New green luxury in Funchal
João Morgado, Henrique Seruca
Nini Andrade Silva
The new Savoy Palace Hotel in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, is the result of a collaboration between RH+ Arquitectos and interior designer Nini Andrade Silva, both based on the Portuguese island.
Opened at the end of 2019 along the winding Avenida do Infante, close to the leafy Santa Catarina Park overlooking the ocean, the hotel is reached by driving through a coastal district of Funchal that is home to many of the city’s 5-star establishments.
The architectural project was awarded to RH+ Arquitectos, which also designed a nearby minimalist and contemporary luxury residence for the same client the same year. One of the largest hotels in the capital, the Savoy Palace Hotel is a sinuous multi-storey volume with a floor space of more than 130,000 square metres on 16 above-ground levels and has 309 rooms and 43 suites complete with all the services traditionally associated with high-end hospitality. These include a spa, a large outdoor swimming pool with solarium area, a gym, five restaurants and facilities for children, including a playroom and a small dedicated pool. On the flat roof, there are further private lounge areas with infinity pools from where guests can admire views of the city, the port and the bay.
The Savoy Palace Hotel’s sophisticated interior design project was carried out by Nini Andrade Silva, the Madeiran-born owner of a successful practice based in Lisbon and Funchal. In Madeira’s capital she has also worked on a Design Centre with restaurant and cafeteria overlooking the harbour in the renovated historic building known as the “Molhe” – Fortaleza da Nossa Senhora da Conceição. Her numerous interior design projects for the hospitality sector set her in good stead for this commission, the fourth she has carried out in Madeira. The Savoy Palace Hotel draws inspiration from the Belle Epoque period and the history and traditions of an island whose mild climate has made it a popular holiday and spa destination for European nobility since the 19th century.
Based on a meticulous choice of themes, materials, finishes, fabrics and designs, Nini Andrade Silva recreates a contemporary journey through time. The interiors are dominated by mirrors and curtains, warm golden and red tones, while the banisters of the interior staircases are inspired by the local crafts of weaving and embroidery. Floral inspirations abound in the use of wood and the botanical style inserts, which reflect the lush vegetation of an island whose capital is home to one of Europe’s largest and oldest botanical gardens. Madeira’s ancient Laurisilva, an area of forest on the island declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, serves as the theme for the spa.
Looking out onto gardens with more than 250 native and tropical plant species, the foyer is dominated by a dramatic opaque and transparent chandelier made from slender metal chains and set amongst lush forests recreated by the large photographs lining the walls.
Everywhere a sense of luxury revisits local culture, traditions and history through the use of design and materials. In this project, the outstanding quality and adaptability of Italian ceramic tiles from Florim really come into their own. These include Magnum Oversize elements from I Classici di Rex (Statuario, Calacatta and Marquinia colours), Onyx&More, Stones & More 2.0 from Casa dolce casa – Casamood (Marfil and Amani bronze versions), the Timeless Amani grey slabs from Cerim and Matières de Rex recalling precious marble, onyx and stone facings in the lobby and inside the rooms, and the neutral tones of the minimalist Floortech/ collection which ensure elegance and functionality in the hotel spa.
80x80, 80x240 cm