Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel , Portugal
Quinta do Martinhal, Portugal
Gary and his girls took a look around:
Martinhal, outside the town of Sagres, is around an hour and a half transfer time from Faro airport. This 5 star family orientated accommodation, which is just over a year old, certainly looks impressive as you drive into what can best be described as a little village.
The village square acts as the hub of what goes on at Martinhal and is where you'll find the reception, mini market, kids clubs, gym, one of the three pools (half indoor half out) and one of the three restaurants. Themed events are held in the market square throughout the year and gives Martinhal a community feel to it during the day.
Accommodation in Martinhal comprises detached and semi detached units and a hotel. Pinewoods are 10 exclusive and ultra luxury detached houses with private pools with two or three bedrooms. Ocean, Bay and Garden houses (the names relate to their different views) each have their own individual layouts and vistas. These one, two or three bedroom houses are beautifully presented and simply stunning, having been designer styled to reflect traditional Portuguese themes and materials, and are fully equipped with everything you need for a luxurious self catering holiday. Finally there's the hotel which currently has 38 luxury rooms.
Places to Eat
For eating you have the choice of three restaurants or self catering. There's a large supermarket about 10 mins taxi or car ride away for a ‘weekly shop' which can then be supplemented by fresh daily produce from the mini market on site. Of the three restaurants two are family orientated; ‘Os Gamozinos' in the market square is a buzzy cafe/bistro whilst ‘As Dunas' is a beach style restaurant overlooking the bay and the ocean. The third, O Terraco, is in the hotel and provides a quieter ‘grown up' place to eat and relax. Perfect for a night away from the kids and Martinhal can arrange babysitters to allow you to do just that. We liked the fact there was a child free dining experience like this. It's a holiday for us as well after all.
We found Martinhal very family orientated. There's the kids clubs, a cinema, games room, video games room and of course the pool areas. There are also events designed to keep the kids busy and a weekly timetable of these lets you plan ahead if you want. The kids clubs are organised into three age groups, 6-23 months, 2-4 years and 5-8 years. For older kids there's activities like teen surf days as well as those the whole family can enjoy together such as beach volleyball, diving experience, water games, family kayak days...the list goes on.
The Algarve has a great range of visitor attractions, water parks etc. and organised excursions to these are available for those who don't hire a car.
When researching Martinhal as a destination I did notice comments about the wind and the customer service where highlighted. Re; the wind, there is no doubt that the area can be windy (it is famed for its wind surfing after all) and this can make the evenings feel cooler so come prepared.
Customer service is something Martinhal takes very seriously and is investing heavily in giving the right people the right skills. It is a young development and I was hugely impressed to see that it is listening to its guests and making changes. As a seasoned traveller I know that destinations can get things wrong, but it's how they react and move forward that matters and Martinhal is doing very well in that respect.
For those who want a relaxed luxury family holiday Martinhal is ideal. The accommodation is superb, scenery spectacular and the weather in the Algarve glorious. Being as far south west as you can go in Portugal, we found Martinhal a little out of the way if want to explore the Algarve and we would highly recommend a hire car if you want to travel. But Martinhal is self contained and you can quite easily spend a week or two just in the resort. It recognises that families are its focus and it continues to refine itself around that.