“Part modernist, part traditional quinta, this minimalist clifftop hotel gets architects in a lather - and they’re not the only ones”
Like the rest of the hotel, the spacious bedrooms have clean and sleek lines, but the real emphasis is on looking out: all have sun terraces or balconies, and amazing views over the sea or up to the mountains.
Interiors are nearly identical, so it's the view which determines the room category. Mountain (or "Garden") View look out on to the banana plantations of the mountain opposite and the village of Ponta do Sol; Sea View rooms seem to jut out above the cliffs with views of the rocks below and the ocean stretching as far as you can see. Floor-to-ceiling windows let the light in to a room with navy and white striped bed linen and either a double or twin bed. Mountain View rooms are a little cheaper and a little noisier; also, the acoustics between some rooms could be better. All have air con and cable TV.
The bathrooms are clean, sleek and compact, with slate floors and showers. Disappointingly, toiletries are a bit budget. There is a minibar in all rooms and one of the hotel bars is open all night.
The restaurant is in prime position for watching the sunset – that’s if you haven’t been able to bag the best spot in the chromotherapy bath in the spa – and serves up fresh Modern European food with a Madeiran twist.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant - though there is a small terrace attached - and is a good European-style buffet, with hot and cold dishes and homemade cakes, too. Lunch is light - a change from the rustic restaurants nearby. Expect the likes of goat's cheese vol-au-vents, chicken, baked scabbard fish (unique to Madeira) and various light desserts. Dinner makes the most of the sea: lots of prawns, plus beef fillet, pork medallions, pasta and salads. Staff are very helpful and friendly.
It’s a short walk into Ponta do Sol if you want to eat out: there's a restaurant, a pizzeria and a couple of cafes. There are also several bars dotted around the hotel (one or two open all year), and an honesty bar by the pool. In the summer, the former whale-spotting deck becomes a rocking bar with live music and DJs. Another more refined bar, in the old finca building itself, opens for coffee during the day.
It’s not that great a place for little kids – too many steps with a buggy and the atmosphere is a bit too serene. Having said that, those aged up to 4 are free and babysitting can be arranged. There are extra beds but no baby cots so you'll need to bring your own. There are no lifeguards around the pool.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Babysitting available by arrangement