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Hotel PortoBay Serra Golf, Santo António Da Serra, Madeira
The centrepiece of this small and popular country escape is a splendid 1920s mansion painted in an uplifting cornflower blue. Previously a private house, golf club headquarters and tea room, it is now a busy boutique hotel set in mature gardens. Guests range from Funchal escapees and visitors touring the island to walkers and golfers who check in for several days. Weekends are particularly busy so get your booking in early. The Avó Micas restaurant offers satisfying regional dishes from scabbard fish with banana to espetada (beef cooked in a skewer), plus there's a small indoor pool, gym and spa treatments. The hotel is part of the Porto Bay collection, which has seven properties on the island, and guests have free use of its Vila Porto Mare resort in Funchal.
Santo António Da Serra has a well-attended all-day Sunday market where you can buy delicious local honey, homemade cakes and a hot snack of bolo da caco flatbread with chorizo.
The hotel is in the rural eastern part of the island, beside the 27-hole Santo da Serra golf course
By plane: there are direct flights to Madeira from London and Manchester (4 hours). The hotel is a 15-minute drive from the airport. Free parking on-site. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
Perfect for golfers, walkers, horse riders and anyone who fancies a country break. Most guests are couples but active families check in too. It's an atmospheric hotel with an intriguing backstory - look out for the black-and-white photos in the lounge that hint at its heyday as a fashionable destination for the well-to-do.
Service & Facilities
The house is bordered by high-hedged lawns and gardens with labelled plants, with loungers available for when the sun comes out.
- Swimming pool
- Wellness centre
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The ground floor rooms are close to the pool and open on to a private garden patio with table and chairs. After an exhilarating day playing golf or hiking, it's a pleasure to return to a peaceful and unfussy room for a good night's sleep.
Standard Room, Superior Room, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, Rituals toiletries, bathrobe, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Afternoon tea is attractively presented and good value, served in the lounge with freshly-baked scones and homemade cakes and jams. We also love the restorative coq-au-vin with a rich gravy and mashed potato - followed by warm apple tart with ice cream.
Avó Micas: buffet breakfasts and à la carte dinners. Mains include traditional beef skewers and tuna steak. Open daily for breakfast and dinner, plus lunch at weekends. Mains from €13.
The Lounge: afternoon tea, daily 3-6pm.
The bar: drinks, snacks. Open daily 11am-6pm.