The Vibe: Romantic colonial. It is easy to imagine you are the slightly eccentric owner of this pink palace.
The Area: Located on a steep, sunshine-soak hillside on the south coast of Madeira. It’s a few minutes from the happening village of Ponta do Sol (which actually means Sun Point). A 20-minute drive brings you to the island’s capital Funchal’s with its glitzy resorts, eateries, casino and shopping, yet, tucked away here within a verdant banana plantation, you feel miles from the rest of the world.
The DNA: You can’t miss this pink palace, peeking out from its hilltop perch. It was once the summertime residence of the noble Zino family. With its flamboyant style and unashamed nods to Romanticism and the sublime, the 1905 Zino’s Palace is the antithesis of sprawling, cookie-cutter hotel experiences. There is a whimsical feel to it with modernist furnishings, cosy pastels, and eye-catching features; even the (small) swimming pool is pink. Enjoy the colonial atmosphere of the traditionally paved calçada (terrace), looking out to the shimmering Atlantic. Standing in bold contrast to the ornate pink mansion, the modern glass-walled dining wing offers a huge breakfast (served until noon with a spoiling choice of fresh and dried fruits, yoghurts and granola, hams and cheeses, pastries and pasteis de nata, plus eggs made to order) and a surprisingly excellent dinner.
Suite-Me-Up: The charming rooms are all equally authentic. There are brass Art Deco light fittings and sumptuous Modernist chairs, wooden floors, and exposed wooden beams, while cleverly placed retro telephones add fun pops of old school glam. For obvious reasons, go for an ocean view room if you can (i.e. a Suite or Superior). The hotel’s high vantage point makes it a great place to sit and watch the world go by.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 9 rooms & suites (18-26m2) (194-280 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2002 ✅ free parking • no pets allowed • open all-year