Perched on Salto do Cavalo, a rocky promontory near Madeira's capital Funchal, Reid’s Palace has been a success story for over a century and is one of the icons of the “island of eternal spring”. From the moment you step into the black and white, palm-filled marble hallway, you are transported to an age of elegance interwoven with Mediterranean glamour and a tropical twist. The picture windows showcase vistas of the wild Atlantic Ocean and the colourful gardens burst with exotic palms, bougainvillea, bird of paradise blooms and orchids.
The hotel was named after William Reid, a Scotsman whose love of wine brought him to Madeira where he tirelessly worked on the hotel until the end of his days. Although he died before the hotel was finished, his sons opened the property in 1891 in his honour.It has been a well-loved retreat by many in the public eye and famously hosted Sir Winston Churchill as he wrote his wartime memoirs before becoming Britain’s Prime Minister for the second time. In 1996 Reid’s Palace joined the Belmond family and over the years has been modernised without ever losing sight of its origins.
Each of the hotel’s 158 rooms and suites features a marble bathroom, a private balcony or terrace and neutral interiors blending the colours of the ocean and gardens. Families or groups of friends can spread out in connecting suites with pantries and those requiring total sanctuary can take solace in one of two Presidential Suites, named after the hotel’s most famous guests; Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw. William Restaurant is Reid’s Michelin-starred gem, celebrating the island’s rich bounty of ingredients and overlooking the Funchal coastline. Romance and sea views are hard to beat at Ristorante Villa Cipriani, which offers Italian cuisine from its al fresco terrace. Breakfast and lunches on the Pool Terrace, traditional English afternoon tea in wicker chairs and sunset cocktails with live music will complement days of leisure or activity.
Madeira’s dramatic landscape of laurel forests and volcanic peaks helps to offset any over-indulgence as hiking trails and botanical gardens lend themselves to long afternoon strolls. Those who do not wish to venture beyond the grounds can do laps in one of the hotel’s two heated pools, enjoy a game of tennis or dissolve into bliss in the spa. A stay at Reid’s is a journey for the senses, where tropical fragrances and colourful flora abound and the warm climate acts like a Petri dish creating extraordinary hybrid colours and flavours.
Lovers of flora and gardens
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
Soak in one of the two heated swimming pools; one saltwater and one freshwater
Sip a Poncho (rum and honey drink) at Reid’s Cocktail Bar
Sign up for a tango class in the footsteps of George Bernard Shaw
Rejuvenate in the garden spa with ocean facing terraces
Book one of the tennis courts for a set or two
Head to the tidal swimming pool at the water's edge, for a refreshing dip
Burn off some energy in the fitness centre with Technogym’s state-of-the-art equipment
Entertain children at Reid’s Kids’ Club with its thatched Wendy house, swimming pool and raft of activities
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
Take the cable car to Faja dos Padres and sample malmsey wine amid organic gardens
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