Casa Velha Do Palheiro
What We Love
- Breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- The subtropical gardens are home to rare and exotic plants and flowers from all over the world
- Imaginative reinterpretation of traditional Portuguese cuisine served in the award-winning restaurant
- The spa’s Caci Ultra non-surgical facelift
What To Know
- Walking the long, steep, hairpin approach to the property isn’t practical
- You can hear a pin drop here, and the bucolic ambiance will not suit partygoers
- Ground floor guestrooms in the two wings can appear gloomy when the weather is overcast
- WiFi is free in the public areas
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Parking On Site
Converted from an early 19th-century hunting lodge, Casa Velha do Palheiro maintains a classical veneer that upholds the property’s noble past. The sober palette is enriched by colorful and decorative design flourishes including floral drapes and printed fabrics. Delicate sprays of fresh flowers arranged on polished mahogany furnishings further enhance the chic-rustic look. Madeira’s history and that of the estate is depicted through a series of fascinating lithographs that grace the walls, and the refined ambiance of a bygone age pervades the entire building.
Bed and Bath
Guestrooms reflect the country house theme with their pastel-hued walls, flower-patterned décor and pastoral motifs. Comfortable oversize beds replete with marshmallow-soft pillows are set over wall-to-wall carpeting. Dark wood furniture lends weight to the dimensions. Bathrooms feature chunky enamel tubs with authentic brass fittings and traditional Portuguese tiles embellish the shower units. Some of the rooms afford pleasing garden and golf course views.
Regional gastronomy characterizes the menu at Casa Velha restaurant. Madeira-born executive chef Francisco Quintal draws on the Atlantic Ocean and traditional Portuguese recipes for his inspiration; southern European influences add zest and panache. An eclectic wine list includes Blandy’s own vintage Madeira. Signature treatments at the boutique spa include sports massages and special anti-ageing procedures. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools provide further recreation. Golfers meanwhile can play the stunning Cabell B.Robinson-designed 18-hole layout that meanders through the estate. The adjoining gardens are a world-class visitor attraction.
In the Area
The hotel is perched high above Funchal so guests will need transport to enjoy city sights such as Blandy’s Wine Lodge. Take a tour of the winery before tasting a heart warming Malmsey or a dry, chilled Sercial. History buffs should head for Quinta das Cruzes, the mansion-museum where João Gonçalves Zarco, the man who claimed Madeira for Portugal in 1418, lived. Terrace tables are quickly snapped up at Riso, the city’s celebrated rice-with-everything oceanfront eatery. For local character with a Mediterranean accent, make a date with Dona Amelía: The grilled scabbard fish is an island delicacy.
How to Get There
The place, the people, the food, the surroundings are all excellent. If you also play golf, then this hotel is a must. We have now stayed here 3 times and each time we find more to like and more reasons to return. An amazing country hotel, perfect for older couples who enjoy quiet surroundings with quality service.
The staff, the spa, the room, the surrounding garden and hiking trails, ALL really perfect. Also have a drink and experience the amazing Funchal-view at the adjoining golfclub. We did not want to leave. Feels like home away from home.
My fourth visit to this lovely hotel and stayed in one of the suites in the Golf Wing. I would not stay anywhere else as it offers everything I want. A great place to relax, beautiful grounds, good food, comfortable and well appointed rooms and the staff are very welcoming and I've always found them very helpful. It's everything a good hotel should be. This time we had a Spa package and it was lovely to be pampered. The hotel organised a car for us aswell as a levada walk as well as a couple of other trips. I've been here with my partner, my mother and this last time with my best friend. It was her first visit and I know the hotel and Madeira didn't disappoint. Will beback.
We stayed in a suite in the Golf Wing, which provided ideal access to the golf course via trollies maintained just outside the door. The suite was very spacious, comfortable and well equipped, and also had a small outside garden seating area which was welcome in the afternoon sunshine. Our only minor quibble might be that the, otherwise excellent separate shower cubicle, had a shower curtain rather than a glass door which would have been preferred.
Breakfast was always good and, whilst largely unchanging over the week, gave good choices and was consistently served by friendly and helpful staff.
Dinner was either the three course menu of the day, which was rather generously priced at 44 euros per person, or courses from the a la carte menu. Whilst these were a little limited in range, and quite expensive for the size of the portions, they were beautifully presented and always delicious. With only a glass of wine, our dinners cost around 100-115 euros for two persons, which can certainly mount up over a week, although the peaceful and beautiful garden setting (we were always able to dine outside in the garden) and the friendly and courteous waiting staff, led by Luis the restaurant manager, made up for the higher cost.
It is true that the only alternative dining experience within walking reach is the Palheiro Golf Club, which serves good food during the day, albeit up to only about 7.30pm. We enjoyed one of their excellent occasional barbecue evenings at the exceptionally reasonable price of 19.50 euros each.
The hotel has free transport shuttles both to the golf club (just a couple of minutes or a 10 minute walk) and to Funchal, about 15 minutes by car. In the case of Funchal, there are two morning and two afternoon fixed transport times. These are useful for trips to the town, but would not cover a dinner arrangement, for which a quite expensive taxi would be needed. A very welcome addition to the shuttle times would be a return from Funchal a bit later in the evening, say, 9pm, which would at least accommodate early diners.
If your looking for an elegant, sophisticated evening of fine dining and old school style and quality then this is the place to visit. We enjoyed drinks on the beautiful terrace followed by a sumptuous gourmet feast. The service was first class and the environment classy. Expensive but worth every penny.