With trails to hike, whales and dolphins to watch, cable cars to ride, magical gardens to explore and endless white-sand beaches a ferry ride away, Madeira is a top choice for a family vacation. Enjoy it any time of year for its spring-time climate and brilliant flowers perennially in bloom.
Savoy Hotels make it easy with resorts that cater to every family travel style.
Royal Savoy Hotel
Set on its own ocean frontage, a short walk from the center of Funchal, Royal Savoy Hotel couldn’t be more convenient. Its swimming and splash pools stretch across a palm-shaded terrace with Atlantic surf rippling just below its walls, giving it the feel of a remote tropical beach resort. But in just a few minutes you can be boarding a Zodiac to look for sea life or the kids can sail on a replica of Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria. Or take an exciting sled ride down the city’s steep cobbled streets.
Savoy Calheta Beach
The all-inclusive Savoy Calheta Beach is outside the city of Funchal, about 45 minutes away in a small coastal village with its own protected beach. It is especially designed for families with meals, entertainment, a well-equipped play room and easy access to fishing and whale-watching excursions from Calheta’s harbor. Along with the sand beach, the resort offers outdoor and indoor swimming pools, and a terrace with lounge chairs and games.
All meals and even all-day snacks are included and unlimited. The buffet is so extensive, the most finicky child will find favorites. We especially like the variety that gave us a chance to sample several local specialties (kids will like the chance to try all the local pastries and tropical ice cream flavors). Hot dishes include grilled meats, seafood, combination dishes, pastas and stir-fries. A variety of cold dishes include green hearty salads, sliced meats and cheeses. Choices range from kid-friendly pizza and fried chicken to exotic local seafood prepared with tropical fruits. One entire section is meat free, and dishes are well labeled for ingredients.
The dining room atmosphere is casual, friendly and welcoming, so parents needn’t worry about children disturbing other diners (there’s a separate fine-dining restaurant for those guests who prefer an adult atmosphere and table service). Each evening there is entertainment by local performers, musicians and dance groups. One night on our stay, a folklore dance group performed and taught guests of all ages, who joined the dancing — a real hit for the kids.
Savoy Saccharum Resort & Spa
A third hotel, the Savoy Saccharum, is also in Calheta, a short walk away, but quite different in style. A 5-star resort with a full (and exceptional) spa, the property was designed in a stunning contemporary style by Nini Andrade Silva. From the dramatic soaring lobby to the serene guestrooms and suites with balconies overlooking the ocean, the entire property is fresh and inviting. While this resort is not as specifically designed for families as the neighboring sister hotel is, it is well suited for children, featuring a bright play room, a heated indoor pool and two outdoor swimming pools with large sun terraces. Dining options are flexible, with a buffet restaurant, an à la carte restaurant and terrace dining in the summer overlooking the infinity pool.
Although these properties appeal to different tastes and budgets, Savoy Hotels’ dedication to family travel is clear at each.
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