It’s big, it’s curved, it’s modern, but the new Savoy Palace hotel still has echoes of Madeira’s past

It’s big, it’s curved, it’s modern, but the new Savoy Palace hotel still has echoes of Madeira’s past

The Savoy Palace has, quite literally, filled a gap on the island of Madeira. Its predecessor, the Savoy Classic, was built in 1912 – some 500 years after the Portuguese discovered the island – in the capital Funchal, so called because of the fragrance of wild fennel (or funchal) which filled the air.  

It was frequented by British aristocrats who came for the warm winters, subtropical gardens and, of course, the wine of Madeira. Made with local grapes, fortified with alcohol derived from the local sugar cane, it fast became a popular tipple. 

But over the decades, other hotels sprung up to the right and left of it and the Savoy Classic became a relic of the past. In 2008 it was torn down with…

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