Over half term we were lucky enough to spend a few days in Lisbon, Portugal with Martinhal Resorts.
As you might expect, the two resorts offer very different breaks, but both were perfectly suited to family travel and offered all the home from home comforts that you need when travelling with children.
Martinhal Chiado is the world’s first city centre family hotel, situated in the old town and offers a real “WOW” factor as soon as you walk through the door, with impressive brick arched ceilings and a very warm welcome. Like in Cacais, the kids were given kids were given a gift each of a drawstring bag containing toys and games, which they were delighted with.
I am loath to call it a hotel, as what Chiado really offers is huge, comfortable apartments with floor to ceiling windows, beautiful decor and all the mod cons.
Each apartment is slightly different and arranged to cater for families of all sizes and then even have a small two bedroom one for the grandparents to stay in, if they fancy joining you for a short break. In ours we had a lounge / dining area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a functional kitchen.
Our room had a huge queen sized bed with an adjoining bathroom, but it was the kids room that had everyone squealing with delight – quadruple bunk beds with padded bed guards, so no arguing over who was sleeping in the top bunk!
The kitchen had everything you need to keep the family comfortable including a washer / dryer, dishwasher, cooker, microwave, coffee machine and large fridge freezer. In fact, if there is anything missing, Martinhal pride themselves in being able to get it for you.
Each apartment comes with a welcome pack perfect to keep weary travellers going, including chocolate biscuits and chocolate milk for the kids (and some grown up ones), orange juice, milk, tea / coffee and bottled water.
For those that prefer not to cook, there is the M Bar downstairs, a cosy family café lounge which offers a buffet breakfast as well as a tasty selection of healthy homemade snacks and light meals for lunch and during the day, up until 7pm. They also offer room service if you prefer to eat in your apartment.
Being a family friendly hotel, Martinhal Chiado have thought about the small people too. Not only are there books for them to borrow in the M-Bar and lobby, but there is a secure kids club which can accommodate children from babies to early teens, looked after by their fabulous staff – my kids have a particular fondness for one called Marshmallow!
There is also a play area which is accessible morning, noon and night for restless children to play with their parents. There is even a small indoor climbing wall.
The kids club is open from 9.30 – 22.00, allowing parents to leave their kids if they wish to explore Lisbon without small people in tow.
Although we love to explore with the kids, we did take advantage of the pyjama club which they run from 18.30 – 22.00, giving the kids an option of dinner during the evening. They had fun crafting, played games and settled down later in the evening to watch films………..they were all asleep on the comfy sofa’s and beanbags when we got home, but we learned after the first night to have their beds turned down before we carried them up!
We really enjoyed exploring Lisbon by night and took full advantage of some child-free time, although we did end up in the fabulous By The Wine bar opposite the hotel, whose ceiling is decorated with an impressive 3264 empty wine bottles.
It also serves the most amazing tapas food and their desserts are also delicious. TIP: Get the Lime Pie!!
If you are looking for a city break, then Martinhal Chiado is the perfect location to explore Lisbon. Staying here also gives you access to the facilities at their Cacais resort if you want to spend a day enjoying the facilities which include a spa, large park and pools. Transfers are not included, however, they can arrange a car for you for a small additional cost.
Martinhal Chiado invited us to stay with them for the purpose of the review, but all opinions are my own.