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Pestana Palm Gardens 3.5

Carvoeiro, Faro District, Portugal

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located a three-minute walk from Vale Covo Beach
  • Carvoeiro village is a five-minute drive
  • Spacious suites and apartments with kitchenettes or kitchens
  • Each unit has a terrace or balcony, some with ocean view
  • Children's pool and outdoor pool with poolside bar
  • Fitness center and outdoor tennis court
  • Spa provides sauna, massages, and beauty treatments
  • Breakfast buffet and well-liked Portuguese restaurant
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property

Cons

  • Not within walking distance of Carvoeiro bars and restaurants
  • Pool deck sometimes runs out of sun loungers
  • Fee for use of safes as well as breakfast

Bottom Line

Pestana Palm Gardens is a three-pearl resort located a three-minute walk from Vale Covo Beach and a five-minute drive from central Carvoeiro. Proximity to the beach and the 79 spacious suites and apartments are the draw here. The style is homey and traditional, and all apartments come with kitchenettes or kitchens, plus free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and terraces or balconies (some with ocean views). Facilities are fairly substantial: an outdoor pool with poolside bar, children's pool, tennis court, fitness center, and small spa with sauna. There's also a well-liked Portuguese restaurant. Travelers looking to be closer to town should consider Monte Dourado, though its rooms aren't quite as nice and its facilities are a bit more limited, with no spa or restaurant. 

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Scene

Beach-ready suite and apartment resort with quiet atmosphere

Pestana Palm Gardens overlooks the ocean, a short walk from Vale Covo beach. That proximity to the shore is one of the hotel's best features, and the tan-and-white buildings, wide lawns, palm trees, and colorful flowers give the resort a nice dose of classic Mediterranean style. The interiors and rooms make good use of color, with lots of cheerful yellow making this a homey spot that has a broad appeal. When they're not at the beach or in Carvoeiro, guests congregate around the freeform outdoor pool with poolside bar, or in the well-liked restaurant. With its large suites and apartments with kitchenettes and kitchens, the resort is good for families and those on an extended stay. Couples also pass through, for the quiet and romantic setting near secluded beaches, while golfers also make their way here for its proximity to local courses and guest discount at nearby Pestana Golf Resort. Expect to see mostly tourists from the U.K. and Ireland.

Location

A three-minute walk from Vale Covo Beach, a five-minute drive from Carvoeiro village

Pestana Palm Gardens is a fine pick for those who don't want to be within walking distance of the beach, outside Carvoeiro's tourist-heavy buzz. There are a few restaurants and a supermarket within walking distance, but the best asset here is the three-minute walk to Vale Covo Beach (though keep in mind that stairs are involved). Vale Centeanes Beach is about a 10-minute walk away, while Marinha Beach -- one of the prettiest beaches in the Algarve -- is a little over a 10-minute drive. It will take about five minutes to reach Carvoeiro by car, and the town is packed with touristy shops, bars, and restaurants, plus a town square with live music every night during the summer. It also has a beach. Golf is a popular activity in the area, and Pestana guests receive a discount at the Nick Price-designed Gramacho course at Pestana Golf Resort, a little under a 15-minute drive. Estombar-Lagoa train station is also a 15-minute drive from the hotel, and Faro Airport will take 45 minutes to reach by car. 

Rooms

Spacious, bright, and cheerful suites and apartments with kitchenettes or kitchens

Pestana Palm Gardens has 79 units that range from suites to two-bedroom linked villas. Floor plans start at 366 square feet (34 square meters), so all are spacious. The look isn't exactly contemporary, but homey elements like wood in the furniture and trim and granite in the kitchen and bathroom countertops are all well kept. Dashes of Mediterranean style come from colorful rugs and art on the walls, and colors like light blue, yellow, and red in the soft furnishings. Suites have kitchenettes with microwaves, electric kettles, drip coffeemakers, small fridges, toasters, two-burner stovetops, and sinks. All other units have full kitchens with all of above (and then some) plus ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines. We didn't spot any wear on the appliances during our visit. Most units have living areas and dining tables, and some have sofa beds. Each also include free Wi-Fi , air-conditioning, and a flat-screen TV. A fee is assessed for the use of the safe. Terraces or balconies come standard, and some have ocean views. Bathrooms are simple, and include decent-size granite counter tops, showers or shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and toiletries. Some apartments have more than one bathroom. All units and public spaces at the resort are non-smoking. It's worth noting that some apartments, like the One-Bedroom Resort Suite that we saw, have stairs that won't be easy for everyone to navigate.

Features

Outdoor swimming pool, poolside bar, tennis court, spa, and Portuguese restaurant

The features on offer here add up to a decent package, with a few highlights that stand out from the rest. Pestana Palm Gardens features an outdoor swimming pool and children's pool. The main pool is freeform in shape, has a waterfall feature at one side. It's heated during the off season. The deck area is a little small, and it sometimes runs out of available sun loungers for everyone who wants one. A poolside bar serves drinks, light meals, and snacks. A small spa has a sauna, massages, and beauty treatments (all for a fee). The resort also has an outdoor tennis court and small fitness room, though the latter is only good for a basic workout. Both are available free of charge. A small playground is available for kids.

The breakfast buffet (for a fee) has a wide range of continental and hot items, including pancakes and cooked-to-order eggs. The restaurant also serves traditional Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine with seasonal menu changes, and features an extensive wine list with regional Portuguese wines. Food gets enthusiastic marks from previous guests for dinner, though breakfast reviews are mixed. Room service is available. The resort also has concierge services and free parking. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. 

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Address

Praia Do Carvoeiro, Vale de Centeanes, Carvoeiro, Algarve 8400-525, Portugal

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