Hotel Quinta da Serra – a love story
Last February 14, I’ve stayed at the Hotel Quinta da Serra, an invitation to relax and renew my energy.
I was also very curious to try their restaurant, Greenvalley, which in addition to being led by Chef Yves Gautier, was the first restaurant in Portugal (yes, in the whole country), to have certified Biological Restoration – Bronze level (30% to 60% organic).
The hotel also houses the highest tree in Madeira, with more than 64 meters high. It is an impressive eucalyptus which is at the entrance of the Quinta and is supposed to have over 200 years of age. This tree is associated with a legend of love…
Located 820 meters, in Estreito Câmara de Lobos, this 5 star hotel has a very own charm, surrounded by a unique atmosphere of the old farmhouses (Quintas) of Madeira, in beautiful communion with nature.
To get there, you pass along Estreito Câmara de Lobos Church and follow the signs to the Jardim da Serra. It takes you about forty-five minutes of driving distance from the airport and about thirty minutes from downtown Funchal.
In 1809, a Scottish consul named Henry Veitch, left England (it is said that it was to forget the death of his beloved wife, who died when giving birth), following the appointment of British Consul General, and came to live in Madeira where he fell deeply in love.
In addition to its interest in wine (especially the sercial caste), he acquired several properties in Madeira such as, Quinta Calaca in Lido (today CNF), the Wine Institute and about 1.155 million square meters, where he built his vacation home, the current Hotel Quinta da Serra.
(Forget the love locks on bridges, this is much better …;))
The consul was careful to preserve native trees but he has also introduced new species brought from all over the world. The planting of trees was made exclusively by women because it was believed that their hands transmitted fertility, but there was one woman, in particular, that caught his attention … She planted one Eucalyptus brought from Oceania that emanated a scent, never before known. The Consul asked her to meet him every day at that tree, where they felt in love and got married. Of all the eucalyptus trees planted at that time, this continues to be the highest, showered with love … and that’s why it is said that whoever comes to the Quinta da Serra and hugs this eucalyptus will have an everlasting love. “
Henry Veitch died in Funchal, in 1857. Today he is buried (along with his dog, who he loved) in the mausoleum built by his wife, in the garden of the Hotel.
The Mother House (Old farmhouse) has pink-colored walls, in perfect contrast with the green gardens surrounding it, where you can see camellias, cherry, eucalyptus, oaks, sycamores, vinháticos and til.
You can also take a free tour around the garden, guided by an agronomist, that being from this locality, has a special passion for this place.
It has also a bar, Henry’s Bar, where you can taste great cocktails and find a games room with billiards and a library.
Bordering the gardens there is an indoor swimming pool, the Miamo Bar, jacuzzi, sauna, massage room and a gym.
The internet is free and with open access throughout the hotel.
The Hotel has 52 rooms that offer sea or garden views from their balconies. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, minibar and private bathroom with hairdryer.
The junior suites also have a living room with a sofa bed to accommodate one or two children.
Suites Napoleon and Josephine are located in the main house and decorated with traditional Madeiran furniture.
The restaurant is called Greenvalley, and as the name implies, it offers a beautiful view onto the valley and the sea.
It is led by Chef Yves Gautier, who with his smile and sympathy, told me that in his kitchen, it is very important to respect the seasonality of products, the freshness and flavor that nature gives us. He would like this to become the future of gastronomy.
This concept is reflected in the special dishes that he prepares and where you can taste how special is organic food.
Roast veal tenderloin with savory, celery puree and wild mushrooms
Soufflé tart of caramelized pineapple and berries coulis
The breakfast was excellent, you can choose just about everything you could want for breakfast, from sparkling champagne, natural orange juices or the hot freshly cooked meals.
This was the country’s first restaurant to have certification for Biological Restoration – Bronze level (30% to 60% organic).
Hotel Quinta da Serra, is special not only for its history, but also the surrounding environment.
Here one feels this is the real Madeira, not a touristic crowded resort. You can hear the singing of birds, the wind blowing in the trees and dogs barking in the distance.
The staff is welcoming and friendly and the general manager Raúl Gonçalves is visibly passionate about this project.
This is a place to stay hundreds of meters above sea level, which has particular characteristics; charming but also cold, due to its altitude, but when the sun comes up, it warms your body and soul.
I recommend this hotel if you are looking for something off the beaten track, it’s close enough to use city commodities when necessary, but far enough to feel relaxed in an environment that offers comfort, delicious food and beautiful gardens to relax.
Price from € 81 per room
To book, please click here.
My stay was courtesy of Hotel Quinta da Serra, but the views are my own.
The photographs were taken by Budgettraveller. Thank you!
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