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after the landslide was a bit worried about going to Madeira, but I have to give due, the streets were all cleaned up. The Peseda Village hotel was OK, but the drinks were ridiculously expensive (3 euros small bottle water., 4 euros pint beer). The 'heated' pools., outdoor and indoor were freezing - too cold to swim in (never saw anybody in them). The restaurants and bars around the area were also extremely expensive - we had booked BB only. To top it all we got food poisoning (not from the hotel)., and were ill for several days. On the way home spoke to two other couples who had also had food poisoning from different areas. Will not go back again
It is over 10 years since we went on a package but actually found the experience relaxing and hassle-free. The airport arrival and transfer were fast and painless and we were delivered to the hotel in a mini-bus and checked in within 45 minutes or so, which beats having to queue up for a hire car at the airport and then try to find a hotel you have never been to. We had researched the location of the hotel beforehand and were pleased that it was within walking distance of the marina and old town, although we only walked back up the hill to the hotel once as it is steep and a good 25 min walk. You can catch the nos 1,2, 4 and 6 buses back and they run every 15 mins or so, although we waited longer than that on Sunday. Turn right out of the hotel and it is about quarter of a mile to the main Lido area. We preferred the restaurants in the old town as we thought the tourist menus there had more choice but if you want to eat Chinese or Indian (in Madeira?) then the Lido is the place for you. The hotel itself is fine, the gardens are lush and give the feeling of lots of space. It wasn't warm enough to use the outdoor pools but the indoor one is heated and I often had it all to myself. Breakfast is really impressive offering everything from fresh fruit and yoghurt to sausages, bacon, egg and a variety of breads and cakes. On my birthday they decorated our table, wrote me a letter and offered a glass of champagne, all of which we thought was a nice touch. Shop around for trips, especially if you do not want one that includes lunch. We prefer to make a packed lunch or buy a snack locally and spend the extra time site-seeing, rather than eating a 3 course lunch. Lots to see in Madeira but I think you can see the island in a week. If you go for 2 weeks go in the summer when you can alternate site-seeing with sun bathing. We couldn't sun-bathe as it wasn't warm enough. Also take your flat shoes as there are hills and gradients everywhere !
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