With a ‘soft opening’ on 12 April 2010, Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel promises to be one of the finest luxury resorts in Europe. The resort is situated in a stunning position on Martinhal Beach, surrounded by a protected national park, near to the small fishing port of Sagres on the Western Algarve coast, just over an hour’s drive from Faro airport.
Sagres has long been a favourite destination for nature lovers, surfers and scuba divers who all appreciate its unspoiled environment. Martinhal will now bring a 5 star luxury resort to the area for the first time, creating a new destination where eco-conscious couples and families with children of all ages can relax with one of the Algarve’s most beautiful beaches literally on their doorstep.
The resort is set on a 25 hectare site and has been created by Roman and Chitra Stern in partnership with UK hoteliers, Nigel Chapman and Nicholas Dickinson, who are best known as the founders of Luxury Family Hotels (Fowey Hall, Woolley Grange, Moonfleet Manor and Ickworth) and Alias Hotels. Bringing together their combined expertise, the essence of the resort is one of affordable, understated ‘barefoot luxury’ and genuine hospitality that will offer outstanding value for money and a stylish and contemporary alternative to the more traditional European beach resorts.
The resort has been master planned by Conran&Partners and features the five star 38 bedroom boutique Hotel Martinhal as well as a wide selection of spacious Village Houses, and an exclusive collection of privately-owned villas and townhouses with private pools, set in large gardens, that are perfect for families.
In the hotel and in each house, there is a strong emphasis on thoughtful contemporary design and architecture, with the concept of the resort layout and the houses having been designed by award winning London architect Matthew Wood of Conran&Partners. He has taken an environmentally sensitive approach with a series of low-rise buildings that merge into the landscape of the resort’s pristine beach location and the Costa Vicentina National Park.
The classic, modern, furniture and interiors have been designed by London based designer, Michael Sodeau. This is his first Portuguese project and he has taken inspiration from the dramatic beauty of the Western Algarve and architectural simplicity of the resort to create a series of pieces unique to Martinhal in a clean and bold design. He has also sought to capture a sophisticated yet low key, intimate and artistic mood through the use of muted tones and local natural materials, such as cork and wicker, making the interiors elegant, modern and timeless, with comfort and quality as central themes.
As the first phase of the launch on 12 April 2010, Hotel Martinhal opens it doors with 10 Terrace Rooms in the main hotel building opening onto the spacious hotel gardens, where a further 26 stylish wooden-clad one and two bedroom ‘Cabanas’ are located. Each Cabana has its own private balcony or terrace, offering luxurious accommodation for ‘grown-ups’ with spectacular sea views. On the upper level of Hotel Martinhal the chic gourmet ‘O Terraco’ restaurant offers spectacular views of Martinhal Bay, with a menu of light but sophisticated dishes, and an exciting range of Portuguese wines.
During the second opening phase, from 1 July 2010, a selection of Village Houses will become available. These are set in various distinct locations around a central village square and are all a short stroll from the beach. They comprise 55 two and three bedroom Ocean Houses that are perched on the highest point of the resort with breathtaking views over the sea. In addition, 28 very spacious two and three bedroom Bay Houses enjoy a quiet location on the eastern border of the resort, overlooking a wooded valley, with uninterrupted views of the Costa Vicentina National Park to the east and the Ocean, to the south. In the heart of the resort 39 one, two and three bedroom Garden Houses are arranged around a large walled, natural garden, with a large children’s freeform ‘Oasis’ pool, along with a snack bar where families can relax all day. The semi-detached villas are joined by a continuous high Algarvian garden wall, to provide both privacy and a carefree environment for families with younger children. Completing the development, 10 individual Pinewood Houses are set apart in their own ‘close’ each with their own small private swimming pool.
The lifestyle at Martinhal can be as relaxing or as active as guests want, with an unparalleled range of activities to choose from. For those seeking tranquillity, the Finisterra Spa is set in its own grounds within the resort and comprises six wooden-clad treatment rooms, with picture windows looking out to the spa’s own private garden, where treatments will be offered using Martinhal’s range of organic products that are guaranteed to soothe the senses. A sauna and steam room are also available as well as a relaxation area with light refreshments served in the spa lounge.
For a more energetic experience Club 98 is the lively, sporty meeting point for guests with its own swimming pool, bar, three tennis courts and two glass sided paddle tennis courts. It’s also the place where guests come to book lessons for a range of sports, including surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing, mountain biking, horse riding, snorkelling and scuba diving. In addition Martinhal offers five swimming pools including a large ‘indoor/outdoor pool’ and a state of the art gym.
Appealing to families with children of various ages the resort features two distinct children’s areas. A fully staffed children’s crèche called ‘Raposinhos’ (‘Little Foxes’) for the youngest guests and the ‘Blue Room’ for pre-teens and teens to hang out together and play a range of games from table tennis and table football to computer games on Wii’s and Play Stations.
Just above Martinhal beach the Beach Club area offers a huge elevated sunbathing deck, and large swimming pool, with drinks and food served all day from the poolside bar.
In the Praca Central (village square), a variety of other facilities include the ‘Mercado’, the village store where guests can purchase high quality deli items including locally sourced fresh fish, meats, cheese and wines as well as freshly prepared bread and pastries. In addition the Hair & Nails Salon will also keep guests looking their best with manicure and pedicure treatments as well as a hairdressing service. An informal café / bistro ‘Os Gambozinos’ also occupies the north end of the square and will provide a buzzy venue from breakfast through to late supper with good quality a la carte menus and a wood fired pizza oven.
The Food at Martinhal
Martinhal is a Portuguese resort looking after a wide range of international guests. The resort will offer some of the best fish in the world, caught locally, often by line, and artisan grown and prepared meats, vegetables and fruit, all from the undiscovered ‘treasure chest’ of Portugal.
The restaurants offer a range of food and wines, from a delicious ‘Pastel de Nata’ and ‘bica’ first thing, to a true gourmet dinner ‘a deux’ in O Terraco, at the other end of the day.
For those who wish to chill out at home and watch a movie with the kids – guests can order from the Home Delivery service – home made Indian and Chinese dishes, pizza’s, whole barbequed chicken etc – all brought to their door.
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is easily accessible via scheduled flights to either Faro or Lisbon. From the airports, guests can either hire a car or take a private transfer organised by the resort. Flying time from the UK: 2 hours and 40 minutes.