ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: My husband and I visited the tropical island of Madeira, Portugal, for the final stop of our honeymoon. We took a 20-minute taxi ride from Cristiano Ronaldo Airport (named for Madeira’s most famous resident) to the Pestana Carlton Madeira. We were immediately impressed with the sprawling exterior of the hotel lined with palm trees and tropical vegetation. The interior lobby had a contemporary beach feel with ample tan and cream-colored seating options, exotic floral arrangements and a captivating amber chandelier. Although we checked in at a busy time, we received prompt and excellent service.
GUEST QUARTERS: We were blown away by our accommodations and the view, as the hotel sits atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Our suite included a living room and dining area, and just past the living room the bedroom included a king-sized bed and office area for those looking to get some work done while still enjoying a view of the ocean. The housekeeping staff surprised us every day with an artistic towel arrangement in the shapes of fish, a heart, swans and rabbits, adding in fresh flowers and foliage along with chocolates.
The room was decorated in muted earth tones with a combination of dark and light wood furnishings, while the surprisingly spacious balcony offered comfortable wicker furniture. Additional room amenities included a mini bar with soft drinks, free WiFi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a tea/coffee station. The expansive marble bathroom featured a sizable stand-alone bathtub as well as a shower with the perfect water pressure to soothe tired muscles. The bathroom additionally boasted a private toilet and bidet alcove along with a double vanity with substantial mirrors. We settled into our new space by relaxing on the balcony while enjoying the complimentary Champagne, fruit and cookie platter waiting for us.
SERVICES/AMENITIES: The hotel, located in a quiet area, lies within walking distance of the main downtown area. Choose from a plethora of intimate restaurants surrounding the hotel or opt to enjoy the four restaurants on property. The rustic Taverna Grill serves classic Portuguese food, and The Pub lets you grab a pint to enjoy with bar food while watching a football match. The Arcos Restaurant offers an expansive breakfast buffet and alfresco dining on the ocean-view terrace, or you can grab a quick lunch at the casual Garden Restaurant and Bar which adjoins two outdoor pools.
The hotel offers a variety of activities including certified on-site scuba classes followed by a guided scuba tour. Other amenities include full gym access, a game room, tennis court, mini golf, a library, The Venus Spa and a hair salon.
- The Pestana Carlton Madeira offers an excellent place for couples and families to enjoy a kid- friendly yet also romantic getaway.
- With amazing food and natural beauty, Madeira should be a top destination for anyone who has never visited.
- You are guaranteed a killer view from any of the rooms, with a choice of views of the ocean or mountains.
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