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Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel 3.5

Funchal, Madeira, Madeira Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Village-style complex set in beautifully tended tropical gardens
  • 10-minute walk to beach; under 10-minute drive to historic center
  • Rooms all have balconies/terraces with garden, sea, or mountain views
  • Cheerful and spacious rooms all have kitchenettes
  • Outdoor swimming pool with swim-up bar
  • Guests have use of facilities at neighboring Pestana Miramar
  • Spa with whirlpool tub, sauna and steam rooms, and massages
  • Several restaurants and bars, including barbecue
  • Fitness center with natural light 

Cons

  • No air-conditioning and some bathrooms in need of refresh
  • Wi-Fi only in reception area
  • Not directly on the beach
  • Some rooms near the pool and bar pick up noise

Bottom Line

An upper-middle-range, village-style complex set in beautiful gardens, the Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel certainly lives up to its name. Though set off the main coastal road, this 92-room property feels secluded and peaceful and it's just 10 minutes on foot to the beach. Rooms are spacious and bright, with simple country decor, kitchenettes, and balconies or terraces -- some with sea views. However, there is no air-conditioning and some bathrooms look a bit dated. Shared facilities with a neighboring sister hotel means access to at least two of everything (and beach access), though the resort's own pool, spa, and dining options are ample. For something a little different there's also Ocean Gardens, a small, family-owned property set in a garden that offers better vistas, too.

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Scene

Colorful, village-style aparthotel set in particularly beautiful tropical gardens 

A gated driveway flanked by two small towers and a pair of bushy potted palms marks the entrance to the grounds of the aptly named Pestana Village Garden Resort Aparthotel. As the name implies, the gardens are what really shine at this property. Although certainly not the largest in Funchal, these gardens are some of the most impressive. Guided tours are available for guests who want an up-close look at the (often labeled) exotic and indigenous plants, flowers, and trees. Nestled in among the plant life are a series of colorful, low-rise blocks housing the property's apartments painted in yellows, reds, and pinks. Topped with traditional tiled roofs, these buildings give the place its distinct village-like atmosphere. The peaceful, secluded vibe attracts mostly older couples, though also the occasional family with kids in tow. 

Location

Just off main coastal road, a short drive to Funchal's historic center

The hotel is located on a hilltop just off the busy and winding Estrada Monumental that runs most of the length of Funchal's Sao Martinho district. The immediate surrounding area is mostly quiet, though there are some local shops, restaurants, and snack bars within walking distance. It's also around a 10-minute walk to the sea (through the Pestana Carlton Madeira hotel) and about the 15 minutes' walk to the Lido Promenade, an attractive coastal footpath lined with pretty gardens and restaurants. The quaint cobbled streets  and numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes in Funchal's historic district, is about five to 10 minutes away by car. Madeira Airport is a 20- to 25-minute drive from the hotel.

Rooms

All rooms with kitchenettes and balconies/patios that open to garden, sea, or mountain views

Rooms here are decorated in cheerful tones that call to mind the French countryside, with bold floral-patterned wallpaper, wood floors, and traditionally styled white furnishings. The abundance of yellow, white, and orange keep things looking fresh and bright. Traditional tilework in the kitchenettes adds even more rustic charm, though there's little in the way of wall art. All units have sliding doors that open to furnished balconies, with lower-level rooms overlooking the garden and higher floors offerings partial sea or mountain views; some rooms also overlook the pool.

All rooms come with kitchenettes that include mini-fridges, electric ranges, electric kettles, and cookware. Suites feature separate bedrooms and living rooms with sofas, and small dining tables in the kitchens. Other standard features include flat-screen TVs with a few satellite channels, but there's no in-room Wi-Fi. Rooms also lack air-conditioning and cooling relies on ceiling fans -- as such many guests must leave the doors open, making noise from the bars an issue in some rooms. Pastel-tile bathrooms are generally clean and feature marble vanities, wall-mounted hairdryers, and shower/tub combos with clear doors; unfortunately, the look is a little dated.

Features

Plentiful facilities shared between neighboring sister hotel

A buffet breakfast of hot and cold items is served in the traditionally styled surrounds of the A Villa Restaurant. However, it's not always included in the rate. Guests have access to several other dining options, including an alfresco barbecue restaurant, and charming Bar da Fonte. Neighboring Pestana Miramar's restaurants and bars are also open to guests -- and tend to be more elegantly old-fashioned, especially the Miramar Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.

While not surrounded by much of a terrace, the hotel's pool is fairly spacious and includes a swim-up bar and children's swimming area. There are usually enough sun loungers to keep everyone happy; extras are also dotted around the gardens for those looking to bask in even more peace and quiet. The pool bar also hosts live music and entertainment sometimes. Those looking for a beach will need to walk across the road to the Pestana Miramar -- it's about a 10-minute walk from the Pestana Village Garden.

The hotel's wellness center features a large whirlpool tub, sauna and steam rooms, and massage treatment rooms. Massages can be arranged by the pool, though are unlikely to be very relaxing during busier times. The gym is particularly spacious with lots of natural light, while more sedate activity takes places in the game room with green baize card and snooker tables. A small outdoor playground surrounded by gardens offers a nice spot for kids. Unfortunately, free Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby.

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Address

Estrada Monumental 194, Funchal, Madeira Islands 9000-098, Portugal