On arrival, I was very disappointed that my email asking for a quiet room had not been actioned, so we were dismayed to find ourselves in a room where the traffic noise (especially from exceptionally noisy motorbikes) was very noticeable even with the patio door closed. On the Friday and Saturday nights (or should I say early morning, around 3-4 o’clock), the noise from people leaving the disco including people honking their car horns certainly didn’t help to give us a good night’s sleep, even though we were wearing ear plugs.
Strangely, we were the opposite end of the hotel where we had been warned about building works at the new port might be an issue (at least that would have been during the day when we were exploring the island) – to our knowledge there was no noise at all from that area while we were there. We did mention the noise to the lady on reception, but we really didn’t want to pack and unpack when we were only there for a week especially when she said that other rooms might not be any better!
The room itself was certainly big enough – with two sinks and a door between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom. On the whole, service was very good, our kettle was delivered very quickly and preferring redbush/rooibos, we’d brought our own teabags so didn’t have to pay the rather odd additional charge for a refill. One of the quirks of being a sixties hotel was that there were very few plug sockets in the room, but we did find an extra one between the bed and the wardrobe which is where we put the kettle. My husband has a few eye conditions and would have liked to be able to shave a little nearer to the mirror which was set back too far for him to be able to see properly. Heaven knows where women might put on their makeup. There was no outdoor light on the balcony, which we didn’t use as our neighbours smoked and it wafted through – and along with the constant traffic noise, it wasn’t particularly welcoming!
On a positive note, we very much enjoyed going to the jacuzzi which had a lovely view of the infinity pool and sea, although we thought it strange that there were no lockers and we had to wander through the hotel in our bathrobes, but you did get used to it – even the stairs up to the jacuzzi from the indoor swimming pool. Like the rest of the hotel, we found it clean and well maintained.
One day we got back and found an invite for a free drink that evening – by the time we got back to the room, it had already expired! We weren’t too bothered as we thought it might simply be a ruse to try to sell a timeshare club scheme which seems prevalent in Pestana hotels from what we’ve heard.
Breakfast was served in the enormous restaurant with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the sea – we tended to sit outside at the far end, where there was some shade and a lovely view (although we were astounded that people were smoking whilst eating breakfast outside!) There was a great choice of food which included pasteis de nata – perhaps it would have been nice to include some of the more exotic fruits for which Madeira is famous rather than the standard selection on offer, at least Madeira’s small bananas were always plentiful.
As for location, I doubt there’s a hotel with the amenities we wanted much nearer to the city, although sometimes the climb back up the hill seemed a little steep to say the least!
Would we go back to Madeira? In a heartbeat. Would we go back to the hotel? Only if they could guarantee a quiet room.