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All reviews indoor pool sea view small kitchenette steam room wellness centre lovely hotel evening buffet plenty of sunbeds sandy beaches the cliff bed and breakfast basis senhora da rocha hotel area relaxing holiday sun loungers half board cooked breakfast
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Reviewed 25 July 2017

We had read good reviews about this hotel and had great expectations, but got disappointed. We were a family of 7, me, my husband, my children (age 7 & 10), my brother, my niece (18 months) and my mother, staying for 12 nights in July 2017.

I booked two rooms in my name in January and wrote a note requesting to get rooms close to each other. Upon check-in asked if the rooms were located close to each other, but one room was on the 5th floor and the other on the 3rd floor, even both rooms were booked in the same name and both rooms had the same request of staying close by each other. And as the hotel was fully booked they could not do anything to change that. Also, I was surprised that we had to pay the rooms upfront when checking-in, I have never experienced that before. Normally they take a print of your credit card as guarantee, but here we had to pay and sign for it up front.

Getting to the room on the 5th floor (of total 7 in the hotel) I got a bit disappointed. The room was very warm and the free WiFi didn’t work. We turned on the air condition and we heard it was blowing, but the air coming out was not cold. Thought it would be better after a while, so we slept with the aircondition on that night, without getting the temperature in the room down. The next day I informed the reception about the aircon. and they promised to send someone up to look at it. Someone did look at it, but the problem didn’t get fixed. The next morning, I went down to reception again, after not being able to sleep for two nights due to the warm room. Again, they promised to send someone to fix it and finally the problem got solved and we could get some normal temperature in the room.

We had paid extra for sea view, but from our terrace half the view was the ugly roof of the hotel restaurant. We really had to lift our heads above that to see the sea and horizon, but it was hard not to be disturbed by the roof in front of us. The room was nice (we had a suite), but the sofa bed where the children slept, were uncomfortable with a very thin madras. The master bed was not a double bed, but two twin beds next to each other, so when the youngest wanted to sleep in the middle he almost fell in between the beds.

The room had a mini kitchen and a sign that dish-washing was not included. The problem is that there is no soap and sponge for cleaning the dishes yourself. I find this really cheap by the hotel. I’m fine with cleaning the dishes myself, but please provide something I can use to clean it. I don’t want to think about how the glasses and cups in the kitchen have been cleaned before we used them…

The outdoor pool area is nice, and I was very happy to experience that there were available sunbeds when going to the pool area after breakfast. The other guests didn’t occupy sunbeds with their towels from early morning, as I have experienced in some other hotels. The indoor pool looks very dirty of sand, as people seem to use it to wash off themselves when getting from the beach. Also there are some massive white blocks inside the indoor pool that are not marked in any way, so I really did hurt myself when swimming into one of them, because I didn’t see it.

When buying ice cream & drinks at the hotel pool bar, we tried to charge them to the room, but it didn’t work as there were no “credit” registered. No-one informed us about this upon check-in. We contacted reception and had to open a credit-limit of € 350 to be able to charge things to the room. I find this amount very high.

Breakfast was included and had a lot of options. Fresh bread, warm and cold dishes, one day they offered fresh made omelets, the other day pancakes. The juices were made of concentrate and the coffee was from an instant Nescafé machine, but luckily also bottled water and champagne was included in the breakfast buffet. There were four jam jars there without any marking. I tried to ask the staff what flavors they were. One of the staff pointed at a jar and said it was mango. I tried that one as I never had mango-jam before, but it turned out to be orange marmalade. So, a sign showing what flavor the jam jars are, would be good! Unfortunately, we saw two accidents during breakfast on two different days; children crashed into the inner glass wall and really hurt themselves. The outer glass walls are marked with a blue tape, but the inner glass wall is not marked at all and it was scary to see more people bumping into the glass wall and two children actually get really hurt with marks in their forehead and lots of crying.

The hotel lunch restaurant / pool bar was such a big disappointment, that we decided not to eat any dinner at the hotel. We waited very long to get any service and prices were expensive. When the menu came, the waiter did not inform us about the buffet option. The food came at different times, so 2 of us got their food and the other 2 waited another 15 minutes before they got their food. Then the first two had finished their meal. Another time 3 of us got food served, and 1 of us waited more than an hour for a pizza. We asked twice and they promised to fix it soon, but took forever. And when the pizza finally arrived, it was raw and uneatable. They forgot to bring all drinks and often came with still water, even we ordered sparkling. And the waiters didn’t pay attention and were not interested in their guests… . After trying the pool restaurant four times, we gave up and ordered very good take-away pizza from the Italian Belmondo restaurant across the street and ate it at the balcony. The Belmondo restaurant became our favorite for dinner as well. A bit expensive, but worth it as the food was fantastic.

The staff seemed very uninterested in their guests and the hotel is a bit tired. The room were cleaned very late in the afternoon and there was no info on how to call from one room to another. The area is very calm and quiet, but also boring, especially when the WiFi is not working. There are no shops close by, except a mini-market to buy drinks and snacks up the hill. The best thing is the beautiful beaches close by.

Room Tip: Top floor!
  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MilleSegers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pestanaviking, Gestor at Pestana Viking, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2017

Dear "MilleSegers",

Thank you for your review. I am sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay with us. We do take guest feedback very seriously as we are always looking for ways to improve upon guest experiences. I will certainly share your feedback with the relevant heads of department to ensure maintain the highest standards of service.

I would like the opportunity to welcome you back again and I shall personally oversee your visit.

Best regards,
Ricardo Santos
Unit Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2017

I was at this hotel with my children (aged 10 and 17). The hotel itself is beautiful and spacious. The location is great, only a short walk to the beach and other points of interest. We managed to find a couple of nice restaurants nearby. The staff is friendly. The pool area is great; it was never a problem finding pool loungers for the three of us. The breakfast was very good but I wish there had been more variety fruit wise. Those who like cooked breakfast would be ok. However, I wouldn't return to this hotel because the beds were very uncomfortable. After the first night my back was incredibly sore. I had not felt back pain like that for over six years. I needed to take pain killers for about four days. From the second night onwards I slept in the little bed they placed there for my boy. Very hard and uncomfortable but somehow better for me than the other two (I had to fold two duvets and place them on top of the thin mattress); still, I hardly slept during the 7 night stay. The air conditioner in the room was impossible to use during the night as it's one of the old types (incredibly noisy; turning on and off every few minutes). We turned it off within 10 minutes or so of going to bed in our first night and decided only to use it during the day. It was very hot when we were there (10th -17th July) and it wasn't nice to sleep in that heat without air conditioning. We booked a see view superior double. We got a nice view but half of it was blocked by a massive palm tree. Not really a problem as it was still a beautiful view. I was surprised that in a four star hotel there was so little attention to the comfort in the room. The towels were rough and one of them had a big hole. One of the bed sheets also had a hole. One of the cups my daughter used for some hot chocolate was cracked throughout and had a massive chip. So, yeah, we love Portugal and had a nice time but it could've been so much better without the problems I mentioned above! Definitely never going back to this hotel!

Stayed: July 2017
1  Thank nsalmartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pestanaviking, Gestor at Pestana Viking, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

Dear "nsalmartin",

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at the Pestana Viking.
We do take guest feedback very seriously as we are always looking for ways to improve upon guest experiences. I will certainly share your feedback with our team.
It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we will be delighted if you return.

Regards,
Ricardo Santos
Unit Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2017

Stayed for 10 nights booked as a B&B package with Jet2 Holidays. Stayed in Pestana's before in Madeira and enjoyed the brand there.

Hotel location is spectacular perched on top of a cliff - we booked a superior sea view room and were allocated a decent size room on level 6 with views over Armacao and a huge palm tree. I queried the room allocation with the Jet2 rep who clarified the side sea view on the top floors are "superior sea view rooms". All the rooms at the front are suites. Apart from the tree we were happy with the room so got on with the holiday.

We had a couple of problems with the aircon blowing out warm air but a call to the front desk soon got this sorted.

Bathroom was spacious, decent shower, excellent fridge in room which got the beer, water and wine chilled in no time. Balcony was reasonable size - okay to have lunch on - bought bread, sardine pate, tomatoes, cheese, wine and beer at the Intermarche supermarket 10 minute walk up the hill. Got our water and emergency beer supplies from Martins mini market 5 mins up the same hill.

Thought breakfast was pretty good overall, good fruit selection and egg station although egg chefs needed a rocket up their backsides - you never knew what time they would show up and they seemed incapable of frying an egg without breaking the yolk. Omeletes and pancakes were good.
As others have mentioned fruit juice was putrid so we bought freshly squeezed orange juice from the Intermarche and took that down to breakfast. Gave up with the coffee in favour of Liptons tea.

Hotel outdoor pool was brilliant although the paved area surrounding it needs renewing, very stony paving slabs

Beaches

We preferred Cova Redondo - just up the hill and right down the steps although if you stay here its worth having a look at the tunnel between Nossa Senhora da Rocha and Praia Nova, amazing feature

Restaurants

We went into Armacao four times, walked down the hill took about 30 mins to he Holiday Inn - ate at Ze Leteiro (amazing) A Lota (very good) Bistro 24 (okay) and A Tasca (ordinary). Always worth a pre/post dinner drink in Pedros Bar and the ice cream at the N'Ice cream shop is to die for. Taxi back from rank near Holiday Inn was €5.

In Alporchinos were ate at Vilarinho beach bar (excellent) Vila de Italia (good pizza) and our favourite O Veleiro three times. Their prawns in garlic and Portuguese Steak are fantastic.

We tried a few bars Palmeiras was okay for a beer but terribly smoky, Blues bar near the Intermarche was good and very cheap, Lords Bar near the chapel was great for a drink after climbing the cardiac hill from the beach bar.

Staff we came across were excellent, always polite, room servicing was first rate.

Entertainment
We weren't expecting much and Pestana didn't disappoint although it would have been better outside.

On last day we couldn't get a late check out as the hotel was full but we used the showers in the solarium which were really good.

Overall very good relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on higher levels avoiding Palm trees
  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mickrory1683
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pestanaviking, Gestor at Pestana Viking, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2017

Dear "mickrory1683",

Many thanks for the most kind review from your recent stay with us at Pestana Viking.
I am most happy to know that you had a great stay with us.
I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back.

Best regards,
Ricardo Santos
Unit Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2017

This hotel is in a pleasant quiet part of Porches and close to the beach.

The hotel itself has a large open foyer and reception if a little bland in some areas as are some landing areas particularly on the top floor which gives a poor impression of a 4* hotel.

The rooms adequate for two people but are in need of a little TLC in places, disappointingly so on first appearance as we booked a superior room. (chips in the plaster work, scuffs on the walls) but otherwise functional.

On the final downsides the breakfast buffet has little wow factor but is adequate with a fair selection of dishes although the hot section food tended to be lukewarm to cold. There are two such buffet areas, which one is left to find out about,the second one, same choices, is in the next room accessed from the outside so if its busy fill up from there.

The last gripe is the lounge area and entertainment. The area in front of the stage and in front of the bar is set up for dining and the seating is not conducive to informal bar use, the main lounge area is further back and does not feel part of the room. The evening entertainment is diabolical and on our visits to this area in the evening it was lacking in any atmosphere and for that matter people and it is understandable why.

Pool area is very nice and there are ample sunbeds scattered around the garden areas mostly with fixed parasols. The kiddies pool and main pool are ample in size and not crowded. There are bar facilities adjacent as well as toilet facilities. The area overlooks the sea and is well maintained.

The close popular beach is down steps and slopes but access can be made by car, there is limited parking. Nice beach with lifeguards, large beach bar, toilets, pedalos, boat trips etc.
You can access the next very long beach from the first via a tunnel in the cliff but there are no facilities on that beach but lots of space.

There are a limited number of restaurants and bars close by but a short walk into Porches gives access to the main supermarket and a few more bars and restaurants, enough to keep one going for a while without repetition.

Overall a nice hotel and location and despite the earlier gripes would not stop us visiting again or recommending this hotel to others

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Prestatynblue2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pestanaviking, Gestor at Pestana Viking, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2017

Dear "Prestatynblue2014",

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at the Pestana Viking
Your opinion is very important to us and be sure that we will share it with our team.
It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we will be delighted if you return.

Regards,
Ricardo Santos
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2017 via mobile

This hotel was lovely and relaxing the Breakfast was superb .
However the down side to this hotel was the evening meal where terrible and is showed as breakfast time was very busy .. but in the evening the place was very quite . Not many people going for evening dinner. It may because of early season but we have never experienced this at other hotels. It's a shame.
Also the other down side the maids did not come to attend the rooms until very late around 5pm .

But apart from that we had a lovely relaxing holiday ...
A must is trying the local bar over the road .. lovely people there
And the beers and wine is a lot cheaper than the hotel.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank karandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pestanaviking, Gestor at Pestana Viking, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2017

Dear "karandy",

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at the Pestana Viking.
We do take guest feedback very seriously as we are always looking for ways to improve upon guest experiences. I will certainly share your feedback with our team.
It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we will be delighted if you return.

Regards,
Ricardo Santos
Unit Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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