The answer to the question ‘where to sleep in luxury style with (grand) kids in Portugal?’ is simple: in a Martinhal hotel.
Founders Chitra and Roman Stern struggled with this very question when they were looking for a luxury holiday destination with 4 kids. When they could not find what they had in mind – this is how it usually works with entrepreneurs – they decided to create the perfect luxury family hotel themselves.
After the first succesful hotel in Sagres (2011) followed Cascais (2016) and most recently Chiado in Lisbon.
The latter is the first stop on our Martinhal Hotels road trip.
Martinhal Chiado in Lisbon
A block of three buildings from the late 19th century, located in the middle of Lisbon’s historical Chiado neighbourhood, forms this city apartment hotel. A tranquil oasis, five minutes walk from the Tejo riverbanks and ten minutes walk from the Miradouro de Santa Catarina lookout terrace.
Elegantly renovated with everything you might wish for, whether you are a business (wo) man or arrive with 3 kids and a nanny. In case of the latter, opt for the large two bedroom apartment 401 or 402. Riverview included.
Every apartment (also the smaller studio) comes with a fully equipped kitchen (wíth washing machine) and every kids accessory (or babysitter) you might need.
Chiado bed and bath room
Our apartment has a very large double bed (hello mr. B, where art thou?) with crispy sheets and mid-century style decoration. I love the pied de poule covered chairs and matching cushions.
The kitchens are alike in every apartment, black lacquered and with every thinkable appliance. If you want, you could easily stay in your room for 24h but that would be a shame in this great city.
The bathroom is rather small with only one sink, just enough to put all my jars and tubes. Or I bring too much, guilty as charged.
The amenities are from Voya, an organic seaweed based beauty brand from Ireland. New to me, I’m an instant fan.
Martinhal Chiado Kids Club
The usp of a Martinhal hotel is the Kids Club. The large space, reserved for kids only, is on the ground floor. As little as those from 6 months to 2 years are welcome in the crèche, a very cosy and secure environment.
The Kids Club is for 2 – 15 years where (almost) everything is possible under qualified guidance of the dedicated staff. So parents can visit a museum or have a romantic fado dinner for two.
The child details in the hotel and apartments are very well thought out: rounded corners at the tables, closed windows (parents, get your key from reception) and strollers and more for use during the stay.
A common complaint of children is that they think their stay in Lisbon is too short. Not wanting to leave the Kids Club…
M bar with vintage BMW
There is no restaurant at Martinhal Chiado, which makes total sense. Lisbon hosts hundreds of great restaurants to any liking, within walking distance.
They do have the M Bar though, a cosy family café lounge which offers breakfast untill 11.30 am as well as a tasty selection of healthy homemade snacks during the day and light meals for lunch. The same items you’ll find on the room service menu.
Located on street level and open for outside visitors as well. If you spot a red and white vintage BMW car, you know you’re in the right place.
Chiado, where to dine?
The hotel doesn’t do dinner, a good excuse to wander the calçada paved streets ready to discover another culinary gem.
Our traditional first stop in Lisbon is lunch at Mercearia do Seculo. A 15 minutes walk from the hotel, in the adjacent neighbourhood Principe Real. Tip: make sure to reserve a piece of the famous ‘Bolo de Chocolate’ when you order, to avoid dessert disappointed later.
For dinner we did discover a new gem! Literally around the corner from Martinhal in the megalomanic Palacio Chiado. A huge palace from the Lisbon heydays of nobility. Now renovated and host to several bars and restaurants wit Sushic, a Japanese restaurant on the top floor in a former ballroom. Check the ceiling while enjoying a culinary Usuzukuri Maguro: Tuna seasoned with spicy tare, guacamole, red onion and crunchy tempura.
At Martinhal both parents and kids have their dedicated space and style but are still very much connected to interact. It really is a family affair. Next stop Cascais, let’s start the engine.
Martinhal road trip
first stop : Chiado Lisbon second stop: Cascais final stop : Sagres
our stay at the Martinhal hotel & resorts is by invitation on behalf of Chapter Fifty. I only accept items or collaborations that answer positive to the question: “does it match my lifestyle and those of my followers?”.
I will not promote anything that I would not wear, eat, sleep or see myself. Authenticity is very important to me. Words, photos and opinions are my own.