The Belmond Reid’s Palace sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, just a few minutes walking from the center of Madeira’s picturesque capital of Funchal. A stately and magnificent hotel that has presided over the island’s legendary hospitality for over 100 years, this palace is the best choice for anyone looking for an elegant and formal hotel experience that nods to the glory days of grandeur and service.
The hotel is no more than 30 minutes from Madeira’s airport, and sits on a cliff that cascades down to the sparkling sea. As you pull-up into the stone circular drive, you feel instantly at home and welcomed by those greeting you at the door. Once inside the hotel, it’s as if you’ve stepped into a throwback postcard from your great aunt or uncle’s travels from years past – a perfectly preserved time capsule of elegance and charm that is hard to find elsewhere.
The hotel features 163 rooms and suites, all elegantly dressed. Sumptuous fabrics and objects from both Madeira and mainland Portugal grace every corner. The suites, many with stunning ocean views, are large enough to fit two families and feature living rooms, grand entries, massive marble baths and private terraces overlooking the subtropical gardens that engulf the hotel. The rooms here echo the Belmond aesthetic, which can be found in all their hotels. Comfortable elegance is the term that best describes it – and there isn’t one detail overlooked.
For those spending a few days on the island of Madeira, it should be noted that the hotel is a playground and respite for relaxation in itself.
Whether you’re interested in experiencing the legendary high tea service overlooking the sea, indulging in a spa treatment, swimming in the pools or laying on the private rocky beach for an afternoon – there is much to do right here on property.
Dining options at Reid’s Palace are plentiful – and delicious. Breakfast is served in the Garden Room, with expansive ocean views. Snacks or lunch can be served by the pool on the pool terrace, or a champagne buffet can be enjoyed in the dining room with dancing on Mondays. But, to me, a perfect night that I personally experienced, was starting with a lovely cocktail in the bar area and then an unforgettable Italian meal at Ristorante Villa Cipriani.
Ristorante Villa Cipriani is an iconic table on Madeira and should be experienced whether you’re staying at this hotel or not. The veranda overlooking the waves that crash against the shore is iconic – and makes for a “wow” moment in the memory bank.
But, aside from the views and candlelit ambiance, the food here is remarkable.
Italian dishes that range from homemade pastas to meat dishes, freshly made cheeses and Italian soups – are all on offer.
Each bite is more splendid than the next and will leave you more than satisfied by the end of your meal.
Staying at the Belmond Reid’s Palace is something any lover of luxury should partake in.
I can say that the hotel exudes a feeling of nostalgia and helps to frame the island of Madeira in a particular light that will elevate your overall impression of this destination. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who chooses to spend time in this incredible destination.