The new 4-star Saccharum hotel in Calheta was inaugurated at the weekend and will welcome its first guests before the end of the month. The hotel has two outdoor pools, an indoor pool, health club, business centre, meeting rooms and restaurant. There are 175 rooms, 6 suites and 62 apartments. The above is an artists impression, but there are some photos of it during the construction stage in a previous blog and others on skyscraper city.
The project has been undertaken by Grupo AFA, a company founded here in Madeira in 1980. It has undertaken various construction and public works on the island, as well as developing interests in Mauritania, Senegal, and the Republic of Angola. This group is also associated with the Calheta Beach Hotel, the only other major hotel in the resort.
Flower production up
Data provided by the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development shows that there are 135 “floricultural holdings” on the island (both outdoors and in greenhouses), occupying a total of 45 hectares (just 36 hectares in 2002), predominantly specialising in the production of orchids, anthuriums, proteas , roses and gerberas. The industry is reckoned to generate an income of €6 million annually
(Quinta da Boa Vista pictured)
The Diario today reports on controversy surrounding the use of herbicides to clear the verges of the road from Prazeres to Fonte do Bispo (Fajã da Ovelha). This is an area where cattle graze freely, and their use has provoked outrage from animal owners and led to the arrest of the President the local Parish Council. There are also concerns that the herbicides will combine with recent heavy rain and infiltrate the groundwater that feeds local springs. It was only after photos such as that above were published on social media that concerns were raised.
Opinion is divided on the extent of the impact – “The damage is done,” says the president of the Fajã da Ovelha Cattle Breeders, whilst the Regional Roads Directorate (DRE) says the fears are unfounded.
Flower Festival video
A (rather lengthy) video of the flower festival yesterday has already been uploaded to YouTube here