A couple of days ago I wrote all about the first part of our trip to the beautiful Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa in Portugal, a five star resort in a relatively undiscovered area of the Algarve, which we went to for a long weekend at the start of August.
Here is the second part of our trip in photos…
The majority of our stay was spent in one of the resort’s two gorgeous pools. Our girls are absolute water babies and would spend all day at the pool if they could.
He loved coming in for a few minutes every now and again to cool down from the heat. While we were there Portugal was experiencing a mini heatwave and temperatures reached 40 degrees. I am a massive heat and sun lover, but my goodness it was hot!
The resort was absolutely stunning, a almost industrial style, futuristic looking building built into the mountain, made with lots of glass and concrete. It was one of the most beautiful places we have stayed.
Everywhere you were located in the resort you could see the lush greenery of the mountains. It was so peaceful and normally when we go abroad we seem to end up in quite touristy areas, so we absolutely loved being off the beaten track, but still experiencing luxury and with lots of destinations on our doorstep if we needed them.
This cheeky face! She started off being a bit nervous in the water but loved these little floaty things as it gave her the confidence to not be held by one of us.
Whereas this little one has taught herself to swim this summer. She has gone from wearing her float jacket to not needing it at all, jumping in, swimming underwater and just generally being fearless.
A selfie with my boy. We stayed at the pool most of the day on the Sunday because I wasn’t feeling too well. I think my bikini might have been too tight and I ended up getting mild mastitis symptoms in the middle of the night. Even mild mastitis symptoms are awful so we tried to take it easy.
On the final evening we went to the resort’s tapas restaurant A Petiscaria which was absolutely delicious, and serves a variety of hot and cold Portuguese tapas. We loved this Spanish sausage dish, which was cooked and doused with a Portuguese ‘fiery local drink’ and then set on fire. The girls thought it was fascinating.
We then finally managed to time our evening so we got a little bit of the golden sunset just before it set behind the mountains.
Myself and my babies- I am the luckiest Mama to have them.
I love this photo of her and her baby brother. She is honestly the best big sister, so kind, loving and caring. He adores her.
So many children. 😉
My boys + glorious golden sunshine = perfection. This lovely boy coped so well with the heat and it didn’t phase him at all. I get quite a few messages asking about taking babies on holiday and how we cope in the heat, but I honestly think that we as parents worry more than we need too. Most of the time they take it in their stride and cope better with the change of routine more than us! I do think it’s easier the smaller they are.
I love this photo of Mads. Recently she has taken an interest in photography and wants to take photos. Seeing as it is one of my biggest passion I am really proud of her for taking an interest in it.
One of the photos she took. We had to stay there for ages while she gave us a mini photo shoot. Now I know how they feel when I do it to them!
On Monday, our final day, our flight wasn’t until the evening, so we spent the morning at the pool, before checking out, storing our luggage and heading into the little town of Monchique to explore- about 10 minutes taxi ride away, that cost about 10 euros each way.
Monchique is a stunning place, with lots of narrow cobbled streets criss-crossing up the hillside with a few cafes and restaurants dotted about. We found this gorgeous little bar called Bar Elefante, which was colourful, unique and quaint and hidden down the tiniest narrow alley. If you visit Monchique you definitely need to check it out.
We pottered about for ages, just looking at all the sights, including the gorgeous Portuguese houses with their ornate doors and different coloured shutters.
Before finally sitting in the cobbled square and enjoying our last ice cream of the holiday.
Overall we had the most lovely time at the MacDonald Monchique Resort & Spa. The hotel is newly opened, having opened in June 2016 and was quite honestly stunning. Our suite was gorgeous, the facilities fantastic, and the location of the resort was just perfection. I had a few people ask me on social media whether I would recommend the hotel for a family holiday due to the fact it wasn’t near the beach. The answer is yes I would, don’t let that put you off as the nearest beach is about twenty minutes away by car, and the location of the resort is simply stunning- it definitely makes up for the beach not being on your doorstep.
We really can’t fault most things about the resort. The food was great, the staff incredibly efficient and friendly, and the design and decor beautiful, stylish and elegant. The only thing I would say is something which I touched upon in my last post- the hotel really is so stunning, elegant and smart that there were times when I did feel that perhaps it wasn’t really sure about the balance of being a beautiful place for adults or a fun family friendly hotel too. On reflection I think the thing about it is, if you are looking for a week in the sun, with cheesy entertainment and discos for the children each night (and we love that too sometimes!) then the MacDonald Monchique isn’t going to be the place for you. This isn’t a package holiday type of place.
However if you are looking for luxury, a stunning place and area to visit, and a place that does cater for children (very well in fact), but in a slightly different kind of way then you couldn’t go far wrong with the resort. There are plenty of facilities for children, and some lovely touches including the little welcome pack gifts like a hat and t-shirt, or the fact that the hotel kids club staff bring round things like pens and jigsaws at breakfast time.
Would we go again? Most definitely. The style, design and location of the hotel was perfection and right up our street. We loved being somewhere not so touristy for once, it is a relatively unspoilt and beautiful area of the Algarve. While we love our package holidays, after all they are fantastic with children, we really enjoyed going somewhere different and waking up and pulling open the curtains to see such a beautiful view of the mountains around us. The resort is so new and I think in time it will find the balance between being somewhere that will appeal to adults wanting a luxury break away and also that caters for families at the same time.
We had the most incredible time during our long weekend in Portugal. We laughed non stop, the girls had the biggest smiles on their faces the whole time, and I genuinely haven’t felt as relaxed for a long time as I lay on my sun lounger on our terrace while my two littlest people napped, reading my book and occasionally taking a look up to look out at that beautiful view. It is hard to put into words just how thankful I am to be showing my children the world.
In case you missed it here is a little video we made of our time in Portugal that shows off the MacDonald Monchique even more…
NB We were invited to stay at the MacDonald Monchique Resort & Spa. All content and opinions are entirely my own.