When it comes to place to stay, Funchal has plenty of desirable options, with most dotted around the narrow cobblestone streets of the picturesque Old Town.
The capital city of Portugal’s Madeira archipelago, Funchal is blessed with a charming setting, backed by pretty hills and with a buzzing harbour area. A popular base from which to enjoy the region’s pebbly beaches and rugged landscape, the city also boasts several man-made attractions, including a centuries-old cathedral featuring Gothic and Romanesque styles, a fortress dating back to the 1600s, and numerous wine cellars. If you’re planning to visit Funchal and would like to push the boat out and stay somewhere special, we’ve picked out 5 of the best luxury hotels the city has to offer.
Set in a polished hillside building just a few minutes’ walk from central Funchal., this chic waterfront hotel is about as luxurious as it gets. A choice of three salt-water infinity pools for adults – plus one for kids – afford stunning views of the Atlantic ocean, while several restaurants serve up international cuisine ranging from authentic Portuguese fare to sushi and Italian. A piano bar, terrace bar with live music, and snooker lounge add to the overall character and charm. Guest rooms feature flat-screen TVs and sofa, and balconies with ocean views. The hotel is also popular with families thanks to the Aquatica Kids World, where little ones can play while the grown-ups enjoy more adult pursuits such as pampering themselves in the on-site spa complete with hot tub, sauna, Turkish bath, and menu of indulgent treatments. There’s also a fitness centre, squash courts, and sea platform with sun loungers. Formosa Beach is 4 kilometres away and Madeira Botanical Garden is a little further on. From €221 per night.
Pestana Casino Park
With dramatic views looking out across the Bay of Funchal, this 5-star hotel is a great spot for enjoying the region’s beautiful natural landscape. Guest rooms come with a seating area and LCD TV, and some also offer panoramic ocean vistas. Hotel amenities include an impressive six diverse dining venues, a casino, outdoor pools, a fitness centre and a spa. Local activities including hiking and diving can also be arranged at the hotel. For those with their own transport, there’s free on-site parking. The town centre is a 5-minute walk away and Madeira Airport can be reached in 30 minutes by road. From €87 per night.
Quinta Jardins do Lago
Nestled in the hill around Funchal, this hotel is housed within a fabulous 18th century mansion. Spacious guest rooms are elegantly furnished and come with cable TV, a seating area, a marble bathroom and a large balcony overlooking the hotel’s pristine botanical gardens. Elsewhere in the hotel, there’s a restaurant, two bars, and a large lagoon-style swimming pool surrounded by sun terraces. Free parking is available on-site and the hotel also runs a complimentary shuttle service to the town centre, which is just over a mile away. From €224 per night.
Castanheiro Boutique Hotel
If the other hotels in this article are a little beyond your budget, this 4-star property may better suit your needs. Despite being a touch less luxurious than its counterparts, there are no shortage of impressive amenities, including an outdoor pool and spa centre, an on-site restaurant and bar, and a hairdressing salon. Cars and bikes can also be hired at reception. Guest rooms come equipped with a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV with cable channels, and some also have a terrace or balcony. Funchal’s buzzing marina is just a few minutes’ walk away. From €119 per night.
The Cliff Bay
A short walk from the nearest sandy shore, the 5-star Cliff Bay Hotel offers stunning Atlantic ocean views and a 2-Michelin star restaurant that attracts dedicated gastronomes from far and wide Among the hotel’s other amenities are a private beach, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, two other restaurants, a spa and wellness centre, tennis courts, a games room and a library. All guest rooms feature an en suite marble bathroom, an LCD cable TV, and a veranda with outdoor furniture. Madeira Airport is a 20-minute drive away. From €179 per night.