Located on the edge of Funchal, near the port, is the Savoy Palace, a true luxury hotel. Home to six pools, six restaurants, an award-winning spa and cruise ship-shaped spa, it cuts an imposing silhouette from the promenade.
The five-star hotel, with its opulent decor, comfy beds and stunning views, doesn’t disappoint inside either and it’s the kind of place you find it hard to leave, especially if you’re hungry. luxury for some time. Difficult therefore, if you plan to explore the rest of Madeira (which you absolutely must).
So it’s no wonder that guests come here for long stays, like a guy on our visit who had been at the hotel for 18 weeks. Although, like most things, luxury comes at a price, although depending on the season, Standard Rooms are not only reasonably priced, but just as charming.
The Savoy Palace is located near the port of Funchal, about a 15-20 minute walk along the Old Town promenade. If your legs aren’t up to the task, a taxi will take three minutes or you can hop on one of the buses outside the hotel – most will take you into downtown Funchal, but it’s best to check with the reception.
Nearby you have Formosa beach just under an hour on foot or ten minutes by taxi. And if you want to go to other beaches in the south of the island, like Câmara de Lobos, Calheta or Ponta do Sol, then it is better to hire a car or take a taxi. The airport is just over 40 minutes away with the airport bus, which stops outside the hotel, while a taxi will take just over 20 minutes.
The 352 rooms of the Savoy Palace are decorated in the same way: think of touches of gold (sinks, chairs, doorknobs, table tops, lamps, headboards, works) associated with contemporary works of art, white leather and elegant cork floors and doors. It all sounds garish at Del Boy’s level, but surprisingly, it’s not tacky at all – quite the contrary. All rooms have a balcony overlooking the sea, the mountain or the city, as well as electric curtains that you will enjoy operating. If you’re looking for more indulgence, some of the hotel’s premium rooms come with extravagant white marble bathrooms and freestanding bathtubs.
Tech-wise, the WiFi is strong and no problem and the bedrooms have large smart TVs with chrome-cast if you want to stream a movie. One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to display the room service menu (or restaurant menus) you will need to use QR codes.
In terms of comfort, the rooms are meticulously designed to prepare guests for a good night’s sleep. Imagine a luxurious, thick mattress, premium linens, and blackout curtains (pillow menus are also available if you like that). One small problem was the lighting system which consisted – as it seems to be a theme in fancy hotels – of way too many switches. Although the lighting (when under control) is super comfortable. Other notable touches include turndown service, homemade chocolates, and upscale toiletries.
Style and personal
The hotel was designed to resemble a cruise ship. Looking from the pool, however, it looks more like the kind of brutalist buildings you double-tap on Instagram. It is magnanimous and beautiful in equal parts and is draped in greenery. Inside, salmon and gold decor and classic designs make the homepage at the original Savoy, which once stood in its place. Even if you make your way through its maze of hallways leading to its many restaurants, bars, and pools, there is a more contemporary feel to it. The mix of old world opulence and modern, minimalist design shouldn’t work, but it does here. The crown of the Savoy Palace’s jewel, however, is the phenomenal Laurea Spa – the largest in Portugal – which was inspired by Madeira’s lush Laurisilva Forest. It includes a Kniepp water course, sensory showers that mimic levada hikes (through the wind, scents and temperature changes), a halotherapy room, 11 treatment rooms and a heated indoor swimming pool. The hotel also has two rooftop swimming pools with a 360 ° view and a superb 70-meter swimming pool, which, besides being a few degrees too cold in winter, is a real treat.
Food and drinks
The Savoy Palace is a complex in itself and it is probably possible to visit Funchal without leaving the hotel. There are six restaurants, which offer different menus, as well as a separate room service menu for those who wish to stay private. Terrero, located in front of the hotel (on the deck by the pool), is the more affordable option and offers a range of dishes, from small platters of calamari and bao breads to more complete main dishes like the fresh seafood and meat classics. Decor is subtle and warm, like an old English manor house, and includes a panoramic balcony for alfresco dining.
Hibiscus, located on the ground floor of the pool, is where you go for breakfast (although premium guests have the option to eat at Jacanda on the 16th floor). Here you can feast on an array of buffet breakfast products (fresh fruit, yogurt, local pastries, cold cuts and salads / cheeses) and have your eggs, waffles and pancakes ready right in front of your eyes.
However, for an elevated meal (literally it’s on the 17th floor), it’s best to head to Galáxia to try one of the chef’s high-quality tasting menus. Here we were dazzled by a six-course tasting menu and food and wine pairings. The modern twist of a classic, rich pork and well-seasoned seasonal vegetables wrapped in a crispy kale shell and a complex Usuzukuri-style snapper in ponzu with chili, lemongrass and avocado being remarkable dishes. Although the real winner was both the setting, facing Funchal at nightfall, and the service – thanks to Joao, the exceptional and friendly sommelier.
Request a room facing the sea high up in the hotel for the best views.
Doubles from £ 181 low season and £ 253 high. The wifi is free and breakfast is included.
Adam was a guest at the Savoy Palace.