We stayed here as a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 late age teenagers) back in August and I've deliberately delayed writing this review until I could properly reflect upon an excellent holiday and be wholly constructive in my comments - despite any implied negativity here, please don't worry as you will enjoy your holiday here.....I just think that it could be better if some changes were made.
First things first, this is an excellent hotel from a physical perspective - glorious landscaping, 2 excellent outdoor pools, a lovely indoor pool & spa and a high quality nearby beach (even if the Atlantic is not quite as warm as the Caribbean) - fantastic hotel staff, who all take a pride in their work and who do everything possible to ensure that you have a great time and as reps go, you can't ask for better than Mario & Andrew - top notch fellas who are extremely pleasant and very helpful.
So why the conundrum ?
Firstly the Hotel describes itself as "All Inclusive" when quite patently it isn't - having to pay extra for the A la Carte restaurant (however good it is), pay extra for cocktails that aren't on the limited "free" menu and having to pay for umbrellas and sun loungers on the beach (very costly for 4 beds & 2 umbrellas) go against the grain and are an unwelcome additional (and significant) expense when compared to other "all inclusive" options that are out there, at a similar overall holiday cost (particularly if comparing with Cuba & Mexico). It was explained to us that it is a public beach and that the hotel doesn't control the sunbeds/umnbrellas on it, but that just doesn't stack up I'm afraid - is it a coincidence that the only part of the extensive beach that has fixed umbrellas on it, is that which is directly outside this hotel ? if we had used these for the full 14 days of our holiday, as we have done for the 3 preceeding years in the Caribbean, we would have added an extra 600 euros to the cost of our holiday - a similar amount again if we had eaten at the a la carte restaurant every night.
Secondly, at the time that we were there, it was peak holiday season and there were large numbers of young families present and whilst there is nothing wrong in that, it somewhat detracts from the ambience of the main restaurant at evening meals when there are many children running about and spilling food off plates etc - the staff are quick to clear spillages etc, but it doesn't do anything to take away the feeling of being in anything other than a school canteen. Whilst of a reasonable quality, the food can sometimes be a bit "samey" and there isn't much by way of alternatives or variety on the remainder of the Island (have no worries if you love seafood though !).
The fact that the dress code is relaxed at lunchtime and people can attend the main restaurant in their beach & pool wear means that a fair amount of sweat and suntan lotion gets transferred on to the chairs during the day and invariably this then transfers itself on to your nicer, more expensive clothing, of an evening ....not very attractive if you are wearing darker clothing and you have loads of white lines running across your back.
The hotel advertises itself as a "Platinum" and whilst this may be appropriate during the school term times when the profile of the clientele is likely to change (ie; more couples and/or older people), it is much more of a "Super Family" hotel once the schools are out - as I say, no bad thing but appealing to 2 very different audiences and I think that the hotel needs to think about this if it wants to avoid problems mixing the 2 together - we viewed several older couples of an evening who were visibly cringing at what was going on around them in the restaurant.
As I said at the outset, overall we had a very good holiday and it is hard to be extremely critical, but next year we shall likely be returning to one of the superior "all inclusives" available in the Caribbean and likely at a siimilar cost to what which we incurred here (but without the need to worry about the cost of extras).
- 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