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Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel 4.0

Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • One of few properties to boast direct, private access to the ocean
  • 20-minute walk from town center and a four-minute walk from Lido Promenade 
  • Spacious apartment-style rooms boast sea- and garden-view balconies 
  • All rooms have well-equipped kitchenettes and flat-screen TVs
  • Large pool area with sea views and plenty of loungers
  • One buffet and one a la carte eatery, plus bar with live music
  • On-site diving school, plus library, ping-pong, and billiards table
  • Gym and spa offering massages, sauna, and whirlpool
  • Large supermarket across the street
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Rooms and some common areas could use a refresh
  • Fee for pool umbrellas and in-room safes
  • Gym is small and in need of modernized equipment
  • Located at bottom of a steep hill, which might be cumbersome for some
  • Reports of spotty Wi-Fi 

Bottom Line

One of the best-positioned properties on Madeira, the upscale, 76-room Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel is located along the water and a 20-minute walk from Funchal's center. It boasts private, direct access to the sea from the large pool area, as well as an on-site dive center. A spa, sauna, whirlpool, and full gym with a sea view add to the property's relaxation factor. The generously sized rooms are admittedly aging -- think brown striped carpet, honey-toned wood furniture, and plaid throws on the bed. However, many offer sea-view balconies and all have basic kitchenettes. The two restaurants and bars receive positive reviews, and meal plans are available. Note, however, that in-room safes and umbrellas by the pool require fees. Travelers looking for a bit more modern property may prefer the Melia Madeira Mare Resort & Spa.

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Scene

Pestana Palms makes up for its aging aesthetics with beautiful grounds and vistas

The Pestana Palms is a four-pearl aparthotel that appeals to vacation-seekers with its immaculate grounds and seafront location. The property comprises the main colonial-style house which houses reception, another room block, and the more striking circular building seemingly perched in the water. This setting means guests have direct access to the water via a private staircase, which is a rarity in the area. Guests generally are taking advantage of this or utilizing the sea-view pool, though pretty vistas also abound at the A Flor do Mar Restaurant and some rooms. While some interiors are chic and sophisticated, such as the Vila Lido Bar's lime-green couches and striped wallpaper, others have dated wood furniture and mismatched patterns. Still, most past guests have been willing to overlook some of the more old-fashioned elements.  

Location

Close to everything but removed from the noise 

Pestana Palms Ocean Aparthotel has a superb location along the coast, allowing for direct access to the water. It also boasts close proximity to the town center (a 20-minute walk) and Lido Promenade (a four-minute walk) -- both key destinations for tourists in Madeira. However, it's located away from the tourist strip of hotels down a steep hill, which may be cumbersome for some -- though it's only a two- to three-minute walk and this means there's less road noise. Travelers who plan to take advantage of the kitchenettes can find a well-stocked Pingo Doce supermarket opposite the property. For those looking to dine out, a few restaurant options are across the road. The Madeira Airport is a 25-minute drive away, and the hotel offers free parking. Carless travelers will also find regular buses at the top of the hill and can arrange a shuttle to the airport via the front desk.

Rooms

Good views abound from the balconies of clean but dated rooms 

Apartment-style rooms are generously sized but have a dated feel due to their striped brown carpet, pastel wall colors, and honey-toned wood furniture. There are pleasant damask wallpaper and attractive white wooden furniture, too, which give the spaces more appeal and a homey vibe. All rooms have furnished balconies or terraces, either with garden views or gorgeous sea vistas. Most notable is that all have fully equipped kitchenettes with mini-fridges, stovetops, kettles, and all necessary cookware. Also standard are small flat-screen cable TVs, free Wi-Fi, and in-room safes (for a fee). Bathrooms have light-colored tiling with a couple stripes of teal, marble sinks, and floral artwork. They feature shower/tub combos, magnifying mirrors, wall-mounted hairdryers, and toiletries. Some higher-category rooms add bathrobes and slippers. Rooms range from Studios to Two-Bedroom Apartments, with the latter being a good choice for groups of friends and families. 

Features

A range of features includes sea-view pool and direct water access

Pestana Palms has an excellent array of offerings, but it particularly stands out against the crowd for its direct access to the water via a staircase. An on-site diving school also means guests can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive from the property. The well-maintained pool is another drawcard, as it overlooks the water and is surrounded by loungers. One downside, though, is that umbrellas will cost extra. Facilities are a bit dated, but the spa offers a range of treatments, sauna, and whirlpool overlooking the sea. Also available are a game room with billiards, library with shelves of books, and gym that's small and in need of an update. Wi-Fi is free but can be spotty.

For guests not cooking in their rooms, there are two quality restaurants on-site, plus bed-and-breakfast, half-board, and full-board options. The A Flor do Mar restaurant has sea-inspired blue-and-white decor, and an outdoor terrace with breathtaking views. The Vila Lido Bar & Bistro has a chic dining and cocktail area by a fireplace, plus there's often live music. A pool bar is available for snacks and drinks during the day. 

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Address

Rua Gorgulho 15 17, Funchal, Madeira Islands 9000-107, Portugal