From £189.65
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OVERVIEW

Billed as a 'hedonistic design resort', sugar-themed Saccharum is a sweet place to hole up with your love or spend quality time with the kids. Five-star comforts and spacious balcony rooms are backed up with a full-on spa and an enticing choice of spots to eat, drink, swim and sunbathe.


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Rooms available from £189.65 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

The hotel is on the sunny southwest coast, around 25 minutes from Funchal and 45 minutes from the airport. The resort rises at the eastern end of town, hugging steep-sided cliffs to offer a bewitching ocean view. You need to cross a road to reach the seafront. Calheta is tiny, with a pair of man-made, golden sand beaches and a marina offering trips to fish, dive and spot whales and dolphins. There are several restaurants you can walk to while Mudas, a contemporary art museum, crowns one headland. Underground parking is available.

By plane: there are direct flights to Madeira from London and Manchester (4 hours). The hotel is a 50-minute drive from the airport. Parking is available for €8 per day. Book flights to Madeira.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

Taking its cue from the sugar cane mill that once stood here, Saccharum's public areas channel a factory feel with industrial pipes, stained-effect carpets, revered bits of machinery and the Galeria 1425 exhibition space with superb black-and-white photos of Calheta before tourism arrived. Rampant plants, close-up images of sugar cane and abundant use of olive green keep the mood classy.

THE FACILITIES

The 70-plus staff are keen and bouncy, sporting trainers with grey checked suits in the lobby or burlap aprons with leather straps in the bars and restaurants. Saccharum is so enormous they give you a map - besides a large gym with natural light, there is also a squash court and games room.

  • Restaurants
  • Bar
  • Swimming pools
  • Beachfront location
  • Games room
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa
  • Private parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

Rooms and suites are generously sized, with a balcony (some face an inner courtyard) and a pared-down style featuring built-in wardrobes, distressed metalwork, wood-effect flooring and plain drapes. Privacy is minimal, with showers and toilets (but not washbasins) screened with glass doors.

Room types: Double Room, Premium Oceanfront Room, Suite, Family Ocean Suite, Premium Oceanfront Deluxe Suite

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with Prija toiletries, bathrobe & slippers, tea and coffee facilities, balcony, air con, TV, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

Most guests dine in the buffet-only Engenho restaurant, which serves a satisfying breakfast and themed dinners; consider bagging one of the tables outside. Lunch options range from the poolside Trapiche Bar and, by the sea, Calhau, with light dishes such as grilled sardines and shrimp salad with tropical fruits.

Alambique: Madeiran cuisine, dishes include duck magret and salt cod fillet. Ayurvedic menu available. Open daily 7-10pm.

Engenho: breakfast buffet, dinner. Open daily.

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