This hotel has it all – two pools, themed restaurants, a sea-view bar and as much sand as you need.
A curtain of mountains is the backdrop to this hotel, while out the front a carpet of sand unrolls all the way to Vila Baleira. It’s a lovely, albeit 45-minute, walk there or you can take the courtesy bus, which takes 5.
Two super-sized pools snake their way past Balinese beds and an al fresco whirlpool. The restaurant scene includes an Italian place, and the bar is all geared up for sunset. Plus, there's access to the Pestana Colombos Premium Club next door.
This large bar is on the first floor and is also where you'll find live entertainment in the evening as well as live sport screenings. It features sea views which are particularly spectacular at sunset.
These twin rooms sleep up to three. They're stylish rooms decorated in cool colours with a feature wall and tiled flooring. You'll have plenty of space with a sofa and an armchair along with a flatscreen satellite TV, DVD player and mini-fridge. There's also internet and room service available 24 hours - between midnight and 7.30am it's at a charge. For some outside space, there's a furnished balcony or terrace.
Suites are tastefully furnished with soft furnishings in tones of blue, white walls and tiled flooring. They sleep up to four with a separate living room and a sliding door leading out to a furnished balcony or terrace. You'll also have a flatscreen satellite TV, DVD player and mini-fridge. Internet and room service are also available 24 hours - between midnight and 7.30am it's at a charge.
First of all, the island. Porto Santo is small but very impressive. It has hills, stunning geological features, a beautiful beach running the length of the island, a wonderful coastline and the sea is clean and filled with dolphins, turtles etc.
Now the local towns. Traditional, still charming and (dare I say it) relatively unspoilt by tourism, The tourism office were very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. Vila Baleira is to your left as you walk onto the beach and the harbour to your right. Both are worth the relatively short walk, 30 minutes to the first, say 50 to the second. There are cafes and bars, those we saw were all locally owned and very well supported by Portuguese visitors which is always a good sign!!
The hotel itself is situated on the beachfront, with protected dune landscapes between the hotel and the sea. Because of this the hotel cannot own the beach but it does have allocated sunbeds and parasols which are available to hire for a week for a reasonable sum. The beach and sea are beautiful and there is lots of space.
The hotel has beautiful grounds and the gardens are very pretty, with desert plants in some areas and formal (albeit not huge) gardens between the hotel and dunes.
The pools are freeform and beautifully clean. There are parasols and sunbeds around the pools and in the gardens and these were all well maintained and clean. I would comment here that because the hotel was full finding a bed could occasionally be a challenge but doable!!
There are also two indoor pools. One, in the spa, is adults only and is absolutely gorgeous. The other forms part of the outdoor pool complex and again is very attractive providing an alternative playspace.
The restaurants are fine. The food in the main restaurant is internatinal cuisine with themed nights and even the fussiest of eaters could find something acceptable!! The other three restaurants, Madeiran, Italian and Mediteranean are fine, although my family and I eat a lot of Asian influenced food and for us there could have been more spicing although I accept that many of the guests were families with young children who perhaps would not have enjoyed this.
The hotel had what seemed to be a very popular kids club although we didnot use this and also a very spacious and well resourced teen club which was I think underused because there wer very few teenaged guests!!
The games room was very well supplied with a good selection of board games and a really well stocked library.
The bars were staffed by experienced and capable people and in the evening the emphasis was on family entertainment. We would have liked there to be another evening bar, a little less well lit and a tad quieter.
I must comment on the spa as I did spend a fair amount of time in there!! The treatments were priced fairly and were very good. I had a couple of massages (i could have laid there forever!!) a facial and something else which I have forgotten the name of. All were undertaken very professionally, in a lovely soothing environment. Do treat yourselves!
We were very lucky and had a pool villa which was very spacious with a kitchen area, dining space , lounge two bedrooms andtwo bathrooms. Additionally it had a small private garden and a small private pool. The housekeeping staff were very thorough and the pool and garden were maintained daily.
The staff were, without exception, friendly, kind and attentive. This is across the whole of the hotel, from porters to gardeners, reception to waiting staff.
Overall, this was a lovely, relaxing holiday in a lovely, friendly hotel. Thankyou.More
A great hotel made perfect by Staff
Me and my fiance stayed for a week Sept. 21 and had an amazing time. The facilities are superb and can not understand anyone who doubts this.
What made this week for us was the attentive and polite staff. From the animation team, bar team, waiters, chefs, and cleaning team, everyone was eager to assist you and polite.
Also a big thank you to the Thomson rep. Mario who was friendly and more than helpful.
Would highly recommend hiring the "bubblecar" to discover the Island, was so much fun!
We will be back soon! More
Love it - one of my favourite places
This was out third visit and from the moment we stepped off the bus we knew we were in for another fab holiday, greeted with a hug from Luciano who remembered us straight away. Then to find a lovely welcome back note from the management with Madeira wine and cake in the room.
The staff are all lovely and we cannot fault any of them from the cleaners, the cooks (from the Dunas bar who again remembered us) the bar staff - Cristina in the Dunas bar who my husband called darling and who she called sugar (following a joke over coffee !) and the waiting staff, everyone has a smile and cannot do enough to help. The animation team are great, Luciano, Daniel, joana, Daniella and especially Sissi who has been part of the team on each visit and remembers us each time and with whom we have a laugh with. Just sorry we didn't get to say goodbye to her.
If your looking for a relaxing holiday on a beautiful island with friendly people you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere better.
Until next time we will be back. More
jac3170, leighton buzzard
Stayed for the first week of September with my partner and our 2 year old daughter.
Having read many mixed reviews of the hotel I went with and open mind but was overwhelmed how good this place is.
It was completely full but we never question for any length of time for any meals or failed to get 3 sun beds around the pool.
We managed to book all of the restaurants and ate in both of the buffet restaurants and the small "secret" creperie in the sister hotel which is only a pleasant walk away.
Beach is beautiful but sun beds were booked out but we made use of the free sun umbrellas.
The staff are simply outstanding and can't do enough for you or your children. Out daughter was taken seriously ill at 3am one night but one call to reception sorted it all with an ambulance arriving within 10 minutes. The minibus even picked us up from the hospital and a golf buggy took us back to our room. All without asking. We were expecting to make our own way back but peatana took good care of us. A teddy bear and fruit basket awaited us on our return to the room the next day.
I certainly will return, and if you are thinking of booking then DO IT!! More
dubaihopper, south wales
Another great week!
This was our second trip this season. Yes, there are a few niggles with occasional queues, and I can understand the frustration with lack of sunbeds in peak season, but overall we love it!
We found our September (21st) week, slightly quieter than our June (22nd) week and the average age of our fellow guests to be older in September.
I'd emailed ahead this time with our room request and we arrived to find a welcome note, bottle of wine and Madeira cake in our room. Perfect!
We enjoyed meals at the Italian, Madeira Lovers and the Med, with the Med being our favourite. Good choice of salad buffet for lunchtime and we used both restaurants in the evenings.
We love the beach and spend most of our day there, walking, swimming and sunbathing.
The Animation Team are great. One of our main reasons for going back was because they made us feel so welcome and I love to dance with the lovely Luciano and Gustavo! Bachata and Kizomba with Luciano, and Salsa with Gustavo.... and of course the flash dance every day. The shows are great and they all work so hard and always a smile and time for a chat. Diogo, Tarik and Daniela, we love you too!
Maybe we'll make it back for one more week next year.... until then, "go and make a cup of tea" and " 2 aeros"!More