Sunday, April 3

Martinhal - The Benefits of Being a Sister of a Hotelier


Truffle and I are two sisters out of four. Truffle and I have written about sister number 4, Rice Krispie, but have yet to mention sister Premier, Chilli Padi. The reason is that I had been waiting to visit her in Portugal, which I recently did.

Chilli Padi and I are only three years apart. We grew up together as a pair and Truffle and Rice Krispie, much younger than us were the other pair. Chilli and I fought and argued like typical sisters, but she took care of me too. She always looked out for me at school, took me to her friends' birthday parties and she was my go-to person for homework. There was no way I could compete with her and I knew early on not to bother. She was stronger, smarter, and more outgoing. Teachers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins were all very impressed with her and always commented on how intelligent she was as a child. My fifth grade Chinese teacher once said to me, "Your sister is so smart!  Her Mandarin is so good! What happened to you?" Mind you, I did have a couple of things going for me too. I was the cute one. I had chubby cheeks and a mean pout. I'd also like to think that I had an artistic flair - I was good at drawing, I was pretty good at school plays, and could always make Chilli laugh. 

We also had very different tastes. She liked chocolate ice-cream, I liked strawberry. She liked savory, I liked sweet. She liked meat, I liked fruit. We might have been different then, but not anymore. I loved all the food at her hotel and resort in Portugal.

Err, yes, you read correctly. My sister continued on that stellar path and she and her husband, Mr. Dessert, have developed, built and now run Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel.  Not only that, they managed to pop out four lovely children while building a business. We visited them recently for Spring Break and had the best family holiday ever! The hotel and resort is gorgeous!  The architecture and design is modern-contemporary and just stunning. The place is filled with great art and the spa is top notch. The most memorable for yours truly? The cuisine at Martinhal.

Here are just a few highlights:
As Dunas restaurant (The Sand Dunes). Their more casual restaurant by the beach with the best seafood in the region. Portugal is known for fresh seafood served grilled with a side of potatoes and salad/vegetables.

   
Seafood lunch platter. You can't have this combo unless you sister runs the place!



 Garlic shrimp! Yum. You have to peel them with your hands which means you get extra flavor on your fingers.


Grilled fish, Portuguese style, but taken a few levels up Martinhal-style. 

Clams with garlic and cilantro/coriander. Would you believe my American kids loved this dish!  

 Portuguese coffee to wash it down.


O Terraco (The Terrace) restaurant where breakfast and dinner are served.

Breakfast. A picture tells a thousand words...

 Porto Branco. Pre-dinner drink in lounge.


I have more pictures but not enough time. Chilli and Mr. Dessert were kind enough to invite us to a food tasting for As Dunas restaurant. So, much more in my next post!

Chilli Padi and Mr Dessert, congratulations on Martinhal. We are very proud of you. Chilli Padi, I expected and will continue to expect nothing less from you. Love you!

Cinnamon

8 comments:

I'm So Fancy said...

that place looks like it might just be Fancy enough for the Fancies! Well done! Good to have siblings on this end as opposed to the living-in-a-trailer-and-calling-you-for-cash kind.

Anonymous said...

You're too kind, Cinnamon. Thank you and love you! By the way, just in case some professional hoteliers get upset, I'm not a hotelier, but an MBA! We're at the entrepreneur/ ownership end but have a great team on board! Cinammon -love you too!
Chilli Padi

Mañana Mama said...

Wow! Cinnamon, Truffle and Chilli Padi (waving hello :), you three super-sisters have convinced me that I need to quickly:

a)book a ticket to Portugal, and

b) convince my sister or brother to go into the hospitality biz...pretty, pretty please!

Mouth-watering photos as ever - amazing how your entire family is so very talented in all things food and world travel! Enjoy :)
~M

Hungry Female said...

Is this your sister's hotel? Wow, hats off to her, it looks fantastic! Hope you had a good trip and enjoyed some white port! HF

I'm So Fancy said...

And thanks for the website tip!!! Bookmarked on all our computers, iPads and iPhones. x

Bibsey Mama said...

Oh my goodness. This place looks amazing. I too now want to nip off to Portugal (not so very far for us). However, I also now no longer want to cook what I was going to cook for dinner.

Under achievement looms in the kitchen *reaches for bottle of cava*

BM
x

Cinnamon and Truffle said...

Dear Fancy, Mama, Hungry, and Bibsey,

Thank you so much for your comments! Before leaving Martinhal, I actually spoke to the general manager to ask if he would be interested in giving C&T blog readers a special package or room rate. He said, "let's see what we can do!"

Let me know if you are interested and I can set something up. Looks like 3 out of 4 of you are mothers like I am. What I did not mention in the post is that Martinhal is for families. I think Chilli Padi secretly created an oasis for herself!

Love your blogs, love the pics! I am afraid I cannot compete with your pics with my iPhone... I did take a few in Portugal with my Canon Rebel, thank goodness! Truffle also gifted me a 6-week photo course here in Charlotte as a X'mas pressie. Lessons start in June. Hope to get my photos blog worthy soon!

Best,
Cinnamon

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing! What a great way to spend spring break, in a beautiful location with a dear sibling and her family! Food looks delicious and I'm impressed that your children ate the clams! That is amazing, mine wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole. :)

xoxo
Texas Chili

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