NEXT by Savoy Signature – Funchal, Madeira

The Savoy Signature Collection has six luxury hotels in Madeira, but is unrelated to its iconic London-based namesake. The hotel group’s latest offering, and perhaps its boldest, is NEXT by Savoy Signature. The modern four-star hotel opened in July 2021 as a wave of young international visitors stormed the rocky archipelago in search of sunshine and freedom. It promised a comfortable haven for remote workers and digital nomads. Did he deliver? We checked in to find out.

The area 7/10

NEXT is on an uninspiring road lined with luxury hotels. It is sandwiched between the cruise ship shape Palace of Savoy and the traditional-looking pink Royal Savoy. There are a handful of restaurants and shops nearby, but it’s best to head into town for dinner. For recreation, the lava pools of Docas do Cavacas are a 12 minute drive away. A little further afield are the pretty seaside villages of Camara de Lobos and Magdalena do Mar. Madeira airport is around 30 minutes away by taxi.

Excavation 8/10

Before Savoy took over, the building belonged to the Regency Club, a classic hotel with worn interiors and an older clientele. Now all that remains of the Regency Club is its shell and the faded memories of past guests. NEXT stripped it down and brought it back to the modern world. Brand new interiors were designed by RH+ Architects and ISWORKROOM. They feature a mix of mid-century and contemporary styles with a few industrial finishes. Salmon and neural hues, marble and velvet, curves and straight lines, it’s an unusual mishmash of textures and styles that shouldn’t work together but do. In the lobby, there are cuddly chairs, a stylish bar, and arcade games. The breakfast area, which overlooks the ocean, has a stunning pale blue roof made of concrete footprints and clever light fixtures. It’s like a quirky London restaurant inspired by Wes Anderson decor. There’s also a high-tech self-check-in system for guests who prefer efficiency (or less human contact).

The rooms 8/10

There are 130 rooms and 29 suites at NEXT — the best rooms are upstairs with ocean views. Inside, vinyl terrazzo and jesmonite-like ceramic dominate the floor and walls in the bathroom, and are bordered by paneled walls in a neutral color in the bedroom. Most rooms have desks for remote workers (unfortunately ours hid in the room). All have safes, coffeemakers, bathrobes, slippers, irons, and minibars. Smart TVs have an array of national and international channels, plus the ability to stream Netflix or YouTube from your devices. Rain showers are heavy, and Damana’s bergamot and white floral toiletries give a luxurious feel. The suites are equipped with large living rooms and balconies large enough for 20 people, which overlook the pool and the sea. The light fixtures have an art deco touch and the linens are of superior quality. Although the natural light is not great as the hotel is located in a bank. That said, smart design makes poorly lit rooms comfortable.

Style, staff and stuff 8/10

The NEXT rooftop, voted one of the best in the world by the Rooftop Guide, is exceptional. Imagine a private club in LA without the traffic and the pretentious crowds. Every Friday and Saturday, DJs hit the decks overlooking Funchal to the left and the ocean to the front. There’s also a small (unheated) pool and a trendy bar serving cocktails — great for sunsets and lazy days by the pool. On the second floor, there’s a small gym full of high-tech machines and free weights. You’ll also find the hotel’s mini spa, a treat, which includes a steam room, sauna, and ice shower. Treatments are also available at an additional cost. NEXT also holds regular yoga classes on the yoga lawn on the second floor. There’s also another pool with private access to the sea which you can visit via a short walk over a bridge and down an elevator (you’ll need your room key). The heated saltwater pool is lined with peach-and-cream striped lounge chairs, emoji-strewn bean bags, and backed by a chic bar serving milkshakes, cocktails, and smoothies.

food drink 8/10

NEXT’s RECHARGE pool bar has an impressive lunch menu, which mixes healthy dishes, like poke bowls, vegan Greek salads, smoothies and vegetarian buns bao with less healthy options – from burgers, tacos to prawns and pork chops. All dishes are reasonably priced (between €9.50 and €15.50) and of high quality, although the tuna poke and pork bao are superb. The restaurant also offers an evening menu, ranging from gourmet tuna steaks to grilled entrecôte. Guests may also wish to snack while lounging in the hotel’s chic CLOUD bar, which serves classic Japanese kebabs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Breakfast at the Savoy is quite classic (fresh fruit, sausages, eggs, pancakes, muffins and cereals) with the addition of mini pastel de natas.

Other bits

Double rooms from around £116 (including breakfast)

Address: Rua Carvalho Araujo 8, Funchal 9000-022, Madeira (Portugal)

Website: next

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