Madeira is known by a few different nicknames: Islands of Eternal Spring and the Pearl of the Atlantic. While situated closer to Africa, it is part of Portugal and therefore about a 3-hour plane ride from most cities in Europe. It’s unusual landscapes and year-round warm temperatures (typically above 20C) make it a favorite for winter vacations and a popular stop for cruise ships. Funchal Madeira is the capital city, named for the abundance of fennel grown on on the island and is known to be one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal.
It seems only too natural that the Hotel The Vine takes design cues from the regions most famous export: wine. The hotel sticks to a color palette of gray, green, purple and brown to represent the seasons; the contemporary furniture prevents the theme from becoming too literal. Guest rooms offer huge beds, Nespresso machines and a ton of integrated technology, including mood lighting and automated blinds and curtains. Unwind with a glass of wine on the rooftop deck at sunset. The hotel also offers in-room check-ins along with a welcome massage.
Hotel The Vine
Rua das Aranhas
Nº 27- A – Funchal
While much of Funchal offers casual fare, the Dona Amelia is a more upscale take on things. Don’t be put off by the indoor-only seating; the large windows are typically open wide during warm weather. The restaurant has a charming staff and offers an excellent assortment of Mediterranean cuisine along with a great wine list.
Dona Amelia Restaurant Funchal
Rua Imperatriz Dona Amelia 83
Funchal, Madeira 9000-018
Get a better look at the surroundings by taking a 15 minute cable car ride. The town of Monte sits 6km above Funchal and the cable car ride there offers stunning views on both the way up and back down. Tickets are available for a variety of packages, including the botanical gardens (which requires a second cable car ride). Alternately, take the man-operated toboggan ride back to the bottom if you are after a more adventurous ride.
Cable Cars Funchal
Caminho das Babosas, n.º 8