This place is all about Ronaldo. Shocked? No, us neither. From the outside you’ll see CR7 in big white letters on a burnt-red background – similar to the colour of Portugal’s kit – plus a load of pictures of the superstar.
If you’re still not sure what the CR7 is all about, this place probably isn’t for you. It’s a mixture of the striker’s initials and his Real Madrid shirt number, and you’ll see it all over the place if you book a room. There are only 49 in total, so there’s a real boutique feel once you’re inside.
Location-wise, it’s in a pretty handy spot. You can watch cruise ships drift across the harbour on one side, and the centre of Funchal is only a couple of minutes’ walk in the other direction. There’s even a Cristiano Ronaldo museum and Cristiano Ronaldo Airport close by, just in case you hadn’t had enough of him.
No football great would have a hotel without a pitch in it, but a full-size job might have left things a little cramped. That’s why the designers went for grass-effect carpets in the corridors, topped off with physio-style sofas and little Ronaldo-themed knick-knacks. One of the outdoor decks is laid out in a similar style to a pitch, but we suspect it isn’t regulation size.
Framed jerseys and caricatures line the walls, along with casts of Cristiano’s hands and a big, illuminated letter R. Ego massage aside, the place looks really smart. Subtle mood-lighting runs along the skirting boards, reflected in a mirrored ceiling, and the bar has a raw, rustic feel.
The pièce de résistance is the luxury CR7 Suite, which comes equipped with a PlayStation 4, a virtual reality headset, and one 48-inch TV.
The pool here is on a raised-up deck beside the harbour, so you’ll get views across the bay while you sun yourself. Now picture the dark red Portugal strip. Got it? Take that colour and spread it across the pool tiles, the sunloungers and the cushions, and you’ll have a good idea of what this place looks like.
The pool’s red hue might sound a little garish, but the tiles actually give it more of a pink glow. It’s got an infinity edge, and a line-up of tables and chairs on the wooden decking next to it.
Ronaldo might not drink, but that doesn’t make this hotel a party-free zone. The Portuguese captain is bound to have enjoyed a sparkling water or two to celebrate this summer’s historic win, and the Pestana CR7 will join in with DJ sets and throw-downs in the pool.
During the day, the kitchen team takes inspiration from a local favourite – bolo do caco. This flat circular bread is used in all the hotel’s signature hamburgers. Authentic Neapolitan pizzas are loaded with mozzarella and baked fresh, and the breakfast menu sticks to healthy stuff like smoothies and superfoods.
There’s an outdoor gym, so you can work up a sweat trying to emulate the chiselled Madrid man. We can’t promise that you’ll end up as ripped as Ronaldo, but the hotel has an exercise programme which is certainly a step in the right direction. You can sign up for personalised fitness classes, and every room comes with its own yoga mat. Just try not to pull anything.
Not content with one hotel dedicated to him, Ronaldo and Pestana have plans for three more CR7 hotels around the world. They’ve all got a link to the big-time striker, and will be designed in a similar style to the Madeira set-up.
The next one to open its doors will be in Lisbon later this year – home to Ronaldo’s first professional club, Sporting Lisbon. Further down the line you’ll be able to book into a CR7 hotel in New York – where Ronaldo has a home – and Madrid, where he currently plies his trade.
Who’ll be the first to visit all four, we wonder? It’s safe to say they won’t be from France or Barcelona though…
The TUI SENSIMAR Savoy Gardens comes with panoramic views of Funchal, plus a rooftop hot tub and a cocktail bar.
The Hotel Pestana Carlton Madeira Premium Ocean Resort is set on a hillside overlooking Funchal, and comes with four pools and a 5T rating.
The Quinta da Bela Vista is a grand 19th century manor, and has five World Travel Award wins to its name.
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