Sun, sea and relaxation; what better way to start 2016? In desperate need of some away-time I booked a last-minute trip to Funchal, Madeira. I enjoyed a week full of rest, beautiful sights and discovered some new interests.
Checking in at the The Vine Hotel, I felt both excited and elated to be in Madeira. I was so looking forward to having a break from the daily hassles, the worries and weariness. It has been two months since my last check-up and with one more month to go before my next scan thoughts are sneaking up on me again; the what ifs, the doubts and uncertainties. So yes, escaping for a week to some far away island sounded good to me.
Entering the room, the first thing I noticed was the open layout. A glass partition divides the sleeping area from the bathroom. I admit, it looks strange at first, and I would not share a room with just anyone here, but it does make the room look spacious and open. A large window opens onto a French balcony from where I could look onto the city of Funchal.
On the agenda for the next 6 days: nothing! I took each day as it came: no planning, just savoring every moment. I started each day with a small walk around town or strolling along the water, taking in the beautiful sights.
The town of Funchal offers a bit of everything: narrow streets with tiny shops, a few mini-malls, a farmers’ market, beautiful parks and a walking strip along the water.
After my walks I settled down on a sunbed on the rooftop terrace. Just lazing in the sun with a drink, taking a swim now and then to cool off. The quiet and sunny weather made me feel completely zen.
An experience I will never forget is the Red Wine Divine Bath, a signature treatment of the hotel’s spa. It was heavenly! After a full body scrub, I relaxed in a whirlpool tub with a glass of wine. In the water, wine extracts were added, coloring the water red/blue. Twenty minutes later, the treatment was concluded with a total body massage. Utter bliss!
On one of the last evenings, the hotel organized a small winetasting event on the terrace. Throughout the week, I had sipped and nipped a couple of Madeira wines during happy hour but hearing the story behind the wines made me inexplicably curious to know more about the local wines. So, on the last day I took a tour at Blandy’s wine lodge, just around the corner of the hotel. Great tour, fantastic guide and I just love the wine 🙂
I had an amazing week in Madeira. The trip to and from was exhausting for me but while I was there my body and mind were totally at rest. I am happy to have discovered this beautiful place and its wines 🙂