I was lucky enough to be invited to the recent ‘Martinhal Luxury Family Brand Event’ in Cascais, Portugal.
Me = complete and utter jammy wagon!
Martinhal is an exclusive collection of luxury family – friendly hotels in Portugal. I can now attest to those two things. Luxurious? Hell Yes! Family – Friendly? Totally!
So here’s the Irish crew who went along to the event –
So from the front there’s Tracey rocking the glam pink cardigan. Tracey is the owner of Love Of Living . Tracey’s a regular write for Easy Parenting Magazine & Family Friendly HQ, as well as a Channel Mum vlogger & Youtuber.
Left of Tracey is Jane. Jane works in HR Management and is Co Founder of popular parenting site Family Friendly HQ.
I’m next there. *Hi.*
Then there’s Niamh. Co Founder / Chief Story Teller of The Irish Fairy Door Company.
Next to Niamh is Kellie who owns My Little Babóg. Kellie brought along her youngest, Kenzie, who was a rockstar the entire trip.
Then there’s Olivia who runs Cannon Consulting and who’s client is the Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts – hence the trip. Olivia is also Co Founder of Family Friendly HQ along with Jane.
And last but by no means least is Sadhbh, owner of the blog Where Wishes Come From.
We also met up with Jenny Taaffe, CEO & founder of iZest Marketing. later on who’s in the pics at the end of the post. 🙂
The idea behind the Martinhal Hotel Group is that family friendly hotel breaks can also be luxurious so everyone wins. You can have your 5 star treatment but you can bring the kids along. There’s ALL the fancy trimmings but there’s still kids play areas, kids clubs and playgrounds. Founders Chitra & Roman Stern are parents to 4 kids so they understood perfectly that having luxury and kids can prove difficult!
The event we went to in the hotel saw Entrepreneurs & Bloggers from different European Countries & the U.S. speaking about their successful products / brands.
They were all incredibly inspiring and definitely gave me added enthusiasm & a boost to work hard & be successful.
One speaker who was particularly amazing was Paul Lindley, Founder of, among other things, the very successful Ella’s Kitchen.
Paul was there to talk about his book, Little Wins. “In Little Wins: The Huge Power of Thinking Like a Toddler, Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley reveals the nine characteristics and behaviours that we can all learn from recalling our toddler selves.” He essentially told us it’s time we ‘grew down’. Life has become so fast paced and hectic. It’s chaotic and often extremely stressful. He basically talked about how we need to relax, slow down, take a step back and re-discover all those characteristics that we once had as a kid, and that are still there, if we just take the time to bring them back to life. I could go on about him all day but I don’t know if I can put in writing how inspiring he was. He brought tears to my eyes at certain points he made because I was nodding along thinking how true it all is, that you sort of get caught up in modern life and forget how to be a kid. He was brilliant and without a doubt I’m buying that book!
Elsbeth Teeling is a massive blogger in Holland with a facebook following of over 137k people. Her blog is “Club Van Relaxte Moeders” which (I hope I’m right) translates to “Club For Relaxed Mothers”. Elsbeth was there with her book which in the English version is “99 pick me up tips for New Mamas. How to relax, survive and even enjoy those first few months”. We got a good giggle because her original book has 101 tips but somehow two tips got lost between translating! Her book is hilarious and the pictures in it will have you giggling and snorting out loud. Genuinely, on the plane home I said I will definitely be buying her book!
Of course we were cheering and wooping loudly in true Irish style for Niamh when she spoke about the Irish Fairy Door Company. She’s an absolutely fantastic speaker and had everyone on the floor laughing. Pretty sure all the other nationalities fell in love with her, and sure who could blame them. 😉 Niamh very kindly gave everyone a Fairy Door, so there’ll be a whole rake of new fairies in the world this weekend.
There was also Christophe (with his fabulous French accent!! 😉 ) Founder of food website Marmiton, who had some great tips for feeding kids which genuinely gave me a boost to improve all our diets.
There were loads of other guest speakers and I could write the world’s longest blog post on the entire thing but instead I’ll leave the link to the entire conference here for anyone who wants to have a look. 🙂
So after a whirlwind day in Cascais, and after a dramatic entrance the evening before which included a passport left behind on the plane, a long wait in the airport, a facebook message from an air hostess who subsequently found the passport and brought it back to Lisbon with her the next day (luck of the Irish right there!!) and an applause at the restaurant when we finally arrived because hey, we like to make an entrance! – we travelled on to another Martinhal Hotel in Lisbon.
Literally, we hadn’t stopped since arriving in Portugal and had about 15 minutes to freshen up before heading out to dinner again (a tough life, I know!) so I have zero pictures of the fabulous APARTMENT that I had. I shared a lot of videos on snapchat so hopefully you got to have a look. What I would have given for another day in Portugal to really enjoy that apartment..!
I can’t tell you how much I laughed on that night out. We just all clicked on this trip and got each other and God only knows half of the ridiculous things we talked and laughed about! What I also learned is that Ireland really is a village and everyone knows someone you know! Seriously. The amount of links was unreal. We even had a Portuguese waitress who, after we stopped to compliment her lipstick, started chatting about how she used to live in Dunshaughlin which isn’t far from a lot of us and worked in Claire’s Accessories in Blanch! You couldn’t make it up! I learned that Olivia went to school with my best friend. Jane works with an old school friend of mine, and Niamh used to teach my niece and nephew as well as knowing a family friend. Literally, you can’t go anywhere! 😉
I genuinely had a ball on this trip and honestly still can’t believe my luck. The Martinhal is really something to behold and I’d return in a heartbeat with my family in tow!
I’ll leave you with some snaps of the Irish crew – if you’re still reading! 🙂