Martinhal Quinta at February Half Term
Martinhal Quinta is a beautiful 4 star villa resort in a stunning part of the Algarve. The owners of Martinhal clearly have a vision for the recent acquisition to their portfolio and having spent time at both Quinta and Sagres (the original) this half term with my three Mini Travellers I can see quite clearly how exceptional Quinta will become.
If you want a beautiful villa in the Quinta area of the Algarve then you will not be disappointed. The villas are huge and lovely inside and they all have a private plunge pool. You can choose from 2, 3 or 4 bedroomed villas and some of the larger villas look seriously huge!
The pre-booked transfer from the airport to the villa (in just 20 minutes) was seamless, a large air conditioned Mercedes collected us complete with booster seats for all three girls and dropped us off at the door to the villa, only pausing at reception for us to pick up our keys. So far so good.
Tip: If you are visiting Quinta I would however recommend a car rather than a transfer. There are some beautiful beaches around the Quinta area and some fantastic restaurants. Indeed for me this is one of the upsides to choosing Quinta over Sagres and unless you want to pay for taxis every time you go out for dinner I’d highly recommend that you hire a car.
We stayed in a three bedroomed villa towards the back of the complex. It was a 5 minute walk to the central pool area, and five minutes the other way to the small on site shop. Currently the kids club is located in the pool area but there are are plans to make this much bigger and site this towards the front of the complex next to the shop. For us the location of our villa was perfect.
Tip: If you have little ones who don’t walk that easily then a pram would be useful as it is a little hilly in parts and depending on where your villa is will depend on your distance to the club or pool.
Our three bedroomed villa had two bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs, each bedroom had an en suite and there was a separate main bathroom near the front door. Glad I didn’t have to clean them all, daily cleaning is included in the room rate (save for the kitchen).
On arrival to our villa we were given lots of information about the complex and what we could expect from the helpful Manager and were pleased to see a welcome pack in the kitchen. The welcome pack included wine, cereal, butter, jam, nespresso pods, milk, orange juice and a voucher to be exchanged for fresh bread at the on site store. The quality of the kitchen appliances – nespresso machine, Krupps toaster, kettle, food processor etc stood out to me immediately. The kitchen was also jam packed with cutlery and plates, glasses etc meaning you wouldn’t need to wash up if you didn’t want to, and could simply fill the dishwasher. Dishwasher tablets are provided and additional ones can be obtained from house keeping on request. No need to bring any with you and nice to know you don’t need to spend the holiday washing up even if you do decide to eat in.
We had arrived at the villa at around 10.30 after a very early flight so we unpacked a little and the girls played for a time whilst I met Teresa to hear about Martinhal’s plans for the resort. Once my chat had finished I met the girls and hubby at the pool to have some lunch in the M Bar. The M bar is currently the only place serving food on site (although there are plans for more) and serves breakfast til 10 and lunch/light snacks til 5. Another reason to hire a car if planning a trip in 2016 as you’ll need to eat out if you don’t want to do your meals in your villa. M Bar will however be open in the evening during high season and there will be a take away service too. The food at the M bar was basic really but will undoubtedly be improved over the coming months.
The girls then decided it was time to hit the pool as the sun had come out. There are two pools, a splash pool for the toddlers which is a really decent size with sprinklers that will be on later in the year and a bigger deeper pool with slides into it. The pool area was beautiful however the pool is not heated (this is planned for the end of 2016 but do check before booking if you need this) I did warn the girls that they might be too chilly and they may just want to dip their toes in, but Lily donned her wet suit, and the girls their new swimsuits and in they went…. Needless to say me and hubby didn’t join them! The dip in the pool didn’t last that long but they loved it, they always do. An indoor pool is due to open later this year and with the outdoor heating expected by the end of 2016 a trip in February 2017 will take on a completely different feel as mine would be in the beautiful pool most of the day – they were when we went to Sagres later that week. By the time the summer comes along and the plunge pool in the garden of the villa was warm too I’m not sure we would even need to leave the resort during the day!
After the play in the pool the rest of the afternoon was spent bouncing on the trampoline and playing in the camper van which is definitely a nod to the style of decoration at Sagres. In this area there is a sandpit too. Renovations were ongoing when we were there to switch the restaurant and the Blue Room (games area partiularly for kids aged 8 +) around, but the Blue Room includes play stations, wiis, table tennis, and table football. It’s an unsupervised area but two of mine loved playing in there with Daddy whilst I took one of the others home for an afternoon nap! The early flight had caught up with her and we snuggled into bed together, her for sleep and me to utilise the decent and free wifi.
We went out for dinner that evening to Quinta Shopping (a collection of local shops and restaurants) and had an early dinner of pizza and red wine at San Marco Pizzeria. Keeping us all happy. There were a number of options in this same area, and had the kids not been quite so tired we might have explored some of the fancier options close by. The choice of restaurants in the locality is definitely one of the great reasons to pick Martinhal Quinta for your family holiday.
There are lots of bed & breakfast packages on offer at Martinhal Quinta at the moment (some great offers for Easter) and we made our way down to breakfast at the M Bar around 9.30am. Breakfast is served from 8 but we had given the girls some breakfast in the villa and we thought we would head down just before they were going to the Raposinhos kids club at 10. Breakfast was brought outside for us as we wanted to eat in the sun and was lovely. What we had was however only a small selection of what was actually available and you can have eggs, bacon cereal etc. in addition to the items on the picture. You just need to ask.
My kids love a good kids club so they headed off into the kids club happily at 10. I was pleased to see some other kids arrive too as the resort was quite quiet. I signed all the form with our details on and left Lily asking if she could make a card with glitter, whilst we decided to walk down to the nearest beach. My hubby had played golf in Quinta a few times in the past so he knew where we wanted to go.
The morning treated us to some beautiful blue skies and we walked down to the beach happily in about 35 minutes. There is parking (under cover to keep cars out of the sun) down at the beach if you need it and you might with young kids, and then you walk across the dunes on a wooden walk way to get to the vast beach. We sat for ages watching the waves crash against the beach with for the most part, no-one else in sight! The beach would also have been perfect for the kids and the buckets and spades – another time definitely.
As the kids were only in the club until 1, we made our way back to the resort around 12. We collected their swim gear from the villa en route and made our way back down to the pool area for lunch. The kids summary of their time in the kids club was that there was too many babies (two!) and that they loved sticking and gluing and could they go back tomorrow! I always take a request to go back as a sign of satisfaction as these days we don’t often get much more detail from them on what they’ve actually done until a week later!
Tip: You will need to book kids club places at busier times of the year. Different prices will apply depending on the season. It’s free in February currently.
The rest of the afternoon went the same way as the afternoon before and is exactly how we like to spend our time on holiday. A bit of a swim, a bit of a play, some time reading books and a play in the Blue Room again. Bliss.
Unfortunately the kids request to go to the kids club again at Quinta couldn’t be achieved as we were being picked up at 10 to transfer to Sagres for the next couple of days. Knowing this, we decided to ask for breakfast to be delivered to our villa at 7.30am the next morning.
TOP TIP: Get breakfast delivered!
I loved this service. Breakfast arrived in a hamper at 7.30am complete with a bottle of orange juice, a carton of milk and nespresso pods for our machine in the kitchen. What an excellent way to get round having to ask everyone how they like their coffee. The hamper was filled to the brim with lovely pastries, cereal, ham and cheese, rolls, butter etc – there was so much food! Perfection.
Breakfast in our villa was a lovely end to our short but sweet stay at Martinhal Quinta. Our taxi/air conditioned/wifi enabled large mercedes (taxi doesn’t seem to explain how nice it was) arrived promptly to collect us and we were on our way to Sagres for the next part of our holiday. You can read our review of Martinhal Sagres here.
In summary Martinhal Quinta is a beautiful 4 star villa resort in a stunning part of the Algarve and once there is a heated pool on site I wouldn’t hesitate to return in Spring. The price differential to Sagres reflects a different type of resort and a different standard at the moment but changes are a foot and I don’t imagine it will stay as it is for long. To be honest I think if you booked to travel to Martinal Quinta at Easter you’d be getting a bargain as currently the Kids Club & Creche are free until 30 April 2016. Prices for a two bedroom villa with its own private pool start at €248 per night for 7 nights including breakfast and kids club!