The Pestana Ocean Bay enjoys an enviable location in Madeira set right on Formosa Beach, judged by many to be one of the finest bays on the island with its impressive views towards the Cabo Giräo promontory. There’s a free shuttle bus service to the island’s capital, Funchal and the new Madeira Shopping Centre is but a short walk away. From the hotel stroll along the Promenade in the evenings after dinner and watch the world go by. During the day, you’ll probably not want to do much more than relax by the swimming pool or drop into the spa with its jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath and a range of treatments. Billiards, darts and table tennis are all available and there are two golf courses not far away. Fishing trips can be arranged.
The Pestana Ocean Bay is offered on an All-Inclusive basis which makes holiday budgeting so much easier. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the Arlequim restaurant and you’ll find live music six nights a week in the Arlequim bar. If you want to get out and about, the hotel helpfully provides lunch boxes in place of lunch in the hotel. There’s a pool bar for daytime snacks and cool drinks. Once a week, all-inclusive guests are invited to dine at the Viva Italia à la restaurant (reservations required).
Madeira’s mild climate makes it an ideal destination at any time of the year and it’s a beautiful island to get to know. The 500 year old capital city of Funchal is best explored on foot. Don’t miss the 16th-century Gothic cathedral, the Farmers’ Market where you’ll be tempted to try bolo del mel (honey cake) which is delicious and the Säo Tiago fort which now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art. It would be a shame not to stop off at one of the wine lodges and taste that Madeira wine! There are two world-renowned Botanical Gardens. The Madeira Botanical Gardens and the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens which you can reach by cable car and enjoy superb views on the way. If you’re hiring a car, head out of town and explore the levadas, the old irrigation channels which now open up some superb walks amid unspoilt and beautiful scenery.