Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel caters to kids with winter escape packagesDec 22, 2014
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, in Sagres, Portugal, has two brand new packages that cater to families.
By Matt Yemma
The setting was something straight out of a movie. The sun had disappeared over the horizon, casting a pink glow in the warm night air. The waves were gently lapping at our feet as we strolled down the beach, passing a few bond fires and friendly families.
“Watch out for the sparks!” One father warned us as we walked by his fire, offering a friendly hello as he corralled his three boys who where running circles with sparklers.
It was the weekend before July 4th and summer was in full swing on Brewster beach halfway up Cape Cod, MA. My girlfriend Emmie and I had escaped the first heat wave of the summer in New York City for a weekend at The Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster.
While New York City cooked with record temperatures, we found idyllic bliss in Brewster, eating lobster rolls, strolling the beaches, enjoying cocktails and oysters while watching the sun set, and our three days in Brewster hadn’t even scraped the surface of what’s available on the Cape every summer.
Long a favorite of families and travelers in New England, Cape Cod offers a diverse range of vacation options and activities. Many families opt to rent a house for a few days, a week, or more. VRBO is an excellent resource for available rentals. This was my first choice, as I was eying a house in Chatham with it’s own private dock – I figured out we could rent a motorboat from one of the local yacht clubs. I pictured us spending days tubing and relaxing on the water. But after my roommate and his girlfriend dropped out of the trip, my girlfriend and I opted for an easier option, The Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster.
The resort was opened in 1979 and is situated on 429 acres within a stones throw of Brewster beach. There are six different pools, a Nicklaus Design Golf Course, Tennis Courts, Spa, and 337 guestrooms that range from executive suites to three bedroom villas. We found the private beach particularly enchanting, especially at low tide. The tidal flats extend for miles into the water, offering kids and adults a like a chance to explore tide pools and sea life. We particularly enjoyed the crabs who would bury themselves in the sand when we got too close, as well as the oyster farmers we met.
We discovered that many Cape Cod residents try oyster farming – a process where 100,000 baby oysters are set in cages that are tied to ropes that are embedded in the tidal flats. The owners have to continually clean and maintain the cages, and remove the cages during the winter, but we were told that within a year these oysters would be ready for sale to seafood wholesale businesses and restaurants around the cape and the northeast.
“It must be hard for the oyster farmers to not eat their own stash, especially as a late night snack,” Emmie joked as we walked back to our room from the tidal flats and a lobster roll lunch. She was right – the next day we purchased 24 oysters from the Chatham Pier Fish Market before heading home. The oysters turned out to be a delicious treat as we dined and told tales of that trip and past trips to Cape Cod with my parents that night in our Connecticut home.
“Did you have a good time even though we didn’t rent a house?” I asked my girlfriend as we shucked oysters (omission: she shucked the oysters, I cut my hand open on my first oyster).
“I did,” she said with a smile. “It was a great weekend away. There is always next summer for a house.”
She was right. Next summer we’d rent a big beach house with a boat. For now, we were happy with our weekend getaway.
Matt Yemma is a contributing writer to Taking the Kids.