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.
- 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