Martinhal Lisbon Chiado

Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal
Book from GBP Book from £132 per night

Martinhal Lisbon Chiado

Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal

Stylish family hotel with studios and apartments, a central location and superb childcare facilities

Stylish family hotel with studios and apartments, a central location and superb childcare facilities

We’d never thought of Lisbon as a particularly family-focused destination – we thought its cool, arty vibe better suited to an adult weekend away. But that was before Martinhal opened a hotel here. And as soon as we clocked its location in vibrant Chiado (pedestrianised areas, friendly restaurants), saw their gorgeous family-friendly studios and apartments and all their classic childcare ingredients, we knew it would be fabulous. Martinhal's previous opening, in Sagres, ticks all the boxes for superb family holidays, and Lisbon has way more to offer locally. Our toddler grinned from ear to ear while riding the trams and running around the ramparts of Castelo São Jorge. And all three of us loved the history (and custard tarts) at Bélem. When the sun shone, we headed for sandy beaches and Monsanto, where there's a giant playground and public outdoor pool. On rainy days, we’d visit the puppet museum and Europe's biggest aquarium.

The hotel's brilliant kids club has everything from playmats to PlayStations, plus creative activities, story hours, even an indoor climbing wall. Every member of staff was exceptionally kind to our son, so much so that he didn’t want to leave (he still takes the cuddly fox from his welcome goody bag to bed every night). So give everyone a holiday – treat your children to an afternoon of supervised fun while you indulge at museums and hip boutiques, or let them loose at an evening 'pyjama party' while you check out the bars and gastro-restaurants nearby. Win win.

Highs

  • 37 beautifully decorated and spacious studios (31-42sqm) or apartments with 1-2 bedrooms, all with kitchens
  • Exceptionally kind staff (even kind enough to provide breakfast boxes as we had to leave at 5am)
  • For kids: imaginative play areas, space to run around, cool bedrooms, kid-friendly meals, activities nearby
  • For parents: space to relax, stylish décor, cultural sights and family restaurants you can walk to, superlative childcare, great sound-proofing, good security features, equipment to borrow, and a cool gin bar on site
  • Excellent location close to Lisbon's main sights; the Time Out Market is 5 mins' walk away

Lows

  • No formal restaurant in the hotel, just a café for breakfast and light meals, but the neighbourhood teems with eateries
  • No pool or spa
  • Bathrooms were looking a little dated on our last visit
  • Kingsize beds are two beds pushed together
  • Most apartments only have one bathroom, and they aren't especially large

Best time to go

Lisbon is lovely at any time of year. In June, the streets erupt in festivities to celebrate its patron saint, Santo Antonio. Free concerts, parades and stalls selling freshly grilled sardines abound. October is also a very pleasant month to visit, with fewer tourists and an average temperature of 19C. There's free childcare at the kids' club during November-March.

Our top tips

Bring a sling. Navigating Lisbon’s cobbled streets and steep hills can be tricky with a buggy.

Eat out at the famous Time Out Market, just down the road. Once a simple produce market, it’s more of a sophisticated food court these days, with canteen-style communal tables and food by some of Portugal's top chefs. Great for lunch and buying food to self-cater with something for everyone.

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • Boutique hotel
  • 8 studios, 29 apartments
  • Café and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

There are 8 studios and 29 apartments, all beautifully decorated with white walls offsetting 50s-style furniture: oak sideboards, cork coffee tables, anglepoise lamps. Which you choose depends on how many children you have in tow.

Velvet cushions, sofas and armchairs provide bright pops of colour - lime green, rose pink - as do bed blankets and red or blue statement walls in the studios. Artwork throughout is striking and modern. Huge windows let the light pour through, and their original shutters provide perfect darkness at night and for nap times. Thankfully, soundproofing is excellent - we didn’t hear a peep from any of the other apartments nor much street noise. Bathrooms (usually 1 per studio or apartment) are modern affairs; marble tiles, square sinks and a shower over a tub, except the Superior Deluxe Apartments which have walk-in showers. The design is a bit bland but bathrobes and toiletries up the ante.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfasts are served on the ground floor (cereals, pastries, eggs to order), complete with a bright-red vintage BMW, which gives kids somewhere to ‘drive’ while you order and await food – we found it quite hard to extract our car-mad toddler! There’s also a corner filled with toys (taking the pressure off those ‘please just sit quietly’ situations). Most people, however, opt for the in-room breakfast hamper: pastries, orange juice, yoghurt and jams. You have your own kitchen for self-catering – stove, oven, fridge-freezer, Nespresso – and a dishwasher for tidying up.

For the rest of the day the space morphs into the cool Bar 1855 Gin Garden, the name a nod to the age of the building, which has a laid-back vibe set to ambient beats. Tapas, pinchos and pizza are available through the day and evening, also available on room service. Daily specials are also available for lunch. There's a kids’ menu with crowd-pleasers like pizza, hummus and pasta, perfect for a quick lunch or easy supper. Later in the day, perhaps after sightseeing, parents can enjoy beautifully crafted gin-based cocktails; make your own G&T to order.

Chiado is teeming with excellent restaurants, both family-friendly and intimate (for nap-time in the buggy or a romantic evening out). Staff will give recommendations and help with bookings.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Kids' meals
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Ride the clackety trams up and down vertiginous streets, a highlight for all the family. Just beware of pickpockets on Tram 28
  • The aquarium is Europe’s largest indoor, with 8,000 species including sharks, rats, sea dragons and sun fish. Lisbon Zoo is also brilliant, with rare white tigers and a family of mountain gorillas. There’s a petting corner with rabbits and guinea pigs for youngsters
  • The medieval Castelo São Jorge is a must-visit, with its ancient ramparts and canons. A camera obscura in the Tower of Ulysses provides a 360-degree perspective of the city below
  • Take a Hippotrip amphibious sightseeing cruise, in buses that turn into boats!
  • Jardim da Estrela is a large green space in the centre with a café, a big playground, a large climbing frame and 'hidden treasures’ trails
  • We love Museu da Marioneta, Lisbon’s puppet museum, with a collection of traditional marionettes from Portugal, China, India, Thailand and Brazil, as well as exquisite glove puppets. Kids can make their own puppets at the end
  • The Science Alive centre (Pavilhao do Conhecimento ) is great for a rainy day, an interactive museum with working exhibits, puzzles and phenomena
  • A cable car runs over the estuary, offering a 20-minute flight with panoramic views over the city
  • Older kids will enjoy the 19th-century warship, D. Fernando II e Glória, now restored and dry docked. Mannequins bring the experience to life
  • Golden beaches are easily reached. The Costa da Caparica is a 15-minute taxi ride, the Praia do Tamariz is a leisurely tram ride (get off at Estoril, 30 minutes from central Lisbon), or drive to beautiful Guincho if you’ve got a car
  • Tram to Bélem, where many of the 14th-century 'voyages of discovery' departed. Visit the Discoveries Monument, picnic in the botanical gardens and queue for delicious pastéis de nata at the famous Pastéis de Bélem bakery
  • Bus 24 (or a cheap taxi) will take you to Monsanto, with its giant playground (endless slides, teepees, a pirate ship) and outdoor swimming pool

Kids

This is a parents' dream. It's aimed at families and its core clientele are families, so there's no need to worry about your kids disrupting anyone else's holiday. There's baby equipment to borrow (pre-booking recommended), a kids' club and creche (complimentary year-round), superlative childcare, and a café serving simple meals and a range of purees for under 1s. Reception has a shop selling lotions, nappies and snacks. The hotel also has good security features, such as lifts to the apartments that can only be accessed using key cards. But best of all, they offer a 'Pyjama Party' or disco - children are looked after in a big tent with Fatboy poufs, giving parents the chance for an evening out.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Deluxe Studios are an open-plan room with a kingsize bed and space for a baby cot. Superior Deluxe Studios are open-plan with a kingsize bed, bunk beds and space for a baby cot. The 1-bed Apartments have a kingsize/twin bedroom and a living area with bunk beds and space for a baby cot; the 1-bed Premium Apartment has twin beds instead of bunks, which makes it suitable for older kids/extra adults. Our favourites were the spacious Deluxe Apartments with 2 bedrooms. They have a kingsize bedroom, 2 pairs of bunk-beds, and space for a baby cot. Superior Deluxe Apartments with 2 bedrooms have 2 double bedrooms and a pair of bunk beds, plus space for a baby cot in the living room. All studios and apartments except Superior Deluxe Apartments have a tub in their bathroom, and all have a full kitchen with a washing machine.

Cots Available

Babysitting:

On request, either in the kids club or in your room/apartment

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots with bedding
  • Baby baths
  • Bottle warming/sterilisers
  • Stair gates
  • Potties & toilet-trainer seats
  • Toddler step
  • Pushchairs

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

Creche/Kid's Club:

The kids club takes children from 6 months-16 years of age, but is mostly used by younger children, and has an enormous range of toys, games and imaginative play facilities. Parents and kids use the space together in the mornings, there's complimentary supervised childcare 12:30-22:00. The Pyjama Club is open until 22:00.

Children's meals:

The cafe serves a range of kid-friendly meals, plus purees for under 1s, and there's a supervised Kids Corner during breakfast

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Castelo São Jorge
  • Aquarium
  • Boat rides
  • Tram rides
  • Markets
  • Street performers
  • Playgrounds
  • Beaches
  • Horse & carriage rides

Distances:

  • Airport: 10km (Lisbon)
  • Shops/restaurants: 0.1km
  • Hospital: 5km
Kid Friendly:

Location

The hotel is set in the heart of Chiado, a vibrant area between the neighbourhoods of Bairro Alto and Baixa Pombalina in Lisbon, Portugal. Many major sights are within walking distance.

By Air:
Lisbon's Portela Airport (10km away) is served by plenty of flights from the UK, elsewhere in Europe and further afield. The hotel can arrange airport transfers or you can take a taxi. You can also take the metro from the airport to Baixa-Chiado station (changing once), which takes about 30 minutes. It’s a 5-minute walk from the station to the Martinhal Lisbon Chiado.

By Car:
We don’t recommend having a car in Lisbon - the city is easily navigated on foot and by public transport, and the traffic can be tricky. However, if you want to hire a car, the hotel can arrange parking.

Detailed directions will be sent when you confirm a booking through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Lisbon Portela 10.0 km LIS

Other:

  • Beach 5.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

7/10
Room
7/10
Food
7/10
Service
8/10
Value
7/10
Overall

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Rates for Martinhal Lisbon Chiado

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