Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel adds new kids clubs and activities
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, which opened in July 2010, is the ‘natural’ family friendly escape for those who want the best of a beach resort with the luxury of ‘home comforts’. It’s situated on Portugal's unspoiled Western Algarve coast, near the historic fishing port of Sagres and is surrounded by National Park, overlooking one of the country’s most beautiful beaches.
The whole culture surrounding Martinhal is family friendly and children are especially welcome. With this in mind, new for 2012 the resort is adding a number of new children’s clubs to its existing variety of services and creating activity programmes which are all individually adapted to the needs of different age groups.
For children aged between two and four years, Martinhal’s ‘Raposinhos Kids Club’ provides an active and inquisitive approach to fun. Situated on the Village Square it has a children’s playground in a sheltered walled garden with lots of toys, games and puzzles to keep minds and busy fingers occupied. Close by children aged between five and eight are catered for in a separate area called the ‘Fox Club’ where a programme of activities during the main school holiday periods includes T-Shirt printing, cookery classes, “The Little Scientist” lessons and face painting. In addition, during the summer months there are indoor and outdoor evening surprises to entertain children while parents enjoy their dinner.
A team of qualified child minders supervise the Raposinhos and the Fox Club according to UK OFSTED requirements. During school holidays this is on a ratio of 1:4 for the two to four year olds whilst the five to eight years olds are cared for on a ratio of 1:8.
Both clubs offer one complimentary three hour session per child per day (either in the morning or in the afternoon) for families staying seven nights or more.
Babies and toddlers - aged six months to two years – are equally happy and safely cared for in a separate Crèche area with one child minder to every three children, which can be booked for a two hour session for 25 Euros per session (two sessions available per day). An experienced team of babysitters are also on hand in case baby-sitting services are requires for a maximum of two children under the age of six per baby sitter.
In addition for parents travelling with small children Martinhal offers a ‘Baby Concierge’ service for guests to pre-book baby equipment, from small items like door protectors, thermometers, potties, bottle sterilisers & warmers, to bigger items like safety gates, baby cots, baby baths and even pushchairs that have wheels specially adapted to the beach.
Older children can meet up with like-minded youngsters aged eight and older in the nearby ‘Blue Room’. Named after the tube created by a breaking wave that surfers try and ride in, this stylishly designed self-contained futuristic space provides a place for older children to absorb themselves in the latest video games, team up for a game of table football or simply hang out with some newly made friends. The Blue Room is open to all guests on a complimentary basis.
For tweens & teens two new clubs have been devised. These comprise the ‘Explorers Club’ which caters for the nine to 12 age range and the ‘Teenager Club’ for 13-16 year olds. These clubs are the ideal meeting point for young people, and run special activity programmes such as beach volleyball, water polo, Padel tennis try outs sessions as well as other more relaxed activities including cocktail making contests. All activities are accompanied by the hotel’s fully trained and experienced leisure team.
Martinhal’s Club 98 is the essential hub for those who take a more sporting approach to family holidays with facilities ranging from two high-grade artificial grass tennis courts, two glass-sided Padel tennis courts, four swimming pools and a multi-purpose sports field for hosting football and other team events. In addition guests can try everything from windsurfing, kite surfing, skimming, kayaking, parasailing, fishing and diving as well as land based pastimes such as pony trekking, climbing, mountain biking, hiking and eco-karting. The most arduous task will be trying to decide what to book first and how to fit everything in.
For more relaxing pursuits, whilst the kids are in their clubs, a visit to the Finisterra Spa is a revitalising must for any Mum or Dad in need of a little adult pampering. Finisterra Spa is set in its own grounds with six individual wooden-clad treatment rooms looking out onto the spa’s own private garden.
The resort’s accommodation has also been designed with families in mind and offers a selection of well thought out and beautifully appointed two and three bedroom self-catering houses as part of the ‘Martinhal Village’, as well as a 38 bedroom ‘Hotel Martinhal’ which has been designed for couples and those with young babies.
The houses are set out around a central village square in four different positions and all are only a short stroll from the beach or one of the four large swimming pools, the gym or meeting the children at the Kid’s Clubs. For example families can enjoy breath-taking views from the Ocean Houses perched at the highest point of the resort overlooking the sea. From the Bay Houses, there are uninterrupted views of the Costa Vicentina National Park’s wooded valley to the east and the ocean to the south. Or for younger families, there is the community feel of Garden Houses, which are arranged around a large children’s freeform ‘Oasis’ pool with natural gardens and enclosed by a continuous Algarvian garden wall to provide both privacy and a carefree environment. The fourth option is to stay in one of the 10 individual Pinewood Houses, set apart in their own ‘close’, each having their own small private swimming pool.
Each house benefits from a daily maid service and every household convenience with a modern designer kitchen, washing machine and dryer as well as a 32” satellite television with video on demand, complimentary wireless internet access and an MP3 docking station.
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel also has an excellent range of restaurants and eateries including O Terraço, the fine dining restaurant at Hotel Martinhal, which provides a culinary journey through international gastronomy, presented with a Portuguese twist. New for 2012 will be a daily changing menu available for both adults and children. The restaurant will open earlier at 18h00 to appeal to family meal times and during peak times the restaurant will have two sittings: one for adults with younger children and one for adults with older children and adults on their own. Alternatively, As Dunas Beach Restaurant & Bar offers families a leisurely lunch or an alfresco candlelit dinner with a special children’s menu to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters. It’s the ideal place to while away a few hours with the beach right on the doorstep. The third option is located in the Village Square, Os Gambozinos is a cosy coffee shop for families during the day with a light lunch menu and serves Italian bistro style dining at night including the house specialty of mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas and a special children’s menu offering bite-sized portions. In addition, a selection of three poolside snack bars are dotted throughout the resort, making a healthy snack or delicious treat never far away and the resort’s own village store, Mercado, has a choice of deli items and wider take-away food.
Martinhal can be reached by a 2 hour and 40 minute flight from the UK to Faro as well as scheduled flights to Lisbon.
A 2 bedroom Village House costs from 163 € per night based on up to 4 people sharing on an accommodation only basis for on a minimum 2 night stay.
Alternatively, rooms at Hotel Martinhal cost from 190 € per room per night including breakfast and 6% Vat based on two sharing a Beach Room with partial sea view.
To book, visit martinhal.com.