Craig shares details of his stay at the luxury five star Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel in Funchal, Madeira
With some of the most stunning views across Madeira, the Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel nestles gently on the edge of a beautiful cliff top in all its luxurious pink glory. Noted as one of the most famous Hotels in the world, frequented by none other than Sir Winston Churchill himself, it was an honour to have three wonderful nights here. Welcome to the Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel
While a little ‘normal’ and unassuming from the roadside, the second you step beyond its doors you are transported to a different era. One of decadence and indulgence, of class, elegance and taste. This Hotel was not built to be enjoyed from the road, but from the sea, where you are afforded the magical spectacle of its perfect cliff top position.
With 158 beautifully styled and decorated rooms, 4 restaurants (1 with a Michelin star), 3 pools, a spa, a sauna, and its own tennis courts, it is the perfect escape. Take afternoon tea on the picturesque terrace, enjoy perfect poached eggs and a bucks fizz for breakfast while overlooking the Atlantic ocean, or explore Funchal with the Hotel as your base. The choices are yours.
Our room was immaculately decorated and perfectly appointed. Not a speck of dust, unsightly smudge or unplumped pillow in sight. The bed was large and incredibly comfortable, turned down each evening, with slippers laid by the bed and a bottle of water placed on the night stand. And while the room was an absolute delight, the view from our private balcony was breathtaking.
Staff at the Hotel could not have been more polite or helpful. With a dedicated team available to help you with your every need it was an experience that I have never had at any other hotel. This truly is a luxury hotel, and perfect for a honeymoon, birthday treat or special anniversary, or simply just because you can and want to. One guarantee is that you’ll certainly be cared for and well looked after.
After a morning exploring the city of Funchal (which I’ll cover in a later post) it was bliss to return to the hotel and enjoy some time relaxing by one of the pools. Two of the pools contain sea water and one is heated, so you have a nice choice. I particularly enjoyed the large sea water pool. But if you wanted a little more privacy, simply venture down towards the sea where you’ll find additional sunbeds set in more secluded areas.
The area down by the sea itself is particularly nice, and even boasts two diving boards, should the desire to dive into the Atlantic take your fancy.
The Hotel has a very rich history and has been visited by some very notable people. While Mr Churchill came to paint, George Bernard Shaw made good use of the diving board. The Emperor of Austria enjoyed the views, and Royals from across Europe came to be pampered. So you’re in good company, if not the best!
The Hotel is very proud of its past and rightly so. The walls are adorned with wonderful photographs, and there is a gallery on the fifth floor with hundreds of images of past guests enjoying their time at ‘Reid’s’ as it’s affectionately referred to locally, and by friends of the Hotel.
There’s always something going on at the Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel, whether it’s afternoon tea, cocktails on the terrace or live jazz in the main hall. They have a calendar of events too which may be worth a read before you book as there may be something on offer that you simply cannot miss. Whether it’s the end of summer party, the Madeira wine festival or wellness week, there’s sure to be something that’s just right for you.
This Hotel is complex in it’s arrangement. Due to the nature of its position on the cliff edge it actually spans 8 floors. Getting around can be a tad confusing, but for me this does nothing but add to its interest and individuality. Reception is located on the sixth floor, which also happens to be street level. Confused already?
Our room was on floor 8. To get to the pool area for breakfast it’s a lift down to floor 5 and then a walk across the entire floor, taking in all of the wonderful pictures as you travel, before another lift to the first floor. We’re not there just yet as there’s another lift to minus 1 where you’ll find the pool.
I have to admit that we did get lost a couple of times. But wandering around we found other guests in a similar situation, having took the wrong lift or turned the wrong corner. For me it was quite fun. Maybe leaving a trail of breadcrumbs would have helped. I wonder how Winston and Bernard got on?
As the sun set on our stay at Reid’s (as friends, we’re now allowed to refer to the hotel as such) it was time to say goodbye. A wrench to say the very least, our bags were lifted into our private car for the 24km drive back to the airport. We were wished a fond farewell and told that we were welcome to return anytime. Will tomorrow be okay?
We truly loved our time at the Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel and if I had the opportunity to go back I would jump at the chance. If you’re looking for a special break or just an opportunity to indulge and be pampered add this Hotel to the top of your list of possibilities, as it’s well worth a visit.
While you’re there raise a glass of Madeira wine, sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Cheers!
Our trip to Madeira and our stay at the Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel was gifted, however all thoughts, comments and observations are entirely honest and not biased based on this gift.