Mission: – To find a holiday for 3 generations of the family, to catch up in the sunshine over the Easter holidays and survive (…. I mean come back feeling like I’d had a holiday).
This Easter the Fifi Friendly family went “on tour”. A couple of my friends thought I had lost all senses when I said that I was off on a multi-generational trip ….. Yes ….. 3 generations ….. 1 holiday ….. 4 kids under 7 years old ..… I mean what could go wrong? I actually can’t remember the last time I went on holiday with my parents, let alone with my brother and let alone with 4 kids! Lets be honest, for most families who don’t live near each other, the only time that all generations actually get together is at Christmas. So, what could be better than some time away to reconnect? Our destination of choice was the stunning Algarve region of Portugal and we spent our first 4 nights at the amazing Martinhal Quinta Family Resort in Quinta do Lago.
I want to say it was in a review by Ben Fogle, that I first read about the Martinhal Group . He was staying at their Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort with his family and I thought it sounded idyllic. Martinhal have made a name for themselves in the luxury family holiday marketplace. Their original resort in Sagres is hailed for it’s barefoot luxury, being very child friendly with excellent kids clubs, beachfront location and tennis academy to name a few things.
Martinhal Quinta offers a slightly different but equally stylish holiday experience. The superior standard of accommodation still remains but staying in this resort is a more independent holiday. You have all the benefits of a luxury self catering villa or townhouse in a secure gated community and also Martinhal Quinta’s excellent resort amenities. The resort is located in the Quinta do Lago area, which gives you the added opportunity to dine out in a variety of fantastic bars or restaurants, play golf on a different course every day and venture out of the to enjoy the nearby Ria Formosa National Park or head to the beach.
First impression as I opened the door was …. wow. Any concerns about us being on top of each other during our stay were very quickly quashed as we stood in the hallway of our 4 bedroom villa …. it was absolutely huge! Our villa had 3 twin bedrooms and 1 double bedroom. All the bedrooms were such a great size too and each of them had a large en suite bathroom. I loved that the bathrooms had a shower as well as bath and were kitted out with Voya amenities …… I love Voya!! Every room in the villa was immaculate. I was also really taken aback by the wardrobe space …. each room had enough storage space for a ridiculous amount of clothes. So far the Martinhal high standards were very apparent.
The rest of the villa included a kitchen, dining room, living area, tv room and garden with pool (pool fences can be requested). What more could I ask for? It is the little things that set this Martinal Quinta family villa apart. The kitchen was really well kitted out and even included an awesome welcome basket with wine, water, breakfast cereals, ground coffee, teas, milk, butter, coffee filters for the Krups coffee machine, Nutella, jams, fruit juice, figs, Easter chocolate bunnies, biscuits and a voucher to give you freshly baked bread from the on site Mercado Deli & Bake. I also like that Martinhal Quinta provided a couple of dishwasher tablets for you to use so you don’t spend your holiday at the kitchen sink! No dishwashing on the first night though, Reception had given us the number of a great local Italian and we ordered some takeaway to be delivered. By the time we had decided who was in which room, poured a glass of wine and started to do some unpacking, our dinner had arrived and was on the very large dining table.
Villa holidays give you the kind of independence you don’t always get in a hotel. You can cook if you want to or take your hire car out and about to visit local restaurants. You can work around your own schedule, a baby’s schedule or in our case work around the requirements of 3 generations. Martinhal Quinta gave us the independence of a villa holiday along with the facilities of a luxury hotel complex. There was a daily maid service, 24/7 reception, kids club, pool cafe, games room, massage therapy and shuttle service to the beach to name a few. Then there was the breakfast! Martinhal Quinta have a couple of breakfast options for those guests who do not want to go fully self catered. You can have a Breakfast Basket delivered to your villa or you can enjoy your breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Pool. We chose this last option and every morning we made the short walk to the O Terraco Restaurant.
There is something so civilised …. yes, I called a family breakfast civilised …. about sitting outside in the fresh air for breakfast. We chose to sit outside each day, but there were also seats inside if you preferred that. It was the perfect start to our day! Let’s be honest, in a group of 8, everyone will have different requirements for breakfast. O Terraco met all of them. My son is gluten free and appreciated the allergen labelling beside each product. My favourites included the freshly made omelettes by Luis, the fresh fruit juices, the Portuguese bread, the fruit and then there was the Cava! I also found out that apparently Portuguese cake and a glass of Cava is a great way to end breakfast for Grandads!
Each villa and townhouse has its own pool but one of my family’s favourite places at Martinhal Quinta was the Pool Hangout. There was large outdoor pool, kids outdoor pool, indoor heated pool, indoor games room, trampoline, sand pit, pool cafe, water fountains and an old VW Campervan that our kids adored playing in. Standouts around the pool area for the kids included the floats and bean bags that they could use in the pool. We were also offered some brand new noodles for any children who were a little more cautious in the pool. There were also plenty of sun loungers for grandparents to have a mid morning nap. The loungers were very comfy and best of all ….. the sun umbrellas were absolutely massive. Trust me when you have been on holiday with a little baby and you have to keep moving the umbrella ever 5 minutes to keep your little treasure in the shade, you notice things like this! These hangar sized umbrellas are amazing and should not have to be moved all day!
It is at the Pool Hangout that Raposinhos Kids Club is based. While we were staying they organised a great Easter Hunt around the Resort which gave us an opportunity to explore some more and also for the kids to win a big bag of mini Easter eggs. Raposinhos is also where you can pre-book baby equipment.
If you can pull yourselves away from your villa or the Pool Hangout there is so much to do in the surrounding area of Quinta Do Lago. I would recommend hiring a car. However if you find yourself driving everyday at home and fancy a break then Martinhal Quinta can organise the hire of bikes or arrange taxis for you. Those of you who enjoy walking could also walk. Within 5 minutes drive of Martinhal Quinta there is a beach, Ria Formosa National Park, several award winning golf courses, Mini Golf, Horse Riding, Quinta Shopping Centre, loads of water sports and segway tours!
- Freshly baked bread
- Great wine selection – various price ranges
- Fresh fruit and vegetable – not expensive
- Paraben free skin care
- Childrens toys
- Papers & magazines
- Pretty much everything a family could need …. and loads to tempt you if you don’t know what you need
- Dairy free chocolate, sugar free and gluten free selections
A good resort is not a great resort unless the staff are good. The staff at Martinhal Quinta are pretty amazing. So friendly, polite, great with the kids and great with the grandparents! Rita in Raposinhos Kids Club was fantastic with the kids. She was bubbly and instantly put the kids at ease ….. and the parents too. Also, many thanks to Bruno and the rest of the breakfast team for looking us so well. I miss those breakfasts!
How Green and Eco – Friendly is Martinhal Quinta? We spotted some good initiatives throughout the resort. Our kitchen had recycling bins with sections for paper, plastics and glass. Furthermore the resort lowers its eco footprint in a number of ways including saving water wastage by only changing towels and bed linen every 3 days – unless you request otherwise. They have also made the decision to not print unnecessary documents and use mymartinhalquinta.com for any resort communications. Great idea.
As we left Martinhal Quinta there were definitely several sad faces in our group. No-one wanted to leave. This resort has so much to be proud of. The villas are stunning, massive and really well looked after. I was given the opportunity to look around one of the Townhouses as well and they were just as great. When I come back again just with my kids I would be more than happy to stay in one of these. The resort itself was also very well kept. Tidy, clean, gorgeous plants and I loved walking along the little streets on my way up to the Mercado Deli & Bake and admiring it all. The surrounding beautiful area of Quinta Do Lago is equally as manicured and has as many activities as you could wish for to keep you occupied.
Given we were only there for 4 nights, we managed to take in the local area, enjoy the pool, relax as family group and come away feeling like we had an amazing break. Martinhal Quinta showed me how easy and fun multi-generational holidays can be. Kids were having a ball. Grandparents were happy. I felt like I got time to relax too. Result! Our family live in different cities and spending this amount of time together is very rare. I can’t wait to do another multi-generational trip …. neither can my niece …. so we have made a pact to do it again next year. Congratulations Martinhal Quinta, you are a 5* Fifi Friendly award winner.