Quinta da Casa Branca

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal Book from Book from £157 per night

A classic, classy Funchal retreat, with stunning fine dining, acres of tropical garden and a full spa
“We try to avoid ever saying ‘No’,” said the affable General Manager, as we strolled through the immaculate gardens of this tranquil, elegant hotel. Certainly a bold claim, but it proved to be an understatement by the time we left. With impeccably trained staff who remember your name and greet you with indefatigable warmth, even a short stint here left us feeling like a pampered VIP. Many other guests were on their 10th visit or more, and we quickly saw why. In a world of gimmicks and flashy tricks, Quinta da Casa Branca has managed to curate a delectable environment of casual refinement and old-world glamour.

The 49 rooms and 2 restaurants are spread between the original Manor House and a modern glass-walled Quinta. Acres of surrounding botanical gardens and banana plantations mean you can always find a quiet corner. Unwind with sumptuous treatments in the spa, eat exquisite food (scabbard fish with Champagne mousse, scallops over asparagus puree), read books by the heated outdoor pool. This is the kind of elusive retreat where you can vanish entirely from the clamour of daily life - yet should you want it, the fun of Funchal is just a 15-minute walk away, beyond the high, ivy-clad walls.

Highs

  • An excellent fine-dining restaurant, plus a casual garden bistro
  • Two heated pools (one adults-only) and a lovely spa for relaxation-to-the-core
  • The 5 Manor Suites in the original Manor House, with beautiful antique furniture, 18th-century paintings and modern luxuries
  • Highly trained and professional staff; they run a very tight
    ship indeed
  • Set in central Funchal, within walking distance of the sea and Old Town - yet it feels like a hidden retreat

Lows

  • Pricey but worth the splurge
  • On the large side (49 rooms), but there's masses of space
  • Won't suit those who want a buzzy scene; it's popular with an older crowd

Best time to go

Madeira’s gentle sub-tropical climate makes it a lovely destination for sun, year-round. Funchal is at its vibrant best from mid-December until the New Year, when the city and hillsides are aglow with technicolour fairy lights for the festive season.

Our top tips

Visit the charming fishing village of Camâra de Lobos and sit in the sun at one of the seafront cafes to sample the local ponchas (a small but potent cocktail of sugar-cane spirit and fruit juice). Take a taxi rather than drive; it's likely to go to your head!

Great for...

Foodie
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 49
  • Restaurants and bar open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Manor House Suite

Rooms

Most of the rooms are set in the striking modern Quinta, and vary from the cheapest Garden Rooms up to more spacious Premium Rooms, then Deluxe Suites. Décor is classic rather than innovative, but they are very comfortable, and each has a private slice of terrace overlooking the gardens.

If you can afford a splurge, the fit-for-a-king Manor House Suites are worth every Euro. Set in the original Manor House, 100m from the main hotel, each of them is different, with individual character and unique original furniture - this building was once the personal home of the Leacock family, of Madeira wine fame. Expect top-end toiletries, high thread-count sheets and Nespresso machines, as well as a balcony or terrace, fabulous antique features and 18th-century paintings.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is a sumptuous buffet, served in the Garden Pavillion, with the quality of food being the standout shining feature. We ate our fill (and then some) of melt-in-the-mouth blue cheese focaccia, avocado and tomato salad, and (of course) homemade Madeira cake. There's a full menu of hot options (extra cost) in case you can't live without a bacon and egg fix.

For lunchtimes and evenings, the hotel has a range of options, from laid-back a la carte in the Garden Pavillion to world-class fine dining in the opulent Dining Room restaurant in the Manor House. In the name of research, we sampled the best of the latter’s excellent culinary delights (scabbard fish with Champagne mousse, scallops over asparagus puree, Madeiran banana pie) and declared it the most divine dinner we had in Madeira. We absolutely recommend following the house’s suggested Portuguese wine pairings, too.

Other restaurants are a walk away; ask reception to advise.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity: Shiatsu

Activities

  • Spend a morning in the beautiful spa: we love the sound of the Chinese-inspired calligraphic massage with pink granite gems
  • Or have a Shiatsu massage in the garden
  • Swim in the heated outdoor pools, or lounge in the sun, bask in the peace and read
  • Walk the cobbled streets of Funchal’s charming Old Town, with its winding rows of quaint shops and restaurants, and historic buildings and churches
  • Picnic in Funchal’s world-famous tropical Botanical Gardens
  • If you’ve a head for heights, take the scenic cable-car journey up the hill to the village of Monte
  • Spend a day on the beach or go sailing
  • Hike one of Madeira’s stunning levada (irrigation canal) walks, high up amongst the clouds; reception can advise

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

While families are very welcome, there are no specific facilities or activities for children. Quinta da Casa Branca’s quiet elegance is best suited to small families with babies or self-sufficient teenagers. There is a large heated main pool and acres of gardens, which kids will love.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Garden and Premium Rooms can fit a baby cot or extra bed for a child aged 2-12. Older children/additional adults will need a separate room. Manor House Suites are for 2 adults only.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and high chairs.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

The food in the bar was excellent as was breakfast. The fine dinning was a bit hit and miss, the simple stuff was lovely but some of the more experimental missed the spot.

10/10,

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Rates for Quinta da Casa Branca