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“Decent and friendly”
Review of Pestana Ocean Bay

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Pestana Ocean Bay
Ranked #36 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Reviewed 29 May 2013

My friend and I visited this hotel through a suggestion from Saga staff. We had both suffered fairly recent bereavements and just needed a relaxing break in the sun and the all-inclusive package had some obvious attractions.
We arrived towards 21:00, later than most people I suppose, but the hotel had gone to some trouble to arrange that we could dine properly with full facilities. We were expected and particular special arrangements for our accommodation had been properly noted and acted upon. The reception staff were friendly and helpful. Their English was excellent.
As the week progressed we were delighted to discover that the restaurant and bar staff retained their pleasant attitudes and helpful nature.
The restaurant with its outside dining area was pleasing generally, but we found that the staff were just too accommodating on lots of occasions when a particularly garrulous large group of French people insisted on shifting tables and chairs by themselves to make huge dining tables for up to twelve or fourteen people. This detracted from our enjoyment for many meal times, largely by reason of the noise created, throughout the week although I must say that the staff never let the problem get to them - in an obvious manner. I would say that a maximum of 8 people at any table would probably be enough.
Although we enjoyed much of the food offered, we found the variety was perhaps too limited and many 'quality' items were noticeable by their absence from the buffet selection. For example we were not offered any salmon or tuna in a salad sense nor any prawns or any shellfish options. We were able to purchase prawns shell-on from the a la carte menu. Chicken in all its forms together with pork were the most frequent offerings. Fish was frequently offered but in unrecognisable sauces (to me) and did not tempt me once. Eggs were never offered other than as fried and scrambled at breakfast. The mass cooking of the bacon, tasty though it was, left large amounts uncooked completely, let along frazzled! I know it is probably a bit of an English things to say, but at breakfast time, some HP Sauce or Tomato Ketchup would have been a great treat. We would have liked boiled or poached options at breakfast and would certainly have liked egg halves or whole as an addition to the salad bar.
I am probably being a bit 'picky' with this range of comments and it would be true to say that although I was not thrilled, I was not greatly disappointed either.
We found the beer to be acceptable, of a lager-like quality and a bit fizzy sometimes, and my friend found the wine more to taste that I did. I preferred to pay 11 Euros for the Vinho Verde on a few occasions.
It was disappointing that the Wi-Fi capability of the hotel was strictly confined to the main lounge and parts of the dining room, and no options were available. These areas were often busy and fairly noisy in a chatty sense but not private in any way. This service is frequently provided free in an increasing number of quality establishments.
The main lounge was the location of the stage and dance floor. It was fairly typical of what one would expect in a holiday hotel, but the act with parrots and cockatoos looked so dated and unpopular these days, hardly anyone approved, that we spoke to.
Our room was excellent. Very clean and with ample space/seats etc. We had a balcony sea view which was pleasing. The ceiling fans provided a nice touch as far as we were concerned, but perhaps a bit on the low side if you wanted to stretch! Bedding and towels were good quality and nice to use. We had thought to take our own coffee and tea bags which were very useful and welcome. There was a small kitchenette in the room with fridge, microwave and kettle.
The location of the hotel discourages any strolls into Funchal, but the bus service is helpful in this regard. The two half day trips we went on were perfectly timed and of suitable duration for us.
The area is extremely limited for alternative bars or restaurants (only two) nearby.
The pool area of the hotel was delightful and never over crowded whilst we were there. I was irked at being asked to pay for sun umbrellas though. All-inclusive, I had imagined, meant just that.
Overall conclusion: a reasonable hotel that clearly tries hard to please a whole range of international guests. At best it would not rate more than three stars though, in our view, because of the restaurant limitations. The staff would achieve five stars anywhere!

Room Tip: From our experience, just tell the hotel what you are looking for. We had to pay an additional 25 Eu...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Simmydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,213 - 1,219 of 1,899 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2013

On arrival we were given a questionaire to nominate staff member of the month. The staff were all exceptional and we couldn't pick any one out.
Hotel a little isolated but courtesy bus provided a good service.
We have had better meals in hotels but the meals provided were of good quality and we didnt go hungry.
I could recommend this hotel for its friendly atmosphere and relaxation.

Room Tip: Recommend requesting a high floor for the view that we had (room 624)
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Leslie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fo_bay, Gerente de recepção at Pestana Ocean Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 17 May 2013

Thank you for your recent visit to our hotel and for taking your time writing on Tripadvisor. We do appreciate your gesture and your kind words.
Yours Sincerely,
Rosa Nepomuceno

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2013

This was our first visit to this hotel.
The staff were friendly and helpfull especially the reception.
We went on an all inclusive basis and on the whole the food was good if a bit repetitive,our only gripe was that the tea/ coffee was out of a machine.
The rooms have just been decorated and so were fresh and clean with a great view over the beach,unfortunately the beach had no access from the hotel due to ,I think,storm damage.
There's a free shuttle bus to Funchal that runs throughout the day.
Overall a nice hotel.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
6  Thank iacfisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
fo_bay, Gerente de recepção at Pestana Ocean Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 17 May 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for feedback concerning your recent stay at Pestana Bay hotel. We are pleased to know that our services were up to your espectations. There is direct access to the beach now and hopefully by the end of this month the promenade will be completely repaired.
Looking forward to welcome you in a near future,

Yours faithfully,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2013

To start off on a good note the hotel itself was very clean, well laid out (dining room and bar area overlooking the seafront) with friendly and attentive staff. The location was excellent, right on the seafront, with great views from the veranda overlooking the beach.

The rooms are excellent, and even have their own catering facilities!

Food was clean and plentiful, albeit using the same stuff pretty much every night (fish, pork, beef) with a few bells and whistles on to disguise this fact. The fish is the highlight - all of the seafood was very good. Breakfast was ok - lots of fresh fruit and good yogurt, but the cereal was mainly the cheap sugar-laden kiddies varieties, and the eggs and bacon were swimming in cheap fat. No decent tea or coffee (more on this later), which is tantamount to sacrelige for me at breakfast.

Nearby Funchal and Lobos were beautiful and well worth it, and the island has some fantastic Levadas walks to go on.

Cons:

- A number of key amenities that were listed as being available were not, such as the "private" beach front (currently sealed off), and the jaccuzi (maintenance work being done on it).

- Some of the facilities had odd and impractical opening hours - i.e. the gym and spa dont opening until 9am and then close at 6pm, which is pretty useless if you are going on a day trip and wanted to use these facilities either before you go or after you get back.

- No drinking water facilities in the gym or spa area (where the sauna / steam room were).

- All tea and coffee had to be gotten from vending machines in the dining area. These frequently got clogged up and contaminated (water looked murky on a frequent basis), producing some fairly nasty tea and coffee.

- Noise issues; - arnound the pool there was hammering going on for a number of hours due to work being done on the jacuzzi which made chilling out round the pool a bit difficult.
Also, a few nights in i asked to be moved to another room due to a noisy neighbour, and i was moved to a room on the 1st floor with no occupancies either side. Sounded great. What they didnt tell me was they had moved me into a room with maintenance work going on directly above me! For the rest of my visit i had to put up with hammering and banging in the room above me (again, more maintenance work being done) from 8am, through the whole day at intermittent intervals. This made relaxing in my room very difficult.

In addition to this, because the room overlooked the courtyard I had the din of HGVs and tour coaches pulling up and unloading from about 8.30am, followed by a bloke using a pick axe and a power drill shortly after in the courtyard (again, maintenance work). The hotel had only been opened a few months ago, so why did they not get all of this maintenance work done before opening ?!? In the late evening there was more of the same, albeit not to quite the same extent

Room Tip: Do NOT pick a room overlooking the courtyard! Its like trying to sleep next to the M25 sometimes
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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8  Thank Rob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

I read many Trip Advisor reviews of this hotel before I went there, and I think many of the comments are either positive or negative depending on what the traveller is looking for. So I will try to be objectve so others can decide if it's right for them.

This hotel is not "family friendly," in that there's not much for young children to do (other than swim in the pool). Therefore, most of the guests or older or retired. This suited me and my partner very well, since we wanted peace and quiet, and no "programs" for children as we had experienced in other resort hotels. Each evening at 8:00 pm there is a music program in the reception/bar area, but otherwise there is no piped-in music or entertainment programs.

The location is right on the ocean, but just outside Funchal. So the view and sound of ocean are wonderful from the dining terrace, the pool and the rooms (all rooms and balconys face the ocean). But it's too far from the city to walk, and there isn't anything in the neighborhood.

However, there is a hotel bus that leaves for the center of Funchal every 45 minutes, starting at 9:00 am. If you want to get to the public bus system for hiking (as we did), this is rather inconvenient, because you won't catch a bus earlier than 9:30 or 10:00. But if you plan to spend time in Funchal, or will go on organized trips and excursions, then this is not a problem.

This hotel is also served directly by the AeroBus - the public bus to and from the airport. As of March 2013, the cost was 5 euros one-way and 9 euros round-trip.

The hotel was renovated recently, and re-opened at the beginning of March 2013, so it's very clean and in good shape. We found all of the personnel helpful and friendly, especially the people at reception. They seem to go out of their way to arrange excursions, rental cars and find information for you.

Each meal is a buffet. I usually don't like buffets because I find the food is average and not typical of the country. My partner was disappointed with the selection (he thought there should have been more choices), but I found that most of the dishes were prepared well. Although there weren't typical examples of Madeira cuisine (the range of seafood, for example), each meal had a choice of at least 2 meats and 1 fish. This would probably not be very good for vegetarians, however. The coffee was not typical of Portugal; it was from a coffee machine dispenser, and tasted somewhat burnt. The wines available for free (one white, one red) were good, but the same selection every day got boring. There is a selection of wines and other alcoholic drinks that can be bought from the bar, but we didn't want to do this at an "all-inclusive" resort.

Finally, overall both my partner and I enjoyed our stay at this hotel. Lovely location and quiet, with good food and comfortable rooms.

Room Tip: All the rooms face the ocean, and there's no music from the bar or the restaurant terrace. In wa...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank LisaVienna4034
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

Great hotel with very comfortable views. Very helpful and extremely friendly staff. The free bus service to Funchal also is very reliable. We are vegetarians and they made us what we asked for. Mr Leonel Goncalves- the head waiter for fantastic and so were the chefs. Highly recommended hotel

Room Tip: We had a room on the 7 th floor. Great views
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Sital P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2013

My husband and I have been coming to this hotel for 6 years, usually January/February, but were unable to do this as it closed from November to March for refurbishing. We stayed elsewhere, but were delighted to find that it re-opened before we were due to return to the UK and were able to spend our last two nights in this welcoming hotel. The staff are of the highest quality and anxious to make guests feel happy and well looked after. Returning guests are recognised and greeted with affection, and it was a pleasure to find almost all the staff had returned after the closure. There were no major changes, but everything was freshly painted and there were several attractive additions (lighting, goldfish, striking murals on outside walls etc). Although this hotel is 10 to 15 minutes drive from the centre of Funchal, it has an excellent frequent shuttle service. It is situated adjacent to Formosa beach (pebbles) and sea bathing is possible in certain conditions. There are plenty of sunbeds surrounded by the gardens, and also an outdoor pool, heated in winter. Also available is a small gym, spa and beauty salon.
Food is buffet service, with a wide choice. Rooms are comfortable, all with balconies facing the sea and all areas are clean and well kept. There is live entertainment most evenings.
Many of the guests have visited the hotel before - a recommendation in itself. We are already looking forward to our next visit!

Room Tip: All rooms face the Atlantic, and the higher floors (4-7) give best views.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Nina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pestana Ocean Bay

Address: Rua Praia Formosa, Funchal, Madeira 9000-247, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Funchal
#26 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#27 Family Hotel in Funchal
#34 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
#36 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £99 - £187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Ocean Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 267
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pestana Ocean Bay All Inclusive is an All Inclusive hotel (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and domestic beverages) located in Funchal, Madeira. It is located 1 minute on foot from Formosa beach with panoramic views of the Câmara de Lobos hillside. It offers an outdoor swimming pool with a jacuzzi, a Health Club with sauna, Turkish bath, gym and game room and a playground. For dining, we offer one restaurant and 2 bars. Take advantage of our free transfers to the centre of Funchal. All rooms face the sea and each has a balcony and Wi-Fi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel Hotel Funchal
Pestana Bay Ocean Aparthotel Funchal
Pestana Bay Hotel Madeira
Pestana Ocean Bay Madeira/Funchal

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