The decor of the main part of the hotel, where the most expensive restaurant sits, is fairly modern but not too stark or uncomfortable. The rooms have a similar aesthetic, with all the mod cons but still suitable for toddlers and infants. In Martinhal Sagres you have the option of booking a room in the main hotel, or villas of various sizes and designs.
Once you’re there you probably won’t want to leave, and there really is no need to. But the local town of Sagres had a brilliant little food market and quaint shops or, for a larger, more touristy spot, I highly recommend a trip to Lagos, only 25 minutes drive away. There were some brilliant boutiques with lovely, locally produced pieces.
We ended up in a villa, which worked perfectly for us as a large group. We had our own pool, but it was fairly unnecessary, as there are a multitude of outdoor and indoor pools. However during peak times it was an enjoyable way to get away from the buzz of the resort. There is also an amazing spa, with a adult-only Jacuzzi, plus tennis courts, a gym and bike hire, not to mention every water sport under the sun.
The beaches were possibly the highlight of the trip for me. The water was cold-ish – but as a South African it made it feel like home. Also it was May, so I am assured it gets warmer as the summer progresses. There was the opportunity to surf and the sand was a brilliant white. The beach on the resort is spotless and picturesque, but there are also some beautiful ones nearby if you fancied a change of scene.
One of Martinhal’s biggest strengths is that is has a luxury-resort feel but children are welcomed everywhere with open arms. Saying that, we did go out as a couple one evening and had a lovely time hanging out as just adults. The key is to miss the kiddie rush and go later in the evening, or venture off the resort – there are plenty of stylish local restaurants to choose from.
The sheer choice of food in the resort was brilliant. From seafood to Italian to even takeaway burgers, everything we tried was delicious. It was a little on the pricey side, so we did end up doing a couple of dinners at home. There is a local deli on site that has some lovely bits and key ingredients, so it’s easy enough to do the odd meal from your villa. Also make sure you book dinners in advance if you are a big group during peak times, otherwise you’ll struggle to get into some of the restaurants.
Petro took her extended family for a week’s break at the child-friendly Portuguese resort, looking for summer sun and relaxation.
Every year my sister-in-law visits us from Canada with her family and we rarely do anything else other than hanging out in London. On this occasion, however, we opted to book a short break to Portugal, mainly because of the convenient flights to Faro with two feisty toddlers in tow. I decided upon the Martinhal resort, as it ticked so many boxes. It borders a natural reserve (my sister-in-law and her husband are into hiking and biking), had all the luxuries I like in a resort, plus pools, a spa and close proximity to the beach. And it was ridiculously child-friendly for a then two-year-old Jacob and his cousin Maya. We ended up staying in a private villa on the property due to the sheer number of us, but we had use of all the facilities, including on-site restaurants and housekeeping.
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