Located on a picturesque cobblestone street in Lisbon‘s hilly Chiado neighborhood, the Martinhal Lisbon Chiado is an absolute gem of a hotel for families. The Martinhal brand has built its reputation on creating properties designed from the ground up with families in mind. Unlike its original resorts in the Algarve and the seaside town of Cascais, the Martinhal Chiado is the company’s first foray into an urban destination.
The family focus extends throughout every aspect of the Martinhal Chiado. Downstairs you will find ample stroller parking, along with strollers to borrow if you left yours at home. Parents can drop off children aged 6 months through early teens in the complimentary kids’ club for activities and play, then go out and explore. Or if you prefer an evening out, a pajama party is offered from seven to midnight. Private babysitting is also available.
TIP: Given Lisbon’s hills and bumpy streets, it’s best to bring a sturdy stroller or a backpack carrier.
In addition to the kids’ club, families have access to an unsupervised playroom off the lobby, which is just perfect for chilling out in the afternoon after touring or while a little sibling takes a nap upstairs in peace. The main room is full of bright colors and toys (no screens!), and there is an inner sanctum that is soothing and quiet for babies to enjoy.
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This all-suite hotel offers 37 family-size suites and apartments that will accommodate groups of four or five. Each suite is unique, but all can sleep at least two adults and two children. Suites also offer fully equipped kitchens with a full-size refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker and even a washer/dryer. There’s even child-size cutlery and a highchair.
Families are welcomed with bottles of still and sparkling water, milk, orange juice and a box of cookies (there is a charge for replenishments). The property also provides dish and laundry detergent plus other necessities such as salt and pepper, olive oil and vinegar, soap, napkins, plates, cups and glasses.
Apartments are bright and stylish, appealing to parents and children alike. From the rounded corners on the dining table and chairs to the circular cork coffee table, small details add up to a safe environment for kids. The large windows only open with a key, and the elevator is programmed to require a room key to access the upper floors.
One-bedroom apartments have a king bed in the bedroom and flip-down bunk beds in the living room, with the two spaces divided by a door. Studio suites don’t offer the separation of bedroom from living area, but are large enough to accommodate the bunk beds and a separate baby cot or rollaway bed for a third child.
Bedrooms offer ample storage and closet space. In the bathroom, you will find non-slip mats for the tub, step stools so little ones can reach the sink and a potty seat. Grown-ups will enjoy the Voya bath products, heated towel rack, robes and flip-flops (kids can get these too), as well as the little touches like a sewing kit, single-packaged flossers and a shower cap.
TIP: When you book, Martinhal takes your family makeup into account to provide the best suite to fit. If you can, request a river view, as these rooms are off the busy street. Keeping in mind that the Martinhal is in the heart of the city and located in a historic building, you may want to bring a sound machine if you have light sleepers.
M Bar, the small cafe onsite, offers breakfast, lunch and light snacks until 7p. The food is healthy and delicious, continuing Martinhal’s commitment to families. Instead of a kids’ menu, they offer child-size portions of various dishes on the regular menu as well as baby food.
Families can also order room service — a great option, especially for breakfast, when the cafe can get crowded. Breakfast is delivered in baskets, and you can eat in comfort around the kitchen table at your leisure.
You’ll want to fuel up in the morning! There is so much to explore in Lisbon, described as the “new capital of cool.” The Martinhal’s location in the Chiado neighborhood offers easy access to shops, wine bars and restaurants. Down the hill, the tram stop is less than 5 minutes away and the train station is less than a 10 minute walk. The bustling Time Out Market and food hall is also nearby.
If you don’t mind the hills, you will enjoy exploring the Barrio Alto neighborhood, which comes to life at night (good for an adult night out). Or head over to the central Baixa tourist and shopping district. Whichever direction you choose, you’ll find beautiful Portuguese-tiled buildings and black-and-white-tiled sidewalks (just watch your step; they are slippery when wet), and you’ll feel like you are in the middle of it all.
The Martinhal Chiado is the perfect choice for families, especially those looking for a city break with young children. If you want some relaxation time after exploring Lisbon, pair it with a stay at the nearby Martinhal Cascais, a seaside town just 35 minutes to the north.
Reaching Lisbon is easy thanks to nonstop flights from New York (JFK), Newark, Boston and Miami on TAP Air Portugal. Plus, all of TAP’s fares beyond Portugal (to Africa, Europe and even South America) include a stopover in Lisbon for up to five nights with no additional airfare.
Editor’s Note: Tamara received a complimentary stay as part of a media trip in order to review the property for families. As always, all opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Tamara Gruber except where noted.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.