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WHAT WE LOVE...

Opened in 2021, Aqua Natura Bay is Porto Moniz's bright new kid on the hotel block: super-central, not too large and eager to impress with its panoramic roof terrace, comprehensive spa and generous breakfasts. Families will find it a perfect base for playing in the town's ingeniously-built seawater pools while couples can enjoy checking out the local fish restaurants, tacky souvenir shops and scenic walks inland. Getting here is a big part of the fun - an adventurous coastal or over-the-mountains drive featuring countless hairpin bends and tunnels - after which it is a joy to arrive at this light and airy hotel with its up-to-speed rooms and can-do staff. Most guests stay two to three nights, time enough to explore, relax and feel pleasantly away from it all.

THE DETAILS

Location

We love the unashamed devotion to having fun by the sea. Madeira has no sandy beaches (apart from on Porto Santo) and the islanders have found many inventive ways to mess about in the water.

The hotel is in the seaside resort of Porto Moniz in the northwest of the island.
By plane: there are direct flights to Madeira from London and Manchester (4 hours). The hotel is one hour's drive from the airport. Free parking on-site. skyscanner.net

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Style & Character

Ideal for independent travellers driving around the island, families and anyone who loves swimming. Tour groups on walking holidays also stay here. The heated rooftop pool and sundeck are a handy spot to relax in the sun, with a phone provided for ordering beers and snacks.

Service & Facilities

Arriving guests are offered a reviving 'Madeira on Ice' welcome drink while those departing are given a small jar of hotel-made jam as a memento.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Seaside location
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness centre
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Rooms

Go for a standard room on the third floor, which will be quieter, have the best views and be closest to the roof terrace. We love the built-in USB sockets by the bed - not many hotels in Madeira have this.

Twin Room Sea View, Double Room Sea View
Facilities include: ensuite shower or bath, bathrobe and slippers, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

We love drinking caipirinhas on the sun deck with a view of the ocean, cliffs and mountains inland. Try the Lapa's baked beetroots in a salt crust with local cheese and bulgur wheat. Oh, and the pineapple carpaccio marinated in Malmsey wine.

Lapa: buffet breakfasts and all-day dining. Dishes include burgers and surf and turf, with vegan options. Open daily.

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