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“Some things excellent, some not so good.”

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Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive
Reviewed 5 October 2011

Just had a week at the end of September. Weather perfect - locals said that it was actually too good for the time of year! Spacious room which was kept very clean, nice sunbathing areas which were not too crowded, plenty of food available all the time (you could eat and drink continuously from 7am to 11pm if you wanted!).

However, we were glad not to have booked more than a week. There's not a lot to do apart from lie in the sun and cook yourself, walk up the beach, then down the beach, then up again, etcetcetc.. There are some trips out provided at a cost (the best of which is the Jeep Safary), but we both thought that once you had done a couple of these you would run out of ideas. The staff are all very friendly, and seem happy, but in the restaurant there is a little too much attention to "fawning" over the guest. Ok, it's nice to be waited on, but to be constantly reminded that your glass is empty, or to have your partner's plate removed from the table while you are still eating, is a little over the top.

This standard of service seemed to be at the expense of the food quality. The evening meal buffet is quite extensive in choice, some nights the quality was good, but other nights not so good. Some of the meat was well overcooked to the point of being dry and tough. The safest bet seemed to be the pasta-style salads, and the sweets. The other gripe we had was that quite a few young couples were taking their very young children to eat very late. The kids were grizzling and crying because they were tired, and several people commented that they wished that there was somewhere else to go to get away from the racket! And this was out of the main school holidays, so what it would be like in August I shudder to think.

I understand that Portugal operates a duel-star hotel rating system, broken down into "E" (for Estalagem, the lower band) and "H" (the higher band) - star ratings. This hotel is officially an H*****, as displayed by the reception door. It's worth remembering that these ratings are not subjective (ie a "mystery guest's" opinion), they are objective, based on the facilities provided on a government tick-list. Based on this I suppose it could be called a five star hotel, but in reality, and based on our experience, it's nearer to a four star, or the lower banded E*****.

Overall, we enjoyed out week, but now that we've been there and done that, and won the T-shirt, we don't think we will go back. If all you want is to lie about all day then it's for you. And one last comment - - the charge for the use of a computer or the wifi really is exorbitant! The most expensive I've ever come across in a hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CnDWarwickshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,803 - 1,809 of 2,521 reviews

Reviewed 3 October 2011

A genuine 5 stars beach resort all inclusive, beyond any expectations.
I always take into serious consideration the reviews from TripAdvisor and my expectations were high on this hotel. We were not in the best mood after spending the first half of our holidays at Pestana Bay – quite disappointing. After a very pleasant sail with Lobo Marinho, we arrived at Porto Santo ready to point out any faults. But there was none! This place is just perfect in any way.
The complex is fabulous, all spotless clean, beautiful gardens, fantastic pools (very clean with warm water and plenty of sun beds), an endless beach, with an exceptional sea of transparent and warm waters (why go to the Caribbean when we have it all at our doorstep?), great food either at the main restaurant (plenty to choose from), the pizzeria or in Dunas pool bar.
Our room was spacious, nicely decorated and very comfortable with a pleasant balcony facing the pool. Couldn’t ask for more.
The staff couldn’t be nicer and friendlier. Any request satisfied with a smile. Always willing to please.
Don’t miss the jeep tour around the island, it’s amazing.
We will be back next year betraying Madeira with Porto Santo!

Room Tip: ask for a pool facing room
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank macakita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2011

What can I say about this hotel that hasn't already been said?
It is a haven of tranquility. Every member of staff is so friendly and willling for you to have a good time here.
I travelled with my wife, daughter and son-in-law and their 2 girls, Katie & Emily (9yrs & 4 yrs).The 2 girls thought the Kid's club was great and couldn't wait to go to the next session.
Contrary to what some people say about plates not being cleared in the restaurant, well I'm afraid we must have been in another because the staff were very attentive to clearing away dishes very promptly.
I would like to thank the manager for his very kind thoughts of sending my wife a bottle of champagne to our room as it was her birthday, a very kind gesture indeed. plus a mention for the Hol. Rep.Vee, who also posted a card for her birthday as well, and was at hand the whole day...thank you.
About the food; if you couldn't find anything that you didn't like, then I'm sorry for you and can only suggest that you stay at home and have your pizzas & fish & chips!
We have already been checking out for next year, as they fly from Manchester, which is closer to home for us and no need to find hotels before & after the flights.
My thoughts are that, in about 4 years this isle will become a very strong tourist island, so as it's been said before, get here before that happens and enjoy the tranquility & beauty while it's not bustling with people.

Steve.

Room Tip: It seems that "Even" numbered rooms face the pools, and "Odds" face the outside...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Steevann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2011

Excellent resort, lovely clean and spacious rooms, staff all very helpful and polite and spoke excellent English.No loud disco music blaring out. Rooms were located in villas set around the lovely gardens and pools, one being a sea water pool and the other fresh water. Plenty of sun beds around the resort. Having read some reviews about the food, we found the food to be excellent, plenty of choice and was replenished regularly. Plenty of quiet areas to relax and sun bathe. A lot of guests arrived with us and check in was handled very well, you had the choice of queueing to check-in or going into have your dinner before checking in, which we did, bags were taken to your room for you and collected on check-out day, We had the room until 1pm and our pick up for the airport was 4pm, you could use all facilities until departure. Thomson Rep Vee was excellent, very helpful and knowledgeable and always on hand to help if needed.
Not a resort if you want nightlife, there isn't any apart from the shows put on by the entertainments team and a duo playing and singing every night in the Sunset Bar which was lovely to sit an relax of an evening.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank EliG262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2011

...is 5 star. A lot has been posted about this new (2011) destination for Thomson Holidays. Most on the same theme that the hotel is let down by the food and/or the entertainment.
The way we saw our weeks stay from the 19th September. Check in (remember there are a great number of people on the flight) was as swift, friendly and informative as possible. Luggage on arrival was taken to our room (and collected on departure.)

This beautifully designed and 'Nautical' themed Hotel, an arrangement of villas on two and three storeys gathered around salt and fresh water swimming pools and gardens, was a delight. So much had been thought out,right down to the 'porthole' windows in the wardrobe doors. The typical Portuguese pastel colours contrasting so well with the sky blue, sand and terracotta washes on the buildings and interiors. The dining room similarly themed with rope covered pillars and show cased 'knots' around the walls.

All the staff, in particular in the dining room, spoke excellent English and an attempt at Portuguese was always welcomed and corrected in a friendly manner when (usually) needed. All very attentive and helpful. Perhaps a candle on the outside tables when it got dark might be nice touch, but really can't be faulted at all. Excellent service. An array of seating and locations throughout the hotel for relaxing was extensive with views over the gardens or the sea from the terrace of the sunset bar.

Thomsons 6 star Rep,Vee,already a legend, was always accessible with a wealth of knowledge and reassurance that helped us relax and enjoy our stay so much more.

The down side is really the food. A 5 star buffet is really a misnomer.5 star dining is waiter service so a buffet really has to be good. Starting with the soup; it was, at best, tepid and flavourless. Main dishes tended to be 'dry' without any accompanying sauces, juices etc. The show cooking was a bit of a let down also. No carvery - in fact one night it was 'chicken curry' we'll say no more on that. Puddings were fine, albeit limited, and the ice cream excellent. Wine served from the bottle was really quite good for a house wine - no complaints as we drank a lot of it!
Overall food quality, from our point of view was really not very good. We have had better from a 4 star Pestana hotel on the mainland.

What really disappoints us is that this hotel has been an all inclusive with Thomson since May this year and there have been many postings here about the poor quality of food which the management must surely have read yet nothing has been done to improve it; making the soup hot doesn't take much does it! Next year the prices are higher and there is to be an extra flight from Manchester. Some of the points mentioned here and other reviews, which could so easily have been acted upon, may deter those from booking next year.

The entertainment, which is not of great importance to us but is to a lot of guests, seems also to be below par. Having the same 'Duo' although very good in their own right, playing the same every night and the 'Animation' team also very good and enthusiastic providing the 'main' performance is really not on.

To close on a high note we had a great week; we came for the sea and the beach - both were beautiful, the sun shone, the sea was warm, the Island lovely and the people were delightful. Looking at the unfinished developments we are not sure it will last. We just hope that Porto Santo will remain as lovely as those who live here wish it to be. Would we return? Only if the food gets better!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank PairAShorts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2011

Very clean, attentive staff, large rooms, excellent food and drinks.

We had a suite above the main reception, which had a balcony, two well sized bedrooms, living room and bathroom. The room was nicely decorated and was always expertly cleaned by the friendly maid service. There was a mini-fridge in the room with water on arrival. All guests are there on an all-inclusive basis and you have to wear a wristband in the usual way. There weren't any families in our villa, which meant that we didn't have any screaming children waking us from our peaceful slumber!

There are three restaurants and three bars at the Pestana: the main restaurant is buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were very impressed with the choices available for each meal. The staff were exceptional and always willing to accommodate our requests to sit outside! There is a pizzeria, which is included within the all-inclusive package, you just need to book a table there with reception. The Mediterranean restaurant is EUR17.50 per head and needs to be booked at reception too. We went to the pizzeria twice and had pasta dishes, which were pleasant and we went to the steak on the stone evening at the Mediterranean restaurant, where the food was superb.
The three bars are the Sunset bar, which is above the main buffet restaurant, the Dunas bar, next to the pool, which is where you can get lunch (hot dogs, burgers, salad etc) and the Beach Bar. The main entertainment is in the Sunset bar at night, which we were not overly impressed by. It was not to our taste, as we are under 30, whereas the majority of guests were over 65. The other guests seemed to enjoy the entertainment, but it didn't affect our holiday, as we went to relax, rather than stay up late. The cocktails were nice, especially the Strawberry Daiquiri in the Sunset Bar and the Pina Coladas. The beer wasn't to my boyfriend's taste, but other people seemed to enjoy it! The non-alcoholic selection was also good, especially the Passion Fruit juice (still or sparkling).

Outside, there is a sea salt pool and a chlorine pool, both of which were clean and well maintained. We went to the spa a couple of times - there is a chlorine pool in there, as well as a sauna/steam room, which are all free to use. We had two treatments: a couples' massage (EUR180 for 85minutes) halfway through our holiday and a quick fix couples' massage and facial (EUR100 for 50 minutes) on the day we were leaving. Our therapists were excellent and we were both left feeling totally relaxed after each treatment.

Our First Choice rep, Vee, was excellent and willing to pull out all the stops to make our stay enjoyable. The transfers to/from the airport were well organised (it only takes 10 minutes from the airport).

We opted for a couple of excursions: the Jeep Safari and the afternoon catamaran trip. Both were excellent and we highly recommend them as they show off the best parts of the island.

Our holiday was calm, relaxing and blissful - exactly what we needed. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking to go to somewhere outside the usual tourist traps of the Canaries, Spain or Turkey.

Room Tip: If you want a room with a view, ask reception and they will do their best to accommodate you as they...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank citychic81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2011

Here are my marks out of 10
Rooms 10
Hotel pools and grounds 10
Staff, 10
Rep vee 10
Food 5 warm and limited sweets,
Entertainment 4 duo same every night, then the animators, same 2nd week as 1st,
A nice place to just unwind and relax,

  • Stayed: September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Garbev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela Q, Gerente at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your review.
We are pleased that you had an enjoyable time with us at Porto Santo.
We hope we can welcome you again.
Best regards,

Ângela Quintal
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive

Address: Estrada Regional 120 | Sitio do Campo de Baixo, Porto Santo Island 9400-242, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Madeira Islands > Porto Santo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Porto Santo Island
#3 Spa Hotel in Porto Santo Island
#3 Luxury Hotel in Porto Santo Island
Price Range: £132 - £301 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive 5*
Number of rooms: 328
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Pestana Porto Santo hotel is a 5-star beach resort, on the island of Porto Santo, Madeira, and is all inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and domestic beverages). Recently voted the best All Inclusive resort in Europe, it is located on Portugal's best beach, the Porto Santo beach, with 9 km of fine sand and warm water. Just 1 minute on foot from the beach, this hotel also offers 2 large swimming pools surrounded by 30,000 m² of gardens. Guests can enjoy its 6 restaurants and 5 bars, as well as a Spa area with a heated swimming pool, water jets, sauna, Turkish bath, Hamman and gym. And for the little ones, the hotel has sports fields, game rooms and the Kids Club. The rooms are decorated with blue ocean hues and each has a flat-screen TV and balcony. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort And Spa - All Inclusive
Pestana Porto Santo Beach Resort & Spa - All Inclusive Hotel Porto Santo
Pestana Hotel Porto Santo
Pestana Resort Porto Santo

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