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Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive
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Reviewed 25 May 2014

want to keep it a secret haven all to ourselves, but only fair to let the world know what a great place this is to stay. Completely agree with all the positive comments and having travelled globally with work and leisure staying at all levels of accommodation, you'd be hard pushed to find a fully inclusive holiday hotel as wonderful as this at such great value.

Arrival - Porto Santo passport control queues caused us to arrive later at the hotel than we anticipated. Looking at the full transfer coach, we imagined longer queues at the hotel as everyone tried to check in. But what an amazing welcome. Coupled with a very speedy and efficient Reception service, our suitcases were labelled with our room number and we found ourselves at 10pm in the restaurant enjoying our first of many tasty meals. The only point of confusion was the Receptionist gave us a map (which we couldn't read in the dark!) with no indication on where our room was. She gave us our room number with 4 digits, but omitted to point out that the first 2 digits referred to the Villa (block) of apartments. But there were so many helpful staff around, we did find our room eventually.

Food - wonderful selection and great vegetarian choice. Breakfasts were lovely. Mr GoodHotelsOnly enjoyed a really well prepared hearty cooked breakfast every morning while I tried the healthy options of chunky fresh pink grapefruit, melon and pineapple. Despite this I still managed to put on half a stone! It was the glass of sparkly wine at the start of the day, followed by leisurely lazy lunches with more wine, great cocktails (the barman would do a 'house special' if there was nothing to take your fancy) and dinners. Different themes - different foods. Hotel buffets can get repetitive but you don't have to eat a bit of everything every mealtime, and there was enough choice to make different starters, main courses and deserts (I often put together cheese, biscuits & grapes which weren't on the puds section). As others have pointed out you could also use the next door Colombus restaurant (pleasant walk alongside the beach) or the a la carte, Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean or Madeira restaurants. We tried the latter two which had lovely atmospheres - felt like you had ventured off the resort - although the night we went to the Madeira, there was no vegetarian option available so worth a mention when booking your table (which I didn't do!). The snack bar is good too, serving bacon baguettes and burgers to order, a salad bar, wrapped Paninis,
cakes, crisps etc. Only suggestion here would be to have some cheese or vegetarian baguettes/wraps available.

Room - exceptionally clean. nice decor and spacious. Our room slept 3 so we also had a sofa/bed and TV in an adjoining room. Our bed was enormous and very comfy. 2 showers in our bathroom and a really good hairdryer. Our balcony had a partial sea view and overlooked the Colombus hotel but was far enough away so you didn't feel you were 'on view'. The cleaning staff were very friendly and efficient and our room was serviced by lunchtime most days.

The swimming pools and sunbeds (single and double with lots of cushions) were plentiful. It was windy (a bit like Cape Verde) when we stayed at the beginning of May, and mornings were cloudy, but pleasantly warm. There is a covered outside pool and also the top floor of the Spa has loungers overlooking the resort and beach. We could escape the morning weather there, and enjoy the sunshine by the pool or on our balcony in the afternoon. We used the hotel beachside sun loungers but not the beach ones which you pay for. Access to/from the beach is via your room key. There is a lovely hotel beach bar which we relaxed at after our walks into the town. Head towards the pier in the distance and 30 - 45 minutes later you will find yourself outside the only supermarket on the island. Across from here is a shop which is like an Aladdins cave when you go inside, bit like our old Woolworths selling everything, including beachwear. I picked up a really nice white lace beach top for under 4 euros (my Monsoon look alike!) in the bargain bin! There are a few other gift shops, and some lovely shoe shops - if you want to take anything home, best get it from the town as there is no opportunity at the small airport (just a tiny shop and bar/café there). It's also possible to walk along the road back to the hotel (takes about the same time) - there is a modern cobble path but probably not suitable for wheelchair or pushchairs. And of course, there is the regular hotel bus shuttle as well as taxis which are reasonable.

The entertainment team were energetic and friendly. By the end of the holiday, more and more were participating in the ritual pre lunch and post dinner Flashdance. I wish I had as I probably would have kept that half a stone at bay! But at no time did you feel you had to join in, and there was plenty of places to escape to, if this isn't your thing. The Paella workshops were good fun, and of course you got to eat it afterwards.

Checkout for our room was 1pm as our flight was early evening. You could request to keep your room longer for a small charge, but this was fine for us. Some holidaymakers had paid Thomson in the UK for this option, only to find it was a lot, lot cheaper if they had done it locally at the hotel. Thomson's response was they guarantee the late check out, while at the hotel you take a gamble as to whether it will be available on the day. More of a Thomson issue to be aware of and not the hotel . Would add though the local Thomson Reps are really good, helpful and informative - a great team.

We were looking for a good fully inclusive holiday break at a great hotel with a gorgeous beach and stunning location all within a reasonable flying distance from the UK. This was beyond perfect. Thank you to everyone at the Pestana Porto Santo - you are amazing and its so evident how incredibly hard you all work to make sure everyone's holiday is wonderful. Would we recommend this hotel - ABSOLUTELY YES.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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11  Thank goodhotelsonly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martins J, General Manager at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing this very detailed review regarding your recent stay at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive & Spa Beach Resort.

It was real pleasure having you as our Guest and to being of service, and we look forward to your next visit and to offering you more ‘Memorable Moments’.

Kind regards,

João Martins
Area Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2014

we have just got back from 2 weeks at the hotel,everything was excellent,the staff couldnt do enough for you,the only downfall was the evening entertainment but saying that it has only just opened so you can expect a few hiccups at the beginning of the season.the food was brilliant as was the weather,and if anybody wants a nice relaxing holiday then the PESTANA in PORTO SANTO is the place to definately go.we hope you all have a really nice break.all the very best from GARY and MARGARET from LIVERPOOL.

Room Tip: go get a villa with outdoor pool.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Gary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martins J, General Manager at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Dear Mrs Margaret and Mr Gary,

Thank you for sharing your review regarding your recent stay at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive & Spa Beach Resort.

Mr Gary it was real pleasure having you as our Guest and to being of service, and we look forward to your next visit and to offering you more ‘Memorable Moments’.

Kind regards,

João Martins
Pestana Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

To me this is not 5 star. We enjoyed the holiday, the beautiful pool area, the spotlessly clean rooms and surrounding areas.
Unfortunately, although there was adequate choices, the food was cold. Even the tasty soup was only lukewarm, pasta dishes always cold. On a few occasions the dining area ran out of crockery and I had to go from station to station looking for a plate or cereal bowl. On our last day we had to drink our coffee from polystyrene cups at the pool bar. I felt the hotel was very understaffed. The waiters did a wonderful job of trying to keep up with their tasks clearing tables, offering wine and water, and always very polite.
We didn't enjoy the evening environment....everyone squeezed into the one area. The singers were dreadful but the young Animation team put their heart and soul into all they did.
We did relax and enjoyed our stay, but were expecting something more from the way Thomson,s promoted this resort.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Wylies798
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martins J, General Manager at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Your feedback is very important for us and future Guests.

It´s through guest feedback such as yours, that we are able to confirm our strong points, as well as identify any area that may require improvement. Therefore your participation has been extremely important and gratifying to us because also give us the opportunity to clarify.

Regarding the food temperature we check our equipments and internal procedures to garantee that everything is adequate to the liking of all Customers. About the polystyrene cups at the pool bar usually we just use them when the Customers will walk around the pool with their cup, just for security reasons. I don't know if that was the case. It is very common that you find the same staff members day and night due to the short season (just between May and October) everybody, work more time to save money for the winter.

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join our loyalty program Pestana Priority Guest which is available at our website.

It was real pleasure having you as our Guest and to being of service, and we look forward to your next visit and to offering you more ‘Memorable Moments’.

Kind regards,

João Martins
Pestana Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

Where do I start about this hotel......

We went for 1 weeks stay from 12th May 2014. Myself, hubby and grandson aged 12. No issues with the flight and we arrived at the hotel at approx 10pm. We were greeted by the animation team and customer service team. Balloons, music, drinks, what a fantastic way to start your holidays. I have so much to say about this place that I will break it down:

Check in/out... the most professional team I have ever dealt with and we have a few holidays a year. On arrival they offloaded your luggage and once you were checked in you were given stickers with your room number on. You then went over to your case and put the stickers on. Whilst you were directed to the restaurant to get something to eat and drink, your cases were taken to your room. On checkout, they had a room for your cases. You were given a letter to say what number bus you would be on and what time you would be picked up. This was staggered to every 15 mins so that you didn't have to wait in long queues at the airport. You checked out at 1pm and took your case to the room. You were then asked what bus you were on and your case was lined up under that number on the wall. These were then loaded on to the coach for you. As on arrival, all the animation team and customer service team were waiting for you when you left. Hugs all round. We felt as though we were leaving friends not a holiday hotel. It was a very emotional departure.

Rooms: The rooms were spotless and cleaned everyday. We were given a free upgrade due to it being quiet. It was in block 8. Great views over the pool, separate bedroom for us and sofa bed in lounge for our grandson. Bath, shower over bath, toilet, bidet, kitchenette with microwave and small cooker. Lots of wardrobe space, hangers, towels etc. Bedding was lovely, feather duvets and HUGE feather pillows. Nice white crisp bedding, a real treat.

Restaurant/Food: Main buffet restaurant was good, staff very attentive and professional. You were asked if you wanted water and drinks when you sat down and then helped yourself to your food. Usual AI food, became a little repetitive but was good quality. I had full English everyday because it was good. This is usually something I steer clear of abroad. There is also the pool bar for burgers, hotdogs, toasties, chips, salad etc. They have further themed restaurants that you can book up to 3 times a week. These are Med, Madeiran, Oriental and Italian. We didn't use any of these. You can also use the restaurant in the sister hotel which is the same buffet menu with a little bit more choice for children. Bigger more spacious restaurant. Good selection of drinks.

Entertainment: The animation team worked hard but it was a quiet time for the season when we went. They do have a children's club and a separate teens block which had a football table in and a large hall. As there were no teenagers there is wasn't used whilst we were there. The evening entertainment wasn't great except for Sunday evening, don't miss it, it was fab. The plus side is they have huge beds in the Sunset bar where the entertainment is held so if you have young children it is ideal for them to lie on whilst you have a drink and watch the entertainment.

Resort: There is not a lot to do in Porto Santo so be prepared for a week or two of just lying by the pool or sea. The hotel is on the beach which is gorgeous. You have to pay a fee for the beds on the beach. Predominately English guests, families with small children or 30's up...Always sunbeds available and you have use of all the facilities in the sister hotel next door. Very small, unspoilt island. Very few shops and cafes in the town or surrounding area but some provide free shuttle service if you want to eat at their restaurant. There is a free shuttle service into town everyday. You can also walk it in about 45 mins along the beach if you like.

Staff: What can I say....just amazing. We travel a lot but I can honestly say I have never experienced such lovely people. On arrival the Customer Services Manager Andrea took us to our room. She saw that I walked with a stick and said that if we had any problems to see her the next day and she would change our room. We liked our room so much that we stayed but every time she saw us she asked if all was ok and if I was coping. Restaurant and bar staff amazing. So accommodating, nothing is too much trouble. Can't thank everyone enough for making our holiday and us feel so special. You will not be disappointed in your Thomson/First Choice reps, Emma and Adam. Best reps I have dealt with. Informative and always available. Nothing was any trouble for anyone at Pestana Porto Santo.

In summary:-

Would we go again....Yes, in a heartbeat
Would we recommend....Yes, definately

Hardest farewell ever.....:'( but will be back again. Don't change a thing Pestana as in our eyes, you are perfect just the way you are <3

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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8  Thank SueandMark61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martins J, General Manager at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Dear "SueandMark61",

Thank you for taking the time to post such a fantastic review regarding your recent stay at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive & Spa Beach Resort and share it with other travelers.

We were delighted to learn you had a very enjoyable time with us!

Thank you for your very kind comments regarding our services, facilities and staff.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back to our Hotel.

Warm regards,

João Martins
Pestana Hotels

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

An amazing weeks holiday what fabulous staff and hotel, this was our first visit but hopefully not the last, what can I say everything was awesome, could not want for any better, loved this holiday thank you

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank lesleystanley2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martins J, General Manager at Pestana Porto Santo All Inclusive, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Dear Guest,

We are pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us.

Your positive comments about us have been really appreciated and we sincerely hope that your travelling plans bring you back to Porto Santo again, so we can have the pleasure of hosting you again to offer “Memorable Moments”.

Kind regards,

João Martins
Pestana Hotels

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