Madeira is Portugal’s secluded island getaway that will not only surprise you with its rugged yet lush beauty, varied cuisine, and natural hospitality, but it is also home to some noteworthy boutique hotels that have earned the island a reputation as a sophisticated destination for those seeking a more authentic experience than a typical island holiday.
The Savoy Palace is as splendid as the lush island of Madeira itself. A stone’s throw from the old city of Funchal and the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic visible from every angle, Savoy Palace may be Madeira’s latest luxury addition and, the island’s only member of The Leading Hotels of the World consortium, its heart and soul are as genuine and welcoming as Madeira itself. In a destination where luxury hotels have been dominated by a British sensibility, Savoy Palace ushers in a new generation of contemporary design and luxury with a posture toward the future for this tropical nirvana in the Atlantic ocean.
Designed by celebrated architect Nini Andrade Silva with design firm RH+, the undulating, wavelike structure does not merely pay homage to Madeira’s abundant natural beauty and resources, it is a larger-than-life art installation with real and abstract timepieces and testaments to a destination unlike any other.
The influence of Belle Epoque is significant to the region’s architecture, and Andrade Silva takes full advantage of this ebullient style. An imposing 33ft chandelier greets visitors, hanging almost too low like the clouds that suspend above the island’s renowned laurilsilva forest. Swirling antiqued golden filigree banisters juxtapose a grand central staircase, exquisitely carved to represent the island’s signature embroidery designs. These intricate patterns reappear on the bridge that connects the bottom-level pool and gardens to Alameda, the hotel’s poolside restaurant, as well as friezes in the hotel guest suites.
Madeira’s marvel of biodiversity is expressed in the over 200 plant species exhibited in the hotel and gardens. Madeira’s lush forests and exotic florals reverberate throughout the property, as does its history of Portuguese settlers and wayward pirates, sugarcane, rum, and exotic flora and fauna. The rooftop infinity pool is a marvel in its own right, especially at sunset.
Exceptional and innovative dining is expected at a hotel of this caliber, and Savoy Palace exceeds expectations by merging traditional and avant-garde culinary options under the leadership of award-winning chef Carlos Goncalvez.
Andrade Silva designed every restaurant and bar, each with creative use of materials and fascinating design. However, two of Savoy Palace’s restaurants are food-forward enough to challenge any fine dining establishment anyplace in the world.
First of the gastronomic dynamos is the recently opened Pau de Lume. Portuguese for “matches,” the name references the restaurant’s centerpiece, the Josper charcoal oven that is used to create the distinct flavor profile of Madeiran cuisine. In the case of Pau de Lume, however, the rustic local cuisine is elevated with a chef’s flair that never overpowers or loses sight of its origins. The brilliant plant-life throughout the interior is flanked by a central bar and floor-to-ceiling windows, seamlessly merges industrial and Mediterranean chic into Savoy’s most delectable dining option.
Seemingly a world away on the 16th floor, Galxia Skyfood is a visceral sensation of sight and taste. Once a popular disco of decades past, the galactic space is a visual flight-of-fancy that sounds gimmicky but will leave you breathless.
Equally inspired and progressive is the menu. Master chefs and sommelier prepare a multi-course tasting menu mingling traditional and modern gastronomy. After dessert, enjoy a cocktail on the expansive outdoor patio beneath real twinkling stars while the neon lights inside flicker through the windows.
The Laurea Spa
The Laurea Spa is a stunning achievement in spa décor and originality. Here, Andrade Silva invites you on a journey deep into Madeira’s laurisilva forest. Meander winding corridors to pools and passageways saturated in emerald greens under a canopy of towering trees allayed by soft coppers and holographic tiled walls. The multi-room spa features sensory showers, a halotherapy room, relaxation lounges, sauna, jacuzzi, ice fountain, champagne and nail bar, salon, and a gym, plus heated indoor and outdoor pools. The treatment menu features Ayurvedic and modern techniques to deliver the ultimate spa experience.
The Premium Experience
How do you make a superlative experience even more memorable? Exclusive to guests who book a suite, a Premium Experience upgrade includes private check-in, daily a la carte breakfast at the plush top floor Jacaranda Lounge (sweeping ocean vistas included), rooftop adults-only pool and terrace, unlimited access to the Laurea Spa facility, a fully stocked mini-bar with complimentary beverages, pressing service, valet parking with private indoor access, international phone calls, use of meeting space, pool butler, early check-in and late check-out and more. If you are in the market for a presidential or three-bedroom suite, you can add airport transfers, packing and unpacking service, in-room breakfast, and a personal assistant to the list of pampering benefits.
For more information and reservations, visit www.savoypalace.com