The Savoy Signature Collection has six luxury hotels in Madeira, though isn’t related to its iconic London-based namesake. The hotel group’s newest offering, and possibly its most daring, is NEXT by Savoy Signature. The modern, four-star hotel opened in July 2021 as a flurry of young, international visitors stormed the rocky archipelago in search of sunshine and freedom. It promised a comfortable haven for remote workers and digital nomads. Did it deliver? We checked in to find out.
The area 7/10
NEXT sits on an uninspiring road lined with luxury hotels. It’s sandwiched between the cruise ship-shaped Savoy Palace and the traditional-looking pink Royal Savoy. You’ll find a handful of restaurants and shops nearby but it’s best to head into town for dinner. For leisure, the lava pools of Docas do Cavacas are a 12-minute drive away. A little further away, you’ll find the pretty seaside villages of Camara de Lobos and Magdalena do Mar. Madeira airport is around 30 minutes by taxi.
The digs 8/10
Before Savoy took over, the building belonged to the Regency Club – a classic hotel with worn-out interiors and an older clientele. Now, all that remains of the Regency Club is its shell and faded memories of past guests. NEXT has stripped it back and brought it to the modern world. Brand new interiors were designed by RH+ Architects and ISWORKROOM. They showcase a mixture of mid-century and contemporary styles with some industrial finishes. Salmon and neural hues, marble and velvet, curves and straight lines, it’s an unusual mishmash of textures and styles that shouldn’t work together but does. In the lobby, there are cuddle chairs, an elegant bar, and arcade games. The breakfast area, which looks out to the ocean, has a stunning pale blue roof made up of concrete indents and clever light fittings. It’s like a quirky London restaurant inspired by a Wes Anderson set. There’s also a high-tech self-check-in system for guests who prefer efficiency (or less human contact).
The rooms 8/10
There are 130 rooms and 29 suites at NEXT – the best rooms are high up overlooking the ocean. Inside, terrazzo vinyl and ceramic resembling jesmonite dominate the floor and bathroom walls, and are skirted by neutral-coloured wood-panelled walls in the bedroom. Most rooms come with desks for the remote working crowd (sadly ours has tucked away in the bedroom). All have safes, coffee machines, robes, slippers, irons and minibars. Smart TVs have an array of national and international channels, plus the ability to cast Netflix or YouTube from your devices. Rainfall showers are strong and bergamot and white flower toiletries by Damana give a luxurious feel. Suites come with expansive living rooms and balconies big enough for 20 people, which overlook the pool and sea. Light fixtures have an art deco feel and bed linens are premium. Though natural light isn’t great as the hotel is set into a bank. That said, clever design makes poorly lit bedrooms feel cozy.
Style, staff and stuff 8/10
The rooftop at NEXT voted one of the world’s best by the Rooftop Guide, is exceptional. Imagine a private members club in LA without the traffic and pretentious crowds. Every Friday and Saturday DJs take to the decks overlooking Funchal to the left and the ocean out front. There’s also a small dipping pool (not heated) and trendy bar serving up cocktails – ideal for sunsets and lazy pool days. On the second floor, there’s a small gym full of high-tech machines and free weights. You’ll also find the hotel’s mini spa, a treat, which comes with a steam room, sauna and ice shower. Treatments are also available for an extra cost. NEXT also hosts regular yoga classes on the yoga lawn on the second floor. There’s also another pool with private sea access that you can visit via a short walk across a bridge and down a lift (you’ll need your room key). The heated saltwater pool is skirted by peach and cream striped sun beds, emoji scattered bean bags and backed by a fancy bar serving milkshakes, cocktails and smoothies.
Food & Drink 8/10
NEXT’s poolside bar RECHARGE has an impressive lunch menu, which mixes up healthy dishes, like poke bowls, vegan Greek salads, smoothies and veggie bao buns with less healthy options – burgers, shrimp tacos and pork ribs. All dishes are reasonably priced (between €9.50 and €15.50) and of high quality, though the tuna poke and the pork bao are both superb. The restaurant also has an evening menu, ranging from indulgent tuna steaks to grilled entrecöte. Guests may also wish to have a nibble while lounging in the hotel’s swish CLOUD bar, which serves classic Japanese skewers from 7 pm until 10 pm. Breakfast at the Savoy is pretty standard (fresh fruit, sausages, eggs, pancakes, muffins and cereals) with the addition of mini pastel de natas.
Double rooms from around £116 (including breakfast )
Address: Rua Carvalho Araújo 8, Funchal 9000-022, Madeira (Portugal)
Website: hotel next.pt