If you’ve been dreaming of rugged volcanic scenery, golden sandy beaches, and colorful villages that look like they haven’t changed in decades, Madeira is the place for you. An archipelago of four volcanic islands floating off the western coast of Morocco, Madeira is brimming with natural beauty, drool-worthy seafood, and a laid-back way of life you can’t help but fall in love with!
With a history that dates back to the 1400s, there’s an abundance of historical wonders just waiting to be discovered in Madeira. The name literally translates into English as “woods” and was named so because of the countless dense, mysterious forests that blanket the collection of islands. Stay in one of the best Madeira hotels, and you’ll have the chance to discover everything this archipelago has to offer.
Madeira is home to all sorts of great places to stay, from cool and trendy resorts to rustic, family-owned boutique hotels. In fact, there are so many top-quality accommodation options that you might find it almost impossible to choose just one. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a list of the top 12 boutique hotels in Madeira!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 12 Best Boutique Hotels in Madeira, Portugal
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Where to Stay in Madeira
There are loads of fantastic Madeira neighborhoods to stay in, whatever type of vacation you’re looking for. If this is your first visit, we suggest staying in Funchal. The capital city of the island, Funchal is bursting with historical landmarks, family-friendly attractions, and amazing restaurants that dish up local eats. It’s also where you’ll find some of the best hotels in Madeira.
Machico is a great place to stay if you want the lively vibe of Funchal without the touristy feel. This stunning neighborhood boasts everything you could ever want from a Madeira vacation – from picture-perfect beaches and forest hiking trails to seafood restaurants and boutique hotels. It’s also just a short drive away from the airport.
If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation, consider staying in Calheta. This neighborhood is one of the sunniest in Madeira and boasts a number of sandy bays where you can soak up the sun and cool off in the sea. This part of the island is also a fantastic place for hiking.
Choose Santa Cruz if you’ve got a small budget to stick to. This coastal town is within easy reach of Funchal, but it’s much quieter and more affordable than the capital. Here you’ll be spoiled for choice with excellent cafes, bars, and restaurants, plus some spectacular viewpoints and gorgeous architecture.
The 12 Best Hotels in Madeira
Located on the main island of Madeira, directly next to the Santo da Serra Golf Course, Porto Bay Serra Golf is one of the most unique Madeira hotels. Originally constructed in 1920 and completely renovated in 1999, this historical building looks like something you’d expect to see in a fairytale.
The outside of the hotel features an Art Nouveau design with a powder blue façade and delicate flowers climbing up a small turret. A wonderful place to stay if you’re a fan of nature, the gardens surrounding the hotel are home to more than 90 different species of flowers, all of which are clearly labeled and bloom throughout the year.
Here you can choose between standard rooms, superior rooms, and suites, each of which is pleasantly spacious and comes with luxurious Rituals bathroom amenities and fluffy bathrobes. As well as the 21 simple and traditional guest rooms, the hotel also boasts a swimming pool and spa with remarkable floor-to-ceiling windows that reward you with unobstructed views of the garden.
A stunning complex made up of five individual houses, Castanheiro Boutique Hotel is more than 300 years old. The oldest building dates back to the 18th century and was originally inhabited by artists, while another building from the 19th century was home to wealthy merchants. The most modern buildings were constructed in the 20th century and were originally occupied by a baker, an embroiderer, and a typography company.
Despite the historical roots of the building, Castanheiro Boutique Hotel is brimming with modern elements. Head to the rooftop, and you’ll discover an incredible infinity pool with views that stretch all across Funchal. The rooms and suites are also refreshingly modern, with bright color palettes, plenty of space, and well-equipped kitchenettes.
One of the best things about this hotel is its location. You’ll find a fantastic selection of cafes, bars, restaurants, boutiques, museums, and galleries just steps away from the entrance.
When you need to get away from it all, Estalagem Ponta de Sol is one of the best places to stay in Madeira. Enjoying a prestigious location on a tall cliff, high above the peaceful village of Ponta do Sol, this hotel is a work of art. It has been cleverly designed, so the whitewashed buildings look like they’re precariously tumbling down the slope of the cliff!
The white theme flows inside the hotel, too, with whitewashed walls, staircases, sun loungers, umbrellas, tables, and chairs, all creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere. There are plenty of eye-catching monochrome pieces of artwork on the walls, but the most beautiful part of the hotel is the spectacular views from the infinity pool.
To help you completely unwind, there’s a wellness center with indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub, steam bath, sauna, hydromassage bath, and massage rooms. There’s also a contemporary gym where you can sign up for yoga and qi gong classes.
Set in the beating heart of Funchal, Sé Boutique Hotel is a bright and colorful boutique hotel with a quirky, offbeat vibe. Decorated in vibrant blues, yellows, reds, and greens, the hotel brings a smile to your face as soon as you go through the entrance and is filled with surprises and delights just waiting to be discovered.
A secret rooftop terrace where you can sip cocktails and soak up 360-degree views, a lobby cafe filled with antique-inspired furniture, a cozy Italian restaurant that specializes in traditional Mediterranean cuisine, and a clandestine outdoor tapas bar that feels like a hidden park all await you.
When you need to relax, make a reservation at the spa. There are loads of different packages that include everything from healthy meals to photoshoots, so you can tailor your day of relaxation to your heart’s desires. There’s also a fantastic selection of spa menu items to choose from, including highly-recommended candle massages.
One of the coolest hotels in Madeira, Hotel the Vine is the perfect place to stay if you love a glass of wine. The hotel’s talented designer transformed her love of the island’s fortified wine into every inch of the building.
Each floor inside the hotel is themed on a different stage of the lifecycle of the grape. The topic carries on in the decor of the hotel, with deep purples, dark reds, pale pinks, and subtle yellows found throughout.
Food and wine play a huge role in the hotel. Here you can busy yourself with everything from themed cooking classes to guided tours of the local market led by an expert chef. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, the hotel will even organize a romantic candlelit dinner for you in a gazebo by the pool, along with live music!
Even if you’re not celebrating something special, you can still enjoy a gourmet experience in one of the hotel’s several epicurean restaurants. Before you head to dinner, stop off at the wine bar and enjoy a glass from the incredibly well-stocked bodega.
Surrounded by the award-winning Palheiro Gardens high up in the hills above Funchal, Casa Velha do Palheiro is a remarkable 18th-century hunting lodge. The ideal place to stay if you want to feel like royalty, this stunning accommodation is fully immersed within the 300-acre Palheiro Nature Estate and boasts its very own par 72 championship golf course.
Explore the hotel’s grounds, and you’ll discover countless nature trails, birdwatching opportunities, flower beds, bars, restaurants, and even a quaint tea house. If you can tear yourself away from the stunning gardens, you’ll find the hotel also features a huge spa with indoor and outdoor pools, as well as two top-notch dining options.
There’s a huge selection of rooms and suites to suit all tastes and budgets. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be treated to lush garden views, a welcome gift upon arrival, and tiled bathrooms with hand-painted floral details, superior bathroom amenities, and heated towel rails.
Towering 328 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, Escarpa is one of the coolest Madeira hotels. Surrounded by banana tree plantations and just a short walk away from the historic Ponta do Sol, this peaceful hotel provides you with the best of both worlds. Stay within the hotel’s grounds, and you can while away your days doing as little as possible. Or head into town and enjoy hours of exploring and discovering.
Escarpa is a place where nature and luxury combine. The dazzling coastal views, blissful sea breeze, and swaying banana trees are perfectly at home with bubbling jacuzzis, well-equipped modern kitchens, and complimentary fully-stocked minibars.
The rooms here are some of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Boasting incredible ocean views, whitewashed walls, and superior Rituals bathroom amenities, you’ll feel like a real VIP!
If you’re celebrating an extra-special occasion, we suggest going all out on the villa with a private pool. This remarkable villa comes with a private infinity pool, underfloor heating, and an opulent bathtub with ocean views.
Beautifully located in the tranquil town of Câmara de Lobos, directly opposite a charming black pebble beach, Pestana Churchill Bay was one of the very first hotels to open in this area. While the sleepy fishing town that surrounds the hotel may be laid-back and serene, the lively capital of Funchal is just a short drive away.
The 57 guest rooms that make up the hotel are divided between two ancient buildings. Some are housed in the old town hall, which still has original features, such as old stone arches. The rest of the rooms are tucked inside a newer building across the road that used to be a bustling fish market.
Winston Churchill frequently visited Câmara de Lobos for the chance to paint, and you can see his inspirational quotes on the walls of the newer building!
You’ve got to check out the open-air bar and lounge during your visit. It’s just two steps from the sea and is one of the best places in town to sip traditional drinks that have been served in Madeira for generations.
One of the most unique hotels in Madeira, Three House Hotel is a chic and stylish retreat in the center of Funchal. Providing a home-away-from-home vibe, the hotel features spacious, airy, and naturally bright apartments with everything you could need for your stay.
Hardwood floors, large living spaces with sofa beds, and complete kitchens with all the essentials come as standard. Whether you need an extra bedroom for your travel buddies or a workstation to complete a project, the Three House Hotel has all the space you need.
The highlight of the hotel is definitely the trendy roof terrace. Featuring an infinity pool and viewing deck with 360-degree views, this is the place to lose yourself and let your imagination run free.
There’s plenty of comfy seating where you can chill out, as well as a bar that dishes up creative cocktails and light bites. Make sure you check it out during the evening when the whole place is decked out in uber-cool lighting!
The very first design hotel to open in Madiera, Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca is made up of a spectacular 19th-century manor house that boasts five opulent suites and 43 ultra-modern rooms.
The rooms are set inside a contemporary glass and steel building that’s flooded with natural light and gorgeous views of the surrounding gardens. In contrast, the suites inside the manor house are much more traditional and boast authentic Portuguese antiques, polished wooden floors, Venetian chandeliers, and trinkets from the 18th century.
An excellent place to go when you need to relax and recuperate, Estalagem Quinta da Casa Branca boasts an incredible health center that is guaranteed to make you feel like a whole new person. There’s a gym with the latest Technogym equipment, plus a spa with a hot tub, steam bath, sauna, relaxation room with complimentary teas, and massage rooms.
When you’re feeling hungry, there’s a fantastic selection of dining venues to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a formal dining room experience with haute cuisine or a causal al fresco dining experience, you’ll find just what you’re looking for here.
One of the most remarkable Madeira hotels, Zino’s Place is a great choice when you’re looking for something a little special. An imposing historical landmark, the building was previously the summer residence of the prestigious Zino family. Today it’s a grandiose boutique hotel that sits on top of a cliff looking out to sea.
Here you can choose between nine pastel-colored rooms that combine timeless elegance with modern sophistication. For an extra-special experience, we suggest booking the Sea View Suite. This stunning room features natural wooden beams, a plush king-size bed, a balcony with sea views, and a beautiful bathroom with a separate tub and shower.
You’ve got to dine at the hotel’s on-site restaurant at least once during your stay. Visit in the morning for a delicious al fresco buffet as the sea breeze gently blows through your hair. Then return in the afternoon for a decadent tea with smoked salmon sandwiches, scones, and chocolate muffins.
An 18th-century palace surrounded by botanical gardens, Quinta Jardins do Lago is a dazzling small luxury hotel on the outskirts of Funchal. Inspired by the calmness and tranquility of the encircling gardens, the house is filled with the sweet smell of exotic plants and the distinct flavor of history.
The hotel has been wonderfully preserved and still has some of its original features. You’ll find a centuries-old sideboard and a number of remarkable frescoes in the main dining room, which is only open to guests aged 8 and up. If you’d prefer a more casual, family-friendly experience, the hotel also offers the poolside Colombo Bistro and the Pink Room, which serves a buffet breakfast.
There’s a wonderful outdoor swimming pool surrounded by grass, sun loungers, umbrellas, and blissful mountain views. If you’d prefer something a little more private, you can retire to the hotel’s wellness area and relax in the sauna, Turkish bath, or whirlpool tub.
That completes our list of the 12 best hotels in Madeira! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Madeira? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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