Hotel Reviews: Savoy Palace, Madeira’s crown jewel | International | Trip
If you want to feel royalties, just for a moment, a visit to the Savoy Palace should do the trick. Jewel in the crown of Madeira’s capital, Funchal, its high standards of old-fashioned service, crystal-clear pools and sea views make it one of the most exclusive hotels on the island.
Built on the site of the former Savoy Classic, a favorite among aristocrats when it opened in 1912, the wavy structure of the Savoy Palace has been an integral part of the Funchal skyline since its launch in 2019 and the proximity to the building with the sea with a curvaceous and wavy exterior.
Inside, guests are greeted by a 33-foot central chandelier suspended from the lobby, creating a dramatic focal point that catches the eye from the moment they enter. Designer Nini Andrade Silva, born in Funchal, took charge of the interiors, for which she was inspired by the region. The result is decidedly Belle Epoque, with intricate and thoughtful details. Metal banisters, for example, mirror designs created by local embroiderers, with coiled patterns that meander along the edge of the majestic central staircase and reappear in the friezes on either side of the guest beds.
Much attention has been paid to greenery, with gardens on the surrounding terraces overflowing with over 250 Madeira botanical species. Local flowers, from hibiscus to orchids, are referenced everywhere.
On the roof, two infinity pools seem to be suspended between sea and sky. Next to them are two of the five restaurants, and dine at Galaxia Skyfood, its decor influenced by astronomy, is not to be missed. Located on the 16th floor, it offers 360 degree views from the ocean to the rising hills of Funchal. Specialties include the melt-in-the-mouth delicacies of Serra Cottage Cheese Tortellini, Seaweed Limpets, Lemon and Fennel Mash, and Machico Pumpkin Pancakes. On the other side of the hotel’s rooftop is Jacaranda, its swimming pool and restaurant open exclusively to suite guests.
Breakfast is served in Atelier Orchidaceae, where tables are stacked with buffets, hot dishes and a large selection of fresh juices. The Hibiscus Restaurant, meanwhile, is open for evening meals and offers a full menu of Madeiran specialties, including a wide range of fresh fish. Don’t miss the open-air Alameda restaurant, which overlooks the Pride of the Pools – a sprawling green tile affair surrounded by palm trees and straddled by a stunning gold-colored carved metal bridge.
That same style of ironwork reappears in the suites, which are decorated in soft shades of champagne and off-white and all have sea views, with sliding doors to terraces. If the clouds are rushing over the Atlantic, there are two large TVs in each. Sumptuous showers, a large soaking tub and walk-in closet, along with many Chopard products, add to the overall opulence.
The hotel’s other great strength is its Laurea spa, inspired by Madeira’s Laurissilva forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The vivid greens and striking floral palette of the world’s largest laurel forest are reflected in its design. The spa has 11 treatment rooms, which use a variety of products, including Sodashi, Aromatherapy Associates, and Linda Meredith. There is also a large wetland area, which houses a variety of baths, pools, saunas, and sensory showers. Highlights include the halotherapy room (an alternative treatment that involves breathing salty air) and ice showers.
As with the design and service offering of the hotel, no detail has been spared when it comes to the enhanced security measures introduced during the pandemic. The Stay Safe, Stay Savoy protocol includes new initiatives such as separate check-in and check-out areas, regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces and reduced capacity in restaurants and bars. Those concerned about social distancing, on the other hand, needn’t worry – the building’s large size gives guests ample room to lay out and enjoy the hotel’s loot in peace.
The last word has to go to its designer, Andrade Silva, who says: “You don’t get bored inside the hotel because it has so many different spaces and stories, just like the island. Every day you see a different thing, there is a different feeling.
“It’s like my baby. I know that all the people who worked on this put their emotion into it. We all say it is “our” hotel, as if it belongs to us. It’s not just work – the Savoy Palace is a special place, and everyone is passionate about it.
Price from €181 (around £ 157), savoysignature.com
Read more: Opening of the best luxury hotels in 2021