Finding a family holiday destination and resort that the whole family will enjoy can be a challenge. The balance between a relaxing and enjoyable break for the adults and top-quality kids’ activities is what the Martinhal hotel group seek to do best. As part of The Martinhal Entrepreneurship Event, I stayed at the Martinhal Cascais family resort. Here’s what I learnt about the luxurious family holiday resort.
In a nutshell
Martinhal Cascais eschews the chaotic holiday with the kids to deliver an all-round, relaxing family break in five-star luxury. Located in the beautiful and charming region of Cascais, the family resort is stylish yet unpretentious and delivers a high-quality stay filled with experiences and activities that family members of all ages will enjoy.
Where is it?
The Martinhal Family Hotel & Resort is in Cascais, a Portuguese fishing town that’s a short train ride west of Lisbon. Renowned nowadays for its sandy beaches, luxury hotels and award-winning golf courses, Cascais is steeped in history as a summer retreat for Portuguese nobility and remains one of the wealthiest municipalities in Portugal. Cascais has a selection of museums, art galleries, hiking trails, boat trips and four beaches in walking distance of its centre.
The Martinhal resort is a short bus or taxi ride from the Cascais village, nestled amongst golf courses, luxurious villas and vast amounts of green space. There’s a rocky coast not far from the hotel where you can take in an incredible Atlantic coast vista and it isn’t far until you hit a beach with water sports.
What’s the resort like?
The resort merges with the natural vista of the landscape with plenty of green space in which you can roam about, relax and play. The hotel rooms look out onto the surrounding golf courses or inwards onto the outdoor pool and water features. Inside is spacious, sleek and noticeably airy. The interiors have been designed with child safety in mind, so you’ll notice a lack of sharp edges. The other Martinhal resorts, one in central Lisbon (Chiado) and another two in the Algarve (Sagres and Quinta) carry similar themes.
What’s the deal with rooms?
You can choose between a hotel room, suite or villa, all of which have a private balcony or terrace. There’s an option for interconnecting hotel rooms, which is ideal for larger family groups or bringing the grandparents along. The resort has 12 villas that offer more privacy and space, as well as cooking and cleaning facilities.
The hotel rooms are spacious, clean and stylish with large, luxurious bathrooms. The family rooms have bunk beds for the children. We appreciated the special touch of kids’ dressing gowns and flip flops on each of the beds.
What’s in it for the kids?
The kids’ complex comprises of a clubhouse, huge outdoor play area (complete with trampoline and zip-line), covered and heated pool, and family restaurant. The kids’ club is best suited for children up to 12 years old and the Martinhal team offer a range of activities, entertainment and care to suit different age groups. For teens, the hotel can arrange activities including surfing, diving, biking and horse riding.
The baby concierge service will make for the ultimate hassle-free holiday. Particularly good for very young children, Martinhal give you the chance to pre-book baby equipment such as safety gates, baby cots, potties and more. Baby sitting can also be arranged for your room or villa on request, which felt ideal for relaxing in the evening or enjoying a spa session.
What’s in it for the adults?
The Finisterra Spa offers a glorious list of spa treatments for the adults and boasts of a sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and pool. The Martinhal Group emphasise the family aspect of their holidays and ensure there isn’t a strict divide between children and adults. With this in mind, the spa also offers father-son and mother-daughter pamper treatments. While for the most part the spa is exclusively for adults, children are allowed in the pool so they’re never too far away.
Take advantage of the two golf courses, Quinta da Marinha and Oitavos, that surround Martinhal Cascais. Head down to Guincho beach and along the coast for water sports, including bodyboarding, windsurfing and diving. Don’t forget to book a family boat trip too! Beyond this, don’t miss the museums of Cascais and the brilliant array of restaurants in the centre, including the Michelin-starred restaurant Fortaleza do Guincho.
How about the food?
The breakfast buffet allows you to load up on the standard eggs, bacon, and sausage options, alongside fresh fruit, pastries and pancakes. There’s a chance to squeeze your own orange juice too! O Terraço offers breakfast and dinner that features many traditional Portuguese dishes and delicacies. Os Gambozinos is the hotel’s Italian trattoria, a family favourite serving up pizza and pasta dishes for lunch and dinner. M-Bar is part of the kids’ clubhouse and serves up coffees and snacks throughout the day with a good view of the children’s play area for keeping an eye on your little ones.
Martinhal Cascais has been created with all its guests in mind — not just the little ones. But it does follow suit that if the kids are relaxed and enjoying themselves, the adults will too. For me, the best part was the vast flexibility and choice that the resort offers: choose between a villa or hotel room, the kids’ club or childcare when you need it, three different restaurants, and a very long list of pampering treatments!
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