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Just around the corner from Reid’s Palace sits Quinta Casa Branca, built around a beautiful private botanical garden.
Unlike many of Madeira's quintas, Casa Branca has a refreshingly contemporary feel with the reception area (which doubles as the bar in the evening) a huge glass fronted structure that allows for some lovely views over the botanical gardens that can be appreciated from comfortable sofas.
There are 43 rooms which are equally contemporary in style, and the standard rooms, which are below the reception area, open out directly onto a little terrace with deckchairs and the garden beyond. Rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi and have been decorated with traditional Portuguese style in mind. The furniture was created just for the hotel and is made from dark and light woods to offset the white walls in the Premium rooms.
An even more modern block runs perpendicular and this houses a beautifully furnished spacious lounge area as well as the hotel's superior rooms and suites.
Nestled in the gardens are the Manor House, which houses five luxury Suites, and a 19th century villa. Each of the suites and the villa contains a spacious bedroom complete with sitting area, a separate lounge, a terrace or balcony, beautiful marble bathrooms, Nespresso machines and wooden floors. They are each uniquely designed and individually furnished.
Next door is the hotel spa and a lovely spacious gym, decked out in wood and mirrors. There is also a peaceful relaxation area with loungers, a sauna and stream rooms and jacuzzi.
A minute's walk across the garden lies the Garden Pavilion by the large pool, and which serves buffet breakfast and poolside snacks and has a lovely smart al fresco terrace with white table cloths and parasols.
The only traditional part of the hotel is the a la carte restaurant which is housed in one of the old Quinta buildings, although the restaurant itself is again fresh and contemporary.
Why we love it
You can walk out of the front door and be in the centre of Funchal in about five minutes flat, but when you're in the peaceful gardens you could be a world away from anywhere.