“A romantic tropical retreat in the northeast of the island with cosy self-catering wooden lodges and a dash of Zen”
You have a choice of 10 stilted Mountain Shelters, the Red House, the Little Stone House and the Log Cabin. All have a small outdoor sitting/dining area and a simple stylish décor.
The Little Stone House by the river is our favourite. It used to be a cowshed, now it’s been renovated to make a pretty 2-storey cottage, hidden away from the lodges, wreathed in delicate flowers. The décor is unusual, combining such quirkeries as a tailor’s dummy with an attractive muted natural palette. There's a lovely dining/sitting room area, a stylish brown leather sofa, and a proper little kitchen, as well as 2 single beds that are pulled together when a couple stay.
The slightly smaller, single-storey Red House is perfect for a couple with 1 or 2 younger children. It has a compact terracotta-tiled sitting room with a sofabed (fine for 2 children; cots are also available), a circular dining table and a small kitchen. The Log Cabin, which we haven't seen yet, also has plenty of space for up to 4.
The perched cabins lie somewhere between a mountain lodge, a treehouse and a shed. Furnished in natural colours, they have pine walls and floors, really comfortable double beds and small but perfectly formed kitchenettes. The bathrooms are compact with small showers and heated towel rails (white towels provided). Underneath each lodge is a shaded open-air eating and chilling area; wraparound balconies guarantee forest and river views. Steep steps up to the bedrooms mean that these are not toddler-friendly.
There is also a double cabin that is ideal for families with older children, or for 2-4 friends; it's a combination of Mountain Shelters 2 and 3, linked by a shared deck, each with its own outdoor stair, each with a bedroom up and a living area below.
Quinta das Eiras is fully self-catering. No food is provided, not even tea bags, so you’ll have to stock up. The nearest shop is the small grocer's in Santo da Serra, less than a kilometre away. The capital, Funchal, is a 20-minute drive. There's a mini fridge as well as a 2-ring hob in each cabin, and all the cutlery and plates etc you’ll need, plus a coffee pot and saucepans. There are no ovens but the Red House and Stone House do have microwaves. Note there are no barbecues on site.
Santo da Serra's restaurants serve hearty Madeiran food (skewered meats, baked fish). There's also a bakery in the village that, it is hoped, will soon be making breakfast deliveries to the Quinta.
The natural setting is great for kids - but the pool isn't fenced and the steps to the stilted lodges might be a problem.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
The Log House has 2 double beds, while the Red House has a double bedroom and a living room with double sofabed. Families with older children might like the Double Cabin which is a pair of stilted cabins with a shared (indoor) living space between them. All rooms have handy kitchenettes.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking