Clifftop havenIsland of Eternal Spring
Destination: Madeira, Portugal
Vacation: Stylish clifftop haven
Seeking: Subtropical glamour
Highlight: Panoramic views
If you’re looking for somewhere truly unique to stay in Europe let your mind wander deep into the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 400 miles off the northwest coast of Africa and you’ll discover a timeless subtropical Portuguese island, where you’ll find Belmond Reid’s Palace – one of the best luxury hotels in Madeira and Europe – perched high above the picture-perfect Funchal Harbour, offering gorgeous panoramic views, innovative cuisine and superb service.
Set in verdant gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Belmond Reid’s Palace is the ultimate place to stretch out in the sun, relax and, should the mood take you, explore the island. Failing that you could just sample some more of the delicious local wine.
With its ancient laurel forest, dramatic volcanic peaks and lush, plummeting valleys, Madeira showcases nature at its most pristine. Footpaths lining more than 1,000 miles of irrigation channels, or levadas, make it a hikers’ heaven.
Yet within the wilderness, life is refined. Interrupt your trek for tea in a hillside café or detour to a vineyard to taste the nectar-like Madeira wine. Pass grand mansions whose immaculate lawns cry out for a game of croquet and visit botanical gardens overflowing with blooms.
The balmy climate that has earned Madeira the name “island of eternal spring” means exotic produce abounds. In colourful markets, flower sellers dressed in rainbow hues match the cornucopia of fruit – don’t miss the opportunity to sample monstera deliciosa, a banana-pineapple hybrid. Elsewhere, feast on honey cake, black scabbard fish, bolo do caco flatbread and poncha, the local rum and honey hooch.
In Funchal, the capital, where steep lanes still beg to be descended in traditional wicker toboggans, you can dance in chic clubs and be wowed by dazzling fireworks displays. It’s here, on a private promontory overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean, that you’ll find Belmond Reid’s Palace, like a microcosm of the island: spectacular scenery, stunning gardens and sensational cuisine. A truly unique place to stay there are no other Madeira 5 star hotels quite like it.
- Panoramic views 100% 100%
- Luxury 100% 100%
- Food & wine 100% 100%
- Nature 100% 100%
“Straight to the top of my personal list of favourites! I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some gorgeous hotels, and this joins the shortlist of the best of them. Charmingly reminiscent of the best of the “twilight of empire” style hotels (Copacabana Palace, Rio; The Oriental, Bangkok; Sofitel Grand, Hanoi; etc) Reid’s Palace combines a rich atmosphere of past glories, with contemporary levels of service and facilities. The views over the gorgeous gardens with the Bay of Funchal behind were just delightful. The staff without fail attentive and – in the case of the reception & concierge staff – wonderfully patient and knowledgeable.” Tripadvisor Review
Best food & drink
1. Beef fillet with Madeira sauce
Scallop carpaccio, fresh langoustines, open lobster ravioli: at Michelin-starred William Restaurant, Madeira’s finest seasonal ingredients are brought to life with inventive, contemporary flair.
Dishes can be enjoyed in a sophisticated setting, against a backdrop of spectacular panoramic views.
Try the filete de vaca grelhado com ragu de batatas e molho Madeira – grilled beef fillet with potato ragout and Madeira sauce.
2. Venetian crab
Ristorante Villa Cipriani offers a slice of Italian life on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean…
Beneath cobalt blue skies or amid a vivid sunset, Belmond Reid’s Palace alfresco terrace is the perfect place to settle back with a glass of wine and soak in the view. Choose from a menu that perfectly balances fresh local meats, seafood, herbs and seasoning in delicious Italian dishes.
Try the caranguejo real à veneziana com molho de lima e rábano sobre abacate – crab venetian style with lime and horseradish on avocado.
Explore Belmond Reid’s Palace delectable cocktail menu in the glitzy surrounds of the bar. Head Barman Luis has been at the helm for decades. Try one of his signature cocktails like the Fine Poncha—an homage to this zesty traditional Madeiran drink. Or sip a Bago made with Sercial, one of the rarest and lightest grapes used in Madeira wine.
Take your seat on a balmy evening to enjoy live music, an irresistible beverage and a snack or light evening meal.
The rooms at Belmond Reid’s Palace are so unique you’ll spend almost as much time relaxing in them as you will gazing out across the ocean from the rest of the resort or wandering the lush subtropical gardens.
Suites are named after George Bernard Shaw, who learnt to tango here, and Winston Churchill, who came to write his memoirs. Step out onto your balcony or patio for an intimate dinner beneath indigo skies. Linger over ocean views or vistas of Funchal harbour from sumptuous surrounds. Reid’s Palace is perfection in the Portuguese archipelago.
We’ve chosen two different room types to highlight to give you more of an idea of the spectacular accommodation that awaits.
Junior Suites balance modern elegance with vintage flourishes, while providing additional space to spread out in. Located in the garden wing, Garden Junior Suites are decorated in delicate pastel shades. Step out to your inviting private patio and soak up the ambience.
Tranquil and serene Deluxe Junior Suites are found throughout the main building and garden wing. Each offers a balcony, most with stunning ocean views.
The Presidential Suites offer top-tier glamour with a star-studded history. Indulge at one of the most celebrated and best luxury hotels in Madeira. The Churchill Suite and the George Bernard Shaw Suite are the height of luxury and both boast lofty ceilings, rich woods, Chinese hand-painted wallpapers and stunning floor-to-ceiling windows. The separate bedroom and sitting room can be combined to create a two-bedroom suite.
Outside of your accommodation at Belmond Reid’s Palace there’s plenty to see and do right on your doorstep.
Enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean while basking under the sun in one of the hotel’s two luxurious, heated swimming pools (one seawater and one freshwater).
Belmond Reid’s Palace has an exclusive pool terrace, or you can wander down to the hotel’s sea level platform and jump straight into the azure ocean.
Belmond Reid’s Palace garden, which was planted more than a century ago, is abundant with subtropical flora. Admire swaying palms and colourful bird of paradise blooms as you wander carefree and relaxed on one of Madeira’s many balmy evenings.
Madeira is famous for its temperate climate, vibrant flora and soft sea breezes: Belmond Reid’s Palace spa has been designed with this spirit in mind. Enjoy an aromatherapy massage, heady with the scents of lemon and bergamot, or detox with a mud mask. Treatment rooms offer private terraces with ocean views, so the island’s beauty is never far from view. For something extra special, opt for the indoor-outdoor therapy suite with a private jacuzzi. All spa treatments feature world-class products from Aromatherapy Associates and Natura Bissé, with exclusive creations for Belmond Reid’s Palace spa.
Signature treatment Reid’s Palace regional spa treatment is a truly unique and unforgettable back, abdominal and scalp treatment using locally-produced aloe vera balsam and grapeseed oil. Combined with fragrant flowers from its own stunning gardens, the experience is nothing short of heavenly. Your body will feel rested and re-energised, giving you a radiant, all-over glow.
Step out from Belmond Reid’s Palace and find endless things to do in Madeira. Enjoy a botanical tour of the subtropical gardens, visit an ocean-facing golf course, or take a mountain hike to discover local birdlife and superb views. Whether aquatic adventure or lazy days poolside Belmond Reid’s Palace will help you experience the island to its fullest.
Hike to the pinnacle of the São Lourenço Peninsula, one of Madeira’s wildest wonders. Begin in Caniçal where the landscape is unlike anywhere else on the island. Soon you’ll reach the peak of Pico do Furado—from here, the views are simply breathtaking. Follow the path back down to the beach and enjoy a cooling dip in the crystal waters for a perfect end to your journey.
Take a thrilling boat ride across the waves to Madeira’s Desertas Islands, keeping a look out for dolphins and whales on the way. This small uninhabited archipelago is brimming with caverns and grottos to explore. You’ll also spot a family of rare Mediterranean monk seals, including Zarco Belmond Reid’s Palace’s much-loved mascot.
Jump in a 4×4 jeep from Reid’s Palace and Belmond Reid’s Palace will take you up above the clouds to watch the sun rise from the 1,818-metre Pico do Arieiro, Madeira’s third highest peak. The views are sure to take your breath away. Adding to the magic, a private butler will be waiting to serve you a breakfast of fresh pastries and succulent fruits.
Fajã dos Padres is a lush paradise nestled on Madeira’s south coast, accessible only by cable car or sea. It is named after the Jesuit priests who first cultivated the land, which is so fertile that tomatoes grow like weeds. Figs, avocados, mangoes and passionfruit are also in abundance. Enjoy an exclusive guided tour of the organic farm, a luscious Madeira wine tasting in the cellar and delicious lunch in the restaurant.
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