Family holidays in Portugal. Where to stay in the Algarve?
Posted By Jo MacGregor on 10 March 2015
The fact that the Algarve, on the Southern coast of Portugal is prefect for a luxury family holiday is not in dispute. The glorious sandy beaches – wide and expansive or sheltered coves, crystal clear sea, quaint fishing towns, delicious food and superb facilities from tennis and golf to watersports and nature parks can appeal to children and their parents of all ages.
Add to this the short flight to Portugal from many regional airports and easy transfers it really is perfect for a family break in the sun at any time.
I have picked the best of the bewildering number of resorts claiming to offer a luxury family holiday in the Algarve, Portugal.
Family holidays to the Vila Vita Parc Hotel
This is probably the best, most beautifully kept hotel in the Algarve with direct access (via steep steps so not good if you planned to take your pushchair) to a glorious sandy cove and a long stretch of sandy beach. The location is superb near the small resort of Armacao de Pera so you are not isolated. The style is luxurious yet traditional but it is the beautiful grounds, views, friendly service and attention to detail in all respects that put in my opinion this hotel a cut above the rest. Of course the price reflects this too! With a crèche from 6 months and kids club from 4 years combined with great facilities if your budget can stretch to it then I would have absolutely no hesitation in putting this hotel at the top of your list! Full hotel details, go >>
Family holidays to the Conrad Hilton, Algarve
Wow! This hotel is in style almost a complete opposite to Vila Vita Parc in style - it is chic, sophisticated and modern with all the bells and whistles you would expect. Cool bar, fine dining - I feasted on the most amazing degustation dinner each course with a different wine - and lovely pool area (main pool is heated). The service and attention to detail is also excellent and the location in Quinta da Lago puts it close to all the action of this highly sort after area. It is not on the beach although there is a shuttle which takes you to the glorious sands of Dunas Douradas in just 10 minutes. With a kids club from 4 years I would recommend this to any family who enjoy top-end style and service without being formal. Again not cheap but I would recommend stretching the budget to experience this hotel. Full hotel details, go >>
Family holidays to the Sheraton Algarve Resort
Skip the hotel and go to the 2 and 3 bedroom Pinecliff Residences which are luxuriously appointed with full kitchens (no need to self-cater if you don’t want to though) and spacious so you can really relax even when the children are asleep. This is a big resort covering a wide area and as such there is no need to stray any further, except perhaps to dine for a change. There is direct access to the superb Falesia Beach down a lift and a wooden walkway (unavoidable steps) with simply gorgeous sand and the kids club is fabulous with exciting activities for all ages based around two pirate ships. The new Annabel Croft tennis academy might appeal to some families. If you prefer to be close to the pool and restaurant request blocks 1-5 or 5 upwards if you prefer to be further away and enjoy the privacy. Full hotel details, go >>
Family holidays to Cascades Wellness and Lifestyle Resort
Honestly the Spa was lovely but not so different to many luxury hotels so the name feels a little OTT! However, this newish hotel is a serious contender for my next family holiday. Firstly it is on the edge of Lagos town, in western Algarve away from the more expensive and fashionable resorts. Lagos is a real working harbour town and a delight to explore – OK it is supposedly a 30 minute walk but with kids I would just jump in a taxi if there was no shuttle. The other way there is a lovely sandy beach and within a short drive other beaches to explore. This 5 star hotel itself feels luxurious and modern without being too minimalist. Similar to the Sheraton Algarve though I would head for the 1 and 2 bedroom apartments – well equipped, comfortable and with their own pool area complete with gently shelving pool with a unique beach area and sandy bottom. Complete with 2 FIFA size natural grass football pitches the hotel hosts some national football teams for training which would add an interesting twist to a family holiday! Full hotel details, go >>
Family holidays to the Epic Sana Hotel
I loved the layout at this well-located hotel with the apartments – just over 40 so a really nice number - around a family pool with spacious gardens and a kids club and playground next door. Not far from the Sheraton Algarve it also has direct access to Falesia Beach along a walkway (not so far as Sheraton either although still steps!). There is a vibrant feel to this resort with its distinct fresh lime green and white décor. If you prefer something smaller than the Sheraton them this would be an excellent alternative. Do have a look at the Suites here too as although sold on bed and breakfast they have a handy little kitchenette to store a few snacks for the kids! Full hotel details, go >>
Family holidays to Martinhal
What can I say – this resort is PERFECT for families – modern and spacious 1-3 townhouses or even your own private villa. Whoever designed the layout just understood families with young children and at every turn there is a feature that just works! All the restaurants have play areas next door for allowing you just that little extra time to enjoy your meal, the pools are heated so the kids can spend hours splashing around, the village square has some early evening entertainment. If you have children and you haven’t yet stayed at the Martinhal you do not know what you are missing – my only advise is book earlier than you can imagine as they operate a pricing policy similar to Easyjet and as the rooms book the prices rise to ridiculous levels – don’t even think about a late booking here! Full hotel details, go >>
Family holidys to Monte Santo
The Monte Santo is a fully serviced 5 star apartment and townhouse complex perfect for an excellent value luxury family holiday. It is perfect if you are looking for a luxury but lower cost base from which to explore (car hire essential) returning to spacious and very comfortable accommodation with lovely pools and facilities on-site including a bar/restaurant and spa. Located in the hills of Carvoeiro in the Algarve you can find sandy beaches, golf, tennis, water parks and much more close by. There is a children's club from 4 years and all the equipement for younger children is available too. Full hotel details, go >>
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss yor holiday to the Algarve,