History of Belmond Reid's Palace

Reid's Palace was the vision of William Reid, a Scotsman who dreamed of building a majestic hotel in Madeira away from the winter chills of northern Europe. Tragically, Reid died before it was completed, but his two sons brought their father’s cherished project to fruition.

The grand doors to Belmond Reid's Palace opened for the first time in 1891, coinciding with the opulent Edwardian era and the golden age of Belle Époque. The glamorous hotel espoused the values of first-class service and refined comforts, sending a flotilla of boats to meet ocean liners arriving from Europe and across the Atlantic.

Throughout its illustrious history, the hotel has welcomed many distinguished guests, including members of British and European royalty, presidents, politicians, actors and artists. Dignified names in the hotel’s Golden Book include Empress Zita of Austria, King Edward VIII and Princess Stephanie of Monaco. Luminaries also include Antarctic explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott, actors Roger Moore and Gregory Peck and Czech poet Rainer Maria Rilke. The hotel’s Dining Room is known as the ‘House of Lords’ for the British aristocrats that frequented decadent dinner dances held there and Presidential Suites have been named after eminent guests George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill.

Meticulous renovations over the decades have seen the expansion of the hotel’s accommodation and facilities, as well as the continual preservation of the gardens, which were part of Reid’s original vision. The interminable spirit of Belmond Reid's Palace still remains - a world of sumptuous luxury complemented by genuine courtesy and charm.

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