Located 800 meters above sea level in the Camara de Lobos area of Madeira, the pink-hued resort and bio-hotel that is the Quinta da Serra lies peacefully and beautifully surrounded by lush greenery, botanical gardens, organic farmland and vineyards. It’s a property that knows it has hit the jackpot in terms of location and natural resources, and it is making the most of it.
Hugged by stunning Laurissilva forests, Quinta da Serra is the site and home of some of the oldest and tallest native trees on the island. It is also where the first tea plants were introduced to the country. Founded in the late 19th century by a young English wine merchant, the property feels perfectly in sync with its surroundings and evokes that time period: a little piece of British past, albeit more tropical and now Portuguese. But then, that just about sums up a lot about Madeira.
As such, the décor and aesthetic at the hotel and in-room are rather old-school ‘British/European’, leaning towards the nostalgic feel of a country house hotel or Lakeland B&B, complete with brass-plated mixer taps, four-poster bed and leaf-motif frilly sheets. It is undoubtedly charming, but blink and you’d be right in saying that it sometimes comes across a little dated… bar the modern conveniences more recently added like a pool, sauna and jacuzzi areas, of course.
The gastronomy at Quinta da Serra is, needless to say, 100% organic and wherever possible produced from the grounds itself or from local distributors. Make sure you try the property’s biodynamic wine selection: it’s simply delicious and harks back to how it was originally produced.
The hotel is only a 45-minute drive from the airport and island’s capital of Funchal, yet it felt as if it was a hundred miles away. This is a quiet, lush valley surrounded by farmland and hiking trails, with not a nightclub or tourist trap in sight. Instead, on your doorstep, you have picturesque villages like Camara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava or Ponta do Sol and the sound of nature as your bass-beat.
We’d advise a serene morning swim in the pool before a generous buffet breakfast and then perhaps embarking on a day trip to discover the surrounding region. You could try local wine tasting, a stroll through the botanical gardens or check out the local street markets in the villages. And naturally, the surrounding region riddled with levada offers up opportunities for hiking that’s just a short drive away. That’s the thing about Madeira – everything is a short drive away.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
If you don’t feel like venturing too far from Quinta da Serra, we’d recommend a slow three-course dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, a nightcap (or two) at Harry’s Bar, followed by a restful sleep in the property’s enormous rooms. Why leave when all the fun is to be had in-house?