StyleNest’s Emma Smith heads to Lisbon to stay at the worlds first elegant city-centre family hotel.
Luxury, comfort and sophistication….I’m guessing these three words wouldn’t usually conjure up images of a child-friendly hotel. Step forward the Martinhal group who offer a small collection of family hotels and resorts that appeal to all ages- from babes in arms to stroppy teenagers!
Founded in 2010 by Chitra and Roman Stern, Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts was conceived with families in mind and aims to offer a luxury holiday experience with high-class family-friendly facilities in some of the most prestigious areas in Portugal.The group’s original Sagres property opened in 2010 on the Algarve beachfront, followed by Martinhal Quinta Family Golf Resort in 2015. Expanding it’s portfolio, the brand now offer a five-star resort on the Lisbon coast, Martinhal Lisbon Cascais Family Hotel, plus Chiado Family Suites in the heart of Lisbon city centre.
Lisbon is the city everyone is talking about at the moment, and wanting to take a more cultural trip with the kids provided me with the perfect excuse to try out the Chaido suites. I had never thought of the Portugese capital as a particularly family-focused destination, surely its cool, arty vibe is more in line with an adult getaway? However Martinhal have created a real gem in the historic, vibrant and fashionable district of Chiado.
25 minutes from the airport the19th century townhouse has been turned into 37 stylishly designed suites. As with most things, its the small touches that make the most difference.
Everything has been thought of to make your city-centre stay manageable and, even more importantly, enjoyable with little children. From high chairs to loo seats, pots and pans to washing machines, and a fully equipped kitchen. Aiming to give parents hassle-free travel means you can make use of the baby concierge service by pre-booking baby equipment- from door protectors and bottle sterilisers to safety gates and baby baths. Even the furniture, apart from being aesthetically pleasing, has curved round edges to prevent bumps and scrapes. Such a simple and practical idea (why don’t other family hotels offer this?)
A welcome kit is presented to all junior guests on arrival, with age appropriate gifts, my son’s included a Martinhal baseball cap which he refused to take off for the duration of our stay. The children’s facilities are second to none. Covering three vast rooms that are equipped to cater to different ages starting with the crèche from six months to two years and moving up to those tricky teenagers with playstations and and Xboxs, there’s even an indoor climbing wall. The club is the perfect treat for your children- they get a few hours of supervised fun while you indulge at museums and boutiques. Plus there is the option of the pyjama club- whilst you head out to enjoy a gastronomic experience at one of the local restaurants in the evening, your chrubs are relaxing and being looked after in their pjs watching a film. The café lounge on the ground floor is perfect for that quick breakfast before departing on a city tour with the kids, as well as a snack or quick meal during the day. Imaginative toddlers will love the bright-red vintage BMW turned into a play space!
The concierge team’s knowledge of the city was excellent and they offered ideas on how to make the most of our two night stay. We chose to hire a tuk tuk tour- we had a throughly entertaining driver-whom the kids loved and it meant we saw the whole city, learnt the history and saved our feet from the hilly streets.
The Chiado Family Suites are a true home-away-from-home offering the privacy and comfort of your own luxury apartment, with the convenience of a hotel.
It’s the small touches that make the most difference though.