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Set on a Madeiran clifftop amidst ten acres of stunning sub-tropical gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Reid’s Palace stands supreme – a bastion of luxury – a position it has held since it opened in 1891. Named for Scotsman William Reid who made his fortune in the Madeiran wine trade, the property today has 158 guestrooms including 47 suites, four restaurants, lounges and bars including an Afternoon Tea Terrace and the Michelin starred gastronomic venue, William Restaurant. Other features include two heated outdoor swimming pools – one seawater and the other freshwater, a children’s club, The Spa, a fitness centre, a boutique and tennis courts.
Activities include mountain walks, botanical tours of this gardener’s paradise, ocean-fronting golf courses, boat rides around the island, aqua adventures in the Atlantic and 4x4 rides around the island’s rugged terrain.
Reid’s Palace is a Belmond Hotel.
The tiny island of Madeira is located 720 kilometres off the west coast of Africa and 480 kilometres from Morocco and was claimed for Portugal in 1418. This pearl of the Atlantic is a true sub-tropical paradise enjoying the climate perfect for lush vegetation with neatly manicured gardens complementing wild untouched landscapes. Its equitable weather has led to the island being called variously “the floating garden”, “the island of eternal spring” and “the garden island”.
Reid’s Palace is ideally located just a 20 minutes’ drive from Madeira International Airport – around 20 kilometres distance, a 10-minute drive from central Funchal, a two-hour ferry ride from Porto Santo Island and a 40-minute drive from Pico do Ariero.
Guests can also take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service to the centre of nearby Funchal to explore the colourful marketplace and more.
There are 111 guestrooms and 47 suites at Reid’s Palace, all offering a mix of old-world charm and chic elegance with private balconies or terraces with tables and chairs from which to enjoy the views of the ocean or the lush gardens. Each room is decorated in tranquil hues and features a marble bathroom, satellite television with DVD players, minibars with complimentary soft drinks and water, complimentary shoeshine, in-room safes and luxury bathroom toiletries. Daily buffet breakfast is included, and fresh flowers are placed in each room.
There are 22 classic rooms (with partial ocean view), 38 superior rooms (with garden or ocean view and connecting possibilities) and 51 deluxe sea view rooms all located in the main building or garden wing with dark wood furniture, floral or delicate pastel fabrics and inviting cream linens. The two categories of Junior Suite include the Garden Junior Suite (of which there are 12 – located in the garden wing) and the Deluxe Junior Suite (of which there are 18 – located in either the garden wing or the main building). Moving up the category ladder, there are three types of suites ranging from 12 superior suites with an average size of 43 square metres located in the garden wing or the main building, three deluxe suites with an average size of 53 square metres of space located in the main building and two presidential suites at a whopping 80 square metres feet in area, located in the main building.
The two Presidential Suites are named for two prominent guests – Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw – and offer supreme comfort, top tier glamour and understated luxury in light-filled spaces with high ceilings, Bose sound systems, rich woods, Chinese hand-painted wallpapers and stunning floor to ceiling windows to drink in the views. Other facilities include a kitchenette, a marble bathroom decorated with Portuguese tiles, separate showers and soaking tubs. The balconies are expansive with views out over the garden and the sea and rooms can be enlarged by linking up with the Junior Suites.
Take a dip in one of two heated swimming pools – one filled with seawater and the other with fresh water. Head down to the tidal pool for direct access to the sea or splash around with little ones in the children’s swimming pool.
For fitness fiends, try out the state-of-the-art Fitness Centre kitted out with a range of Technogym cardiovascular and strength machines. Free weights are also available with personal trainers on request.
The Spa is the perfect haven for a spot of indulgent pampering with cocooning treatments by Aromatherapy Associates and Natura Bissé. Enjoy the view from the private balcony of one of five treatment rooms or the couple’s suite or relax in a private whirlpool. There are separate changing rooms for men and women, each with dry saunas and steam rooms.
For tennis fanatics, serve a set or two at the hotel’s own couple of tennis courts, complete with professional coach if desired.
Gardeners will enjoy the Garden Tour taking place twice per week with an expert horticulturist. The majestic gardens planted well over a century ago, boast abundant sub-tropical species, Bougainvillea, aloe vera, bird of paradise blooms and palms making it a plant-lover’s paradise.
Concierge can arrange a wide range of activities around the island from mountain picnics to whale-watching trips and exhilarating adventures. Take a 4x4 jeep to the top of the island’s third highest mountain, Pico do Areiro, and above the clouds, enjoy watching the sun rise before enjoying a fresh breakfast served by a personal butler. Or descend the panoramic cable car to Faja dos Padres, a secret coastal enclave where Malvasia vines, planted centuries ago by Jesuit priests, have been revived to produce malmsey wine. Enjoy a tasting here and wander around their organic gardens. Or join Michelin starred chef, Luis Pestana and Madeira fashion designer Patricia Pinto for a private atelier in Patricia’s garden. Browse through her designs before feasting on imaginative delicacies that complement the clothes, colours and textures.
Junior guests are welcomed with children’s bathrobes, slippers, toiletries, decorated bed linens and welcome soft toys. Extra beds and costs can be supplied in most rooms and suites and there are children’s menus and highchairs in the restaurants. For kiddies aged three to nine, there is the complimentary Fun@Reid’s Kids’ Club for supervised fun and games. A babysitting service is also available on request. There are also kiddie’s spa treatments available at the property’s spa facility.
Our faithful companions can holiday with their owners at Reid’s Palace as small dogs are welcomed at the property in rooms and suites, gardens, and corridors.
Reid’s Palace is one of the world’s iconic hotels. The dream of a Scotsman, William Reid, who came to the island to improve his health aged just 14, he made his fortune with a successful import and export business before expanding into the hotel business. He bought a swathe of land on a rocky promontory known as Salto do Cavalo (Horse’s Leap) and it is here that Reid’s Palace now sits. Since the Reids, there have been just two other owners of the hotel – the Madeira-winemaking Blandy family who owned it for nearly 60 years and Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) who took over the reins in 1996.
All have invested heavily in the hotel to ensure its continued success and prominence in hotel circles ensuring that the guest list remains packed with the world’s elite, following in the footsteps of George Bernard Shaw who learnt to tango at the hotel and Winston Churchill who came to Madeira to write his war memoirs and to paint.
Showcasing local seasonal cuisine, Reid’s Palace features five food and beverage outlets including the gastronomic Michelin-starred William Restaurant, the more casual Ristorante Villa Cipriani, the poolside terrace, the Afternoon Tea Terrace and the Gastrobar.
The finest of local ingredients are brought to life with inventive and contemporary style in William Restaurant to a backdrop of a spectacular Funchal coastline. Named for the original visionary of the hotel, William Reid, William Restaurant is Michelin destination dining of the finest order under the toque of Savour Chef Luis Pestana. Luis is the first and only chef from Madeira to hold a Michelin star. There is a fine wine list which includes Portuguese and Madeiran favourites.
Ristorante Villa Cipriani offers a slice of Italian style at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean with al fresco dining to soak in those views. Menus perfectly balance fresh local meats, seafood, herbs and seasoning in delicious Italian dishes.
For those lying by the pool, à la carte breakfasts, sizzling grilled lunches and light snacks can be enjoyed all through the day at the Poolside Terrace, shaded beneath light parasols a few steps from the water.
Afternoon Tea is something of a tradition at Reid’s Palace with a smart casual dress code, to be enjoyed in wicker chairs on a sunny covered black and white marble terrace overlooking the gardens and ocean. There are finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and homemade pastries all accompanied by a selection of 24 teas or an indulgent glass of Champagne.
Under the helm of Head Barman Luis for decades, the Gastrobar is perfect for exploring innovative and traditional cocktails. Try the Fine Poncha – a homage to this zesty Madeiran drink or sip a Bago made with Sercial, one of the rarest and lightest grapes used in Madeira wine. There is live music and a light bite menu to accompany, perfect for Madeiran balmy evenings with a warm, light sea breeze.
Belmond aim to tread lightly and to make a positive contribution to the many destinations where they operate. They are strongly aware of their responsibility towards natural resources and the environment, especially at locations close to world heritage sites.
All their hotels run initiatives to support the places and people that surround them. As part of their “Think Global, Act Local” approach they purchase as much food as possible from sustainable sources; run and support educational programmes; follow sustainable practices to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment and to ensure energy efficiency.
The food and beverage operations at the majority of Belmond’s hotels are assessed by the UK-based Sustainable Restaurant Association, the first global luxury hospitality brand to have undertaken this ongoing third-party testing.
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