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The hotel is also renowned for its ten acres of lush semi-tropical gardens, which are beautifully maintained and contain plants from around the world.
Nowadays, the hotel continues to evolve to suit a modern clientele. For adults, a spa opened in late 2006, offering a range of treatments created by some of the world's top spa brands, plus aromatherapy and reflexology. There is also a sauna, a steam room and a state-of-the-art gym.
The rooms are all air-conditioned and individually decorated in a traditional style, with balconies or terraces overlooking the gardens or Funchal Bay. A wide choice of restaurants includes high quality French and Italian cuisine, and an outdoor seafood restaurant during the warmer months.
There are three swimming pools (two of which are seawater) and two tennis courts, with coaching available. Other activities available locally include windsurfing, scuba-diving, golf, horse-riding, whale-watching trips and scenic walking trails along the island's famous levadas.
Why we love it
Set on the cliff tops overlooking the Bay of Funchal and the Atlantic, the hotel is a famous Madeira landmark, having hosted famous names including Sir Winston Churchill.