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“bad as usual on Pestana properties”

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Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sao Tome
Lisbon, Portugal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“bad as usual on Pestana properties”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2011

I stayed at the Pestana Hotel in San Tomé last June and went for the day to the property they own in Rolas.
Very friendly staff but very poor sevice and drinks and food at both properties were infamiously high, one coke almost 4 us....the Spa is bad and massages are extremely expensive.
Apart from allt his the properties are nice , specially the S tome capital, the rooms are modern but the pestana group is a massa market hotel hoperator that pretends to be on the 5 star chamionship and is a mere 3 star operator, from what I could see also in Brazil.
The Rolas resort is in very poor condition and needs aserious refiting that I wonder if pestana has the quality and ability to do it.
Apart from this S tomé is amazing

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank acrctps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Director of Sales at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
We appreciate the comments about the qualities of this country that excels in hospitality of its people.
We want to be part of this image of hospitality. It is our daily goal to do everything to deliver memorable moments to our visitors. Proudly we are part of a hotel chain that has been awarded with the top prizes in the framework of free votes of our esteemed customers. It is with this purpose that we try harder to can exceed the expectations of our visitors. We wait for you forever.Thank you.
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325 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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Bergen, Norway
Level Contributor
159 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2011

Pestana is a great hotel. The location is very nice, the staff are most friendly, the breakfast is AMAZING, rooms are clean and simple and you can enjoy your days and evenings by the pool. Gym is not equipped and rather poor and there is no access to the sea - for that you'll have to get out of town and hit Santana or so. But Sao Tomeans are amazing, wherever you go. The hotel is a solid value for money, even though they could reduce the prices somewhat to keep it fuller (always half or more empty), but that might be a structural problem with tourism in STP. Did I say how amazing breakfast was? :)) Mmmm, just thinking of all that fresh fruit, my mouth is watering...

Room Tip: With a view to the sea. Lower floors have wifi access, upper barely get the signal.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BorisDivjak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Manager at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, April 6, 2012
It was very important for us to have shared your experience, because this allows us to assess our strengths and level of satisfaction, thus enabling us to maintain the quality of our services.
We share your comments with the team that was naturally proud and motivated.
Hope to see you soon .Kind regards
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2010

Nice rooms and great beachfront location with nice infinity pool. Food and rooms were good but the service was very very slow indeed. Drink prices were very very expensive.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank doctordavidbanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Director of Sales at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, April 19, 2012
Much appreciate your coments about your visit to São Tomé
Compliments are always more a stimulus to enhance our daily goal of meeting the needs of our customers.
We believe that the present day prices are normalized in a country that still has the need to import most of all goods of food and drink since the supply has increased substantially.
We were hoping for a next trip to thist island full of green hope.
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Lisbon
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2010

It's a very good 5 star hotel. The personal is friendly, helpfull. The congress we have atend worked really well. the locationn is wonderfull. The rooms are very good, the food is tasty, specially in the breakfast. the swimming pool is always calling us.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank claudiaLisbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Manager at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, April 6, 2012
Thank you for your opinion
We share your comments with the team that was naturally proud and motivated. It was very important for us to have shared your experience, because this allows us to assess our strengths and level of satisfaction, thus enabling us to maintain the quality of our services.
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Flanders, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2010

Making abstraction from some details, the infrastructure of the hotel approaches the level of a five star hotel. There is a beautiful and large swimming pool overlooking the sea. The rooms are spacious and clean. The cuisine is quite good.

There are, however, some drawbacks related to this hotel. I describe them in more detail below. However, the fact that I describe them at length does not mean that the drawbacks are dramatic. I just need more words to describe the details of the drawbacks than to describe what is good.

First, as regards the infrastructure, a limited number of rooms may suffer from noise that is produced in the central hall of the hotel. The problem is that there is no insulation wall or glass between the entrance door of some of the rooms and the central reception hall of the hotel. This is true e.g. for the rooms 1102-1112 and 1130-1136 and also for 1202-1212 and 1230-1236, all located in the middle block of the hotel. For these rooms, the entrance door looks out directly into the reception hall. When noise is produced in the reception hall, staff usually does not intervene and so this may disturb the sleep of the guests. There is, however, no problem for the other rooms, i.e. the rooms at the extreme left of this block or those in the other blocks. Another element regarding the infrastructure is related to the air-conditioners. All rooms have indeed effective air-conditioners, but they are not of that high quality that in the sleep mode (i.e. during the night), they are really that silent. The air-conditioner I have in my own sleeping room in my private house is a Daikin one and produces less noise in the sleep (or silent) mode.

Also regarding their electronic booking system, there is definitely something wrong. When I consulted the hotel’s internet site, the system responsed that there were no rooms available for the period requested. When I called the central reservations office of the Pestana group in Portugal, they gave me the same answer. However, when I called the hotel by telephone, they answered me that there is always availability in the hotel. So, I booked my room directly with the hotel, first by telephone and then by e-mail to confirm. Well, this is really anti-commercial. If their computer system is not able to tell whether there is availability or not, it should not answer that there is no availability. It should rather answer something like “due to technical reasons, our computer system cannot tell you wether there is availability or not, please contact the hotel by telephone or mail”. The internet services they offer in the hotel are free, but the connection speed is very slow. The fact that access to internet is free makes that the two computers are most of the time occupied (e.g. by children playing on it for free). A better option might be to limit the free access to internet to e.g. one hour multiplied by the number of days you stay in the hotel.

Second, as regards service, they still have a way to go to approach the level corresponding to a five star level in developed countries. For instance, the day I arrived in the hotel, the dining room, as well as the outdoor area (the terrace) and most of the area of the bar was entirely occupied by a wedding that was taking place in the hotel. I was on a (pre-paid) half-board and there was no room for me to have my meal. The only possibility they offered me to have my meal was on a small table in the smoky bar next to a large number of smokers. The package I booked with this hotel included not only half-board, but also a “VIP treatment”. Well, this was very ironic, as the treatment I received was far from a “VIP treatment”. In addition, I was very tired because of the long-distance trip and the music of the wedding continued till 01:00 a.m. This was horrible. I could not sleep. I understand that in developing countries there may be no party halls available in the country and that people want to organise their parties in a hotel. However, these parties should then be organised in such a way so as not to disturb the sleep of the hotel guests and still leaving at least some space to guests to have dinner in the restaurant. Finally, I went to another restaurant not far from the hotel to have dinner, but the hotel staff even refused to transfer this pre-paid dinner to another day and to transform it e.g. into a lunch on the second day of may stay (as I was staying in half-board). This is really an anti-commercial attitude.

Another annoying element is that the hotel does not have any smoking policy. Smoking is allowed everywhere in the hotel. Even the restaurant is a 100% smoking restaurant and also all sleeping rooms are smoking rooms. I understand that some developing countries still have to develop their anti-smoking laws (although there are a lot of exceptions). However, a prestigous hotel group like the Pestana group should not await government smoking regulations. Rather they should be more proactive and develop their own smoking policy (for all their hotels all over the world), restricting smoking to secluded areas in the hotel so as to protect non-smokers (which represent 75% of the population) and especially children from this murderous drug.

Other aspects regarding service is that the service itself is very slow. For instance, you may have to ask a waiter three or more times to obtain wine at your table. They sell wine by the bottle, not by the glass. So, you have to buy one bottle and they will keep the rest of the bottle for the next day. But the next day, when you ask for your bottle, you may well be at the end of the main dish when they will bring it to your table. So, it may be better to take the bottle with you and put it in the minibar of your room and bring it to the restaurant yourself the next day. This is, however, typical for developing countries. Maybe you should learn to adapt to this style of living.

Also, regarding the excursions they propose, they should be a little bit more proactive. They won’t propose you any excursion unless you (repeatedly) ask for it. In addition the information they give regarding the excursions is not always correct or complete. For instance, one day I visited the south of the island (Ilhéu das Rolas), where the Pestana group has another hotel (Pestana Equator). Staff of Pestana Ocean Resort São Tomé told me that I could go there and use the transfer bus of the hotel, as they are transfering customers (and staff) daily between these two hotels, southwards in the morning and northwards in the evening. But, at the end, when I came back, it turned out that I had to pay 15 euros for the transfer. This is something they should tell you before and not afterwards. But maybe also here, you should learn to adapt to this style of living.

As far as language proficiency of staff is concerned, I am not able to give an evaluation. As I speak Portuguese (although as a non-native language), I did only speak Portuguese with them during my stay.

Notwithstanding the above-mentioned drawbacks, this hotel is still one of the best hotels in that region. You may not find better, I think. Indeed, you should be aware of the fact that tourism in this country is still in its developing phase and that they still have to learn how to deal with customers. If you go to a developing country, be prepared to experience situations like these.

When, I had my holidays in São Tomé, I also visited the Miramar hotel, which is now also owned by the Pestana group. However, this hotel was temporarily closed. But I had a good impression of this hotel. The Pestana Ocean Resort is indeed more modern and brand new, but the Miramar has more the style of a charming and elegant antique hotel, also well located nearby the sea and with a large swimming pool and beautiful garden.

I also stayed three days on Príncipe Island in the Bom-Bom Resort (Africa Eden) and service was much better there. The Bom-bom resort is run by a South-African management and I have the opinion that they better know how to deal with customers.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Man_from_Flanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Director of Sales at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, April 20, 2012
We appreciate the detailed review of your visit to Sao Tome and our services. Many items have deserved our full attention and allow a few comments: while the law of this country does not ban smoking in public areas, within the framework of our policy Planet Guest, notices placed in the restaurant bar area and reception suggest No Smoke in these areas. supplier Internet site is already in test of generation 3g telling that within a few weeks to reach a higher level of service. While it is not possible to ensure a quality service we do not deem appropriate payment from our clients . Already implemented the service of wine by the glass in the restaurant and bar. For a better service concerning What to do in Sao Tomé we, put at his disposal a Help Desk Book with all the services available in the country, with Tours, Tours, nautical activities, rent a car etc.
Anyway , your contributions are made to t help us for a greatly improve of our services. We look forward to a next visit will give us the honor of your preference.
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Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2009

Complet flop!!!
he service is really bad for a 5* and they keep running out of stock of food and drinks...can you believe it!!! We add a transfer to the Pestana Equador and they just forgot to let us know in advance which will be the departure time. The excuse to all the complaints is ' you know in Africa is difficult to get good staff' which is completely wrong from my experience in other African Countries and a bit racist. After complain in Portugal, the response fro the hotel was that what I was saying was not true and I'm still waiting the payment they were notified to pay for the legal institution of tourism in Portugal.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DTCLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Manager at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
We deeply regret that we have not been able to give you precisely the moments when you longed to our hotel.
Break in the supply of some goods may have happened but for today we can ensure that the situation is practically cured
You can believe that our primary mission is to endeavor and create the best comfort and safety to those who give us their preference.
You can also believe that we have as much pride in our employees, who are the best among the best for their kindness, humility, dedication and genuine delivery. They are indeed our greatest strength, which motivates us even more to achieve the best indices of service.
We hope that in the near future to bring back to Sao Tomé in your r travel plans and we will be here to welcome you the best way we know.
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Gaia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2009

The hotel is very good, however was only to sleep and breakfast. We stayed 3 days in S Tome and with the right guide (Luis Noronha, www.turismostome.blogspot.com) you can visit the most beautiful places on hearth. I have visited many countries with different cultures, but S. Tome with their innocence and natural beautiful can teach us that we can be happy without the luxury that for us are essential. We also stayed 3 days in Ilheu das Rolas, and it is more than enough, in 2 hours you visit the all island.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RuieAndreia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Equador, Director of Sales at Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort, responded to this review, May 2, 2012
We are very proud of the excellent message that you made ​​on behalf of your experience in this small but beautiful country. We will be here for next visit hopping that you give us the honor of your preferency.Many thanks
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Additional Information about Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort

Property: Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort
Address: Av Marginal 12 de Julho RDSTP, Sao Tome, Sao Tome Island 851, Sao Tome and Principe
Location: Sao Tome and Principe > Sao Tome Island > Sao Tome
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Sao Tome
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pestana São Tomé is the first and only 5 stars hotel in Sao Tome.Located in the city capital with private beach and panoramic ocean views it has all the comfort and sophistication you look in a hotel .!0 minutes from the airport ,restaurants and bars, casino & Disco Beach Club , meetings, conferences ,Spa water sports diving center . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Sao Tome Ocean Hotel Sao Tome

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