What to expect
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Last 5 reviews
Well thought out for kids
We stayed here over the May half term with our 2 kids. I'm not sure if we were expecting too much from the trip as it was our first trip abroad since the pandemic and also as we were celebrating our 15 year anniversary. Unfortunately the hotel didn't quite deliver so that was disappointing. We had a room on the ground floor with bunk beds for the kids. The room itself was nice with a big bathroom and good size bathtub but it didn't have a nice view as there was a massive bush and tree trunk in the way. It also made the room quite dark and the balcony unusable as it wasn't very nice sitting outside with no views - it doesn't really feel like you're on holiday! I went to the hotel reception in the morning to ask if they had a room with a better view but was informed that the hotel was at full capacity so they cannot move us unless there is a cancellation or no-show. The person at reception also said something along the lines of "maybe the room is dark because it is cloudy today..." He said he will make a note to see if they can move us but there's nothing else he can do. He also said he will speak to his manager to see if there's anything he can do for us to make our stay better. After a couple days, I didn't hear any further so I went back to the reception and again expressed that we were not happy with our room. They said that they didn't have another room with a bunk bed but they could move us to a normal room without a bunk bed with a better view. We took this as the kids could sleep with us on the massive bed (and they preferred it anyway). It was disappointing that if we didn't go back to reception that day, nothing would have happened to make our stay "better". This is definitely not 5 star service that we have come to experience in other 5 star hotels. That aside, the hotel has thought of everything for the kids - gifts provided when we checked in, bathrobes and slippers in the room, a little area with toys and someone from the kids club to keep them company while we ate peacefully in the restaurant, massive play area outside, buckets and spades at the play area, lovely kids club (that they can access with or without parents depending on the time of the day), toys by the pool and we also borrowed some buckets and spades to take with us to the beach at Cascais one day. They were also able to provide a toilet seat and stool for the room. My youngest son loved the Fox who came to the restaurant at breakfast time to say hello to the kids. We upgraded to half board and I think this was a good decision. Kids under 9 years older eat for free when the adults pay for the half board service. The food was ok, there was quite a good selection during the buffet dinner but we felt there was not enough vegetable options. Drinks are not included in the half board but the good thing about it is that you can use it at any of the restaurants including the M bar, pool hangout and the lounge bar, and you can pretty much get anything from the menu. The portion sizes were very generous. The first time we ate at the M Bar, we ordered the kids their own kid size dishes (they're 4 and 7) but this was way too much for them and one kids dish would have been more than enough. A few of the staff at the restaurants were friendlier than others and one of them (I didn't get his name) remembered how I have my coffee after the first morning at breakfast! I'm not quite sure about the location of the hotel. It wasn't really within walking distance (especially with young kids) to anywhere so it would be a taxi/uber most of the time. It would have been handy to have a little supermarket on site too. We went into Cascais once and it was lovely. It's nice that it's not too far away from Lisbon (about half an hour) but with kids, that's still about an hour return trip to Lisbon. We took a train into Lisbon one day and that was nice - the railway went along the coast and the train prices was so reasonable. The reception staff were helpful in organising our trips out. All in all, it was a nice trip away but I'm not sure we would come back to this hotel. Facing the disappointment with the room issue was not a great start to the holiday. The staff were friendly enough but unfortunately we didn't really experience the 5 star service here.
Fantastic holiday, lovely hotel and staff. 4.5 stars (if that option was available!)
We really enjoyed our week long stay in the Martinhal Cascais. Overall it was perfect for our two kids (5&8) with plenty of activities to keep them occupied and happy. The positives: Amenities I was struck by the fact that the Martinhal feels like a low density resort where guests are not 'on top of each other'. there is loads of space across the resort - from inside the hotel/communal areas; the pool hangout; playgrounds. Breakfast area was busy - depending on time but not a cause of any issue. We made plenty of use of the SPA and indoor swimming which included a jacuzzi, steam and sauna room connecting to an outdoor area. Kids were allowed access here which was a bonus. Gym seemed fine but I didn't use Pool Hangout - great area which has plenty of space. One heated kids pool and one unheated larger pool. The kids loved this area and there are loads spaces to chill out away from sun. Playground: Excellent space to sit around and read a book while kids played. Outdoor Cushions to sit on and close to the Kids club and M Bar All weather pitch: My son loved this for playing soccer on - everyday! Room - was spacious and well maintained on our stay. A spacious balcony which we didn't make much use of Staff were very helpful for all requests and friendly on all interactions. Kids club was great for out pair - nether wanted to leave before their allotted time so that was a sign of approval. My son did a three session soccer camp for 80e - expensive but mu son loved it. Bike hire was available - I paid 20e for 4 hour MTB hire. There are some great MTB trails in Sintra. Areas for improvement: I offer these as suggestions as they didn't impact our enjoyment of our holiday TV - really they should have a internet enabled TVs with Netlex/Disney apps. I asked for a chromecast a few times at the start of holiday but one wasnt provided Food: Overall, the standard is fine but not extensive and one can tire of the options after a while. We had pizzas in the M-bar three nights. In terms of value for money - most options are relatively expensive compared to off resort options. Breakfast was generally good with a good range of hot and cold. Pool hangout food was ok - Poke Bowls were a bit bland. Price of a 330ml draught beer was 6.50e which was very expensive. So a really great holiday in a lovely resort. Some minor improvements. I would definitely echo the need for an onsite shop as the costs to rack up on some small items over the course of a week. I would definitely recommend - I feel the sweet spot is for kids 4-9 year olds. The ultimate test is if we would come back for another holiday which we most certainly will.
Lovely holiday but not quite 5 stars..
We have stayed at Martinhal Sagres a number of times before and booked Cascais because we were expecting a similar quality and wanted to be able to explore Lisbon and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to our expectations. Positively, the children had a great time and we managed to find some amazing beaches and the town of Cascais is also lovely! Staff are generally welcoming but the level of service does not come close to our experience at Sagres. I will mention that Suzannah and Raveen were particularly helpful however and the WhatsApp chat was very responsive also. There was also one evening where we witnessed a more senior staff member berating a waiter infront of guests and other staff. This same senior staff member also deemed it appropriate to get out his phone and shout other staff over to point and laugh. (In full view of guests.) The evening food quickly became monotonous and there isn’t actually that much choice for children. (Pizza/Burger/chicken nuggets/pasta in every restaurant) I’d definitely advise to try some of the amazing local restaurants or cafes as these were much better value for money. Water was also not chilled which we felt a little strange. Breakfast was well stocked with good choice and the children really enjoyed the pancakes and homemade Nutella! There is no shop onsite like at Sagres which is somewhat frustrating given the sheer price of things in the restaurants! (Ice Lollies are €4 but are sold in the village for €2!) We stayed in a family room which was well cleaned with a lovely balcony and although was fairly small had lots of storage and was well laid out. Beanbags for the children or extra seating on the balcony would be welcomed though! 2 chairs wasn’t quite enough! In the bathroom we could have done with a step for the 4 year old to reach the tap - just the little things felt lacking which are commonplace at Sagres. My daughter adored Rafi and Rosita the foxes who came out to see the children, but we weren’t given any information about when or where this would be. Even though my daughter loved it if I am to compare to Sagres there was only one evening during the week were the kids club entertainers came out to dance and even this was to only one song! At Sagres this happened almost every evening. The pool hangout area is lovely and well kept - particularly the children’s pool which is heated. The pool is beach style which is particularly good for younger guests. There are plenty of sun loungers and shaded areas without the area feeling over crowded. It’s inevitable that we were going to compare Cascais to Sagres and possibly where our disappointment comes from and on balance had we not had this comparison we may have felt differently about our time here, as overall we did have a relaxing time. The Martinhal brand prides itself on luxury family accommodation but we did not find this to be true at Cascais. Children feel like an afterthought. Some adjustments could easily change this though!
Work & family trip
I stayed in Martinhal Cascais last month for a small work offsite with my company and tagged on a weekend with my family afterwards. It is in a part of Portugal I didn’t know that well with having only spent time in the Algarve and Lisbon before Martinhal Cascais is less than an hour’s easy drive from Lisbon airport. The hotel is in a quiet enclave with some very impressive homes and a few other resorts and is a short journey into the centre of Cascais itself. In the age of the shrinking hotel rooms, my room was spacious, bright and airy, in calming colours. We had a view out into the main terraced landscaped area which felt nice to open the really sturdy (& v essential with light sleeping kids) black-out curtains and look out into in the mornings. There was a comfortable writing desk area good for catching up on emails between sessions. The bathroom was huge, great for children and bath times. The conference/meeting room spaces were impressive and not a feature you would necessarily associate with a family hotel. Very high ceilings, tonnes of natural light, and v efficient on rigging up the PA/ comms system for presentations. We were very looked after on the food front with a colourful buffet one night and a stunning sit-down dinner in a small lodge on the grounds on the second night. In between daytime sessions there it was great to see a mix of healthier snacks and smoothies. I am coeliac so it can sometimes be a challenge when I travel but the staff was really well educated on dishes which were gluten-free also they are well versed in catering to fussy kids. Front-of-house staff couldn’t have been more helpful, nothing felt like too much trouble. The kids loved especially the different pools and play areas, especially the outdoor trampoline and zip wire. Having the kid’s club there with lovely staff gave us peace of mind when we left the kids (5 & 8) with them to go for a swim and catch up on some work. After months of working peripatetically and teams working virtually, it felt good to be re-connecting in this really special place.
Not 5 star but good nonetheless
Great kids hotel but just misses the 5 star mark. Average breakfast, lack of water in the room. A bit dated and quite a few broken, out of order parts. Food seems very expensive but the quality is decent. My kids had great fun and want to return but it needs to make some changes.
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