Club at Pestana Village
Reviews of Club at Pestana Village
Pestana owns and operates several hotels/resorts on Madeira--each one with a slightly different theme and ambience. The Pestana Palms 1 bedroom we had with a partial kitchen was good sized, well furnished, included a balcony and was surrounded by well-maintained gardens and other amenities. The property adjoins the Pestana Miramar and both are slightly away from the ocean and downtown Funchal, but within walking distance. This is an RCI Gold Crown resort and it deserves the rating with a well trained professional staff, gym and pool and restaurant facilities and entertainment nightly.
The big surprise was Madeira itself. We thought this would be an island paradise (e.g. Bermuda, Nassau, Cayman, etc) but it turned out to be very commercialized in the resort areas. While we rented a car to tour the island, we found that local driving on narrow, poorly marked roads was treacherous for us. After our first outing, we left the car parked (for an additional fee) at the hotel and walked or used public transportation. (Cabs can be a good option). Additionally, we specifically went to walk the famous lavada trails (irrigation paths) and finally had to take a tour because everyone at the hotel and information office said it was so dangerous and a guide's knowledge was necessary. In the end, we think this is a ploy to keep the tour guides employed.
Madeira, while touristy, still has beautiful vistas and views if you search them out, and there are plenty of restaurants and entertainment opportunities to have an enjoyable week. The majority of visitors are British and tend to be older in age. If you want to see the island, I recommend you plan on using scheduled tours and cabs/busses as traveling on your own is much more difficult than on mainland Portugal.