Savoy Signature Hotel Group continues to generate a buzz in international hospitality about the way its diverse portfolio shapes Madeira’s future as a destination; the brand keeps existing fans (particularly the traditional group of older British and German visitors) interested while drawing younger, more active travelers beyond the confines of Europe. The Savoy Palace, opened in 2019, took on the “legacy” mantle of a predecessor (the former Savoy Hotel) that stood on the same site, and then reopened with a lot of enthusiasm after the height of the pandemic passed.
However, what keeps the newness of Savoy Palace (Madeira’s only member of The Leading Hotels of the World consortium) front and center is the way management continues to tweak the formula atop the collaborative foundation set by interior designer Nini Andrade Silva and RH+ Arquitectos. The perfect balance of bold, modern design, local architectural precedents and elements from the original Savoy Hotel is further enhanced by what’s happening on the top floors of the property with its VIP offers, a.k.a. The Premium Experience, going beyond offering plush rooms and suites with a few more perks and exclusive spaces.
So, how is this premium push going to get more well-traveled people from the Americas to the somewhat remote island besides direct weekly flights from New York (JFK) on Azores Airlines and via Lisbon (LIS) routes on TAP Air Portugal? Access to larger rooms (ocean suite, superior ocean suite, pool ocean suite and presidential suite) with ocean views; quieter breakfasts and snacks in Jacarandá Lounge & Club; and in-lounge check-in and in-suite check-out is a good start, as are an all-you-can-enjoy in-suite minibar that’s regularly restocked, in-room daily snacks, the poshest premium amenities (Chopard and Guerlain), an adults-only private pool area, indoor garage with direct hotel access, unlimited phone privileges and, for those booked in presidential or three-bedroom suites, transfers to other properties and the airport.
Most importantly, the Savoy Premium Experience brings greater depth to Funchal and the rest of the island for the uninitiated. The warm, dedicated guest experience personnel work awfully hard to make sure those on the upper floors fully understand why Madeira is not just a paradise for Europeans and ask themselves where this amazing place has been all of their lives. The hotel itself stands as a goodwill ambassador for the island, evidenced by the exquisite attention to detail the design team put in, from the landscaping with more than 200 native plant species evoking Madeira’s lush forests to famed Levada hiking trails, and botanical gardens such as Monte Palace that have charmed generations of visitors.
After the flight in, VIPs will appreciate complimentary unlimited access to Laurea Spa’s water features. Even with fantastic restaurants around the island (which the amazing tours by Madeira Food on Foot will help suss out), guests have an easy time getting reservations to the three fine-dining restaurants, all conceived by award-winning chef Carlos Gonçalves and intended to shine a light on how the old island food traditions will be carried forward.
Galáxia Skyfood & Skybar embodies the vibe of a 1980s disco, but the tasting menu provides evidence that its culinary mind rests in the 21st century. By night, Jacarandá Club transforms into an izakaya/kaiseki hybrid, with a menu of Japanese dishes crafted with Madeira ingredients. Pau de Lume (opened this spring), however, is the standout. The centerpiece of the airy garden setting is a Josper charcoal oven (lit by matches, hence the restaurant’s name), whose fire, embers and smoke add Portuguese authenticity to the various shared plates, appetizers and entrees. Just like Nini Andrade Silva and RH+ Arquitectos have done with the property aesthetics, Gonçalves has with the ingredients at his disposal in honoring the past and the future.
Av. Do Infante 25
9004-542, Funchal, Portugal
tel 351 291 213 000
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