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Helen visits Portugal – October 2015

Filed Under: Blog

Posted on 09th Nov 2015

A flying visit to the Algarve in October gave me the chance to see a number of our most popular resorts for families.

First stop was the Monte da Quinta Club.  This is a small resort with apartment style accommodation located in the heart of Quinta do Lago.  The apartments are extremely spacious and central to the resort is a landscaped pool and kid’s splash pool. The very lovely kids club sits adjacent to this with a small outdoor play area.  This resort offers fabulous value for money, but just remember it’s a 10 minutes’ drive from the coast.

Onwards to the Sheraton Algarve and Pine Cliffs resort which is a very large resort with a wide choice of accommodation. Ideal for families are the Pine Cliffs Residences, apartments which have a quite separate spot within the resort, separate reception, family pool and the delightful O Grill restaurant.  The Sheraton hotel also offers suites and connecting rooms and these are being re-furbished to provide light, bright rooms with contemporary furnishings and luxury bathrooms. For next summer there will also be the Ocean Suites which are truly luxurious suites with kitchen facilities. Being winter, the choice of restaurants was limited, but the evening’s seafood buffet at the Jardim Colonial was superb.  The mini train was a helpful service to get from the residences to the hotel, but be prepared for lots of shakes, rattles and rolls!

Next stop Martinhal Quinta. This is not to be confused with Martinhal Sagres. Martinhal Quinta is a 4 star resort featuring townhouses and villas. The Martinhal group recently took over management of a small selection of these and are developing their own facilities within the resort.  This is a recent addition to the Martinhal portfolio, so at this stage the facilities are quite limited with a poolside snack bar, mini market Mercado and bicycle hire station. Martinhal has however placed its stamp on the pool area already with fat boy bean bags, trampoline, sand pit and stylish loungers and a delightful poolside bar.   A restaurant is being added over the winter and will open in April 2016. There is also a children’s club for ages 3 and over and teen’s area.  Although there is a beach shuttle service, car hire would be useful to get out and explore the area.

Onto Martinhal Sagres, a well-established and stylish family resort which Tots Too clients have been enjoying for many years.  This is a truly 5 star family friendly resort, something which is pretty hard to achieve and Martinhal does it with finesse.  Young families cannot fail to be impressed with the lines of highchairs ready at tables in each restaurant, the supervised children’s play areas in each restaurant and the delightful children’s clubs. Three restaurants offer tasty dining or guests can cater for themselves. The Mercado mini market is well stocked with fresh and convenience food as well as fresh bakery products and a dangerously attractive toy corner (parent beware)! A small but perfectly formed spa provides parents with a relaxing space to enjoy some pampering whilst the children are enjoying the kids club.  The views across the bay and the sandy beach are spectacular.

Vila Vita Parc was my next stop. The rooms and suites at this hotel have all been recently re-furbished and offer light bright and contemporary décor with a palette of natural colours. This is an established resort with stunningly designed lush gardens with pools and palm trees in abundance.  An impressive choice of restaurants, well equipped children’s club and full service spa ensure that guests or all ages are well provided for.

 Last stop and one of the most luxurious hotels was the Conrad Algarve.  Located in Quinta do Lago right next to the exclusive Quinta do Lago shopping, this grand hotel offers stylish and luxurious accommodation. Supremely comfortable and spacious rooms offer the ultimate luxury of a TV at the end of your bathtub and a large terrace with the comfiest of sofas! Families will love the choice of connecting rooms or suites.  Restaurants offer high quality food with Portuguese Louro offering delicious local dishes such as clams and black pork and the spectacular Michelin starred Gousto by Heinz Beck which offers a superb gastronomic tasting menu. The kids club offers a full programme of supervised activities and there is also a separate play room for parents or nannies to use with their children.  A shuttle bus runs guest to ‘Maria’s Beach’ where sunbeds, sunshades and towels may be hired.

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