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Home Vacation Martinhal Sagres Has Everything You Could Need For An Intergenerational Holiday

Martinhal Sagres Has Everything You Could Need For An Intergenerational Holiday

by Staff

A few years ago, having just welcomed my second daughter Layla into the world four months previously, I decided to go on holiday with the family. My other girl, Lana-Rose, was just a toddler.

Everyone thought I was crazy. ‘You can’t go away with two small children,’ one friend gasped in horror. ‘That’s not a vacation. That’s… that’s a helliday!’ she exclaimed.

On paper, she was correct. Everything about family holidays — especially with small children — screams ‘do not relax’, from the lack of facilities to the mindless accommodation to the mediocre food.

A few years ago, having just welcomed my second daughter Layla into the world four months previously, I decided to go on holiday with the family.

However, I was confident in my decision as I was going to a Martinhal, the Portuguese resorts that specialise in combining luxury with family-friendly travel in beautiful scenic locations.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Cascais hotel, which has now changed ownership, and also the Chiado Lisbon apartments, and it was a masterclass in how to keep children and adults happy on holiday.

Today, the group has four properties — Chiado, the Quinta do Lago Family Golf Resort, the Lisbon Oriente residences and apartments, and the flagship resort, Martinhal Sagres.

I recently visited the latter with my now older children and my parents. I love intergenerational family breaks, not because you have a babysitter on tap — although that is a plus — but it’s a great opportunity to create precious memories.

Flying into Faro, the transfer to the resort — which is outside the traditional fishing village of Sagres in the Algarve — takes about an hour. It’s a stunning location, set within a protected natural park, which also makes the most of its coastal proximity, with panoramic views of the white sandy beach and Mediterranean sea.

Everyone thought I was crazy. ‘You can’t go away with two small children,’ one friend gasped in horror. ‘That’s not a vacation. That’s… that’s a helliday!’ she exclaimed.

In fact, the resort has been designed to maximise all of the great outdoors, from its floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple terraces and balconies with scenic vantage points at every turn.

There’s a mix of accommodation types, from the main hotel to villas and houses, and we were staying in the Bay Houses, with views over the Natural Reserve and the ocean.

The luxury and functionality that Martinhal is renowned for was evident as soon as we set foot inside the elegant ‘up side down house’. The sleeping quarters are downstairs, with the living area and kitchen upstairs.

The latter was better equipped than my own, while the muted interiors and so much glorious space, both inside and out, were ideal. We visited in winter and although the Portuguese weather is definitely better than here, it’s changeable, and it was not exactly balmy — not that this stopped my daughters from donning their togs and jumping into the pool.

There’s five to choose from, including one at Club 98, which has an inflatable hut and slide for the kids too, but even my hardy pair had to call it a day as the sun went down and they started to look a little blue.

Thankfully, there’s the option of the Village Pool, which spans both indoor and outdoor space, so no danger of hypothermia there. All of the pool areas have adults in mind too, with comfortable lounging areas and bar service, so everyone is happy.

Making it easy for families to spend quality time together is something Martinhal does very well. Don’t worry, it also does impressive childcare and entertainment too, with a baby concierge — that’s pre-booking complimentary baby equipment before you travel — creche, kids’ club and sports academies.

But from the big, family Coconut beds for days on the beach, to the pétanque, bike rental and minigolf tracks, the outdoor fitness trail that’s designed for kids to complete too, to the Village Square which is the hub of the resort, there is simply no excuse not to all have a good time together.

All of us — granny and granddad, plus me and the kids — loved spending time in the Square, which has a playground and sunken trampolines for kids, plus an indoor room with a pool table, air hockey table, arcade games and a big screen for movie nights.

While the kids are playing, the adults are happy with the ample seating and tables, and you’re steps away from a bar, café, ice cream parlour, store and restaurant.

Speaking of food, that’s another highlight. There’s three different restaurants at Martinhal Sagres, and we had our breakfast at O Terraco in the main hotel, which is a pretty lovely way to start the day, looking out at the beautiful sea views.

A genius touch is the Kids’ Corner, essentially a colouring station to allow you to finish your food or have that extra coffee or vino in peace, while your children have fun close by.

Most evenings we ate at Os Gambozinos in the Square, a bistro-style restaurant which has its own kids’ buffet that my little discerning — read: impossible — diners absolutely adored.

We also ventured to the beachfront eatery, As Dunas, which is renowned for its fish and seafood and lunchtime was mostly enjoyed in the comfort of our lovely holiday house.

For fitness fans, there’s plenty to get the heart rate going, from the well-equipped gym to fitness classes on-site (which I did), to daily football sessions and the watersports centre on Martinhal beach (which I did not).

For a more peaceful experience, there’s the resort’s Finisterra Spa, set in its own secluded grounds surrounded by fragrant foliage for some uninterrupted me time.

Myself and my mum also ventured into Sagres for a stroll, which is a sleepy town for lay people but a powerful draw for surfers, given its location at the extreme western tip of the Algarve, and its windswept landscapes, towering cliffs and raging seas.

Now, remember I mentioned the importance of making those precious family memories? A stand-out funny moment in our highly enjoyable week at Martinhal Sagres was when we were all playing a round of mini golf.

I, deeply frustrated after not being able to putt the ball at a particularly challenging part of the track, flung my club in anger. Not my finest moment as a parent, I’ll admit.

But worse was to come, when my seven-year-old came up against the same issue — and to my horror, reacted in the exact same fashion. She looked at me, red-faced in fury and then burst out laughing. In fact, we all did — family fun indeed!

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