Savoy Saccharum is the kind of hotel you don’t want to tell anyone about because you want to keep it all to yourself. The refined, hedonist five-star hotel, by Madeira’s number one luxury hotel chain, the Savoy, sits right on the edge of the ocean. Blending into a verdant hillside, it’s located on the southwest coast of Madeira known for being the sunniest part of the island. Saccharum refers to a specific type of sugar cane that was once produced in a factory here centuries ago. The resort offers it all: an indoor and outdoor pool, a private beach bar, all-you-can-eat breakfast and dinner buffet, a gym and spa, social fitness classes and ocean-view rooms with knockout views.
Located in the municipality of Calheta, Savoy Saccharaum is a 35-minute drive from Madeira’s capital city, Funchal. The quiet cove has a distinct holiday resort feel and is home to just a few local bars, restaurants, and a handful of hotels. It also boasts one of few – man-made – sandy beaches on the Island. If you don’t have a car, the hotel does offer a daily complimentary shuttle that drops you off and returns you from Funchal. From there, you can find all the tours and excursions to see the rest of the Island. There are also a host of levada walks nearby, and regular boat trips from the marina – fishing, whale watching, and diving.
Rooms at Savoy Saccharum are large and modern, with soft forest tones with sugar cane wallpaper. All are dimly lit with accent lighting designed to make you feel relaxed. The hotel has 247 rooms, the most prized offer sea views and are worth splashing out on. These superior rooms spill out onto good-size balconies, which could be more private (you can hear and see your next door neighbours). Although the uninterrupted mollifying views and ocean sounds make up for this slight design faux par. Another nice touch in superior rooms is the yoga mats tucked in the closet. An ideal morning would see you enjoying a morning stretch watching the sunrise on the horizon as ships bob by. Bathrooms are well stocked with all the amenities but don’t provide a great deal of privacy as the showers don’t come with doors, and there’s just a lightly frosted glass pane separating you from the bed.
Staff and Amenities 10/10
The focus of Savoy Saccharum is to make guests feel like they’ve escaped the stresses and strains of the modern world. Phones and work are a distant memory, replaced by sunsets, spa treatments, infinity pools and efficient service. Guests who opt for the premium experience get extras too. These includes exclusive access to a private sundeck, the Bali beds at the Calhau Beach Club, unlimited access to the Saccharum Spa, a special club area with private breakfast, drinks, and snacks throughout the day, in-room premium amenities and more. Premium experience or not, guests can enjoy the breathtaking rooftop infinity pool, sunbathing areas, gym access, kids and game rooms, and multiple places to eat and drink on-site. If you need something, the multilingual staff is always available with a smile to assist.
Food and Drink 8/10
The hotel has plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you on-site for a week. A continental breakfast buffet is served in Engenho – a mammoth spread of pasties, hot and cold food, fruits etc. Premium experience guests can elect to have an a la carte breakfast in the private club served until a bit later (11am as opposed to 10.30am).
Poolside food is served all day at Trapiche, which hosts a wide-ranging menu of classics – soups, salads, main plates, and light snacks (a dedicated vegan menu is also available). The bar also offers frozen cocktails and smoothies that can be enjoyed while soaking up the sun.
For dinner, the Savoy Saccharum has a rotating theme served buffet style each evening at Engenho. Daily themes include tropical menus, local delights, an assortment of Mediterranean cuisines, surf & turf, and international food. However, those who prefer fine dining usually reserve a place at Alambique. The elegant yet welcoming restaurant serves a prix fixe menu and a la carte dishes: think French classics and local Madeira and Portuguese seafood favourites.
If drinking is more your thing, the hotel has a Rhum Bar in the lobby and the Garapa Bar on the second floor near the pool. The rooftop offers the fly lounge bar open from 5:30-midnight. You can also sip sundowners oceanside at the Calhau Beach Club, open from 10:30 am to 9:30 pm. Premium guests can enjoy an assortment of complimentary drinks in the private club, including beer and wine, just about all day.
Double rooms from around £120 a night – savoysignature.com/saccharumhotel
The premium experience can be booked without a suite reservation for around £60 per day/per person