FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Belmond Reid’s Palace

by Francis X. Gallagher

Jul 1, 2017
Editorial / GT Tested

Arrival/Check-In: Landing early at Madeira Airport, an architectural marvel, we picked up our rental car for a little tour of Funchal before heading to the hotel. After taking the cable car to the peak in the village of Monte and the Botanical Gardens, we set our sights on checking in. The hotel lies just west of the center of town and up a high hill, offering spectacular views.

Unfortunately, even at 3 p.m., our hotel room was not ready, so we waited in the lobby lounge for about an hour before we could fully check in.

Guest Quarters: We stayed in room 508, a mini suite with views looking over the west end of the harbor and out to the Atlantic Ocean. The room’s entrance hallway featured a wooden floor and a large bathroom to the left. The left wall of the main room included a king-sized bed with an end table on either side. At the end of the suite, a sitting area with a table and two upholstered chairs flanked the doors to the patio. The patio also offered seating, with two white wicker chairs and a matching table. Back inside and on the right of the room stood a writing desk and a wooden chest with a well-stocked minibar that also held a flat-screen TV. The room was comfortable and well-appointed but a little cramped when the two of us put our bags on luggage stands. The closet at the rear of the room was well-designed with glass-fronted drawers that offered a view of the items inside. There was also plenty of hanging space for coats and jackets. Every guest receives a carafe of Madeira wine, which makes a nice addition to the amenities in the room.

The large and spacious bathroom featured a separate tub, shower and double sinks. The walls were covered in a lightly tinted pink marble, and there was a host of amenities from the Belmond Reid’s brand.

Services/Amenities: Reid’s has several fine restaurants to sample. Let me warn you that if you intend to try William Restaurant, the Michelin-starred restaurant on the property, you must make reservations prior to your arrival on the island. We had some fine meals sitting on the veranda off the lobby and dining room. The staff here is friendly, accommodating and helpful with wine selection. At the hotel’s Ristorante Villa Cipriani we were fortunate to make a reservation the night before, but I also strongly suggest making reservations here prior to arriving. (I suggest this for any of the top-rated restaurants in Madeira.) Cipriani is magnificent and lovely with outside seating when the weather permits. I enjoyed a starter of beef carpaccio and a main course pasta dish with shrimp, which was delicious. I was most shocked by the amount of cigarette smoking on Madeira — any outside restaurant has a smoking section that is overpowering. The breakfast is impressive at Reid’s, served on one of the pool levels. You can choose from the buffet or order cooked items off the menu.

Reid’s really has everything — high tea, three swimming pools on levels close to the ocean (two saltwater and one fresh) and several fine-dining options. From this property you can walk to the center of Funchal, where you’ll find many sights to see and plenty of outside restaurants. You can easily use the property as a base for touring the island; you can either drive yourself or Reid’s will arrange a car and driver for the day at a reasonable fee.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

◆ Brush up on your manual transmission driving; the hills on the island are steep and the roads are narrow.

◆ Take the cable car to the top to the Funchal Monte Botanical Gardens; it proves a good start to your tour of the town.

◆ Madeira is a secret golf getaway with two courses on the island and one on Porto Santo Island. Reid’s will reserve tee times and arrange for a shuttle to pick you up. You need to take the ferry for Porto Santo; golf and lunch packages are available.

Belmond Reid’s Palace

Estrada Monumental 139
9000-098 Funchal
Madeira, Portugal
tel 351 291 71 71 71
belmond.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Oct 19, 2021

World’s First, Highest 360-Degree Infinity Pool to Open

The world’s first and highest 360-degree infinity pool will open in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. One of the region’s most anticipated attractions, AURA SKYPOOL will begin welcoming guests in mid-November.

Experiencing GBTA Convention 2021
Safely and Responsibly

GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.

Class Act 2021
Oct 18, 2021

Airlines Elevate the Premium Travel Experience in the Air and on the Ground

Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:

Daily
Oct 18, 2021

United Plans Largest Trans-Atlantic Expansion

United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

Cruising
Oct 15, 2021

Galataport Istanbul Welcomes First Ship

Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 13, 2021

Walker Hotel Tribeca Blushes Pink to Support National Breast Cancer Foundation

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 13, 2021

Win a 12-Day Trip to Ireland for Two with Insight Vacations

Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.