It would have been hard to miss but a couple of weeks back myself and Kenzie and some of my favourite Irish parenting blogger pals jetted off to Martinhal Cascais in Portugal for their Luxury Family Brand Event. Martinhal is a small chain of luxury family-friendly resorts across Portugal that promise you that you’ll get to drink your coffee while it’s still warm. And alongside us was Love of Living, Where Wishes Come From, Confessions of an Irish Mammy, Family Friendly HQ, Cannon Consulting and The Irish Fairy Door Company who happened to be one of the main speakers at the conference.
After a bit of a panic over a lost passport when we landed (see video below) we arrived at the resort just after 8 pm, greeted by a concierge. You know us, Irish, we’re a bit reluctant to hand over our bags but we lapped up the luxury of having them delivered to our rooms. A young lady popped her head around the reception, my babysitter for the night and from the second I met her I wanted to pick her up and put her in my pocket. She had the warmest smile, she was an absolute dote. It was a bit of a rush, I literally had minutes to try to get Kenzie settled before we were picked up to head to a local restaurant with the owners of Martinhal. After a big feed and some snuggles I happily and most importantly felt comfortable leaving her (I’ve never left her with anyone other than Joe and very close family!).
Fashionably late, we arrived at a little seafood place to have dinner with the Chitra and Roman Stern, the two wonderful people behind Martinhal. With four children of their own, they knew exactly wanted they needed in a hotel family friendly but with the added luxury, and that it was.
Our room was spacious, beautifully decorated and ours had all the little extras for Kenzie. They supplied a travel cot, baby bath, changing mat and there was even the cutest little flip flops for her too. We had a Nespresso machine, Voya skincare in the bathroom and a little box with sewing needles and thread, nail files and little trinkets you always need when you’re away.
The following morning we had a buffet style breakfast with a selection of cereals, fruits, hot food and pastries. Kenzie was in heaven, she’s had a bit of everything. I just ate my body weight in these custard tartlet type things. Amazing. High chairs were in there tens and they had the cutest little play area with their own little tables in the breakfast room so kids can play and you can sit back, relax and enjoy your breakfast.
Following breakfast, it was time to get Kenzie settled at the Kids Club. Now I’ve dropped my older kids at many a kids club in the past and this one honestly excels every single one of them. Everything from the decor, the staff even the menu was pretty unbelievable. The girls asked me what kind of food Kenzie would be having for lunch and I stuttered, I didn’t have any food with us. It never dawned on me to bring any as she’s baby led weaned and pretty much eats everything I eat. But, I didn’t need any because before I knew it they called out a list of food as long as my elbow that they could make her. Yes, make her. Like royalty. In the end, I went with Spaghetti Bolognese and broccoli. Kenzie happily went to her the girl who looked after her the evening before and I was off to the conference. Fashionably late as always.
The conference itself was very inspiring, and three speakers really stood out for me in particular. Niamh, the Chief Storyteller from The Irish Fairy Door Company was one. She’s a darling. I just loved their story. She had the room in a fit of giggles. We actually got Fairy Doors in our goodie bags and we’ve invited yet another fairy to come live with us. But this time it’s Frankie’s. Her name is Izzy (Isabelle) and she’s making quite a home for herself. Apparently, she loves Cheerio’s and raisins and… hopefully soothers too. Well, that’s the plan. I had a good auld chat with Paul Lindley the creator of Ella’s Kitchen on the first night on the way back from dinner and almost puked on him when I realised who he was. Sound bloke. And looking forward to his new product Paddy’s Bathroom launching in Ireland. We were gifted some in our hotel rooms but unfortunately, it was over the 100mls so I left it in the hotel as they’d have just taken it off us in the airport (in the end they checked our bags in, raging!). It’s 100% natural so no sulphates, parabens, SLS etc. I’d say it’s gonna be a huge hit. And another was Indagare Travel. She spoke of the amazing benefits of travelling with kids. It’s something I would have avoided as they are so young but now it’s all I can think about. I want to pack up the kids and go exploring the world and what it has to offer. I walked away feeling inspired and motivated having heard their success stories. And I was shocked to hear how Niamh from The Irish Fairy Door Company once lost everything and now every second home in Ireland has an Irish Fairy Door, amazing isn’t it?
I was in and out of the Conference throughout the day checking on Kenzie and ahem the amenities for the bigger kids just outside the clubhouse. They rock. Big wooden three houses, trampolines, some big green thing that you bounce on – great craic. The Kids Club had at one point eight members of staff, a ratio of one to one. Where would you get this like? Every time I popped in staff were on the floor playing with her, singing, dancing and genuinely entertaining her. Not one child was left alone, the staff were even going down the slides and in the climbing frame with them which was really lovely to see. You could see these guys really loved their jobs.
Unfortunately, we were only at the resort for a day, and most of that was spent at the brand and bloggers conference so we didn’t really get to explore the grounds much but they also had three pools, a gym, a cool bike station it even had little balance bikes for toddlers, a spa and three restaurants, one of which is located at the Kids Clubhouse. Like you wouldn’t want to leave this place, I know I didn’t!
Martinhal Cascais had the most wonderful and very accommodating staff, the young lady (Sarah?) who looked after Kenzie on the first night and again during her stay at the kids club is a credit to the resort as were all the staff at the Kids Club. If I could have squished her in my suitcase I would have brought her home with me.
Thank you Martinhal Cascais for the amazing opportunity. From what I saw during my brief stay this hotel excels in family friendliness not forgetting the added luxury feel. And without a doubt, they live up to their motto ‘parents have their cappuccino with the foam on it’. It was a lovely experience and I really hope to go back with the babogs some day. I know they’d just love it. If you would like some visuals on the luxury family friendly resort that Martinhal Cascais is, check out Frankie’s BFF’s mammy, Tracey from Love of Living’s vlog… she’s got skills!
Kenzie and I were invited to Martinhal Resort for the Brand & Bloggers Event. All thoughts are my own.