As a destination, Madeira has really come into its own in recent years. A more compact and private alternative to mainland Portugal, the island is a 3.5 hour flight from the UK and offers everything from subtropical climates in Greenland and rugged, beautiful landscapes. It also recently began its certification with EarthCheck, bolstering its sustainability credentials for planet-conscious tourists.
The charming vacation destination has had a fresh and modern reinvention lately; offering everything from world-class food and drink to nightlife for a younger crowd. In short, whoever you are, Madeira will welcome you with open arms and with an itinerary that suits you.
Savoy Palace, Madeira Hotel Reviews
Rooms and facilities
In 2021, the Savoy Palace was declared Portugal’s first luxury hotel – and it’s not hard to see why. With 16 floors and 352 rooms offering ocean and garden views, the location is second to none. The hotel’s design will impress even the biggest architecture buffs, with bold, modern details combined with a traditional, elegant feel. The rooms themselves are spacious, fresh and luxurious, with thoughtful details such as the ‘pillow menu’, which I really enjoyed using. Another highlight has to be the huge showers, which are unbeatable after a long day at one of the resort’s many rooftop pools.
Food and drink
When it comes to eating and drinking, the Savoy Palace really shines. The hotel has seven impressive restaurants on its grounds, serving everything from casual brunch to fine Japanese- and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.
A must-do is the hotel’s much-loved (and visually impressive) Galaxia, where you can enjoy a superb five-course meal accompanied by expert wine pairings. My favorite, however, was the Pau de Lume, the establishment’s new nugget. Serving Portuguese sharing dishes, healthy options, local wines and delicious treats, having a leisurely brunch here is a must – and that’s before the super cool industrial aesthetic of the place is even taken into account.
Oh, and don’t forget to grab a delicious ice cream cone at the outdoor ice cream parlor at the Savoy Palace, which has the friendliest and most attentive staff around.
As mentioned, the food and drink on offer at the hotel is second to none in Madeira, but another huge shout-out has to go to the Savoy Palace’s eponymous spa. At 3,100 square feet, it is Europe’s largest nature-inspired spa, created with the Laurissilva Forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in mind.
The stunning spa offers everything from relaxation rooms and experience showers to specialized treatments for the face, body, and nails. I experienced the spa first hand, visiting one of the 11 treatment rooms for a relaxing and rejuvenating full body massage, before a long swim in the beautiful heated indoor pool.
In addition to the spa pools, The Savoy Palace also offers a large outdoor pool for summer dips, as well as a series of rooftop designs for state-of-the-art luxury all year round.
What to do nearby
If you manage to get away from the Savoy and its many impressive facilities, there is no shortage of activities in the surrounding area. While Funchal’s old town is only a stone’s throw away (check out the traditional food market), travel a little further and you can easily experience the delights of the ocean surrounding it. Whale watching is popular on the island and well worth it – I even managed to spot three blue whales, the largest creatures on the planet!
A special mention must also go to the nearby Hotel NEXT, which is a perfect alternative to the Savoy for visiting millennials with a little less cash to spare. With rooms from 102 € per night, this playful and modern space has become an institution for the youngest – passing through or local.
A luxury stay on a calm and picturesque island.
Prices start at €195 per night www.savoysignature.com/savoypalacehotel