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At a glance

  • You'll love

    Barefoot beach luxe

    Organic eco spa

    Clever catering

  • Kids will love

    Fun kids’ clubs

    Sun, sea and sand

    Tennis academy

  • Don’t expect

    Instant childcare: book

    Inexpensive dining

    Empty summer beaches

Overview

Falling onto sun-soaked sands and boasting a serene spa, the Martinhal Sagres beach resort and hotel offers relaxed barefoot luxury for parents. Amid rugged parkland and beside surfer’s-paradise seas, opt to do a lot or a little, from biking and boat trips to snail's-pace beachcombing. And with self-catering and ultra-child-friendly restaurants both on the table, it's a flexible base for a stylish family stay.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Martinhal Sagres with us:

A bottle of Portuguese wine on arrival

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Martinhal Sagres

Extended summer offer Extended summer offer

Parent-approved

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Martinhal Sagres – has been selected and approved by parents.

Facilities

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Martinhal Sagres – Algarve – Portugal

Need To Know

Rooms

37, including two duplex Beach Suites. There are also villas of various sizes, perfect for families. These include 55 Ocean Houses, 28 Bay Houses, 39 Garden Houses and 10 Pinewoods Houses.

Check–out

12 noon (11am if you’re staying in a villa). Earliest check-in, 2pm (3pm if you’re staying in a villa). Times can be flexible subject to availability and a charge; for early/late arrivals, there's a changing room and use of the hotel facilities.

Rates

Double rooms from $468.18 (€420), including tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates for Beach Rooms and Suites usually include breakfast. For guests staying in the Houses, breakfast costs €20 for adults, €10 for under-12s (free for babies and toddlers). Children Under-2s stay free in cots; extra beds for under-12s are €60 a night.

Also

All areas of the hotel are pushchair/wheelchair-friendly. Some rooms have bathrooms adapted for wheelchair users. If you prefer a little more privacy, in-room beauty treatments include manicures, pedicures and waxing. Pilates and yoga sessions can also be arranged.

At the hotel

Five swimming pools, restaurants, bars, spa, gym, crèche, kids club, public beach with lifeguards and watersports centre, gardens, playground, tennis courts, bicycles to borrow, grocery store, valet parking, DVD library (rental €10 a day) and free WiFi throughout.

In your room

Flatscreen satellite TV with on-demand films, Bose iPod dock, Voya toiletries, tea and coffee-making facilities, minibar with free bottled water (villas also have fully fitted kitchens with fridge-freezers, coffee machines, washer-dryers; bathrobes and slippers in bathrooms, plus daily maid service and evening turn-down).

Our favourite rooms

The spacious House villas in Martinhal Village are ideal for families – with one, two or three bedrooms, they all have fully equipped kitchens and outdoor space in the form of a balcony, terrace or private garden. Some, such as the Deluxe villas in Pinewood House, have their own private (and gated) swimming pools, too. Decor throughout is colourful and contemporary, with natural materials and clean-lined furnishings.

Poolside

Get ready to be happy: there are no less than five pools gracing the resort, so you’ll never be short of a sunlounger and always be able to pick somewhere calm or more chaotic, depending on whether you’re without the kids or with. The main pools are at the beach club and the main square. For toddlers, try the baby Oasis Pool within the Garden Houses area or the baby pool at Club 98. The latter club also has a large pool popular with teens who come for a dip and stay to chat with new friends over snacks at its adjacent bar.

Spa

The Finisterra Spa is an all-natural affair (timber interiors, 100 per cent organic Voya products, herbal facials and ayurvedic massage). You’ll find six treatment rooms set around an inner garden (one is suitable for couples) plus a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. Opt either for a babysitter (the more advanced your booking, the better) or leave the kids at the crèche. Alternatively, simply bring them along: various family, tween and teen pampering packages are offered alongside baby-massage sessions for parents with newborns.

And…

Don’t forget to pack flat shoes for you and something more sturdy than Crocs for the kids if you think you might go walking in the neighbouring national park. Wetsuits are useful for little ones, especially in shoulder season.

Book ahead

It pays to be organised, particularly during peak season, if you can anticipate wanting dinner for two and a babysitter on your first night, book it before you dig out your passport, along with any spa treatments you’ll be requiring to get your body bikini-ready. The crèche, kids' clubs and tennis academies are very popular in high season; book your spaces in advance.

Pet-friendly

Sorry Fido, pets aren't allowed.

Eco-friendly

The hotel relies on solar power, and was built using natural materials; organic local produce features in the restaurant and the hotel is involved in conservation projects.

Food and drink

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Martinhal Sagres – Algarve – Portugal

Dining

The hotel’s main restaurant O Terraço surveys the sea, with floor-to-ceiling windows, white linen-clad tables and timber decking. Traditional Portuguese recipes are inventively reinterpreted; try the signature starter of sea urchin with scrambled egg. There’s also As Dunas Beach Bar and Restaurant; casual by day and candlelit by night, it champions fresh fish and seafood at all times. On top of this you’ll find Os Gambozinos (pizza and pasta on the square) and the Beach Club bar (serving snacks, juices and ice-creams to have straight on the sands). Back on the square there’s a juice bar, while Club 98 within the hotel’s tennis club also serves snacks and drinks. Because lots of guests are here with tots in tow, meals tend to be eaten early.

Family fare

All restaurants are well stocked with highchairs, kiddie cutlery and children's menus. Brilliantly (and knowingly), many boast a dedicated play area, too: the kids’ corner in the breakfast room means they can colour-in under the supervision of a crèche staffer while mum and dad slurp espressos; and there's a trampoline and sand pit in front of the beachfront As Dunas.

Hotel Bar

For drinks à deux, Lounge Bar O Terraço, attached to the main restaurant, is open from 11am until 11pm. The emphasis is on stylish comfort; a relaxed soundtrack of jazz, bossa nova and chilled beats, enormous sofas strewn with brightly coloured cushions, and plenty of design touches to revel in. Otherwise surf-themed M Bar, complete with a booth inside a full-size retro VW camper, is super family-friendly and open all day long, right the way from healthy breakfasts and light lunches to sundowners after a day by the pool and drinks after dark.

Last orders

Drinks are served until 11pm. Breakfast is served in O Terraço from 7.30am to 10am.

Smith Insider

  • Top table

    Bagged a babysitter? On balmy nights, you can’t beat a romantic dinner al fresco on O Terraço’s terrace, if you’re eating with them, try Os Gambozinos: they can run around in the square playground in your full view while you sip a grappa.

  • Room service

    For guests staying in the main hotel, room service is offered 24 hours a day. Dishes range from the sophisticated (stuffed guinea fowl) to the straightforward and more child-friendly (club sandwiches).

    Also

    If you’re self-catering, it's worth knowing that the Mercado shop in the main square also serves fresh food items from 8am until 12 noon (think breakfast croissants and juice plus fresh fruit and veg, jamon, cheese and wine). Look out, too, for the cold takeaway meals sold later in the day – plus the obligatory ice-creams to perk up little people in the heat. In the main square, Os Gambozinos offers hot takeaway dishes to eat back at yours. One word of warning, especially if you’re not self-catering: this isn’t a place for budget dining, although there are plenty of inexpensive family-friendly options in nearby Sagres.

Childcare

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Martinhal Sagres – Algarve – Portugal

Parent approved

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Martinhal Sagres – has been selected and approved by parents.

Crèche

Little ones aged 6–23 months get their own HQ in the shape of the Raposinhos Crèche, open in three time slots from 9.30am to 5.30pm (€29 per two-hour session, €23–26 in low season – book in advance). It’s stocked with lots of toys, games and puzzles and the qualified staff organise different activities such as story time or making footprint paintings. For pre-schoolers, the kids’ club is an extension of the crèche suitable for 2–4 year olds (activities here include teddy bears’ picnics, recycling and science tasks, or princess and pirate parties). In peak season, the crèche organises supervised evening activities, leaving mum and dad free to enjoy a more leisurely dinner. You can often negotiate savings if you book sessions in bulk or for more than one child, for example.

Kids Club

Various kids’ activity clubs run during summer holidays according to your child’s age. Fox Club is for kids aged 5–8 and might include football matches, wall painting or crazy science hour (sessions cost €21–€25 and you can pick 9.30am–12.30pm, 12.30pm–2.30pm, 2.30pm–5.30pm or 6.30pm–9pm). For the 9–12s, the Explorers’ Club offesr surf sessions or bike tours, sailing or scuba, while the Adventure Club caters for teens up to age 18 with dolphin watching, junior lifeguard courses, cycling and mocktail-making contests. Itineraries are fun and varied and the clubs are a great way to make new friends. Unsurprisingly, they’re popular so reserve early – for the Explorers and Adventure Clubs you can pre-book one-off sessions or buy activity bundles at reduced rates (ask at reception as charges and timings vary from session to session).

Babysitting

Qualified babysitters are available from €14 an hour (minimum one hour); book 24 hours in advance. After midnight the fee rises to €17 an hour for one child (€22 for three).

Baby-listening

You'll have to bring your own baby monitor, but here they're really only intended for you to enjoy a drink on your room’s balcony while your newborn snoozes in an adjacent room – the resort is too large for them to reach to the restaurants or bar.

Other Services

From 6.30pm–9pm, the Sunset Club is open for parents to leave their 3–9-year-olds for an evening session. It costs €25 including dinner for your kids, so you can enjoy supper together while they're ably entertained. The Mercado shop in the resort’s central square sells a wide selection of baby food, nappies including swim nappies, wipes, lotions and formula (if you want to know if they sell a certain brand of purée or nappy cream before you leave, just ask the Baby Concierge).

What's there already?

For babies

• Highchairs • Steriliser • Bottles • Weaning spoons • Bibs • Beakers/sippy cups • Travel cot • Cot bedlinen • Changing mat • Baby bath • Bath thermometer • Pushchair • Baby carrier • Soft toys • Crayons • Board books

For toddlers

• Highchairs • Booster seat • Cutlery • Beakers/sippy cups • Cot beds • Cot bedlinen • Bed guard • Potties • Toilet-seat adapter • Buggy • Stair gates • Toddler-proof toys • Scooters • Crayons/pens • Craft materials • Picture books • U-rated DVDs • Sand pit • Soft-play area • Playground

For older children

• DVD library • Books • Bikes to borrow • Bike helmets • Board games • Craft materials • Ping-pong table • Table football • Pool table • Games consoles • Sand pit • Playground • Trampoline

Activities

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Martinhal Sagres – Algarve – Portugal

Things to do

Between the hotel’s numerous sun-dappled swimming pools and a packed programme of activities for all the family (not to mention the sandy beach on your doorstep), you might choose never to venture much beyond its walls. The surrounding protected parkland is a perfect playground for trekking, cycling or horse riding while the onsite tennis club offers Nadal-wannabes of all ages the chance to ace it. The azure Atlantic beckons for watersports or a glam morning’s boat trip; sunkissed sands and a peaceful eco spa are an invitation to simply crash out while your kids crash about in the crèche.

Sunny days

Whether you want to surf en famille and catch your first tube together or simply make castles in the sand, Martinhal Beach and its watersports centre are central to any holiday here. When you all tire of the sands, five pools provide endless opportunity to soak up some rays or laze on a lilo. For over-6s, there are excellent tennis and football academies for all levels held daily during main school holidays (book ahead) and, if you can muster the energy to leave your sun lounger, Mr and Mrs Smith can play friendly matches at the two outdoor astroturf tennis courts within Club 98. One-to-one lessons are available, including half-hour sessions for 4–5-year-olds, and kit and courts can be hired by the hour.

Rainy days

Rain or shine, the pleasingly grown-up Blue Room in the main square is a big hit with over-8s for its games consoles, table football and board games (it’s unsupervised). A lack of sun might be just the push you need to hit the gym (in the main square) or there’s designer swimwear (Diane von Furstenberg, Anya Hindmarch) at the Biondi Couture boutique to browse until the sun burns the clouds away once more.

And there's more…

The hotel has a vast programme of pick-and-mix activities for adults and/or families – you could cherry-pick a sunrise boat trip or Zumba, family fishing or solo jogging, bike or walking tours, even family triathlons. Some sessions are free, others cost €10–€30; all require reserving at least 24 hours beforehand. The kids' club and crèche offer some free sessions from 1 November 2013 until 31 March 2014.

Local Guide

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Martinhal Sagres – Algarve – Portugal
Smith tip

Right on Martinhal beach itself is lovely, loungey little Nortada (+351 (0)918 613 410). Don’t be fooled by the beach-shacky vibe – this gem bats well above average food-wise: try the clams or wholemeal pizzas and soak up views of the sea.

Don't miss…

…a romantic meal for two on the covered terrace at Vila Velha (www.vilavelha-sagres.com), home to some of Sagres’ finest home-cooked fresh fish and traditional meat dishes. Try monkfish skewers with scallops or aunt Gabriela’s rabbit.

A trip into Sagres itself is all about kicking back in a café watching surfers wax their boards and readying themselves for rolling waves; from the little port, boats can take you on coastal cruises or dolphin-spotting out at sea. A short drive from the Martinhal Sagres beach resort and hotel, the Cape Saint Vincent provides the perfect spot for a family expedition while endless sporting activities both on- and off-site can be arranged by the hotel.

The short drive along the narrow coast road to functioning lighthouse Saint Vincent rewards you with brilliant photo opps of the cliffs and the crashing Atlantic waves below (in the Middle Ages this solitary spot, at Portugal’s most southwesterly tip, used to be called the end of the world). It’s about 6km from Sagres and open to the public for tours. Also at the Cape is the crumbling ruin of 17th-century fortess Saint Vincent.

In Sagres' Porto da Baleeira, the excellent team at Cape Cruiser (+351 919 751 175) can take you dolphin-spotting: head out on an exhilharating RIB speedboat ride with their marine biologists and you've a good chance of spotting common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises, and if you're very lucky, you might even catch sight of sun fish, striped dolphin, blue shark or minke whale. €30 for adults; €25 for under-12s. Padded seats are snugly arranged in front-facing pairs, and the ride out to sea is fast and can be rough, so this trip is not suited to under-3s or pregnant women – use your own judgment with toddlers and pre-schoolers (you'll be in very safe hands), or consider a more gently puttering cruise to explore sea caves and coastal curiosities instead.

If beaches are your thing, you're in luck – there are dozens to choose from along this coast; our favourite closest alternatives to your local at Martinhal include Praia do Zavial, Praia do Beliche and Praia do Castelejo. A non-stop string of west-coast surfer beaches (including popular Amado, Arrifana and Odeceixe) lie along the Costa Vicentina lie northbound towards Aljezur; pick one depending on how long you feel like driving.

Locals rave about Pizza Pazza (+351 282 639 173), a tiny Italian-run pizzeria in the middle-of-nowhere village of Pedralva near Vila do Bispo, where tasty thin-crust wheels of delight are turned out to a devoted crowd. Pizzas are supplemented by a few simple pasta dishes and desserts (including Tiramisù), jugs of wine and cold beer. In high season, it's open Tuesdays–Sundays, 12.30–3pm and 7.30pm till midnight; October–May, it's open Thursdays–Sundays only. Book ahead.

Also run by a couple of friendly Italians, quirkily decked-out Mum's (+351 (0)910 835 541) on Avenida Comandante Matoso in Sagres is so-called for its traditional cooking – just like mama used to make. The thoughtful, largely organic menu is more fusion than all-out traditional Italian (so, noodles as well as gnocchi) and the eclectic decor is all-things-bright-and-beautiful. Some serious mixing goes on at the cocktail bar (try a Dramatic Martini made with vodka, angostura bitters, cranberry and mint leaves) and with a loyal local following, Mum’s is definitely the Word on everyone's lips in Sagres.

You could also pop into Sagres boutique hotel Memmo Baleeira for an aperitif on the sunny terrace overlooking rip-roaring waves before settling into the dining room for traditional Algarve minted fish soup followed by razor-clam risotto. There’s a small bar indoors for a nightcap à deux to finish the night.

+ Enlarge
Martinhal Sagres
Quinta do Martinhal, Apartado 54, Sagres, Algarve, 8650-908
Hotel setting

Wild western Algarve

Getting There

Just outside the surfers' paradise in the western Algarve, Martinhal Sagres overlooks the public sandy beach with which it shares its name, and is set in a small villa complex within acres of protected national parkland.

Planes

Faro airport is 115km (just under 90 minutes by car) from the hotel, served by British Airways (www.britishairways.com), Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and EasyJet (www.easyjet.com). There are plenty of hire-car desks: book in advance in high season.

Trains

International rail services serve Lisbon Oriente, from where you can pick up a daily regional connection to Tunes railway station. It is 60km away (just over an hour's drive) from Martinhal Sagres resort.

Automobiles

If you want to explore the west-coast beaches of the Costa Vicentina and have a little independence, a hire car is a good idea. The resort town of Lagos is 25 minutes away by car to your east; the less touristy port of Sagres is less than 10 minutes' drive west – beyond that are the best surfing breaks and coves to explore. Guest parking is plentiful (and free). If you’re driving, you’ll be coming via the A22 motorway, also known as the Via do Infante. It’s a toll road so be sure to charge up your card (your hire-car company can do this for you).

Parent travel tip

Faro's airport has a small play area for children, a couple of family-friendly cafés and plenty of baby-changing facilities. Don't forget to book car seats for your children at the same time as your hire car; they can be in short supply come the summer holidays.

Reviews

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Martinhal Sagres – Algarve – Portugal

Smith & Family  Parent Panel reviews

Every property featured in the Smith & Family collection – including Martinhal Sagres – has been selected and approved by parents.

The first thing that sprang to mind when someone said 'the Algarve' used to be golf. Now it’s luxury family resort Martinhal Sagres – a little outpost of serenity and super-comfort near Sagres where family-friendly barefoot luxury gets rolled out on a grand scale. We’re talking an opulent spa and lovely long stretch of surf-tastic sand, multiple swimming pools, five genuinely family-friendly restaurants, two bars, two kids’ sports academies, three kids’ clubs, a crèche and bulletproof babysitting. Here’s a place where no child ever got bored, no parent couldn’t find time to unwind and no newborn-related request was ever too much trouble (how does a dedicated baby concierge sound?). Amid handsome natural parkland and high-breaking waves, you can choose to do next-to-nothing or a different activity every day of the week. And yes, that still includes golf.  

Smith & Family

The Guestbook  Smith member reviews

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith & Family hotel, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what real-life family guests had to say about Martinhal Sagres in the Guestbook below.

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The design, the waves. Zaviel beach is gorgeous. 10 minute drive great restaurant.

Don’t expect

Great Food or five star service.

Rating: 6/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The beautiful setting, the breadth of children's activities, the excellent restaurants and the friendly staff. Vila Joya restaurant near Albufeira is a very special treat.

Don’t expect

To be able to avoid little children!

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Restaurants - kid friendly yet felt like a treat for us adults. Heated pools - May was just a bit too cold not to have a heated pool. Toys - no need to pack toys for your little one whilst away - they had pool/beach toys on offer and a lot of playgrounds to keep them entertained. There are so many family friendly beaches in the area, so I would recommend hiring a car if you like to get out and about outside of the resort

Don’t expect

A romantic getaway - definitely a place for families/kids

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

All the kids activities and attention to detail in regards being kid friendly (high chairs everywhere, the kids dinner buffet, healthy kids options, no sharp edges etc)

Don’t expect

Quiet... it's buzzing with kids

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The pools The child friendly restaurants The location on the beach The garden house. Go on a sunset jeep safari with Sagres discovery tours.

Don’t expect

Romantic dinners for two alone (children are always present in restaurants even if well behaved and entertained).

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 4 months old baby

We loved

How everything is made for families, we were there with a small baby and we had everything we needed - and didn't feel ashamed if our baby cried because we were not alone in that situation! The staff were very nice and the food was amazing. Great wines as well! We had a beautiful view of the ocean and were able to swim in the heated pools. You have to go to Benagil beach and go up to admire the view - just splendid. We recommend Rei Das Praias at Praia dos Caneiros in Ferrando, very fresh (and good) fish.

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet as there are a lot of children. The only thing that's inconvenient is the access for pram chairs to the outdoor pool and the beach: you have to go through the lunch restaurant but it closes at 4pm...then you can only take the stairs! It's also missing a bar after 6pm.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

That there were activities for children of all ages, including teens. Also wonderful staff at the spa. Nice beaches down the coast, as well as good restaurants around in the nearby town.

Don’t expect

Quiet. This is not a place to go without children.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The service and the way kids were catered for; from food to entertainment. We went with our 2 year old. He had an awesome time.

Don’t expect

To spend cash on the resort. Resort shop a little pricey.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Stylish and relaxed surroundings, the fab children's play areas next to each restaurant, the helpful staff and the excellent pools and beach.

Don’t expect

Guaranteed weather- during our stay we had two of the windy days that the area is renowned for. They really were very windy!

Rating: 9/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Beautiful setting, excellent accommodation, meals and water views.

Don’t expect

A quiet time by the pool. During mid-summer this Resort/Hotel is teeming with families with young children.

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Super friendly helpful stuff, loads to do for kids of all ages, beautiful place, great food.

Don’t expect

Romance - it's definitely a place to take your kids.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Lots of pools, spacious accommodation, amazing staff.

Don’t expect

Late nights.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on With a 14 week old baby

We loved

Facilities and hotel staff were fantastic with regards to children, even looking after our 14 week old baby whilst we eat.

Don’t expect

Unfortunately it was low season and a lot of things were closed, which we had not been told.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on Yes, (aged 3 and 1)

We loved

Great rooms and decor; fabulously kid-friendly.

Don’t expect

Given how family orientated the hotel is, it would be helpful if the restaurants could start serving dinner a little earlier (5?)

Rating: 10/10 stars