This may be Ronaldo Island but there’s more to Madeira than the football star’s hotel

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Don’t forget Funchal, but explore away from the capital for lush vistas, hiking trails, whale-watching and cocktails to blow your socks off

A statue of Cristiano Ronaldo towers over a crowd of admirers as they queue to have their photos taken with it. One young man with a leather satchel thrown over his shoulder giddily takes his turn. I’m watching from the roof of the Pestana CR7 hotel in Funchal, Madeira.

This CR7 is less like a hotel and more like a safari into the mind of a narcissist. Ronaldo is everywhere. Signed shirts from his appearances for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Portugal adorn the walls. There’s Ronaldo’s face on the facade, bathroom mirrors, on the door of the main suite and above every bed. This is Ronaldo Island, after all. Even the airport is named after him.

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