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The Cliff Bay
Review, history and photos of the five-star luxury hotel on the island of Madeira
Article added on April 15, 2012

The Cliff Bay & Porto Bay Group and their histories
  
If Reid's Palace is the Grand Old Lady among Madeira's luxury hotels, The Cliff Bay, opened in October 1994, is the Grand Young Lady.

In fact, the history of the two hotels is intertwined since the Blandy family, which owns the famous wine company of the same name, was involved in both hotels. The Blandy's owned Reid's Palace from 1937 until 1996, when they sold it to Orient-Express Hotels. The Blandy's decided to get rid of their old flagship, which was loosing money at the time, in order to focus on their new, money-making The Cliff Bay.

The Cliff Bay is owned by the Porto Bay Group, which is controlled by two Madeiran groups: The Ocean Islands Group and the Blandy Group each hold 45% of the share capital, with the remaining 10% held by local businessmen. The German tour operator Thomas Cook AG holds 15% of the shares of the management company.
 
The Porto Bay Group opened its first hotel in 1988, Suite Hotel Eden Mar. The Cliff Bay, its five-star luxury flagship, opened six years later. In 2012, in total, Porto Bay has 10 five and four star hotels and resorts in its portfolio. Porto Bay CEO is António Trinidade, in 2010 distinguished
“Tourism Personality of the Year” by the Association of Portuguese Tourism Journalists.

Madeira is a small island. The Cliff Bay general manager is Jan Ringertz, who used to have the same position at the equally recommendable golf hotel Casa Velha, a Relais & Châteaux, which is now managed by his ex-wife, Celeste Ringertz.




Hotel review - impressions of The Cliff Bay five-star luxury hotel

The Cliff Bay is situated next to its rival, Reid's Palace, on a promontory overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the city of Funchal. At the end of 2008,
The Cliff Bay's gastronomic restaurant, Il Gallo d'Oro, was awarded Madeira's first and until now - April 2012 - only Michelin star on the island of Madeira. Check our article about its French chef Benoît Sinthon.

My welcome package included a fruit basked as well as a Porto Bay Altoviso Reservo Bruto, an excellent sparkling wine made of four grapes in the classic Champagne method by the producer Carlos Serra.

All rooms at the Cliff Bay feature a balcony with a table and two chairs to relax in the sun, with most rooms facing the Atlantic; just 12 garden rooms are facing the mountains, overlooking the hotel entrance. All bathrooms in the hotel feature both a bath tub and a separate shower.

I stayed in the Top Floor Room 624; the sixth floor is not actually the top floor, but that's just the name of the room category. Those rooms offer a fresher design by Alexandra Graff than the ones furnished earlier in a more traditional look, designed by Brant, Joyce & Partners with the collaboration of the hotel architect Paula Bianchi.

The wood used in my Top Floor rooms was wengué, some other rooms are in oak, and
all doors as well as the cupboards and other furniture in the more traditional rooms are made of the Portuguese carvalho wood.

Almost all bathrooms, including mine, are made of a combination of a mocca-cream marble from Portugal and a polished stone, with the floors being in a black greis stone from Portugal.

All rooms have a coffee and tea making facility and, in addition to flat screen TVs, a DVD player; movies and CDs are available from the hotel free of charge.





A peaceful hotel facing the Atlantic Ocean

The Cliff Bay made an excellent impression. Among the 200 rooms and suites, go for one like mine (624): It's just you and the Atlantic Ocean!

A hotel such as The Cliff Bay attracts the rich and famous, including politicians and artists, among whom one notes Lawrence “Larry” Joseph Mullen from U2, the group UB40 and politicians such as the former Portuguese president Dr. Jorge Sampaio and the former prime minister of Portugal and current United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. António Guterres.

Don't got to The Cliff Bay because of famous guests, but because of its location on a cliff, its peaceful and tranquil lifestyle, its restaurant, its spa, pools (indoor, outdoor and on the sea level) and pier providing direct sea access, its table tennis facility, tennis court, Jacuzzi, steam bath and sauna. Relax!

Books about Madeira from Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de.

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Aerial view of the luxury hotel in Funchal, Madeira .Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


The hotel garden. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


Aerial view of The Cliff Bay, a luxury hotel in Funchal, Maderia. You have direct sea access, with a sea water pool. On the hotel room level are two more pools, one indoor, one outdoor. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


Atlantic Suite view. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.
Books about Madeira from Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de.


The indoor pool. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


A Superior Top Floor Room, the category in which I stayed, with a beautiful terrace, a perfect view of the Atlantic as well as of Reid's Palace to my left. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


View of a Junior Suite. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.
Books about Madeira from Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de.


The Peninsula Suite with its large private terrace on the top floor. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


Partial view of the large Peninsula Suite living room. Photos Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.


Photo of the outdoor Rose Garden Restaurant. The hotel's gastronomic restaurant, Il Gallo d'Oro, holds one Michelin star. Check our article about its chef Benoît Sinthon. Photo Copyright © The Cliff Bay / Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts.

Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages

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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.