Glittering guestbook crammed full of prestigious patrons
Cool pools: freshwater, seawater and an ocean-level pool and bathing jetty, cut into the rocks
Subtropical gardens with more than 500 plant species
What To Know
Free shuttle service to/from Funchal
A strict dress code is enforced in the dining room (open Tuesdays and Saturdays): jackets and ties must be worn
Afternoon tea is very popular; make a reservation in advance for the best spots on the terrace
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Majestic five-star retreat overlooking the Atlantic, with a chandelier-studded ballroom and a historic bathing jetty
From its dusky pink façade to its chandelier-studded ballroom and afternoon tea terrace, Belmond Reid’s Palace, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, is a grande dame that can count Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw and Captain Scott as former guests. Teetering on a rocky cliff above the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by 10 acres of subtropical gardens, the hotel may have a dramatic setting, but inside it’s all comfortingly traditional and luxuriously old-fashioned.
Bed & Bath
Guestrooms have an English country pad theme (floral fabrics, lacquered furniture, marble bathrooms) and are sprinkled with such homegrown touches as traditional embroidered bed linens. All have sizable balconies with views of the Atlantic or the palm tree–studded subtropical gardens. The vibe is resolutely traditional, but flat-screen TVs, DVD players, iPod docking stations and free WiFi come standard. Free soft drinks from the minibar and sweet local snacks on arrival are a nice, homey touch.
Dining options range from the jacket-and-tie formality of the Dining Room, a former hall-of-mirrors ballroom with ornate ceilings and twice-weekly dinner dances and champagne receptions; fancy French at Les Faunes; and Ristorante Villa Cipriani for hearty Italian fare served with spectacular sea views. Afternoon tea on the terrace is a Belmond Reid’s institution. Tuck into finger sandwiches, scones and homemade pastries, sip from a selection of more than 20 teas (including Reid’s own blend) and take in the sweeping views of Funchal as a pianist plays in the lounge. The 10-acre gardens boast more than 500 plant species, and they lead down to a terrace with saltwater and freshwater pools and a historic ocean-level pool and bathing jetty. On the grounds you’ll find tennis courts and a sublime spa offering La Prairie treatments and an outdoor relaxation terrace.
In the Area
Dubbed the Hawaii of the Atlantic, Madeira lies southwest of Lisbon and due west of Marrakech. As you prepare to land in the capital, Funchal, you’ll fly over deep gorges, rugged mountains and banana plantations before swooping onto the landing strip, cut into a cliffside. Take a traditional toboggan ride from the village of Monte to Funchal, a bone-rattling milelong descent down a winding road in a two-seat wicker basket. The sleds are steered by local men who wear thick rubber boots, should they need to break on sharp corners. Follow the paths that run alongside the island’s levadas, an ancient network of channels used to irrigate vineyards and orchards. The tracks cut through stunning laurisilva forest, rugged mountains and rural villages. Funchal’s two-story food market, Mercado dos Lavradores, is packed full of colorful stalls selling some of the island’s best produce. Don’t miss the tropical fruit tastings on the second floor, where you can sample sweet custard apples, lemon-spiked passion fruit and fresh sugar cane.
Belmond Reid's Palace
Estrada Monumental 139
How to Get There
The preferred airport for Reids Palace is Funchal (FNC-Madeira) - 15.1 km / 9.4 mi. Distances are calculated in a straight line from the property's location to the point of interest or airport and may not reflect actual travel distance. Distances are displayed to the nearest 0.1 mile and kilometre.