on the flight, 299 of them must have been staying at the Pestana. We were on the first coach to the hotel, which was a nice 5 min drive from the airport through the main Town on the island. On arrival at the resort, the hotel is set in the most beautiful stunning grounds which appeared clean and well built. We were greeted by staff as we alighted the coach saying that we could check in now, or go for a drink in the bar. We decided to queue because of our little man. He was well pleased that the animation team were there straight away to make him a balloon animal which kept him occupied whilst we checked in. Check in was very smooth and hassle free, although we did have to queue for about 20 mins, which we fully expected. Our cases were left at reception, ready to be taken to our room by the staff.
We then went and checked out our room, which was lovely. We were in block 5 on the ground floor, with a lovely view over the gardens and pool area. We had a single large room which had a super king size bed, and a lovely travel cot with a substantive mattress for our son which he slept like a log in for 2 weeks! The rooms are decorated well, with a nautical theme. The bed was very comfortable. The A/C in the room was excellent, the bathroom was well equipped and of a very high standard. There was a large wardrobe, with plenty of wooden hangers for clothes. A free safe to use too which is always good to see. There was a TV mounted on the wall with a number of channels incl BBC1 and 2, and ITV, and Sky News. There was also a sofa bed, and a lovely terrace to sit on with table and chairs.
Also in the room was a fridge within a cupboard. It's simply not a mini bar if you don't put any real drinks in it! The fridge had 4 bottles of water in it, which you had to restock yourself from the Dunas Pool bar. The management could improve this by putting a couple of beers in there daily.
The cleaning staff were excellent and kept our room wonderfully tidy.
We were disappointed that as a family of 3, we were not given a room with a separate bedroom. We spoke to an elderly couple who stayed in the room next to us, and they never requested a room with a bedroom, neither did we, but surely it would make more sense to give a family of 3 a bedroom and living room?
The resort itself is stunning, the pools are all beautiful, and the Beach is amazing. It is the best beach I've ever been on in Europe, and easily on a par with some Carribean beaches. The sea can be quite rough at times with quite large waves. We found it calmer with the excellent weather and was a great temperature for a dip. As mentioned previously by others, a bit disappointing that you get charged for a sun bed on the beach. A bit of a rip off! We opted for the old towels on the sand option with a free umbrella!
The food in the resort was on the whole excellent. We booked the resort because it had a buffet restaurant because of our son. He doesn't want to be sat in a high chair sitting through a 3 course a la carte menu as he would get very bored quickly! Also if he didn't like something, we could simply go and get him something else. He loved the pasta and ate loads of it! I loved the veal dishes, and enjoyed the curry night too. Breakfast was excellent everyday, as was lunch in the Dunas and the main restaurant. We did find that the evening meal became a bit repetitive, although the quality remained high. The staff in the restaurant were superb with our little boy, paying him lots of attention! Eslane and Indira were great with him!
We ate in Luigis Pizzeria 3 times, and the pizzas and pasta dishes were very good. They could do with a child menu, or maybe chid size portions as we had to order whole dishes or pizzas for our son!
Drinks were very good too. Yes they are local brands but the beer was good, cocktails (Mojitos!) were excellent, and they make a great coffee too.
The Sunset Bar is stunning with an amazing terrace view. We never stayed late enough to see the animation team entertainment, although we were subjected to the couple that sing every night. They're ok, but every night!? Maybe the hotel could put on a young disco in the bar area to occupy the children until they're ready for bed and the animation team's show.
We had excellent weather throughout. The first couple of days were a bit cloudy in the morning but brightened up in the afternoons, but after that it was scorching every day. We did walk to the main town once, but there isn't much there. We didn't do any trips either, as none really suited our little man.
To the people who write moaning about children, this place is a family resort! If you want peace, book a couples only resort!
Overall we had a wonderful time in Porto Santo. A hidden gem of a location. I fear that in a few years that wonderful beach will have hotel after hotel along it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa is located on the fantastic Porto Santo beach , a sandy beach 9 km long, and it is surrounded by a tropical garden of 30,000 m2 and two enormous outdoor pools of a natural style, making it one of the best hotels in Porto Santo. This hotel in Porto Santo operates under an "All Inclusive" regime, making it the ideal location for anyone wishing to spend holidays in Porto Santo without any concerns at all. So, if holidays to you mean time with friends and family, enjoying the sun, the sea and the therapeutic sands of Porto Santo, taking a dive into the pool, exercising in the gymnasium, playing a game of tennis on the multi-purpose court, or simply relaxing in the spa, then the Pestana Porto Santo is the hotel for you. The rooms of the Pestana Porto Santo are decorated in tones of blue and ocean green and include a private balcony. Although it is a hotel with "All Inclusive", it has 3 restaurants that offer a selection of Italian and Madeira cuisine and three enchanting bars, which includes the "Sunset Bar", which has fantastic views over the sea. The concept of this resort in Porto Santo underscores the philosophy of preserving the environment, taking into account the needs of sustainability of the surroundings where it is located. Various solar panels have been installed and the hotel has its own desalinisation plant, which has earned the hotel "The Green Key" certificate for its environmental management. The beach of Ribeiro Salgado, which is a concession of Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa, was presented with the Blue Flag by the FEE - Foundation for Environment Education, due to the quality of the water, the information and environmental education, the environmental management, and the safety, services and support infrastructures. The main village, Vila Baleira, is a mere 5 minutes by car from this 5 star hotel, as is the 18-hole golf course, which offers you the unique opportunity of playing on a course designed by the Spanish champion Severiano Ballesteros; all this, with the sea as your horizon. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa - All Inclusive Hotel Porto Santo
- Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort And Spa - All Inclusive
- Pestana Hotel Porto Santo
- Pestana Resort Porto Santo