“Cheap and chic beachside hotel in Madeira's sunniest town, designed with real wit”
Just 20m from the beach, Hotel da Vila has 16 rooms, and was designed by Portuguese architect Duarte Caideira. Once the town's prison, it now feels like it's been crafted from Madeira itself, using its stones and wood with quirky touches like plastic and wheat headboard pillows. It's not the kind of design that suits everyone, but it references the arresting and edgy Portugese interior design movement.
Apart from the restaurant and dining terrace, there's not much more to the hotel than its rooms. But take a short walk up the hill and you'll find Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, with its glorious infinity pool, sundecks with sea views, spa and restaurant, all of which are at your disposal. Fantastically priced and perfect for a ray-catching autumn or spring break, we loved our stay at HDV.
- It's small and informal, with really friendly young staff
- A sleek and classy restaurant serving excellent food
- Airy rooms have sea views and are so close to the water that waves lull you to sleep
- There's more sun in Ponto do Sol than anywhere else in Madeira
- Use of the facilities at Estalagem da Ponta do Sol makes this a great bargain
- Rooms are on the small side, and are all twins, so couples will have to be content with beds pushed together
- The restaurant service is on the relaxed side
- If you're coming in a rental car, which most people will, parking is tricky - the hotel only has 3 spaces
Best time to go
Our top tips
Ask for a room on the 3rd floor for the best sea views.”
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Pool Table
The 16 compact rooms all have a sea view, and are largely the same: airy, bright and white, with windows opening onto a Juliet balcony and the sound of the waves in the background. It's all blissfully calm and we slept like babies.
Duarte Caidera is the man responsible for the interior design - he has used elements of the chic and the rural side of Madeira to create unique but calming spaces. The colour palette is pared back, using mainly wood and white in the bedrooms, as well as a quirky wheat pillow headboard (we guarantee you won't see this anywhere else!).
The bedrooms aren't all singing, all dancing - we'd describe them as a notch above functional - but they are cool and contemporary, and you get bathrobes, toiletries and satellite TVs. We've read reports that when they are set up as a twin room for friends, rather than couples, they can be a bit cramped. And the small shower bathroom, which is partitioned off rather than in a separate room, means you'd want to know your friend quite well...
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Hotel da Vila's diminutive seafront restaurant is lovely - all geometrically-shaped walls, soothing wood tones, groovy chairs and modern storm lanterns on the terrace. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and there's also a sleek and dark-toned bar with a cocktail list and experienced mixologist at the helm. There's no room service, however.
And the food is fantastic without being the least fussy - a fresh, Madeiran/Mediterranean fusion. Perhaps beef fillet with parmesan cheese, rucola and watercress; veal steaks with Parma ham, cheese and Madeira wine, or tuna steak with onion sauce. We relished the fresh salads, including a Caesar/anchovy variation, served at lunchtime. The island isn't famed for sophisticated dishes - outside its designer hotels, you're likely to find a lot of heavy meat dishes - so this restaurant is quite a high point. They're also very proud of their sizzling limpets, which you have to try once. Guests are welcome to eat at Estalagem do Ponta do Sol's restaurant, which serves slick dishes alongside a fantastic view.
Breakfast is a continental buffet, with eggs, bacon and sausages cooked to order.
- Children's meals
- Restaurants nearby
- Vegetarian menu
- Watch the Hollywood sunset from your room or the terrace; or swim in the waters off Ponto da Sol's protected pebble beach
- Uncover the hippest aspects of Madeira, including the Casa das Mudas modern art gallery in Calheta, which has touring exhibitions from New York
- Make use of Estalagem do Ponta do Sol's facilities: infinity pool, sundeck, sun beds, indoor pool, spa, pool tables, bars and restaurant
- Hire Estalagem's yacht plus skipper for a day or two and cruise down the coastline. It sleeps 4. Or take a 4-hour cruise in its catamaran to see dolphins, seals and turtles. They also arrange trips to the Desert Isles: marine reserves off the southeast coast
- Visit the island's capital, Funchal: the hotel provides a shuttle bus to the centre every day except Sunday. We love the Tropical Gardens
- The diving and snorkelling off the coast near the hotel is superb
- Catch the shuttle to EPDS's private beach, Faja dos Padres. It’s a volcanic black sand beach with a little restaurant. The shuttle also ferries guests to Calheta Beach, the art centre of Ribiera Brava and Palheiro Golf Club
- The hotel arranges mountain levada walks daily, with drop off and pick up, weather permitting. Levadas are irrigation channels that usefully provide a wonderful network of walking trails throughout the island
- Jump in the car and explore the fishing villages on the southern end of the island
- Ooh, go on then: sip a G&T or explore the island's golf courses, to the east beyond Madeira. It's what Madeira is famed for, after all...
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Pool table
- Scuba diving
Not a bad option for families, particularly if you're on a budget, but rooms are small and there are no extra beds so you'll need to book 2. Take advantage of the sister hotel's shuttle bus to its private beach and to other sandy beaches nearby, or tire the kids out walking the island's levadas.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
You can fit a baby cot into each room but it's a bit of a squeeze. All the hotel's rooms are the same size.
- High chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The hotel's food is light and tasty. They don't offer room service but you can get food all day here. There are plenty of child-friendly cafés along the south coast of Madeira that suit families.
Kids Activities nearby:
- Swimming pool at Estalagem do Ponta do Sol
- There are playgrounds in many of the larger towns, including Funchal
Families Should Know:
Watch out for the balconies if you have little kids; the hotel is right on the road, so eating outside might be a bit risky with little ones. There's a pharmacy and supermarket in the village.
- Airport: 30 minutes
- Hospital: 30 minutes