If you thought swanky hotels with your little kids is a no-go or actually relaxing on holiday with your toddler is impossible think again. We are just back from a lovely week in Portugal, staying at two very different Martinhal family resorts, one in Chiado in the city of Lisbon and the other on the coast in Cascais. And after this trip I promise you it is possible and to also be able to explore the local culture, which is a dream.
We flew to Lisbon, myself, hubby and two kids (2 and 7 years), we were picked up at the airport by a lovely driver in an air conditioned Mercedes with two car seats already at the ready and water for us all. The flight I won't lie was hard work Rocco decided to scream from Essex most of the trip and we were both a tad stressed by the time we reached Lisbon but by the time we had arrived at our first resort in Cascais how our day changed. The hotel are incredible with kids, across from the reception is a massive playground, football pitch, sandpits and trampolines but most important of all they are insanely secure which just instantly fills us parents with a sign of relief. You have to use your room key twice to get through security to the playground and kids club! Yea love this place even more. So outside theres everything your kids could want to make them happy and they're secure but the best bit there's a lovely little restaurant above the playground and kids club with food, wines, beers and ice-cream. Kids get to play and run free while we get to drink white in the sun and chill on the oversized bean bags, perfection.
In the stunning minimalist rooms the bathrooms are massive and again they thought or think of everything, the cot was ready and waiting for us, their were nappy bins in the bathroom and the balcony was extra high glass so little explorers like my adventurous 2 year old can't climb over. They have all the provisions in a stunning setting a family could ask for. There's a choice of restaurants, either M Bar a cafe style restaurant, Portuguese or Italian and ingeniously between the two restaurants they have a play area in side with a member of the Kids Club watching over your littles ones and while they play you can order food and when its there the kids can come and sit down. After your meal you can enjoy a bottle of wine together while the kids play in the indoor play area with all the other kids. Breakfast is buffet which our daughter adored getting to pick and choose her own breakfast. They have unlimited miniature cutlery and plastic bowls/plates and highchairs for little ones.
Apart from the restaurants and play area the kids club is wonderful and the staff are so caring. Rocco really bonded with a lovely Nanny called Carolina. So we had the pleasure of quality family time and then when we wanted to do a few hours of sunbathing the kids happily played in the kids club while we lay by the pool. If you visit Martinhal Cascais I highly recommend hiring bikes from the hotel and cycling to the Dunes and around the coastline its stunning. We did it on our own and then with the kids. The views are exquisite and definitely a favourite beach for surfers. It really reminded me of Northern California so I think Cascais should be renamed the California of Europe.
After four wonderful days we headed to this Lisbon location in the area of Chiado right in the heart of the city. Its perfectly located close to the sea front and 5 minutes walk from Timeout Market which has the most amazing selection of different foods. The hotel itself is a gorgeous city location with contemporary character. We had a 1 bed apartment which was massive and so cool in side. The kids loved the apartment and to be honest we didn't want to leave it just feels like a home from home. Yet again they have a wonderful kids club downstairs and the kids wanted to stay for Pyjama Club two nights in a row where they get yummy home cooked meals and have a party, watch movies, play games while we explored the city for a few hours and enjoyed a romantic meal.
We took the kids out alternate mornings/afternoons so we could get a bit of quality time with them both individually which is so nice when you have more than one. Fleur was so excited to explore the city when we went on a tram ride up to the Castle which I highly recommend.
We utterly loved both resorts for very different reasons as they are both incredibly different experiences, the only bad bit was having to leave and come back to the UK. I cannot wait to go back again soon. Martinhal Resorts are the epitome of Family Luxury at their best.
I hope you like some our pictures taken by both myself and my hubby, we just had to share.
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