Reid’s Palace – Madeira

Reid’s Palace – Madeira

The Hotel

Reid’s palace is a magnificent luxury hotel, exuding elegance, glamour, refinement, and aristocracy of long gone centuries. The hotel offers two hard tennis courts, a spa, table tennis and a children’s playground. There are two rectangular swimming pools (one with sea water, one with fresh water) located high above the sea on a ledge. Access to the sea is via a steep vertical ladder on the rocks. There is no beach.

The interior walkways are equipped with classic furniture. Historical photos of guests, including many members of the aristocracy, decorate the walls.

In the hotel there are several grand pianos in various passageways, sitting areas and bars. Every evening there is live music in the bar. The hotel has its own restaurant with a French orientation. In a neighboring building is another restaurant that serves more Mediterranean dishes. Tours, excursions, wine tastings, dance performances or small information events are offered daily for a fee.

The room categories differ significantly from one another – from the standard room (for a few hundred euros per night) to the suite (for a few thousand euros per night).

History

A Scotsman by the name of William Reid had settled in Madeira in 1836 because of the climate and became prosperous as a wine merchant. He wanted to fulfill a dream by building a luxury hotel. He bought a rocky piece of land and had the original hotel designed by architects Clarke and Micklethwaite. It opened as the New Hotel in November 1891 and later became the New Palace Hotel, then Reid’s Palace or just “Reid’s”. In 2014 the hotel changed its name to Belmond Reid’s Palace.

Famous guests over the years have included General Fulgencio Batista, Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, David Lloyd George, deposed emperor Karl von Habsburg, Roger Moore, Gregory Peck, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the missionary Albert Schweitzer, and dramatist George Bernard Shaw.

Reid’s is particularly known for its tradition of serving afternoon tea on the terrace.

Location

Reid’s Palace is located on a cliff about 1.5 kilometers west of Funchal. The hotel complex includes a botanical garden of more than 40,000 square meters. The street front is designed inconspicuously; the front of the hotel complex faces the sea.

Gallery