Madeira Journals

Be Spoiled in an Unspoiled Madeira

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A June 2002 trip to Madeira by Eve Carr

Reids Palace Photo, Madeira, Portugal More Photos
Quote: I love to visit places that haven’t really been discovered. Yet, when it’s time to eat and sleep, I definitely like luxury. During a recent visit to Madeira, a Portuguese sub-tropical island, just off the Africa’s coast we were able to enjoy this unspoiled island and pampering luxury as well.

Be Spoiled in an Unspoiled Madeira

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Overview

Brazil Wins! Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
If you also like the combination of back-to-nature during the day and elegant at night, you’ll love Madeira. Imagine hydrangea, exotic bird of paradise plants and countless others just blooming in profusion. Walking along Madeira’s extensive levada (irrigation channel) system was like walking through the Garden of Eden (except for the heights!) We stayed at two splendid resorts: Reid’s Palace and the Royal Savoy. We definitely recommend both as luxurious experiences. And we dined at a variety of outstanding restaurants, in and out of the hotels. We enjoyed so many things on Madeira, but a visit to the Blandy Wine Lodge, where we learned about (and tasted!) Madeira wine, was a hi...Read More

Reid's Palace

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Hotel

Reid's Palace Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
Reid’s Palace: An Island within an Island Old Money. It’s the phrase we use when we want to describe classic surroundings impeccably good taste and an old-world elegance and style that is classically and rich and stylishly comfortable, yet never flashy. This is exactly the lovely ambiance that we savored at Five-Star Reid’s Palace Hotel in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. Reid’s has been here for over 100 years, catering to such notables as George Bernard Shaw and Margaret Thatcher. It’s only natural: the service here sets the standard for others: it’s warm and friendly and helpful, but never intrusive. The rooms are mini sanctuaries. As we sit on the balcony of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 1, 2002

Reid's Palace
9000-098
Madeira, Portugal
(351) 291-717171

Madeira Classic Savoy Hotel

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Hotel | "The Royal Savoy Resort"

Madeira Classic Savoy Hotel Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
As we entered the new Royal Savoy Resort, near downtown Funchal, Madeira, we felt we had entered the home of an international traveler who has style and taste. Throughout this expansive complex that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, there is a subtle South African theme, honoring heroic Portuguese navigators who bravely explored the African coast. The decorator is an artist blending textures and colors; furniture, rugs and native art and antiques to create not a touristy African look, but a meaningful integrated atmosphere that’s restful, yet exotic. I make notes to try to adapt some of the techniques to my home in Virginia to capture this eclectic feeling—and to remember our memorable stay here....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 1, 2002

Madeira Classic Savoy Hotel
Avenida do Infante 9004-542
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
(351) 2912-13000

Market Square

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Attraction | "Soak Up Local Culture at Central Market"

Market Square Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
With Madeira’s lush, sub-tropical climate, I knew its famous Central Market (Mercado dos Lavradores) in Funchal would be a cornucopia of foods. I wasn’t disappointed. Long black espada and huge tuna fish dominated the lower level, while in the middle and upper levels, tables of individual stall holders overflowed with a profusion of tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, carrots, and apricots. Vendors in native dress sold a multicolor of freshly cut flowers. The best time to visit is on a Saturday. It was fun to walk through the aisles and shop with the locals as they purchased everything from flowers and fruits to colorful tote bags. It was even better to climb the stairs to the se...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 1, 2002

Market Square
Downtown
Madeira, Portugal

Chef Stephen Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
Recently, my husband and I luxuriated in the new Royal Savoy Hotel in Funchal, Madeira, just off the coast of Portugal. In the hotel complex, which includes the original Savoy Hotel, we found plenty of dining options, including four restaurants, three solarium cafes and four bars. Our favorite is The Armada Restaurant, opened in February of 2002. Our table (number 52) is at a glass wall overlooking the ocean front solarium and, past the palm trees, the Bay of Funchal. It is almost dusk, and we watch small fishing boats make their way out into the Atlantic as they have done for centuries. We listen to the sound of the waterfall from the reception area, as well as soft piano music, while,...Read More

Madeira Combines the Old with the New

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Story/Tip

Streets of Madeira Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
With balmy breezes from the Atlantic and a sub-tropical climate, Madeira is, indeed, an island paradise. Its Funchal is modern and offers all the amenities you could want, yet the Maderian countryside is rugged and quaint. The blending of the old with the new is one of the reasons we like this island so much. We were particularly impressed with this combination after we visited Madeira’s 61-year old Central Market. Just up the street, at the Global Net Café, owned by Norwegian-born Trude Stien and Maderian Antonio Basilio, we were able to not only surf the Internet and stay in touch with colleagues, friends and family, but do so in an incredibly modern setting for the equivalent...Read More

Sip Madeira’s Other Wines Too

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Story/Tip

Wine Engineer Photo, Madeira, Portugal
Quote:
Whenever we visit a new destination, we always like to try the local wines. We don’t compare them to wines from other places; we just appreciate them for themselves. Although the island is well-known for its Madeira, a fortified wine that ranges from dry to dessert sweet, in recent years, its white, and especially red, table wines have become increasingly popular with discerning diners. We especially enjoyed the wines of the Enxurros Winery and the young Vinho Verde it produces. They are fresh, fruity, and have a pleasant effervescence. With the establishment of the Madeira Wine Cooperative in 1990, more individual farmers will be able to develop their table wines. Th...Read More