Martinhal Resort

I’ve recently returned from a incredibly relaxing and restorative break at the Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel in Sagres, Portugal, where I spent 5 lush days with my favourite lady, my Mum, Vasoulla.

Big thanks to my sister from another mister, brilliant blogging bestie Mirka of All Baby Advice and Fitness 4 Mamas for kindly recommending I review the resort- it was a complete and utter cracker of a holiday in the Portuguese sun and I’m back feeling like a new (much calmer) woman.

I know what you’re thinking too folks, not another holiday?! And you’re right, I really am one lucky blogger to get to travel so much as part of my blogging job, but please do know that I’m truly grateful for these trips away with my family and I consider them real highlights of my career.

Plus I really am a good egg of a girl, so you mustn’t feel too jel 😉

This time away was particularly special as it offered my Mum and I a rare and much needed break just the two of us, and was easy and stress free to visit, only 2 hours from home in the UK.

Below, I document our delightful days in the Algarve.

I loved roaming the resort and beach, taking tonnes of photos, a Fuji hanging round my neck, and it reminded me just how passionate I am about shooting. I usually leave the photography to my gifted husband Peter, but it was good to get behind the lens again and he said he was impressed with my shot which was rather lovely.

Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel

My favourite shots are taken with my Fuji but there are a fair few camera phone stills too.

sagres portugal

I do want to start by mentioning that my Mum is my absolute rock, the sweetest, most selfless woman I know, and the smartest too (she’s a former Uni lecturer) so it was such a gift to treat her to some time off, where she wasn’t helping me with childcare (which she tirelessly does so much), and give her a proper chance to just chill her beans, sunbathe, read and make use of the spa facilities. Oh yeah, baby! Bliss.

…We also worked out it was the first time since I’ve had kids that we’ve gone away together just us. We luckily had some gorgeous girly weekends away in Paris for mother-daughter bonding (galleries, shopping, fine French food) pre-children but it’s hard with little ones to find the time and energy to be spontaneous isn’t it?!

So thank you Martihal for coming to our ‘rescue’ 😉

And being one stylish Mama, this luxe boutique hotel was right up her (and my) street!


A chic, contemporary 5 star luxe holiday village in the Western Algarve, Martinhal is the perfect hideaway for families with children of all ages, and couples too (or mamas and daughters), enabling you to totally switch off and relax in style.


Beach club pool

luxury poolMartihal is like your own little private island really, a resort consisting of 25 hectares surrounded by the lush, green Costa Vicentina Natural Park and all its flora-with its serenity washing over you the minute you arrive.

forest white buildingspretty pink flower

It features a 37 bedroom beachfront Hotel Martinhal as well as spacious village houses (we stayed in an ocean house) dotted around the main reception along with an exclusive collection of privately-owned and HUGE set of villas and townhouses with their own private pools and gardens.

Come check out our pad…Our large ocean house was central to the action, modern with classic furnishings to feel homely, with the whole resort consistent style wise and designed by the eminent Terence Conran.

Mediterranean apartments

2 spacious bedrooms on the first floor making it the ideal abode for 2 adults and 2 children.

bedroom bedroom

Upstairs a huge kitchen, dining area and balcony overlooking the ocean.

dining area

A welcome pack of food and drinks on arrival-

breakfast crockery

sea view

Room with a view-

sea view

We also had a sweet little garden at the front for sunbathing.

wicker lounger

Rosa Santos, the PR and Communications Manager for Martinhal also gave me a guided tour one morning, and the whole place is just jaw droppingly dreamy ( a bit like being on Pinterest in 3D), with such varied but equally chic houses and rooms on site, with something for everyone from families with tiny babies to parents of teens.

Beach Club Pool - Morning

beach volley ball

Martinhal also offers 3 restaurants, a Mercado gift shop and grocers which was ideal for fresh coffee in the morning and a sandwich at lunch, 4 swimming pools, a children’s club and crèche, babysitters, and a host of leisure activities including tennis and padel tennis, mountain biking and watersports by the pristine beach.

Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel pool Beach club pool

beach playground beach
watersports cliff

It’s impossible for families to feel bored there and yet nothing feels overwhelming or intense. You just pick and choose what you fancy doing or simply do nothing but take in the view.


As people there without kids, Mum and I found it to be quiet and relaxing, and being so sprawling there was space for those who wanted the full on holiday experience to others enjoying a more tranquil vacay.

beach resort

The resort is the brainchild of Chitra Stern, the founder, whom we met, a charismatic, kind lady who lives on site with her husband and 4 children and who is expanding her resorts and meeting the needs of families everywhere who don’t want to compromise on luxury because they have kids.

So back to the break, what do you do when on holiday without kids?

All the stuff you find hard with kids when away of course, like read. A lot. Sunbathe. A lot. And breathe.



Although to be fair to Martinhal you can do all of the above, even with little ones thanks to their amazing kids camp (one of the finest I’ve ever seen-in stunning state of the art yet welcoming surroundings) and babysitters for hire if you opt for them.

The activities on offer are incredible at the kids camp and on the resort for both kids and adults alike, from yoga and pilates (and a super gym on site that you can use anytime) to dolphin watching, family football, movie watching, t-shirt designing, aqua fit, kickboxing and more.

kids camp

kids play area

soft play

And for the tweens and teens-

games roomAnd how cool is the Club 98 Sports and Pool bar at the resort too?!

Perfect to entertain children of all ages while parents have a refreshing cold drink!

bar retro camper van

Plus of course, your kids will be so fulfilled and entertained there the probability of meltdowns will be low (I didn’t witness any) as kids will be too busy enjoying themselves. As will you.

Mentioning enjoyment, finding some me-time was rather wonderful even if I did miss my kids and husband back home.

I relished meandering off to the beach daily, while Mama napped or read, just to feel the sand between my toes and listen to the waves.

sandy beach

There’s nothing like it.

I loved hanging out with my mum even if we did inevitably annoy each other at times like only mother and daughters can but we laughed a lot and it was precious time to cherish, we simply don’t get enough of these days.

I really, really did miss my husband and kids though ( I know I’ve already mentioned this) but I thankfully bumped into an old journo friend and her baby out there, and even made some new mates who all kindly let me hug their kids (ha!) and we enjoyed some drinks by the pool together most days!

Rose in between swims is not a bad way to spend the day I’ll have you know.

And I have to mention the breakfast. Champagne with your cornflakes anyone?!

champagne breakfast muffins buffet al fresco dining fresh lobster

Mum and I had dinner late most evenings flitting between the art deco style Michelin recommended O Terraco at the top of the hotel, with drinks enjoyed on the terrace before a more formal setting within.

restaurant pictures candle cool balcony

Mum’s fine fillet steak.

fillet steak espresso

Our favourite was the beach restaurant As Dunas overlooking the ocean (with live music some nights) that was frankly, like a scene from a movie.

A shaded outdoor terrace allows for meals al fresco – candle light dining at its finest with the sound of the sea lapping at the shores.

Combining eclectic design, regional food and wine with warm, efficient service and kids’ corners and facilities, the Martinhal know sure know how to knock up a feast, families or not.

woman in restaurant holiday entertainment

Grilled chicken and rice noodles

chicken and grilled vegetables

Carrot and pea rissotto in a white wine sauce

Carrot and pea rissotto in a white wine sauce

kitchen lampshades

The staff absolutely went the extra mile there.

As I was on a vegan detox at the time, the chef created bespoke dishes especially for me from risotto to pasta dishes and even dairy free desserts and fruit platters. Incredibly nourishing, seasonal food, exquisite tasting and stunningly presented.

Asparagus risotto

asparagus rissotto

Seasonal vegetarian penne (enjoyed on my last night)

penne and vegetable pasta

The staff at the resort are polite and kind and genuinely adore kids.

My favourites had to be Sophia and Emma, below from As Dunas restaurant, who were the sweetest and most fun ladies you could hope to meet, and made our time there really special.

And here are the snaps Sophia took during our stay-

woman on holiday baukjen dress

Bryson Print Dress c/o Baukjen, clutch gifted by Yosa whom I’m an ambassador for.

floral dress

Dress c/o Planet.

Oh and I mustn’t forget the spa-


The Finisterra Spa, with it’s natural wood decor and sun trap location was just heavenly. With areas for reading, hot tubs and high ceilings, it was a haven for holidaymakers.

spa hotel

massage bed

The room I had my mani and massage was in a lighthouse structure so when I lay down the top window opened letting in glorious sunlight.

It was the first time I had my nails painted laid down too and was utterly relaxing.


What a fabulous few days…

By the end of the trip I couldn’t wait to get home to my boys for cuddles.

Catching a flight directly back to Leeds was great and I was welcomed back by my husband and sons with open arms, lots of kisses, and tears from my toddler who missed me madly oh and a heatwave in Yorkshire. Good times.

Thanks Martinhal, you offer the perfect retreat for families not far from home, and we will certainly be back (with my husband and kids next time)!

I just had to end the post with one more shot of that azure blue sea! Lush!


Prices for a two bedroom Ocean House (self-catering) start from €356 per night.

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80 Responses

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  2. Su

    Wow! You have just beamed me there already! Your pictures are stunning! Thanks for sharing. It is exactly the holiday I want to go and take my family along to just relax! 🙂

    • honestmum

      You would LOVE it Su, Peter my husband took a lot of these (and I got behind the camera too), it is such an incredibly beautiful part of the world xx

  3. Su

    Wow! You have just beamed me there already! Your pictures are stunning! Thanks for sharing. It is exactly this kind of place I want to go on holiday and take my family with me and just relax! 🙂

  4. A Cornish Mum

    What an absolutely stunning place to stay, and so lovely you had a girls holiday with your gorgeous Mum! Gorgeous photos of you as usual, I have severe wardrobe envy!

    Stevie x #BrilliantBlogPosts

  5. Mother Mands

    I love Portugal and it looks lovely where you were, the resort looks really nice and family friendly and most important (to me :D) the food looks great! Glad you and your mum had a lovely time. My mum is going to have to make do with Scotland in August 😀 I’m cooking so she can take a break from the kitchen 😀

    • honestmum

      Oh I love Scotland, funnily enough we were saying yesterday we miss it and want to visit again, such a beautiful part of the world. Love that you’ll be cooking to give her a rest. It was really relaxing in Portugal and like you, I’m a total foodie and I was so impressed with the food x

  6. Mim

    A holiday without kids? With your mum? With a spa? And amazing food and beaches? And you say I shouldn’t be jealous? Ha ha what an awesome opportunity! I’m pea green 🙂 Mim x

  7. Jenny

    Wow, that’s a great view! Lovely treat for your lovely mum too and so nice to relax without the kids! 🙂 x

  8. Natasha

    *Sighhh* It looks stunning! We’re off to Morocco in a couple of weeks but maybe next year…or half term!! haha

  9. Sara | mumturnedmom

    Fabulous, how wonderful to get some time with your mother, that’s really special. I love the Algarve, one of my favourite holiday destinations. My aunt and uncle have a villa there and I have spent many wonderful holidays there over the years 🙂

  10. fashion-mommy

    I would absolutely love to spend quality time like this with my mom, it does get harder when you have kids, and this place looks divine.

  11. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Ah, how lovely to spend such quality time with your Mum! And in such a stunning location too 🙂 Thrilled to hear you had a wonderful and restorative time. There really is something just so transformative about having a holiday and being away from the norm. If I had my way, I’d do it every month, at least 😉 X

    • honestmum

      Very true, we’ve been so, so lucky that we’ve actually been away every month since April, I appreciate it all. Getting away with my Mama was really special, something we’ll always remember 🙂

  12. Ebabee

    What a treat to be able to get away with your mum – both of you look ah-mazing! The resort looks stunning and that blue sky – gorgeous! Your photo’s are fabulous too – wow, didn’t know there were so many hidden talents in your family. xx

    • honestmum

      Hehe thanks lady, nowhere near as good as my main man’s but I loved getting behind the camera again, it was so lovely there Nomita x

  13. Catie

    How lovely for you and mum to have that time. It looks very special! #brilliant blog posts

  14. Mummy Tries

    This place really does look incredible. Must have also been fab to spend a bit of time with your mum.

    Our first family holiday abroad was to Portugal and we had a great time. Definitely want to go back at some point xx

    • honestmum

      It’s a great place for families isn’t it, we loved taking the kids to the Algarve, the perfect weather for young ones too. Martinhal was just gorgeous and Mum and I had a real laugh x

  15. Life Loving

    This place looks lovely. Sounds like you had a great trip away with your Mum. Champagne for breakfast eh!

    Sally @ Life Loving

  16. Elena

    What an amazing place,the food looks out of this world.
    Good for you on treating your mum

  17. The DADventurer (Dave)

    Looks great and pleased you had a fab time – not quite sure if I could be alone with my mum on holiday for 5 days – we’re too similar so would probably clash! 🙂

  18. Katie Heels and Hooves

    Oh Vicki, how lovely to have some girlie time with your mum! This place looks absolutely divine. I’m grounded in my third trimester at the moment and this has certainly given me itchy feet! xx

  19. zoe dunn

    What a fantastic time!!! It looks amazing and your pics are fab. I especially like the one of you and your mum and also the camper van for the kids to sit in what a fantastic place to visit your so lucky!! Great post #brilliantblogposts

    • honestmum

      Thanks Zoe, so glad you liked my photos too, that camper van is so cool isn’t it, we had a fab break x

  20. Mrs Tubbs

    If I told you I wasn’t sobbing with jealousy about now, that would be a lie! But I’m going on holiday in a few weeks so it’s all good!

    It looks absolutely fantastic and I’m glad you and your mum had a wonderful time. Hope the return to normal hasn’t come as too much of a shock.

    • honestmum

      Aw don’t cry Mama (I know you’re not really?!) Yay for holidays soon, we really did have a fab time! I have had a lot of holidays recently which have been amazing but good to be home too x

  21. Mummy Fever

    Some friends of ours have visited the last two years with children and said it was great for families #brilliantblogposts

  22. John Adams

    This makes me jealous. We’ve been to Portugal with the kids and not too far from Sagres as it happens. It’s a great family destination. The Martinhal reminds me of the kind of place I visited back in my travel journalism days! Perhaps one day I shall visit myself. As ever, thanks for hosting #BrilliantBlogPosts


    Oh my darling girl, what an incredible break for you and your lovely lovely momma! AMAZING – the resort looks just perfect and I’m so glad you got the much needed time away. Blissful and well deserved xxx

    • honestmum

      Thanks sweetpea, so, so lovely getting time with my Mama, can be rare to just chill with her and we loved it xx

  24. Kate Takes 5 (@KateTakes5)

    What a fantastic review – I feel like I know the place already! Gorgeous photos and how lovely to get some serious downtime. That pool and sports club look amazing – my kids will be all over it all! Thanks for the lovely insight into what looks to be a really special place.

    • honestmum

      Thanks Kate, you guys will love it, the kids will be stimulated and the whole vibe is so relaxing. Enjoy the spa too: lush! Have fun!

  25. Ali

    Amazing! It’s been years since I went to Portugal and this place just looks stunning. So nice to get time away with your mum, I love my mum & daughter days out but we’ve never stretched to a holiday. Definitely one to remember though. #brilliantblogposts

  26. Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser)

    Vicki I know how much you were looking forward to this trip and it looks like it didn’t disappoint! What a fabulous resort – going straight onto our bucket list – and gorgeous outfits too. You look amazing and very relaxed. Gorgeous post as always xx

    • honestmum

      Thanks darling, it was lovely to get time with my Mum just the two of us and it was a gorgeous resort xx

  27. Lins @Boo & Maddie

    It really looks idyllic and it sounds like it really caters for all tastes and holiday wishes. That photo of you and your Mum together is gorgeous x


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