Sun, sea and the kids in tow—what’s not to love about a family holiday! There are the benefits of having early nights in, plenty of splash time by the pool and room service without the guilt. Even better, having children doesn’t mean you have to compromise on either style or luxury. In recent years, deluxe hotels that cater even to kids have sprung up around the world. One of the top destinations with a family-friendly vibe is The Algarve in Portugal.
Whether you’re stuck for inspiration or looking for your next family trip, here are four luxe hotels for your entire family to enjoy in The Algarve.
Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort
Entering Pine Cliffs Resort, you get an instant sense that you’ve arrived somewhere quite special. With pine-infused fresh air, perfectly manicured gardens and a free-flowing river, it’s hard to believe that the best is yet to come.
Despite its glossy appearance and teetering rooftop bars, this is a resort well equipped for children. The World Travel Awards agree, having awarded it “Best Family Resort” in 2016. Set on 179 luscious acres of natural beauty, Pine Cliffs is a vast resort, offering five levels of luxury, a kids club and first-class facilities. Choose from the entry-level Pine Cliffs Residence through to the luxurious Ocean suites and spa. Even if you’re blocks apart from your friends, there’s a handy onsite “train” to connect you (the kids love it!).
Rooms are elegantly presented and well equipped with all of the modern conveniences. But with seven pools to choose from, along with a world-class beach, you’ll be forgiven for spending most of your time outdoors.
A heavenly coastal retreat
The epicentre of any family holiday is the inviting pool, so take your pick of one of seven of them, including a heated kids version. If that’s not enough, the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy is another popular attraction. It’s also conveniently close to the kids play area, perfectly shaded for some much-needed time out.
While the little ones are busy making friends, golf-lovers can improve their game at the nine-hole links course, perfect for beginners and pros alike. The course overlooks Falésia Beach—a golden stretch of sand 200 feet below. The lift is the only way down, which is best avoided in the midday heat with youngsters. Nonetheless, those who dare are greatly rewarded at Mare, the on-beach diner offering world-class views.
Speaking of food, the resort has several restaurants onsite. This includes O Pescador for seafood fans and Piri Piri for meat-lovers. If your tastes are more plant-based, then Zest is wonderfully appealing. With a decent kids menu, there’s plenty for everyone. Finally, when the sun sets over Pine Cliffs, there’s only one place to be: The Mirador Champagne bar. This open-air bar hangs on the edge of the cliff, providing magical views.
The Conrad Algarve
The imposing architecture of the Conrad Algarve gives you a glimpse of what’s in store. Behind its white-washed walls, grandeur greets you at every turn. Rooms are beautifully presented, with every comfort taken care of. For the kids, this means a giant television; for grown-ups who are adjusting to the early starts, it’s the Nespresso machine! If you’re lucky enough to stay in the Roof Terrace Suite, you may never want to leave. The epic room comes with its own swimming pool, sauna, private lift and, wait for it… sliding roof!
Welcome to the luxe life
There’s a whole world of fun for the kids, too. The Little Palace kids club has a well-planned schedule of activities, from princess parties to picnics. However, the ingenious idea of a giant fluffy bunny knocking on your door and reading you a book at bedtime takes the biscuit…or, should that be carrot?! For those who aren’t here to tee off (did we mention the world-class golf course onsite?), there are three generous-sized pools, inside and out. Since the beach is a drive away, this is the best place to catch some rays.
From casual dining at Lago Lounge to the more upmarket Gusto five-star restaurant, there’s an unmistakable local feel to the food, but it’s delivered to meet the highest standards. A great family getaway—you’ll feel that you’ve truly escaped while staying at the Conrad Algarve.
If you have children and good taste, then you’ll certainly have heard of Martinhal. Somewhat of an institution in Portugal, this family-focused chain has several hotels in the country. The Algarve version in Sagres benefits from its coastal position, making it perfect for a host of water activities. From riding dragons on the lake (a must-do with kids of all ages) to boat rides in the ocean to hanging out at your private villa pool, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Despite its tranquil setting, there’s plenty going on here, and, as such, it attracts outdoor enthusiasts and families with a sense of adventure. The independently owned villas offer privacy and self-catering, with all the trappings of hotel luxury. This includes housekeeping services, a kids club and a number of shared facilities.
Families travelling with babies will rejoice at the baby-concierge facility. This means you don’t need to pack heavy items, such as baby gates and cots, but instead hire them onsite. And with its own grocery store, the resort is ideal for those who like to alternate between home-cooking and eating out. That said, you’ll do well to compete with the homemade ice-cream and waffles—crowd-pleasers, especially with the under-10s!
But it’s not all about the kids. There’s plenty of activities, vineyards and, of course, award-winning golf clubs in the area to occupy adults. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the fun you’re having!
VILA VITA Parc Resort & Spa
Pulling up to VILA VITA, you’ll feel like you’ve found your dream holiday getaway. From the minute you arrive, everything is centred around your wellbeing, ensuring you leave feeling revitalised and rested. Yes, even with kids!
With beds that you can sink into and panoramic views of the sea, rooms are fully conducive to a good night’s rest. Set on 54 acres of sub-tropical gardens, this luxurious five-star resort is also home to one of the best beaches in the area. Even with seven pools to compete with, the beach remains a highlight.
Sunshine with a side of wellness
For the active type, there’s plenty of onsite entertainment, from tennis courts and nine-hole pitch and putt and mini-golf to family yoga sessions. Teenagers needn’t miss out either, with dedicated teen workouts that focus on strength-based exercises for young adults. Perhaps, though, the greatest indulgence of all is hiring out the resort’s 72-foot yacht, available to those wanting to discover the hidden alcoves and beaches nearby.
Let’s talk food for a moment because VILA VITA does this better than most. Adega is an homage to local home-cooking, with an inviting rustic feel, while the Aladin Grill has something for even the fussiest of little eaters. But for all those five-star sensations, head to Ocean—the resort’s two-Michelin-star restaurant, which combines chic dining with jaw-dropping views. Why not hire the onsite babysitter and make the most of your night off?
Carry on with the tender loving care the next day, and be sure to swing by the epic resort spa. See for yourself why it’s been named the third-best spa in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. As a final nod to its wellness commitment, if you’re passionate about sustainable travel, VILA VITA goes to great lengths to minimise its global footprint. From farming its own organic food (meat, wine and vegetables) to repurposing used water onsite to using solar-heated panels—its green credentials work in perfect harmony with its wellness approach.