Martinhal Beach Resort overlooks Martinhal Beach and is set in a protected natural park, close to the historic town of Sagres, at the very western end of the Algarve. It was from here that, over 500 years ago, voyagers set out to discover the coast of Africa under the guidance of the reclusive Prince Henry the Navigator. His fort still stands at Ponte do Piedada on dramatic headlands covered in wild flowers – though his school for explorers, boat builders and map makers was destroyed by Sir Francis Drake. His adventurers brought back gold, seal skins, ivory, chilli peppers – and slaves. Europe’s very first slave market was in nearby Lagos, now a tiny museum full of heartbreaking stories.
The Martinhal resort is just a couple of years old. It has a choice of restaurants, with fish being the main local speciality – not surprising when you’re surrounded by all that sea. There’s an Italian restaurant – you can also get take-away pizzas – and all the restaurants welcome children, so high chairs and kids’ menus are the norm. Or if the kids want to eat with their friends, there are meals supervised by a member of the Kids Club.
The Kids Club is divided by age with the toddlers entertained by treasure hunts and arts and crafts; older children make their own T-shirts and go on picnics; and teens have their own games room. If they want to be more active they can learn to windsurf, join the Sports Academy or go dolphin watching.
It’s not just the kids who can be active – you can go on a walking tour through the park or maybe take up zumba, play tennis or just relax in the spa.
There are rooms in the main hotel, but for families the best bet is a villa where you can self-cater part of the time and have al fresco meals on your private veranda. You get satellite television, a designer kitchen (with washer/dryer) and a daily maid service. Some come with their own BBQ and pool but each pod of villas shares a communal pool, too. Let them know the bed/cot configuration in advance and they’ll have it ready for your arrival.
PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Prices at Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel start from €1,960 per family room which sleeps two adults, one child under 12 and one baby for a week’s stay on a bed and buffet breakfast basis during the school summer holidays. Alternatively families can opt for a week’s stay in a one-bedroom Garden House with bunk beds on a self-catering basis from €2,275. To make a reservation call: 00351 2822 40200 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org