Ah Madeira!

Need a break, where your eyes have a visual feast, the culture is welcoming and very tasteful, the pace is relaxed, as should be the case in island life?  Go to Madeira, a 90-min flight from Lisbon, in this blissful Atlantic archipelago, closer geographically to Morocco than to Portugal.  Add to this a fantastic hotel for the discerning traveller, who is also passionate about nature, health and (of course) excellent food and wine: Choupana Hills, nestled above Madeira’s capital Funchal.  A dream holiday awaits you.

The name Madeira comes from madeira or wood, as once upon a time the Island was heavily wooded; also name for the island’s famous fortified wine Madeira.

Extending 60 km x 23 km (37 mi x 14 mi) and populated by about  240,000 Madeirenses, the island is referred to as « a land of sun, mist, mountains, forests, cliffs and valleys «.  Beautiful, mostly unspoilt, charming  and off the beaten track !

Onto Choupana Hills… Rafael Ferreira, one of the architects behind Quinta do Tedo’s extensive restoration, highly recommended the hotel more than once.  A long-awaited Portuguese travel opportunity presented itself, and we were en route.  Imagine a Asian/African/Portuguese fusion décor and soul hotel comprised of bungalows (a member of Design Hotels), in a botanical setting, with personable service to suite your every need, really.  Indoor/outdoor pool, full–service wellness spa, innovative and traditional local cuisine, well thought-out and diversified Portuguese niche wine list and a more limited but equally intriguing international wine list, (we even attended a very informative Madeira tasting organized by the hotel).  Meals ordered for in-room dining arrive in serious-sized picnic baskets with pampering service; perfect for enjoying the stunning Funchal port views from your bungalow. www.choupanahills.com

Nestled above Funchal

Savory and sweet breakfast items are plentiful with fresh cooked pastries and breads,  homemade jams, fresh Madeira fruit and juices, a` la carte items (eggs benedict anyone ?), sliced cold cuts and cheeses, a variety of yoghurts and any coffee drink and or tea choice imaginable make for a perfect day’s start.

Ready for a walk? Levadas, Madeira’s irrigation canals encircle the island, most with walking trails alongside, Hikers comes  from all over to enjoy; the levada trails will ultimatedly take you around the island. There is a gate from Choupana HIlls to join the levada. as it does cut across the hotel’s property.  Just bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes!

Above a couple of highlight photos from Madeira, and as as the song points out on Choupana Hills’ website « it is all about feeling good »….