Martinhal Cascais

near Cascais, Lisbon Coast, Portugal Book from Book from £172 per night

A heaven-sent family hotel with stylish rooms and self-catering villas, kids club, playground and pools, 10 minutes from Cascais
Portugal's aristocracy began decamping to the scenic Estoril Riviera for sunshine and play in the 19th century, hence the plethora of hunting lodges and crenellated mansions along this coast. Laid-back luxurious leisure is still the watchword at this family-friendly hotel set in the exclusive environs of Quinta da Marinha, a short drive westwards from Cascais, inland from the Atlantic. This is the latest incarnation from the successful Martinhal stable, whose winning formula of unparalleled facilities for families in a stylish resort-based setting has garnered universal praise since its Algarve resort opened in 2010.

Such details mattered little to our overjoyed children who squealed with delight at the playground complete with zip-wires, play structures, large trampoline and lawns. Face-painting and obstacle races in the complimentary Kids Club were followed by water play in the heated Clubhouse pools. Their highlight? Driving the camper-van to Africa with fellow intrepid explorers. Ours? Taking time for mealtimes and each other, while our offspring played in the supervised kids space beside both restaurants. There are wondrous beaches and coves nearby, much of the coastline is protected, and day trips to Lisbon, Cascais and Sintra are easily arranged. Luxury for families defined; one of our best ever vacations.


  • Superb kids facilities include an excellent playground, bikes to hire, football and table tennis, and a choice of 6 pools!
  • Parent pampering in the excellent spa, with family treatments available (I really enjoyed our mother-and-daughter massage)
  • No need for a car as the hotel offers a shuttle service to Cascais station and beach, and can arrange transfers and taxis
  • We loved the sleek, spacious rooms in hotel and villas alike
  • The staff are stellar


  • We have received bad feedback recently about meals, but management are aware and planning improvements
  • The 12 self-catering villas get booked up quickly (and they only have showers)
  • The lovely free-form Lagoon pool is open June-Sept only
  • The hotel shuttle bus has a small surcharge and runs mostly during the day but local taxis are cheap
  • Bear in mind that it's aimed more for under 10s, but teens can enjoy tennis, football, surfing and day trips to Lisbon or Sintra

Best time to go

The hotel is open all year. The best months are May to September weatherwise. If you can avoid the school holidays, you'll find better availability and rates.

Our top tips

If you're coming with a baby or toddler, remember that a huge amount of gear is available to borrow so you can travel light (baby carriers, potties, even pushchairs). Do bring your swimming stuff - the pools are heated!

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 72 rooms, 12 villas
  • 2 restaurants and 1 bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
  • Terraced gardens, lawn, choice of lounge areas
  • Football pitch (tarmac)
  • Laundry service


72 luxurious Deluxe Rooms are set in a long 2-storey building facing the restaurants and spa, with lawns and reflecting pools between. All are decked out in warm wood, orange and green highlight colours and white leather-clad seating. Large floor-to-ceiling French windows (and swishing curtains) open to a balcony with outdoor armchairs and a table. Supremely comfy kingsized beds can be arranged as twins. Aside from 4 larger Deluxe Suites which bookend the corridors, rooms vary only according to view (front or back), whether they interconnect with their neighbour (ours did, and we stayed in palatial style), or if they have fold-down bunkbeds.

Spacious bathrooms are all-white affairs with double sinks, a separate rain shower and bathtub (lit by blue and yellow lights for fun colourful shadows).

The 12 Grand Deluxe Villas are sited behind the Clubhouse area, and all have an identical layout of 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms up top, with open-plan living/dining/kitchen below. There's a private garden/patio space with outdoor furniture plus each has parking. Six of the villas have fold-down bunks downstairs so can sleep larger families.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


All eateries have adults, kids and babies menus, and supervised play spaces for children - no fidgeting at the table waiting for food to arrive.

High-ceilinged O Terraço hosts extensive buffet breakfasts of fresh fruit, pastries, hot dishes (more are available to order), cereals, local jams and honey. There's plentiful coffee, teas and hot chocolate; juices of orange and green hue. In the evenings, dine a la carte on modern Portuguese dishes - I enjoyed scallops in lemongrass, with quinoa and balsamic followed by codfish on celeriac with a vegetable tower. The children had mini-bitoque and homemade fishfingers and chips.

In the Clubhouse, M Bar offers casual all-day dining. The menu features global favourites, such as pizzas, salads, hamburgers and curries, which can be washed down with a healthy smoothie or coffee. For something a little more authentic, there's a special Portuguese Family Dining experience, bringing the chance to try some of the local cooking.

The Lounge Bar is your place for healthy smoothies, cocktails or an afternoon coffee, plus it hosts a delightful Family Afternoon Tea experience.

The self-catering villas come with full kitchens plus seating for up to 6, rates include a welcome pack of goodies, and you can arrange for groceries to be delivered. You can also choose to have all meals in the restaurants or collect a breakfast box.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


  • At the hotel: relax in the Finisterra Spa, spoil yourself on a one- or two-night Ayurvedic detox retreat, hangout at the Pool Hangout, play football or table tennis
  • Take the shuttle to Cascais to explore its charming city beaches (very safe for children), visit the playground and park, the Maritime Museum, the authentic food market (Wednesdays and Saturdays), carousel, and shops and restaurants
  • Nearby Atlantic beaches are superb. We loved Guincho, which has a cafe and is known for surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, and the hotel operates a shuttle here 3x daily. Or hire bicycles from reception instead; there's a great coastal bike path to follow
  • Day trip to either Lisbon or UNESCO-listed Sintra with its 19th-century Romantic architecture, castles and palaces
  • You're right next to a golf course and there are plenty of others in the vicinity. There's a Tennis Racquet Club 10 minutes away by golf cart

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kitesurfing
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting


Martinhal Cascais is perfect for children aged 10 and under. With wonderful child-friendly service, kids play spaces beside the restaurants, kids and baby menus, a creche (included in the rates Nov-April) and kids club for 2 age groups (included in the rates all year), and a superb playground, it was a real wrench to leave! All children get a welcome pack with a present and a cap inside. And, best of all, there are a choice of pools in 3 locations across the site.

Teenagers are less catered for on-site (though the spa does have teen treatments), but there are lots of activities nearby: Lisbon, Sintra and Cascais are easy day trips, and there are great beaches and watersports a short taxi ride away.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can be configured as doubles or twins. If staying in the hotel, an extra bed or cot can be added to the rooms, nearly a third of which interconnect with the room next door to create a family suite (sleeping 6 as a maximum). Many of the hotel rooms have bunkbeds so can sleep a family of 4 + a baby, as can the suites, which are large enough for 2 extra beds and a cot to be added. The 2-bedroom villas are obviously popular for families, and half of them have fold-down bunks in the living rooms so can sleep a family of 6.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots with bedding
  • Potties
  • Toddler steps for the WCs
  • Socket protectors
  • Door protectors
  • Baby baths
  • Changing mats
  • Bottle sterilisers and bottle warmers (free with refundable deposit)
  • Stools
  • Bed protectors
  • High chairs
  • Baby cots
  • Safety gates (one per villa is guaranteed, a second one is subject to availability)
  • Baby carriers (free with refundable deposit)
  • Push chairs (subject to availability)

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

The Raposinhos Kids Club is set in the Clubhouse and offers a weekly programme of activities divided into 2 age groups: 3-5 year olds and 6-9 year olds. Our children had a ball face-painting, running obstacle races around the playground, and playing at being cowboys. Sessions are divided into morning (2 activities), lunch and afternoon (1 activity) - and are included in the rates. There's also a wired space for tweens and teens, which offers electronic games. Every evening Rafi the fox comes out to dance on the Clubhouse steps to say good night

Children's meals:

All eateries have a kids menu and a baby menu, which is more imaginative than standard kids menus, although our children unimaginatively chose pizza, pasta dishes, fish and chips, salmon burgers and chocolate brownies. We were surprised that sweets were sprinkled over the desserts. Pleasingly, there's a supervised kids room where children can hang out until their meal is ready, or they are free to run around the lawn outside, while the grown-ups get some downtime. The breakfast buffet has options for all.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Playground
  • Choice of swimming pools (kids pools are heated and covered so can be used year-round)
  • The signature Martinhal camper-van turned playspace
  • Table tennis
  • Football pitch or tennis court
  • Supervised kids room beside each restaurant with toys and games
  • Workshops including Lego robotics, build a fairy door, cooking and mocktails

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches
  • Cycle paths (hire bikes from the hotel)
  • Day trips to Cascais, Sintra and Lisbon
  • Surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing on Guincho beach (which has lifeguards on duty)

Families Should Know:

The Clubhouse pools are not fenced but they are gated from the playground, and none are very deep as an additional safety precaution (1.30m). There are double gates to go through to enter the Clubhouse and playground area so smaller kids can't run off easily. Note that you will need to bring your own baby monitor and we have had reports that the signal may not reach the restaurant


  • Airport: 40 minutes (Lisbon)
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:


Martinhal Cascais is in the exclusive Quinta da Marinha area, just west of the coastal town of Cascais on the Lisbon coast.

By Air:
Fly to Lisbon Portela (about 40km away). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving here.

From the Airport:
The hotel offers transfers, but you can easily travel independently via Metro and train. The hotel can also arrange taxis to Sintra, Lisbon and beyond, so you won't need a car while you're here, but if you want to hire one, see our car rental recommendations. The hotel has free parking.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Portugal and getting around


  • Lisbon Portela Airport 40.0 km LIS


  • Beach 6.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 12 independent reviews from i-escape guests


We stayed In a 2 bedroom villa - lovely and spacious, modern/contemporary style. The outdoor garden seating area and balcony could be much better - the garden area is shaded by the big overhanging upstairs balcony which makes it very dark and underground bunker-like downstairs which is a shame.
The villas are great for privacy and are quiet. We were pleased we were not in the main hotel rooms, as the rooms are very close to each other. Lovely communal areas, clean and the indoor pool/spa were good. Our daughter is 7 and loved the outdoor play area but I’d say the whole place is best suited to families with babies - 5/6 year olds. There’s not so much for older children.
Food: breakfast was average at best. After the first morning we opted for do-it-ourself cereal etc in our villa. The main restaurant was expensive for what it was but provided a nice ‘grown up’ setting /meal with good childrens options. The more casual brasserie restaurant near the play area was better value. The main reception staff were excellent and overall service was very good.


We loved our holiday and would definitely go back. The villa was brilliant and facilities and kids club were spot on for our 3 year old. Our only small criticism was the food. We found dinner at the main restaurant too fussy (they had amazing ingredients and nice service but the dishes were, for us, trying to be too fancy when a high end gastropub approach would have been better). The bar / cafe option had a good menu but the food was a bit bland and it closed at 5.30. So both missed the mark for us, and as we were on a half board deal, this did matter more than it would on a B&B basis, because we were tied to eating there every day. That said, in high season they also have a pool area with extra cafe option that wasn't open when we visited, so that would give an extra place to try. And this is a fairly minor criticism because we would go back in a shot.


Rooms and pool area were excellent. Service on the reception desk was very good but patchy elsewhere although well meaning. Service was particularly poor around the pool hangout and at the restaurant above the kids club - slow and confused and they often forgot parts of our order. The food is very expensive for the quality offered. It just isn’t up to the prices charged or the hotel’s 5* rating and was often tasteless. Kids Club good. Overall we enjoyed our stay but would hesitate to return.


It was fantastic! Just what we needed. Food was OK, but not a 5 star standard. Restaurant evening service was a bit slow.
Staff are all incredible, but staff at the kids club deserve a 10 out of 10.
For the service we have received it was absolutely worth it.


We had a wonderful stay at Martinhal Cascais. Staff were fantastic - nothing was too much trouble. Rooms were beautiful. It is magical for younger kids (ours are 5 and 3) as the playground is amazing - zip-wires, trampolines etc. Cascais itself is very pretty and easy to get to from the hotel either by taxi (they have Uber too) or bike. We enjoyed a lovely cycle on bikes hired from the hotel. Lisbon also easy to get to - train goes all along the coast so very picturesque. Only thing which I would say needs improving is the food. Breakfast was good but if you are looking for a top notch meal then you need to go elsewhere. This hotel ticked a lot of boxes for us though and we are already talking about returning!


Phenomenal holiday destination with children. It was revolutionary for us and we’ll be changing the way we holiday from now on. Can’t wait to go back.


We had a brilliant stay at the Martinhal. The staff were so nice, our kids loved every minute. The Wendy house and toys outside at breakfast were great and the playground was really good. Nowhere ever felt really packed so there was always somewhere to go and spend family time together. The only slight negative was the food. O terraco was lovely but service started quite late. The lunch options at the weekend were also restrictive as the m bar does a buffet which is very expensive. However despite this we would not hesitate to recommend the hotel and will definitely be returning.


We loved the fact that our children could run around and play freely at the restaurant and bar facilities - the playground and kids club were second to none. It allowed us to truly relax. In comparison to other 5 star family friendly resorts, they don't offer such good facilities purposely designed to let parents linger over a meal or a nice glass of wine. Normally it's a rushed experience!

The food is okay but we would expect more from a five star resort. Firstly the menus seemed limited for choice. For instance given the proximity to ocean the seafood was non existent. No options for grilled fish or clams for instance. Some of the food was also a little bland and tasteless. The pizzas in M-bar were good but once you've eaten there a couple of times you feel the need to head for Cascais. O Terraco, the fine dining venue was even more limited. It's worth one visit but that's it. Breakfasts were good however.

This is a great hotel and we had a wonderful holiday. However, a repeat visit would only be worthwhile if we knew they had improved the food. They punch below their weight here and the Martinhal in Sagres was better on dining. Some menu revamps are much needed. Perhaps the same for the chefs...?

The staff were all superb: courteous, efficient and great with the kids.
Bar do Guincho at Praia Guincho has awesome sunset views over the beach. It's a causal beach restaurant but serves up great burgers and clams. Cascais has some good beaches that are more child friendly but this is worth checking out for the views and surfer vibe.

Mar do Inferno is a great seafood restaurant for locals - with ocean views by Boca do Inferno just outside of Cascais. We got an Uber there and it's only 5 minutes drive. The seafood platter is amazing and great value.

Cascais itself has plenty of nice beaches and restaurants - there is something for everyone there.


We had a fantastic week at Martinhal Cascais, as much due to the location and proximity to Lisbon (well worth a visit on the train) and Cascais (lovely town with some great restaurants) as the brilliant hotel. The rooms were great, the staff could not have been more helpful and complimentary kids club is every parent's dream!


The kids very much enjoyed the playground and it was easy for us to enjoy the spa facilities with them being allowed into the spa area. The kid's pool was excellent. The quality of treatments (between my husband and me we tried four) really was excellent. Quite often
the Spa aspect is OK but not amazing. My first facial was one of the best I have ever had.
The kids club was OK but better for little ones I think. My boys did do one cooking class but weren't much interested beyond that (which is probably their quirk rather than a massive reflection off the quite wide variety of stuff on offer). They enjoyed the bike hire and archery. Very friendly staff who were helpful and good with kids.
The service was good however rather officious at times (especially at breakfast) when they seemed a little haphazard at providing a courteous service with one that at times was a little intrusive in the more formal restaurant.
The staff were all helpful though with any requests we had such as bookings to eat outside the hotel, directions etc, even checking for us our car hire details in regards to the tolls that we may have but didn't incur.
The main drawback for us of this immaculately landscaped hotel really was the food. We felt that perhaps it wasn't really good enough. Breakfasts were fine with good quality food and a buffet that felt varied enough for a seven day stay or longer. However the two restaurants at the hotel need a rethink in terms of menu options and style. Given that the hotel is for families with probably reasonably well travelled tastes (given the price tag) the Portuguese fine dining restaurant wasn't well aimed. The menu was over fussy and lacked any sophistication. For instance on my plate of lovely black (but slightly underdone) cod was smeared a huge swipe of thick and gluggy humous. The little hors d'oeuvres (nice touch) served before the start of the meal were served in weird little plastic airline type dishes. We could not work out what they were (both nights ) but it was a nice try. We were overcharged for a bottle of wine after detailed discussion with the waiter which seemed a little sloppy. As I scanned through the menu there were barely any vegetables to be seen. I say all this because it limited the appeal of the grown up experience of the hotel for one thing. For another it seems like such a shame give our experiences of the rustic and not so rustic Portuguese fare in other places. The market in Cascais has the most amazing produce and we ate some of the best sea-food we have ever eaten (and I say that as a New Zealander).
The other restaurant (Italian) was brilliantly located above the kids play area with an insightful understanding of the concurrent possibilities of parental supervision and a glass of wine. However again, vegetables and fresh large salad options that might give a few greens were missing. Surely a no-brainer for the target market to have a wonderful selection of salads which would have given some variation to the meat and pizza menu. The Pizzas were pretty good though and so were the cocktails and ice-cream.
If you are staying for a week in one of the rooms however it is a bit problematic as there is only so long you can drink cocktails and let the kids get their vitamin C from the lemon flavoured ice-cream.

We are great fans of i-escape though and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. Our other hotel, Villa Pedra is a gem so thank you for the steer on that!


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