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“Beautiful hotel shame about the bar service”

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Pestana Casino Park
Ranked #34 of 88 Hotels in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 January 2013

we booked for Christmas with a group of friends through Travel Republic, our friends had not been on all inclusive before. We were booked into the Pestana Bay originally but due to re-furbishment we were moved to the Casino Park we did have 2 weeks of hassle with Travel Republic over this for our friends booking. We were very excited as this was a 5* hotel. On arrival it certainly looked the part beautiful hotel set in large grounds. Reception was very slow and although we had requested rooms near each other we did not receive them, however with rooms not too far away it was not too bad. The Pestana Casino park is not normally an all inclusive hotel but we received wrist bands. The rooms were fantastic with wonderful views, very clean and comfortable and cleaned every day with fresh sheets even on Christmas day however our friends room was 203, on a higher level than ours and faced the casino - they were kept awake all night by the noise coming from people leaving the casino and had to change rooms which was not easy as reception insisted that they had chosen the rooms themselves until we explained we had been moved from another hotel, they were insisting on a extra payment as the only other room was a sea view even though we had been told the hotel was only 60% full. The restaurant was lovely and the staff could not do enough to help you, they reserved a large table for us at each sitting, food was beautiful and alot of choice apart from the seafood buffet one night (I am alergic to sea food) every dish including the salad choice had some form of seafood in it so I was left with bread and cake that night. The Christmas eve gala dinner was exceptional 5 courses served to your table with different wines for each course, crackers and table decorations beautiful festive. Right now the bad side - bar service as we were all inclusive we were not 'allowed' on one side of the pool bar and were told in no uncertain terms you need to be this side. We were spoken to and served like 2nd class people. Anyone who did not have a white band on were served to their table, given crisps, nuts etc their tables cleared, we had to do our own, the coffee machine on the harbour bar was broken each day and they refused to make us any coffee we were told to go and use the one upstairs at the inside bar. Again on the inside bar if all inclusive only allowed on one side and there was no one around to serve although service was always available on the non inclusive side. Also if you dont like rude German people do not go as hotel had a lot of German guests who felt they did not need to wait for anything or could just sit on top of you or just take your chair if you were not sitting on it. The hotel Casino was also a big let down - it was just 2 tables one for cards the other roulette the rest were slot machines, it was overrun with the locals as the only Casino on the island. We tried to pass on our comments to the hotel but were met with deaf ears. On a better note Funchal is beautiful and the christmas lights and entertainment are fantastic. The cable cars upto the top of the mountain and the tobogan run down were unbeliveable. We would go back but maybe to a hotel that does all inclusive. We did not let it spoil our Christmas but our friends now have a bad view of all inclusive. Maderia is a beautiful island and well worth a visit I would just avoid the Pestana Casino Park.

Room Tip: Rooms on level 1 are better, rooms above from 233 onwards have a good view
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Fififoxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,527 - 1,533 of 2,966 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2013

This was our 12th time at this hotel and probably the last. The people of Funchal are the friendliest of people which is why we return so many times. The hotel is in a perfect location and some of the facilities are 5 star, both indoor and outdoor pools and some of the refurbished rooms. Having booked in September we requested a room on the 5th floor, island view - not the most expensive room but our agent knowing how many times we had stayed at the hotel requested they give us a nice room. Well we were allocated a 3rd floor room the furthest away from the lifts, one of the old rooms not refurbished and one of the worst views. We were not welcomed back unlike at all the restaurants and bars that we visited - we could have been strangers for all the attention any of the hotel reception staff gave us. Our friends decided to book to join us 10 days before Christmas - they were automatically allocated a 5th floor room and one that has been extensively refurbished and they did not pay as much as we had, had never stayed at the hotel before and they also will not be returning back to the hotel. The breakfast is poor with the exception of the omelet staff, bacon was cooked on one side, raw on the other the same for the sausages and it was like a bun fight most mornings.

This time having decided to vote with our feet we visited another hotel, 4 star only and the staff could not be friendlier, inviting us to look around, allocating a member of staff to show us around and the facilities were sparkling clean. The welcome we received was overwhelming compared to that which we had received at the Casino Park.

We shall be returning in August and also next New Year but for the first time we will not be returning to the Casino Park Hotel which is a shame as the Doormen, Orlando in particular does make the effort to welcome us but I am sorry it should be more than the door staff who remember that we have been coming to this hotel on a regular basis since 1999 having first stayed there more than 26 years ago when it was one of only three 5 star hotels available. It appears that loyalty does not count at Casino Park and it is for this reason we shall not return.

Room Tip: You can ask but no guarantee you will get it but a garden side view is probably best to ask for.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank traceyall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

As with other reviewers, it's not the best five star hotel on the island but the friendliness, warmth and helpfulness of the staff along with it's excellent situation for town makes it a wonderful choice. Breakfast can be a little bit of a 'bun fight' but on the whole you get an good selection to cater for all tastes (it's all about the timing). Do, do, do, try the Cabaret Show above the Casino. It is fabulous value for money. The standard of food is superb, Portuguese wine is gorgeous and it just keeps flowing and the cabaret is very good, if a little shorter than a few years ago. The trumpet player Chicco is particularly good.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Stephen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Stayed at this hotel from 29th Dec to 3rd Jan. Booked this hotel for it's location and promise in the brochure of a five star hotel. Soooo disappointed. I know five star hotels abroad are different to those in this country and the UAE but the rooms in this hotel barely pass for a four star. No tea and coffee making facilities, I understand this can be the norm abroad but feel that a five star should provide them. No trousers press or iron and ironing board, although you can 'rent' them for five euros a day, either of these should be standard in a five star hotel room never mind about 'renting' them. No mirror above the dressing table so ladies have to stand in the bathroom to do hair and make-up with no nature light. No radio alarm or even a clock. There was a couple of white dressing gowns supplied in the room one of which had blood stains on it and the towels are certainly not five star quality, more like three star.

We stayed on a B&B basic and found the breakfast to have a good choice however on the first night as we were so tired we opted to eat in the A la Carte restaurant, this was not as good as we expected, vegetables on all three meals were luke warm with my main course of fish having to be sent back as it was cold. Having said that the NYE Gala dinner was extremely good.

Staff are pleasant enough although the checking in process could be greatly improved as it's currently extremely slow.

While in possibly one of the best locations in Funchal I most certainly wouldn't go back and would say it's an overpriced four star hotel due to the lack of facitlities and basic dated bedrooms.

Room Tip: Ask for a harbour view on a higher floor and watch the cruise liners coming in.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank BeverleyEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2013

It's a grand hotel, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, with good rooms and spacious common areas, although a little overrated for five star hotel. Nonetheless the service is excellent, the staff always tries to do an extra mile to satisfie the client. And it has an amazing view of Funchal and the sea.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Joao_Ab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2012

Whilst not sure about the five star rating, this hotel represents good value for money and has excellent facilities in probably one of the best positions in Funchal, with easy access to the town, which was a big plus for us. As half board guests, all meals were buffet service, and although I applaud the chef's efforts to vary the food, the buffet format was a little repetitive. Having said this, breakfasts were always good (take the tip from another tripadvisor review and order a fresh pot of coffee rather than the poor quality coffee from the machines) and for dinner the salad and dessert offerings in particular were always impressive. Food quality was generally high. If we were to return, I would chose B&B only as there are numerous excellent restaurants in the town. Seeking some variety, we opted out of our half board twice in the week to sample another restaurant and only found out by accident that it was possible to go to a dinner show at the attached casino restaurant at a cost of only 10 euros each. Excellent value, very good food and much recommended. One irritant during our visit was the rather loud and sickly piped Christmas carols music, which proved impossible to curtail. Staff were cheerful and helpful throughout. If you have a hire car, very limited free parking spaces can be a problem.

Room Tip: Chose a room on the casino/garden side, all of which have some outlook to the pool and cruise termin...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Godfrey E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2012

I have just spent a week at the casino park hotel. The room was spacious and comfortable and attention had been paid to my request for a room near the lift as I have mobility problems. The food was average but breakfast was very good with a wide range of items. I had booked with the pestana bay which I knew suited my needs so was disappointed to find this hotel did not. There was a steep ramp to the dining area which I could not cope with. Staff provided a wheelchair service cheerfully but it was inconvenient and rather embarrassing. I could not reach the saga lounge so missed out on social events. Staff were unfailingly pleasant but the problems getting around mean I would not return. I did check with saga in advance but they either did not know or did not tell me about potential problems

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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Thank SagatravellerPortree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pestana Casino Park

Address: Rua Imperatriz D. Amelia 55 | Quinta da Vigia, Funchal, Madeira 9004-513, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Madeira > Funchal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Funchal
#16 Family Hotel in Funchal
#25 Spa Hotel in Funchal
#31 Romantic Hotel in Funchal
#33 Luxury Hotel in Funchal
Price Range: £67 - £173 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Casino Park 5*
Number of rooms: 379
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pestana Casino Park is a 5-star hotel in Funchal, Madeira, surrounded by 15,000 m² of private gardens. Designed by world-renowned master architect Óscar Niemeyer, this hotel is adjacent to the Funchal bay cruise port. Plus, it is only 5 minutes on foot from the city centre and the epicentre of the city's social and cultural life. Its privileged location on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean makes it one of the most famous hotels on the island of Madeira. It features an infinity swimming pool, gardens with peaceful alcoves, a private car park available for a fee, a Spa where you can schedule a massage and/or Magic Spa treatment, and an indoor swimming pool with water jets, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna and gym. You can enjoy four restaurants and bars with views overlooking the tennis court and access to the Casino da Madeira, with games, shows and a nightclub. All rooms have Wi-Fi and a private balcony. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Hotel Park
Pestana Casino Park Madeira/Funchal

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