A bit of excitement in Funchal last night as a fire broke out on the cliff-face below the Casino Park Hotel at the top of Santa Catarina Park. The fire was spotted around 6.00pm and the Avenida Sá Carneiro from the Pontinha to its junction with Avenida do Mar was closed by police. 24 Bombeiros and 6 fire appliances attended, with the fire being reasonably quickly extinguished and the Avenida re-opened a couple of hours later.
The Diario reports that the fire did not assume large proportions due to prompt intervention, but the heat caused the hotel’s nightclub windows to shatter. Three people were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation. Neither the gardens of Quinta Vigia, official home to the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, nor the Vespas night club at the base of the escarpment, were affected by the fire.
Pestana plans new hotels
The Pestana group plans to open this year three hotels in mainland Portugal and start work on the Praça do Mar in Funchal – by coincidence the area overlooked by the fire reported above. President of the Group, Dionisio Pestana is reported as saying that “it is easy to transform the existing building into a hotel with 50 rooms”. Rather ambiguously, plans reveal that “the first phase of the floor of the building will be for housing, with a discreet reception to be included in a total of 559 square meters”. The hotel project will take three years before commencing business. There are yet more rumours about Pestana starting various projects in partnership with Ronaldo, but Dionisio reported that at the moment there was “nothing concrete”. Pestana have invested almost 20 million euros since 2008 in the renovation of the Casino Park, Carlton and Bay.
The eastern end of the beach at Praia Formosa and the tunnel through to Doca do Cavacas remain closed after being damaged by unusually heavy seas last week – see previous blog. The view below is directly from the Regency Yacht Bar, courtesy of Steve – thank you.