PLOG: some R&R in Madeira

Funchal-5Sun, 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.

The Vine Hotel, located on top of a small shopping center in the heart of Funchal. Could the location be any better? 🙂

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.

Room 504

Room 504. Luckily the little room has a door  🙂

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.

Some R&R

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.

Just a nice spot I found on one of my walks

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.

The Farmers’ market
On one of my walks 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.

Enjoying the nice weather on the hotel’s rooftop terrace after my daily walk

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 🙂

Everything is set for the wine tasting event!
A Blandy’s Malmsey Madeira wine from 1988, stored at the wine lodge
Funchal by night

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  🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *