Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is the first 5-star surf destination in Portugal. I just learned about it as we are expanding our coverage of family travel destinations and resorts. Located on the Western Algarve, it is a year round resort, filled with 100-acres on the beach, a sweet blend of luxury for couples and families.
They offer childcare, a spa, sports clubs and lots of great food at their restaurants as well as bar options for after hour activities. The resort is surrounded by the Costa Vicentina National Park and was recently awarded a “Europe’s Leading Villa Resort” and “Portugal’s Leading family Resort” at the World Travel Awards 2013.
The resort features a 37 bedroom 5-star hotel and a selection of more than 150 spacious 1 to 5 bedroom Villages, 4 heated pools, gym, Spa with Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, tennis courts, kids clubs, 3 restaurants and a family surf bar. It also offers plenty of open space for jogging, cycling or a morning walk along the ocean.
Terrace Rooms at Hotel Martinhal are situated within the main building and surrounded by private garden and the architecture draws on the austere beauty of the unspoiled western Algarve, a design signature that’s effortlessly carried through to the living spaces. The use by British furniture and interiors designer Michael Sodeau of natural materials like timber, cork and wicker to furnish the rooms lend the accommodation a minimalist, organic quality that is as appealing as it is innovative.
They also have experienced surfer instructors who provide surf lessons on a daily basis for different ages and skills. During the lessons, kids and adults will learn about surf safety information, ocean awareness and different surf techniques needed to stand on the board. All the necessary equipment is included.
There are 22 beaches within a 30-minute drive from the resort. For beginners, the best beaches are Castelejo, Amado, Carrapateira and Arrifana. More experienced surfers can enjoy beaches at Ponta Ruiva, Cordoama and Vale Figueiras.
As Sagres is located on the Atlantic, near the Southwestern most point of Continental Europe, the variety of fish and seafood is much richer than in other European waters. At Martinhal’s restaurant As Dunas, the fresh catch of the day includes species like bream, bass, John Dory, snapper, red mullet, scorpion fish – the list goes on. The area is also famous for oysters, mussels, clams, limpets and the curious barnacles or “perceves” as the locals call them.
The local restaurants will equally serve you a selection of fresh fish prepared in the simplest style – simply grilled with salt and olive oil, while seafood is cooked with seawater, coriander, garlic and white wine. Prawns are tossed in olive oil and local “piri piri” (chili) oil with garlic. You can also add to your fish a delicious side sauce made with olive oil, roasted garlic and coriander.
Martinhal’s food philosophy also includes vegetarian and meat dishes and it is built upon sourcing ingredients as local as possible. Even the ice cream served in the restaurants is locally made. The kid’s menu is widely acclaimed as an outstanding commitment to serve children the freshest food.
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel has teamed up with Espiche Golf to create a golf package for the whole family. A 20 minute drive from Martinhal, Espiche provides a challenging 18-hole, par 72 layout offers rolling terrain that blends into the Algarve landscape in southern Portugal.
Measuring 6,411 yards from the back tees, it is not a long course but it is a layout that calls for some strategy – with drives of any length being competitive on any hole. Featuring multiple sets of tees, Espiche is truly playable and enjoyable for players of any skill level from tour professionals to weekend golfers. Children play free at Espiche (Juniors under 16 years play free at Espiche Golf when playing with a paying adult.) Prices range from $263 up to $341 per adult, per night.
Photo credit: www.splendia.com and the hotel website.