More about Reid's Palace
Afternoon Tea at Reids Palace Funchel
Afternoon Tea at the Reid’s Palace was an experience not to be missed.
As you came in through the entrance there is a large mirror with a large flower arrangement. Then onto the terrace where you had a large choice of different teas, sandwiches, scones and cakes. The waiters were imaculate in white dinner jackets.
Although we wouldn’t have missed it, it was rather expensive at 26 euro’s each, but you only do it once, and we won’t ever forget it.
I agree with recent reviewers that Reid's is back at the top.
The service and attention to detail were truly five stars throughout. I had a suite in the main house (lovely decoration in Portuguese-English style with many antiques) with a superb marble bathroom (probably not all rooms are as grand).
Enough facilities, all first rate, to keep you busy all day: large park, three pools (including one at sea level), bridge room, billiard room, fitness and spa (world class following the recent renovation), daily activities programme.
Beautiful and excellent restaurants (the food has improved considerably compared with a few years ago): Villa Cipriani (Italian), main dining room (ritzy, live music, classic cuisine with local influences), breakfast room (very good buffet), afternoon tea in the lounge or on the veranda, etc.
The smoking policy is quite good by Portuguese standards: no smoking alllowed in three restaurants (main, gourmet, breakfast), although this could be improved (more non smoking rooms / floors, no smoking in the tea lounge).
I travel a lot, and I can think of very few resort hotels in Europe that reach this level of style, service and beauty. The authentic grand hotel experience. Very expensive but check out the offers and packages.
Quiet & Peaceful
We went to Reids for a week for our 30th wedding anniversary (and also some business). We choose a room in the newly refurbished building which was lovely and bright (as pictured on the web) with fantastic views of the pool area and the port. (Room 520) We were given a fruit selection and pretty flower arrangement which was a nice touch and it is always good not to be charged for bottled water! The bed was extremely confortable and as it was February, slept with one door wide open.
The two heated pools were clean and warm - the larger of the two perfect for swimming lengths. The terraces by the sea would be lovely in the summer months although they were also being used in Feb, and we enjoyed eating lunch outside in such a tranquil setting. The new spa was excellent and I must mention Hadicka who was brilliant.
We ate in Les Faunes on our anniversary which was very good although perahps a bit too rich, plus a corked bottle of wine, otherwise we ate out (O Regional, in the old town - great local food) and twice in their Italian restaurant, Ciprianis, which had a good atmosphere and really good pasta. We were not attracted to the hotels other restaurant which really did seem too old fashioned and formal for our tastes.
The clientele were in general quite old but I think that is probably reflected across Madeira and possibly the time of year. I was impressed that the hotel had a daily activities programme, mainly with excursions, two of which we booked, (the Botanical Gardens and the Monte Toboggan ride) which made it all quite effortless.
The hotel is situated in a good position and it is possible to walk along the seafront in either directions for over one hour.
I thought the staff were mostly good, the females especially so, but some of the male staff were in another world and the concierge were a mixed bunch!
Although I enjoyed our week, I think that if we had to go again, we might choose a different hotel.
Gorgeous Hotel, But Madeira Not For Us For A Week!
We had never been to Madeira before. We stayed for 1 week at Reids at the end of February/early March. We had a superior suite in the main building. Madeira was not for us, but Reids was excellent.
i)The staff. I think that Reids has the best staff we have come across in Europe. From the reception to the concierge and all the waiting staff. They were very friendly and professional and discrete and nothing was too much trouble. They were excellent.
ii)The property. This is undoubtedly the best hotel on Madeira. The pool area is gorgeous, and there is a lift down to a sunbathing and sea bathing area with lilos and an attendant.
iii)The gardens are delightful with sunbathing areas.
iv)The lounges are tranquil. The main lounge where afternoon tea is taken has breathtaking views of Funchal and the sea. Free newspapers and magazines are in the lounge.
v)The breakfast buffet was exceptional. The best we have had. There is a full range of top quality products, and hot breakfasts to order are waiter served at the table. Unlike Spain where eggs are cooked swimming in oil, my omelettes and fried eggs were done to perfection.
vi)The lunch buffet was excellent.
vii)The breakfast room has stunning views – the best sea view I have experienced.
viii)Our suite was huge. A very large hallway, separate toilet room, kitchenette with free soft drinks and tea/coffee: a top of the range coffee espresso machine no less. An enormous bathroom, with separate toilet, walk in shower big enough for 4! A Large bath and 2 separate porcelain sinks. A huge living room with enormous balcony and incredible breathtaking views with lilos and tables/chairs. A TV showing several English channels (unlike other 5 star hotels in Europe which tend to only have BBC World and CNN!). A huge bedroom with Kin Size bed, TV, stunning wrap around views from floor to ceiling windows.
ix)Impeccably clean throughout the entire hotel.
x)Gorgeous décor – traditional but not fusty.
xi)There is a Reids mini bus to and from Funchal several times a day.
But you can walk it in 10-15 minutes.
xii)Quiet at night – a piano player and a singer. No screaming karaoke etc., which suited us, but some who prefer entertainment would be disappointed.
xiii)Room service was excellent. We thought the food was better from room service than in the main evening dining room, because they stuck to simpler fare. We had room service 3 evenings and it arrived piping hot each time. We just enjoyed having our dinner on our balcony soaking up the views. The views of Funhcal at night are stunning.
i)The evening dining. Too fussy and elaborate for us on a holiday. The main dining room is gorgeous décor wise – elaborate Edwardian splendour, a bit like the Tea Foyer in the Ritz, but very formal attire required. We hate being trussed up in suits and ties on holiday. Les Faunes, the French restaurant had amazing views and the service was lovely, but the food was too elaborate and the chef could not pull it off. Very expensive too. Again, formal attire required in Les Faunes. The Italian restaurant fared better for us: Cipriani serves les complicated food in a less formal atmosphere. Excellent service and London standard fare.
ii)Our suite was stunning – room 450. But the standard rooms are small and we payed 1000 euros per night for ours! I would not have enjoyed the holiday if we had been in a small room.
iii)We never went to Funchal in the evening – too far to walk there and back.
iv)The weather. Gorgeous and sunny in the morning. But clouds descended every day at 11.30am on the dot - we could time them! This left a warm/muggy and cloudy day - no sunbathing after 11.30am. This also hindered sightseeing. It then got much nicer around 5.00pm, at least a bit fresher.
The clientele are mostly pensioner age from all over Europe. We are 46/52, and were nearly the youngest in the hotel. But this did not bother us as it meant the pool area and the hotel were calm, tranquil
and up market. Despite the fact that we prefer more informal evening dining, I have to say that the other guests at dinner were very smart and up market indeed.
Would we go back? My partner was bored witless after 4 days. We ran out of things to do before the week was up. We did Monte, the balloon
ride and a few other trips and then there is only Funchal or walking in the Llevadas which was far too steep for us! I have vertigo and found the cable car to Monte way too much for me – I had to get a taxi with my eyes shut back! Madeira is cute, the people are lovely, and the staff at Reids wonderful. I would return for a long weekend to just chill out by the pool with gorgeous views in a lovely hotel. But my partner would not return. We prefer the feel of Marbella Old Town better and like a beach – which Funchal does not have. But it is certainly better than the Algarve which we find too ugly.
Funchal is littered with ghastly British time share touts who run up to you and yell ‘are you British’? They target middle aged couples and wont leave you alone. They look like ex-cons/crooks and are mainly Liverpudlian/Glaswegian. Ghastly horrors. They then con the more gullible into getting taxis to God only knows where. Avoid and just tell them to get lost.
We found 2 excellent little restaurants near the hotel: The Taj Mahal, an outstanding Indian opposite the Pestana Grand. This was as good as any Indian restaurant I have been to in London. Walk down from Reids to the marina and before you get to the marina there is a café called the Beerhouse. Very popular with local business people serving lovely lunches and tapas with lovely views.
Funchal is NOT a resort. It is working town – a bit like a very clean Lisbon. It is very clean and pretty with lots to see in a couple of days. I would recommend for a few days winter sun in a pretty, British friendly environment. But if I had not been staying at Reids I would not have enjoyed it as much. Reids is a class act indeed! We prefer Marbella and the South of France, but it is horses for courses, so if you want a classy but very quiet holiday in a property with stunning views and excellent staff then Reids might fit the bill. Hope this helps and feel free to email me for other advice on Reids or Funchal.
We looked at other hotels in Funchal as we ran out of things to do, so happy to advise on these! But none compared to Reids for us.
A luxury outstanding hotel
A real luxury holidays only for lovers of old fashion décor and style. Fantastic sea and Funchal bay views, day and night. Great swiming pool and sea bath areas. Large tropical garden on a spectacular cliff.
Most all the room have a great view and a balcony. My room was on level 8 with harbour view. Flowers and smile everywhere. For me a real palace hotel among the first resort hotels in Europe.
This is really a holiday in formal Madeira, the rooms are small and old fashioned and the bathrooms are three star level. My partner and I had to share a sink. The room size and bed size is small and not 2007 standards, maybe 1940 standards....
This hotel is going back in time, you feel you are in the 1940's and we were surprised at the formality and dress code in the subtropical weather....The staff and service is superb, and we liked the slightly less formal Cipriani Restaurant in the grounds.
I would return to Madeira but not stay here, it is not relaxing having to dress up in tuxedo for dinner and having such a formal holiday
One of the world's great, legendary hotels, deserving of its reputation
I had always wanted to go to Reid's, whose reputation placed it in a category with the Peninsula in Hong Kong, Raffles in Singapore, the Georges V in Paris, etc. Finally brought this fantasy to reality in June 2007.
Booked five days in a junior suite via an auction at Luxury Link.com,
and got upgraded to a full suite upon arrival. Consequently, I paid far less than the 1,000 Euro rack rate, and maybe this affects my view of the place. Nonetheless, the room was perfect, the experience was perfect, and this hotel is simply an oasis in an overbuilt--and still building--Funchal. I wouldn't stay anywhere else in Funchal, and I wouldn't have missed Madeira for the world.
The weather was pretty good, so we used the exquisite pool for a couple of hours nearly every day. Actually, there are three pools: one down near sea level is sea water and unheated; a second at ground level is sea water and heated to about 78 degrees F; and a third right next to the big sea water pool is slightly smaller, fresh
water and heated to about 84 degrees F. Found the last of these very much to my taste, perfect in every way. The gardens are glorious, the setting, with views out over the sea, not to be believed. There were free (non-alcoholic) drinks in the minibar. Staff may outnumber the guests; they are helpful beyond belief: e.g., we arrived without a GSM cell phone, and wanted to remedy the problem. One of the registration desk staff offered us his, then gave us alternatives about where to buy one in Funchal. And when an unlocked phone with a Vodaphone SIM card turned out to speak only Portuguese, the concierge
helped us call and set up voicemail in English, etc. Fabulous.
My only complaint about the hotel is that the food is not "tipico," and in the Dining Room, where one does indeed have to dress up in coat and tie, it's more likely to please Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, circa 1950, than more modern tastes. Ham with raisin sauce
on the silver trolley is not my idea of a suitable entree. In fact, there are many other choices, and we found the appetizers and desserts exquisite, but the entrees inadequately sauced, though cooked quite as requested. The wine list was naturally expensive and not really great value. There's no need to eat there regularly, however, and there are excellent restaurants within two blocks, so I would not consider this a very significant deficiency. The open air restaurant overlooking the pool and harbor was quite good and very pleasant, and the breakfast buffet was delicious. The eggs cocotte are a treat we shall try to replicate at home, and headlined a broad and extensive buffet with eggs cooked to order, included in the room rate.
Overall, a delicious experience, and there's plenty to do in Funchal to keep one occupied for five days.
Old World but Kid Friendly!
When we booked our once in a lifetime trip to Madeira, we wanted to stay at Reid's but after reading several reviews here about the hotel and children, I was a bit skeptical.
Well, I was completely blown away. After traveling for almost 2 days to get there, we were tired to say the least. But when we saw our rooms, we woke up rather quickly, especially the children. On their beds were teddy bears to greet them, a packet of drawing materials, robes and slippers in there size and the bathrooms held children's soap and shampoo just for them. We also discovered they had a special place for the children to go during the day and everyone there was incredibly friendly and accomodating to all of us. Madeirans love children and it was incredibly refreshing and wonderful to experience it.
We had two rooms and both were beautifully appointed with every detail seen to. Our stay was fabulous and of course, the tea is not to be missed. This hotel is a gem! Everything and everyone was absolutely first class. I highly recommend it and hope to return one day, but California is a long way away.