Barceló Funchal Oldtown – a new hotel rooted in history

A stylish city hotel rooted in its sense of place, Barceló Hotel Group has announced the opening of Barceló Funchal Oldtown – a brand-new hotel on the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira…

new rooftop swimming pool in the old town of Funchal in Barcelo Funchal Oldtown

The newest addition to the Barceló portfolio takes its inspiration from the natural wonders of UNESCO World Heritage site, Laurisilva Forest and from Madeiran architecture and craftsmanship. Comprising a cluster of 17th century buildings that have been sensitively transformed, Barceló Funchal Oldtown has absorbed its rich cultural history into its DNA. The result is a playful balance of modern design and authenticity, a sleek and comfortable base from which to explore the island’s greatest treasures.

façade of the hotel Barceló Funchal Oldtown with tree in foreground

Image credit: Barceló Hotel Group

Each building that makes up the hotel has its own story, one being the former family abode of the Blandys, founders of the Madeiran wine trade and another an embroidery factory that supplied the nearby shops. Now under one roof, the hotel remains faithful to the original architecture and the façade has been meticulously restored in homage to the rich cultural heritage of Funchal.

Excavation uncovered vestiges from the past ranging from pottery and coins to remnants of a roadway, which have all been incorporated into the hotel’s décor. The original floors have been brought back to life and natural stone and wood has been restored by artisans, celebrating local craftsmanship from centuries past and present. Interiors follow suit and the building’s 111 guestrooms feature embroidery and wicker basketry furnishings.

guestroom at Barceló Funchal Oldtown with round ceiling lighting, wooden surfaces, brown bed throw and references to outdoor foliage in wall surface pattern

Image credit: Barceló Hotel Group

To champion the island’s abundant nature and UNESCO World Heritage site, Laurisilva Forest, a flora-filled courtyard sits pride of place in the hotel, providing a peaceful spot to relax. Floor to ceiling windows and hanging gardens bring the outside in and natural colours and textures have been woven into the design to nod to the luscious landscape.

leather and wood chairs, wooden surfaces and bar with turquoise blue accents at Barcelo Funchal

Image credit: Barceló Hotel Group

Barceló Funchal Oldtown offers two distinct restaurant concepts giving guests a flavour of Funchal. A Bordadeira restaurant – whose name and interiors are inspired by the Madeiran tradition of embroidery – serves an a la carte menu with international influence. Dine alfresco at Noz Café, which transports guests to Laurisilva Forest, to indulge in local-inspired dishes whilst shaded by canopies of trees and Funchal flora and fauna. The all-day dining concept will feel bright and airy by day and transform into a sophisticated gastronomic destination by night. Championing the region’s history of winemaking, Barceló Funchal Oldtown will serve an impressive selection of local Madeiran wines.

rooftop cabanas with white fabric next to the pool on the rooftop at Barceló Funchal Oldtown

Image credit: Barceló Hotel Group

The rooftop of Barceló Funchal Oldtown is the pièce de résistance, boasting panoramic sea views over the marina. The terrace, complete with a plunge pool and bar, is a glamorous spot for sundowners or to marvel at the comings and goings of Funchal’s farmers’ market. If guests manage to tear themselves away from the roof terrace, they can explore the charming market, selling fresh regional produce and radiating the warm spirit of locals. Those seeking a dose of culture can discover the ancient architecture and intricately carved ceiling of Funchal Cathedral.

Main image credit: Barceló Hotel Group