Madeira, nicknamed ‘The Floating Garden’, is unquestionably one of the prettiest islands you can visit. Boasting stunning natural landscapes and an all year round summer climate, there is plenty to take advantage of; whether it be discovering the brightly coloured and sweetly scented flowers in the majestical botanical gardens, the natural panoramic views from the soaring mountains, or rugged views over the clear blue waters and wind-swept beaches.
Well known for its ‘levadas’ (a series of mini-canals developed by early settlers to distribute water around the island), Madeira also offers some of the most unique walking experiences for nature lovers. With plenty to see and the most beautiful places to stay, we have handpicked our top 10 Best Boutique Hotels in Madeira.
1. Sé Boutique Hotel in Funchal
Sé Boutique Hotel is situated on a quiet street without traffic and close to numerous shops, restaurants, bars and transport options. A stylish hotel in a great location, it is definately the best place for staying in the heart of Madeira. Lying in the centre of the city just a few meters from the Cathedral of Funchal, this urban luxury boutique hotel gets its cosmopolitan hotel decor from the unique characteristics of the historical cathedral – which built in 1493 offers great historical, architectural and artistic value. Sé Boutique Hotel is also strategically located close to prestigious museums and within easy access to the major attractions of the city including the Farmers Market, Cable Car and Marina. This makes it a really great choice for travellers who are interested in local food, old town exploring and city walks.
Beautifully blending art and history with today’s modern comforts, Sé Boutique Hotel boasts 54 spacious rooms – all are comfortable and quiet but the views over the street are particularly charming. In terms of dining the hotel truly excels in hospitality and service, offering delicious Mediterranean gastronomy in four unique destinations. Each space is relaxed and comfortable, providing dishes created with ingredients from their farm in Camacha. Breakfast is served every morning at the Cossi Scozzi Restaurant in the hotel and offers guests a lovely selection of hot food and continental choices. Having a relaxing drink in the rooftop bar has to be one of the highlights though, as it provides the most amazingly seductive views over the city of Funchal and its terracotta-tiled city skyline. Just stunning!
2. Quinta Jardins do Lago
Quinta Jardins do Lago is an elegant small hotel boutique hotel is situated 1.2 miles from the centre of Funchal. It is a charming 18th century Madeiran family home that offers 31 double rooms, 4 junior suites and 5 suites, all facing south to the gardens and the sea and each designed to provide the best in modern functionality and traditional comfort and style. Offering a variety of pleasant and relaxing areas, the main house has been refurbished and decorated to maintain its original ambience. Outside, the 2.5 hectares of gardens are a peaceful retreat and include a tranquil lake nestled into them – if however you are looking for something more energetic then the all weather tennis court and gym are also available.
3. Castanheiro Boutique Hotel
Lining a cobbled street in Funchal next door to the Palace of the Jesuits, The Castanheiro Boutique Hotel awaits you. Converted from five heritage buildings dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries this stylish hotel offers 81 rooms and a lap pool with panoramic views over the bay. Again located in the historical centre of Funchal and approximately 20 minutes by car from the airport, it is steps away from the city’s main sights and perfectly placed to visit the shops and restaurants in this pretty capital.
4. Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca
This acclaimed hotel, set back from the road within beautifully lush botanical gardens, comprises a 20th-century manor house and a modern design boutique hotel featuring 41 rooms and 2 suites. Surrounded by beautiful large gardens, the glamorous Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca feels far away from the bustle of Funchal, although a 20-minute stroll will bring you to the city centre and the airport is a mere 25-minute drive away. It is a perfect hotel for a relaxing and indulgent stay close to nature.
5. Estalagem da Ponta do Sol
The 54-room Estalagem da Ponta do Sol hotel, with its restaurant, bars and many chillout areas, sits on the cliff top overlooking little Ponta do Sol and the sea. The views are just stunning and the outdoor spaces are especially enticing; from the traditional palm-lined terrace to the infinity pool everywhere you look there is a gorgeous view to be had. Whilst it is close enough to Funchal for a night out it is still far enough away that you feel you’re getting a break from the city so a great location offering the best of both worlds.
6. Quinta da Bela Vista
Offering elegant rooms with views of the surrounding botanical gardens or the Bay of Funchal lies Quinta da Bela Vista. Situated just 1.2 miles from Funchal’s city centre it is beautifully decorated with fine paintings and antique furniture throughout which gives the hotel a rather English feel. The restaurant Avista Navios serves international dishes with traditional Madeiran flavours in a cosy setting with wooden furniture, a fireplace and marble floors. Steeped in history, this boutique hotel was built in 1844 as a sugar cane farm (still in the same family now), and makes a great choice for travellers interested in relaxation, nature and scenery.
7. The Vine
The Vine is a stylish boutique hotel inspired by Madeira’s winemaking tradition. Situated on a hill overlooking nearby Funchal, it occupies the last four floors of La Vie building and boasts a lovely rooftop terrace with sundeck, levada-inspired Jacuzzi and swimming pool – swimming in the infinity pool as the sun sets is an absolute must! Getting its name from Madeira’s long history of winemaking there is of course a wine bar (on the roof!), whilst the color scheme throughout the hotel is wine inspired, with each floor reflecting the four grape seasons of the year.
8. Hotel Quinta da Penha de Franca
Set within tropical gardens on Madeira Island, this charming family owned hotel features far-reaching sea views and 2 outdoor seawater pools, one of which is heated. Located close to the marina and just a 10-minute walk from the centre of town, Hotel Quinta da Penha de Franca has its own beautiful tropical garden and enjoys stunning views of the ocean. The 49 rooms and 2 restaurants are spread between the original Manor House and a modern glass-walled Quinta, in what is a beautifully relaxed setting with very friendly and helpful staff.
9. Casa Velha do Palheiro
Casa Velha do Palheiro, once an 18th century hunting lodge, is conventiently located close to the main town and is a 20 minute drive from Madeira International airport. Offering 33 luxurious rooms and five stunning suites, each one is unique in style and looks onto the lush gardens that surround the Manor House, with some rooms situated in the main house itself and others in low lying wings. Set in what is a peaceful location between the Palheiro Gardens and Golf Course, this is a perfect place to stay if looking for a relaxing getaway.
10. Hotel Da Vila
Situated in the coastal village of Ponta do Sol, the Hotel Da Vila features 15 stylish rooms with balconies all overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Facilities include a great little bar, excellent breakfasts with a variety of tasty food, and access to wonderful facilities at their sister hotel including an infinity pool and hot tub overlooking the ocean. This hotel is in a great location – literally by the sea and a three minute walk to the historical center of the small village of Ponta do Sol.
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