We have recently returned from a three week stint in Portugal, I expect if you follow any of my social media accounts you do already know that. Sos. The first two of our three weeks were spent at the Martinhal resort in Quinta Do Lobo.
It is no secret that we like to holiday, it’s our thing, get over it. I know I probably come across as a bit of twat for moaning that holidays aren’t really holidays anymore, not now we come complete with a two and three year old. We have has some bad experiences and some good but really the constant is they are not really a holiday, not how they once were. Yes the weather is better, I cook and clean less and Mr Tammy isn’t at work but other than that it is ultimately the same shit different place. I know how I sound. I know it makes me a bit of douche complaining but I am not sorry. It is how it is, and I don’t suppose I am really complaining I am just telling it like it is. After all I wouldn’t wish to have all these holidays without my children there.
Nonetheless since stepping into parenthood we have been in search of the perfect family holiday, considered cruising, ditched the hotels for private rentals and tried all we could to make life easier and the holiday just that a holiday. Alas I think we may have cracked it.
I first heard of Martinhal earlier this year when we were in Portugal. Staying just 30 minutes away in Albuferia we decided to drive to it and have a look around to see what all the fuss was about. We both knew instantly that this was somewhere we would have to holiday. So we went home, were struck by a flying embargo owing to some surgical requirements of Mr T and ploughed through to September when we had two weeks at the Marthinal Quinta booked.
I have harped on about private villas being the best option for us, and they are but what is perfect about the Martinhal is you get the best of both worlds. The resort is manned constantly, you have a reception, onsite shop and concierge service. It contains a mixture of 3 and 4 bed private villas and 2 and 3 bed townhouses. Most come with their own pool, which is gated. On site you also have a communal hang out – that is really what it is called. It is essentially a restaurant, snack bar, heated swimming pool, kids pool, trampoline, sandpit, decked out camper van for playing in and water fountains. There is also an indoor swimming pool and games room but we did not frequent these.
This area is perfect. Really perfect.
Our two and three year old were a great age for this as they could do everything independently whilst we watched on. Yes we sat drank beer they played. OF course we did have to be driven to Thomas Land in the van on occasion, bounce on the trampoline and build sandcastles but I am not a total shit and happily do this with them. Ultimately it was a great place to placate the whitching hour, spend the morning and burn some energy. They both loved it and the pool. You couldn’t get them out, it was fantastic.
From the 16th September you could also partake in a free breakfast at the hangout, one less meal for me to sort and it came complete with fresh fruit, yogurts, cereals, breads, cooked breakfast and freshly cooked eggs however you like them in the morning.
Martinhal also offer a kids club. Dun Dun Duh. For the first time I agreed to send the children. I have debated this for a long time but I eventually fell on the side of it is my holiday too. That and if I didn’t I am pretty sure Mr Tammy would have treated the three hours as though the kids were in the club anyway…
So they could go all day if you wanted, but we generally sent ours for three hours in the afternoon 2 -5ish, every other day. All for the cost of €20.00. Absolute bargain. Despite my reticence and my extreme mum guilt to my surprise (and joy) they loved it. Like really loved it. They’re usually pretty cling-on-to-mum type kids. They called it Foxy Club and actually asked to go, everyday. They weren’t bothered about being picked up and quite literally cheered when we said it was time for Foxy Club. A huge relief yes but it also gave Mr Tammy and 3 hours in the afternoon to sit, eat a meal, have a drink, read a book. Do something for us, just us. It really did make a difference to our holiday.
The Martinhal complex itself is beautifully maintained and our villa was stunning. On arrival we were literally driven to our villa and shown around, it was that huge. The villas on site range from €800,000 to €1.2m – that should tell you everything. Their square footage is massive and it came complete with walk in wardrobes, ensuites in every room, balconies in each room, two sitting rooms, a dining room and even a flaming library. Plus all the outdoor space. I would however recommend you have a car as if you like to get out and about exploring in the day, you do need one. You also have access to free wifi throughout the complex – thank god as we had the teen with us. It makes a refreshing change to not have to pay a surcharge for the pleasure at that.
On site there is also a really fabulous hotel Monte De Quinta. It is a beautiful 5* hotel that you can use as you wish. Mr Tammy and I had a few meals and cocktail nights there and took the children for lunch several times too. The staff are amazing and the service is brilliant, if hotels are more you thing I couldnt recommend this more.
Within walking distance from Martinhal is a restaurant called KoKo Lane which offers up its own park perfect for toddlers, with plenty for them to do, needless to say we frequented here on occasion too. In fact Quinta do Lobo offers up a fair amount but more on that another time.
All in all it is without hesitation I would recommend the Martinhal Quinta for your family holiday, you really will be taken care of and it is perfect for young children. I couldn’t rave about it more, so much so I think we are heading back, a little, no a lot sooner than we thought. We’ve booked another 2 week stay for the 3rd November and I can’t wait!