I have never bothered to write a review before but I feel I can add some new information about staying at Martinhal, my wife and I ,3 children have just returned from a 9 night stay in a 3 bed garden villa situated opposite the Bay Houses. On arrival we asked to view a Bay House as they looked very impressive but on inspection we quickly realised that the Garden Villa layout is better suited to family life including a small private garden. The accommodation is first class and very well equipped. The main entrance has a modern key card entry system, unfortunately the main door is locked by pressing a button and unlocked by simply pressing down on the handle which my three year old boy worked out and could let himself out at any time, the door needs an additional lock which is out of reach of children. A similar problem exists with three boxes just inside the front door the main fuse box and two telecom boxes these are all in easy reach of children I had to use a hair clip to secure one box, these boxes need secure locks on them as in their current state are very unsafe.
Moving outside all of the path ways have been constructed with a very fancy looking crazy paving which has very shape edges, this is clearly not suitable for young children as most children have a tendency to run and fall over or just trip, this could easily lead to a holiday ruining injury. I have attached several photos on my daily route to the main square showing areas where the paving has become loose manly around drain covers. The management need to sort these asap.
The garden villas are built around a garden with a pool in the middle, we assumed this would be for children with short grass for them to play on. We were wrong, the garden is wild (photos attached) the pool has an infinity feature and looks very pretty but is not suitable for children and during our stay we only noticed it being used once, it’s very exposed and therefore very windy. I would like to know why the family friendly villas have been set out in this way?
Getting to the beach took approx. 20 minutes as well as negotiating the previously mentioned path ways there are 35 steps down to the reception and then another 50 steps to the pool and restaurants then another 10 steps to the beach . The Ocean view villas are in the most convenient position but not as family friendly as the Garden villas.
Now the WIND!!! We had read previous posts about the wind and decided how could it be that windy in the summer in Portugal? We spoke with several families who were holidaying for the second time and did not mind the wind, personally even if all of the above was changed I would never go back to Martinhal because of the wind, during our stay the wind was a constant 25-30knts with gusts 40knts night and day that’s 24/7, it felt like being in Cornwall in the Autumn. I did a little research and found out the North wind is a constant feature in Sagre’s I have attached photos of some trees which clearly show the effect of a constant wind. The wind rendered the beautiful unspoilt beach useless as the wind wipes up the sand either into your eyes or stinging your legs. Martinhal supply plenty of beach towels, you will need one when you get out of a swimming pool as the wind chill on a wet body is ridiculous, you will see plenty of guests hiding under there towels rather than laying on them. The pool by the beach is very windy so we many went to the pool near to the main square as it has an indoor section and this was the only place we could get a rest bite from the dam wind. To find out yourself how it will feel get out of your bath/shower and go outside when it’s windy and see how much fun you have. A BBQ is almost impossible unless you light it in the villa in the open fire place then transfer it once it gets going, not a very safe idea but it worked.
For my wife and I the biggest disappointment was the food, we love our food and the three restaurants on offer left us wanting more. The Os Gambozinos was awful and overpriced serving most things with reheated chips, I noticed monk fish with mash for 22 euros, not a sardine in site, silly me I thought I had gone to Portugal! The only time I saw sardines was at the As Dunas Rest For 18 euro. The As Dunas was the best restaurant but most tables had a high chair with child which was a waste for us having paid for a baby sitter. The O Terraco is sterile with no atmosphere the menu does not reflect the region and very pricey.
May I suggest turning the empty beach hut into a BBQ area and sell fresh local fish? Perhaps play some music and try and create some fun and atmosphere.
We found Martinhal to be a very high standard but soul-less with little atmosphere and very few guests having fun, perhaps the constant wind has that effect? The staff are all very friendly and helpful and have obviously been trained well but tend to be a little wooden.
In summary fantastic 5 star accommodation, but with the wind and poor food I would recommend going along the coast where its warmer has better food choice and more fun. Martinhal has been built in an unspoilt location which is totally isolated, very little to do a hire car is a must. Sagre’s port is for commercial purposes and not tourists.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 5, 2013
Thank you for sharing your impressions on your recent stay with us.
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At Martinhal we do take every aspect seriously and we also strongly believe that small details do make a difference to properly enjoy a wonderful family holiday.
We are very glad to know how much you enjoyed the luxury and comfort of our Garden Houses. On your note regarding the central part of our Garden View Houses, kindly note that the initial concept was to bring into it the same flora species as found in our surrounding Natural Park.
We have also registered your comments towards our walking paths in the resort, please note that we have forwarded them to our Engineering team who will try to make the necessary improvements.
We regret not knowing earlier that you would have liked to have child-proof locks on the main door as our Housekeeping and Maintenance Teams do have them available upon request. These and many more items are available from our extensive Baby Concierge List specially created to ensure a totally stress-free holiday both for parents as well as their children.
We do appreciate your comments regarding the wind, nevertheless just wanted to say that we have no secrets about the weather in our unique and privileged location. Also whilst July/August are regarded as the windier months in Sagres, the wind stops in September - opening a fantastic Indian Summer all the way into November!
Please also note that we have done our best to build pools in sheltered areas. There is only so much we can do for sheltering without compromising aesthetics and our clients safety, besides, all our swimming pools are heated at an average temperature of 29ºC - including the pools for the little ones.
We regret that our restaurants did not meet your expectations. Please note that your impressions have been conveyed to our F&B Team and Senior Management.
We would just like to take this opportunity to inform that as standard practice, we do not encourage our clients to have barbeques for safety reasons. As you may understand we are surrounded by a Natural Park therefore, the sensitivity of our fire alarms and smoke detectors is high. However we do have electrical grills available to our clients upon request/ availability.We regret if this information was not made available to you during your stay.
We hope you choose to give us another opportunity and find your experience very much improved.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.