The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel




On the edge of Funchal, overlookin­g the ocean, you enter a particular world at Reid’s. They

look after you, beautifull­y, but they do not pander, and it is the understate­ment, the absolute confidence in their measured, timehonour­ed approach, that

makes this such an inimitable place to stay.

Many guests have returned with almost religious devotion for decades. It is only when you reach the oldest part of the hotel – the elegant lounge, glitzy cocktail bar, Michelin-starred restaurant, William, and pool terrace, like the deck of a ship – that you will feel its innate glamour. From there, you can spy the sea-level sun decks and tidal pool, reached by lift or steps. Guests would arrive here by boat, and be carried up the cliffs in hammocks on poles strung between the shoulders of two men. Reid’s Palace was built by Scotsman William Reid in 1891 and immediatel­y attracted a parade of European royalty and English aristocrac­y. Just as Madeira itself has always appealed to a gentler sort of tourist, so Reid’s has attracted

a quieter, more discerning clientele. Since 1996, under what is now the Belmond group,

it has gracefully extended its appeal to all ages, without losing its genteel flavour. Since 2006 it has had the only

dedicated hotel kids’ club on Madeira. If you

play bridge, there is a dedicated room. If you want to walk Madeira’s

renowned levadas (irrigation channels), it

will be arranged. Afternoon tea, taken on the black and white marble terrace, is the pièce de résistance, with more than a dozen teas and blends, including the hotel’s own. The terrace is intimate, the

view lovely. Doubles from £368 (00 351 291 717171;

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