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The Cliff Bay, Funchal, Madeira
Opened in 1994, then refurbished in 2012, this five-star resort stands high on a promontory overlooking Funchal Bay and is a flagship of Madeiran hospitality. Vivid and fragrant gardens with labelled plants lead to an inviting variety of pools, bars and restaurants, including the only two Michelin-star dining room on the island. The 202 balcony rooms are calm, plush and spacious and there is a large and popular spa. Service is dedicated with plenty of entertainment on offer from pilates classes to live music in The Cliff Bar. Around half the guests are repeats who know they are on to a good thing, staying a week or two to enjoy its satisfying mix of seaside downtime and excursions around this scenic isle.
It's all about drinking in the sea and sunshine here. Flop on the lounger, splash in the pools, indulge in some Portuguese sparkling wine - this is what luxury resorts are made for.
The hotel overlooks Funchal Bay and is a 20-minute walk from the city centre.
By plane: there are direct flights to Madeira from London and Manchester (4 hours). The hotel is a 25-minute drive from the airport. Free parking on-site. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
Perfect for guests who like a full-service, five-star holiday resort. It's busy, with lots of repeat guests, but the rooms are spacious and serene. The Cliff Bay is full of inviting little places to tuck yourself away with a book or an amour, such as the row of day-beds on the cliff-top lawn facing Funchal Bay.
Service & Facilities
If you have a late flight home there's no need to sit in the lobby looking glum. Hand luggage can be stored in lockers by the spa leaving you free to hit the pool until transfer time.
- Swimming pools
- Games room
- Fitness centre
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The ninth floor rooms looking onto Funchal Bay catch the morning sun and have a captivating view of the city at night. Don't fancy the buffet scrum? Ring room service and have breakfast on your balcony - options range from some healthy fruit and yoghurt to a fry-up.
Standard Room, Family Room, Sea View Room, Funchal Bay View Room, Side Sea View, Superior Top Floor Room, Junior Suite, Executive Suite, Peninsula Suite, Altantic Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bath or shower, Rituals toiletries, bathrobe, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We love climbing down a ladder for a dip in the swirling ocean then lunching on local Coral beer and a wagyu burger in the easygoing Blue Lagoon restaurant. Avista's barbecued Alentejo black pork chorizo followed by Atlantic fish with sweet peppers is delicious too.
Il Gallo d'Oro: two Michelin stars, dishes include langoustine with peanut and poncha and Madeiran fish soup. Set and tasting menus. Open Tues-Sat for dinner.
Avista: Mediterranean cuisine, dishes include scallops with risotto and lamb loin and shoulder confit. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains from €18.50.
Blue Lagoon: barbecue, salads, pastas. Open daily for lunch and drinks. Mains from €13.50.