At a Glance
Martinhal Cascais champions the concept of luxurious family vacations and makes for an ideal long weekend with children.
- The emphasis on childcare, a godsend for those traveling with kids
- The massive pool area with plenty of space to run around
- The terrace restaurant, which serves excellent Portuguese food
Opened in 2016, the Cascais outpost is the second of Martinhal’s three Portuguese locations and is set in an affluent suburb 40 minutes by car from Lisbon. The hotel group capitalized on the growing need for family-focused resorts and, with three outstanding properties, have perfected the formula: a balance of convenience, luxury and sense of place.
Martinhal Cascais’ family focus is not obvious upon arrival; the main building has an elegant, minimalist design. White marble and glass blend into teak wood surfaces in the lobby, leading to the lawn scattered with whimsical artwork. The property has 72 rooms, 12 villas and 4 suites, and 20 rooms also have bunk beds, allowing children to sleep in the same room as their parents. The villas and suites have infant gates built into the staircases, so while the rooms match the lobby’s contemporary, luxurious vibe, they are not, strictly speaking, honeymoon-chic.
Martinhal’s balance of luxury and family focus extends to every aspect of the resort. The restaurant offerings are delicious; O Terrazzo, with its high ceilings and lovely terrace seating, is far more aesthetically pleasing than its wood-walled neighbor, O Trattoria. Both eateries have a kids corner with a dedicated babysitter, so children can leave the table to play when they’re finished, leaving their parents in peace.
Those traveling with children will appreciate the fantastic kids club, which is split into four age groups (newborns, toddlers, young children and preteens). The large outdoor space contains a playground, a giant “bounce blob” structure and plenty of space to run around. M Bar sits above the complex, and many parents choose to enjoy a cocktail there while their children burn off energy below. Those who want extra privacy can take advantage of the trained babysitting staff at all times. (Swimming lessons are offered and the spa has specialized treatments for younger guests, including gentle massages for newborns.)
If Martinhal Cascais has a downside, it’s the location. The resort’s removed setting makes it difficult for guests to explore off property, as there are no landmarks or beaches nearby (though the charming town of Sintra is a 25-minute drive and makes a great day trip). Visitors have the option of hiking, biking and horseback riding at nearby facilities—arranged by the hotel’s friendly, experienced staff—but there is little to do on site. Still, as a weekend stop for families traveling, Martinhal Cascais is ideal.
Who Should Stay
With such focus on childcare, the resort is only appropriate for families with children under the age of 12.
Written by Colin Heinrich