zenbabytravel

Travelling with a baby

Portugal with kids: Martinhal Cascais luxury family vacations

We spent October half term with Martinhal Cascais and can not stop raving about these luxury family vacations. Our 4 years old cried as we left, hugging Martinhal’s Rafi, which is now getting to visit and sight-see Holland Park and London. Portugal with a kids has been a blast and an exquisite retreat at Martinhal Cascais.

We have done quite a bit of fine family hotels in the last 4 years with our kids but we rarely felt so at ease or in love. Some of the family hotels were just a stark realisation that our lives have changed, we can no longer climb errupting volcanoes, go diving or partying as we wish, indulge good food or travel in style with our kids.

Martinhal Cascais with kids - pool

But Martinhal demonstrates effortlessly that one can really have it all on a holiday with kids.

The set up has been very carefully designed and well thought so one could have breakfast in peace – cappuccino still with foam on; lunch by the pool lying on sun-chair sunbathing with little ones splashing around; dine & wine at Mbar watching sunset over pine-trees whilst the kids are having a blast in the garden and adventure playground.

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There’s also a kidsclub from 9-6pm (one should book in advance for school holidays) catering for all ages in separate and beautifully bespoke areas: 6 months old to teens; plus kids corners at breakfast (inside and outside) and Martinhal mascots Rafi and Rositta coming by.

Unless you have a strong willed toddler ( like ours), one does not need an ipad on Martinhal Cascais with kids holiday.

The parents around are also good fun and quite an eclectic mix of Europeans – we never had a dull conversation or a moment. Hats off again to Martinhal for such a diverse and beautiful crowd. Conversations flew over aperols, at the pool or dinner; kids made friends instantly and personnel is warm and accommodating, going the extra mile entertaining.

Food choices are great for all parties: from bellinis at breakfast, to all sorts of fresh fruit, to Portuguese specialities, casual Italian and seafood delights.

Dinners at Terracao are very smartly organised with buffet options for kids – so they get to see, pick themselves and if they are starved and impatient like ours, eat straight away whilst parents enjoy an aperitivo. The wines are superb, our favourite by far has been a Esporao Alentejo Reserva 2015 that we got us completely hooked.

One may easily overindulge in such circumstances, and with friends joining us for a birthday celebration, the parents had quite a blast. For overtired little ones, wifi is impeccable around the hotel, so one could opt for a baby monitor on the phone and parents at the bar. One evening we also booked a sitter to stay with our sleeping overtired kids and us headed with friends to Furnas do Guincho –  superb fresh seafood restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

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One does not need to postpone freestyle adventurous holidays – Martinhal has the options for parents to indulge in with or without kids. Restless parents could go surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding in Cascais or sailing even to Lisbon. There are bikes for all ages and abilities; luxurious and great value for money transfers and many Portuguese beauties like Cascais, Sintra or Lisbon to be explored around. For Lisbon, one has also the option of dropping the little ones to sibbling Martinhal Chiado kidsclub that runs sessions until 10pm. For a great list of suggestions for Lisbon head to Savy Globetrotter’s post 10 best things to do, see and eat and for a review of Martinhal Chiado check the Minitravellers’ cool review in here.

Design wise, Martinhal Cascais is sleek and contemporary whilst very kids friendly.  We stayed in an elegant room overlooking the pool – huge bathroom with a transparent glass charged with positive messages in various languages.

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There’s no attention spared to detail and as we arrived there were 2 goodie bags for our kiddies – both with flip flops, hats and a little present: fluffy Rafi for our 18 months old (Martinhal cutest fox mascot) and a ball for our 4 years old.

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There are 5 pools to pick from including an impeccable luxurious child friendly spa.

Outside pool and pool hangout area have very shallow areas perfect for babies and toddlers – our 18 months old just roamed freely completely absorbed in so many toys and amazing discoveries whilst we sipped aperols and caught up with friends.

There’s trampoline, table tennis, football area, lots of games around and a lot of Zen for the parents: pine trees and blue skies, this area end of October looks unbelievably green and so untouched by the autumnal season.

Martinhal Cascais with kids

The spa area design is equally smart and sleek, lovely terraced overflowing little pools with pebbles – therapeutically feng shui and visually stunning.

We spent most of our swimming time in here as both outside and inside pools were heated – best for our 18 months old and our 4 years old who would easily spend 2 hours per day in the water.

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The 5th pool is by the kidsclub and playground – a beautiful transparent dome roof and a great set up for the first swim classes.

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Portugal is known as the California of Europe but we did not expect to be so spoilt. End of October and for 4 days summer was still on: over 25 C degrees reaching occasionally even 30C.

We left Portugal in love, so sad to leave Martinhal (to be actually read devastated for our 4 years old) and fully energised. Looking forward to going back soon!

For more impressions on Sintra, Cascais and a something more visual, check our article published with Trips 100 UK.

Luxury family vacations: Martinhal Cascais - gratitude

Luxury family vacations: Martinhal Cascais – gratitude

Disclaimer: we enjoyed 2 nights complimentary stay and one night with a press rate – many thanks again to Martinhal for warmth, hospitality and impeccable services. Pictures, opinions, enthusiastic cheeky kids – entirely ours.

58 comments on “Portugal with kids: Martinhal Cascais luxury family vacations

  1. Nicky @ GoLiveYoung
    November 1, 2017

    Sounds like a delightful family holiday. It’s great when everything works out and everyone is happy #ExplorerKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Indeed Nicky! Spot on, thanks for stopping by!

  2. Helen
    November 1, 2017

    Wow this certainly looks luxurious and the fact it is also family friendly is very appealing 🙂

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      I know Helen, such a mix is so rare and so appreciated!

  3. motherhoodtherealdeal
    November 1, 2017

    Wow looks like you had an incredible time – 5 pools what a treat!

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 2, 2017

      Indeed and the weather was truly amazing! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Wandermust mummy
    November 1, 2017

    This looks like reflection for me. I am on a mission to show luxury and family travel

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Then definitely Martinhal resorts should be on your list! Do shout if you have questions and we can help!

  5. That looks so beautiful and relaxing. I love when resorts cater to families this way. It’s so hard to really relax on vacation if you are still “on” for your kids 24/7. Your photos are lovely!
    ~Jess
    #ExplorerKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Thank you Jess! Could not agree more on being there for the kids but attempting to have a holiday yourself 😉

  6. This place looks DREAMY! So rare that places get it totally right: Luxury and good for kids. #citytripping

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Warmly recommending, the mix is great indeed!

  7. Zen Babytravel
    November 1, 2017
    ethannevelyn.com
  8. Zen Babytravel
    November 1, 2017
    MummyTravels
  9. MrsS (@Otisandus_blog)
    November 1, 2017

    What a great place to stay! The pool area looks gorgeous, and I love that there are activities on offer such as paddle boarding, sailing and cycling – we would just love that! Thanks for sharing

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Hope you get to go soon!

  10. Nicola
    November 2, 2017

    Looks utterly fabulous!
    #citytripping

  11. MummyTravels
    November 2, 2017

    I stayed at one of the sister resort and they are just brilliant with kids – i like the fact you can use the Chiado facilities if you go into Lisbon as well. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 2, 2017

      Pleasure Cathy! Did you stay at Sagres or Quinta de Lago and how did you find it?

  12. mummysmagicalmayhem
    November 2, 2017

    What a beautiful resort and looks fab for the kids. Thanks for sharing all your tips. Mandy x #ExplorerKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Pleasure to link in Mandy! X

  13. Kara
    November 2, 2017

    We are visiting here in February and after reading this, I really cannot wait!!

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 2, 2017

      I can easily imagine that Kara 😉 /keep me posted on your impressions pls!

  14. MELANIE EDJOURIAN
    November 2, 2017

    It looks really nice there. Mine would be in the pools too they love swimming and it sounds like there are plenty of them.

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Absolutely Melanie, tones of fun for kiddies and zen for parents !

  15. Out of Depth Dad
    November 3, 2017

    Really impressed! This looks like a brilliant family holiday! It’s definitely somewhere we’d consider! Thanks for sharing!

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Warmly recommending!

  16. Lisa Pomerantz
    November 3, 2017

    Those pools look extraordinary! What a place to visit! #explorerkids xoxo

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Thank you Lisa, the pools are super nice but I am also sure you’d love Cascais and Sintra – both are exquisite! X

  17. steph_baybee
    November 3, 2017

    Looks like a really nice place to stay, with lots to do for both parents and kids

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Thank you Steph, tones of fun for kids and Zen for parents!

  18. This place looks fab! I’m sure everyone enjoyed.

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Absolutely Lauretta, fab! The kids are still asking me weekly basis about going back to Portugal and Martinhal 😉

  19. Emma
    November 3, 2017

    This looks stunning! What a brilliant family resort. I love family holidays and think they offer such a special time to reconnect and relax as a family.

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Stunning indeed and much appreciated – it is so much easier to relax and reconnect when the design is impeccable, srvice is flawless and everyone looked after!

  20. Oh amazing. What a beautiful hotel with so much on offer. I have never been to Portugal before. Sarah #ExplorerKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 4, 2017

      Warmly recommending both Portugal and Martinhal resorts, hope you get to go soon!

  21. ethannevelyn.com
    November 4, 2017

    My word! This sound and look like heaven no wonder your boy is absolutely in tears over this. I would be too! Bless his little heart. Such a beautiful hotel and well done, you did an awesome job being their rep. for the week. This well definitely be on my list now!

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 5, 2017

      Thank you Su, pleasure to link in! Hoping you get to go soon as well, Martinhal is such a treat!

  22. Zen Babytravel
    November 6, 2017
    Tin Box Traveller
  23. Ruth
    November 7, 2017

    The name of my post caught my attention since for a weird reason I am subscribed to the newsletter of this resort. I think they got my e-mail address on a travel show. Anyway, it is good to actually know how the place look. It is so posh! I would like to stay there too! #MondayEscapes

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 7, 2017

      I hope you get to go soon Ruth, Martinhal Cascais is utterly fab! And thanks for stopping by!

  24. Tania @ Larger Family Life
    November 7, 2017

    Goodness me, that looks like such a lovely place to stay! #MondayEscapes

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Lovely indeed Tania and that helps so much having a fab time on a holiday!

  25. Talida
    November 7, 2017

    Amazing hotel! We have to try it soon, also!

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 8, 2017

      Hopefully soon & together as well in Sagres? 😉

  26. Lisa (Travel Loving Family)
    November 15, 2017

    Oh wow this looks like a stunning resort! Thanks for all the tips re: kids clubs etc. I absolutely adore Portugal so I’m going to pin this for future use. I love the look of the sleek interiors and pool areas. Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 16, 2017

      Pleasure to link in Lisa! Hope you get to go back soon to Portugal and get to stay with Martinhal – exquisite experience for the whole family !

  27. Zen Babytravel
    November 16, 2017
    Oregon Girl Around the World
  28. Esther
    November 16, 2017

    Whaaaa, this place looks really cool. I love this area in Portugal but never visited Cascais just yet. SO on the list now!!
    #FarawayFiles

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Warmly recommending Esther, we also have a video on Cascais area, do check it out! X

  29. Clare Thomson
    November 17, 2017

    I’m so desperate to stay at one of the Martinhal properties – they all look and sound so fabulous. Bellinis at breakfast? How indulgent is that! What a great feature to be able to drop of your little ones in the Lisbon hotel while you do a bit of grown-up sightseeing. #farawayfiles

    • Zen Babytravel
      November 17, 2017

      I hope you get to stay soon Clare, the Martinhals are indeed fabulous! Chitra Stern, the entrepreneur behind the brand is such a visionary and inspirational mum of 4 – all planned and executed at perfection for superb family holidays all parties! And we are one bunch quite difficult to be pleased 😉

  30. Hilary
    November 17, 2017

    One of the things I love the most about travel is the dedicated family time! Sounds like this is the place to get it! #farawayfiles

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Absolutely Hilary and it helps hugely for everyone to be looked after so well!

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