From its stunning ocean views over the Atlantic to its luxurious spa, its restaurants and well-appointed rooms – everything about the Pestana Carlton Madeira Resort more than justifies its five star rating. It’s located right on the oceanfront with the main shopping and restaurant areas of Funchal about one kilometre away either on foot or by taking a local taxi.
The famous lido pools on the promenade are about two kilometers away from the Pestana Carlton Madeira Resort so you’ll probably prefer the exclusivity of the hotel’s own two outdoor pools with a range of lunchtime snacks and drinks available from the Garden Pool restaurant. If it should turn cool, there are two heated indoor pools as well. At the Dive Centre you could try your first underwater experience or take a boat excursion. The hotel is understandably proud of its gym and spa facilities and, to help you keep in shape, regular classes are arranged.
Madeira’s mild climate makes it an ideal destination at any time of the year and it’s a beautiful island to get to know. The 500 year old capital city of Funchal is best explored on foot. Don’t miss the 16th century Gothic cathedral, the Farmers’ Market where you’ll be tempted to try bolo del mel (honey cake) which is delicious and the Säo Tiago fort which now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art. There are two world renowned Botanical Gardens. The Madeira Botanical Gardens and the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens which you can reach by cable car and enjoy superb views on the way. If you’re hiring a car, head out of town and explore the levadas, the old irrigation channels which now open up some superb walks amid unspoilt and beautiful scenery. There are plenty of boat trips on offer which gives you the chance to search for whales and dolphins. Taking a dip knowing you’re actually swimming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is quite an experience. Madeira is world famous for its festivals. On New Year’s Eve the firework displays are legendary matched only by the display for the Festival do Atlantico in June. If you come in April or May you’ll be able to enjoy the renowned flower festival, Festa da Flor, which culminates in the colourful parade, the Cortejo Alegórico.