In 1891, a luxury ocean liner docked in Madeira, and with it a cargo of affluent British holiday-makers looking to escape the dreary winter, their steamer-trunks packed full of fineries for the ultimate winter of fun in the sun. The opulent Reid’s Palace was their playground for the season and over 120 years later, under the Belmond brand, the property retains that spirit – sophisticated and elegant, even the weekly manager’s drinks reception requires one wear a jacket and tie. Teetering on a cliff-top with stunning views, amongst over ten acres of subtropical gardens, this mansion promotes ultimate privacy and discretion, with a cluster of pools on multiple levels down the cliff, and plenty of space to get lost in. While Portuguese-African in location, you can expect a very British flavour – G&T on the lawn and the best high tea in this part of the North Atlantic. Our room was beautifully appointed, and fit the theme perfectly – old-world, glamourous and ‘charming’. In fact, there is a whole room category you can book that’s called ‘Charming’. Ours came complete with a balcony that overlooked the property’s verdant gardens, and the beckoning horizon beyond.