To switch off completely in the most glamorous setting.
Hotel address: Reid Palace, Estrada Monumental 139, 9000-098 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Phone number: +44 1223 30 60 30
Price from: around £284 a night
Set the scene
Step inside the Pink Palace (you can spot the salmon pastel hue from time to time 20 minutes’ drive from Funchal airport) and a fleet of friendly staff are there to greet you. On the steep cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean, an air of history is woven into the fabric of the hotel. Interiors see its British heritage splashed throughout – soft whites and blues and chunky marble mixed with Portuguese tiles and vintage photographs of a cigar-smoking Winston Churchill tapping away at his typewriter (he spent many months here before and after his second stint as PM). Join newlyweds, young families and longtime Belmond fans on the terrace amidst a subtropical breeze – Madeira is closer to Africa than mainland Portugal – with a fruity glass of Poncha.
Imagine this: guests arriving by boat are carried up the cliff in hammocks by well-tied porters. It was the dream of the young Scotsman and founder of the hotel, William Reid. Since then the hotel has attracted a smart set of travelers (back when it was the place of European royalty) for more than 125 years. Passing the reins to his sons, and with the help of the Blandy family, winemakers from Madeira, they transformed the hotel into its legendary status today. Belmond took over in 1996, giving the palace a new makeover while retaining the essence and charm of the place, attracting their global cult following to their island hospitality.