By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel, near Sagres, was officially inaugurated on September 16 with Portuguese and British officials attending the event in the western Algarve.
The opening ceremony was led by José António Fonseca Vieira, the Minister for Economy, Innovation and Development, Bernardo Trindade, the Secretary of State for Tourism and British Ambassador Alex Ellis.
José António Fonseca Viera da Silva congratulated the management of the resort for the project and for their investment in the Sagres region, reinforcing the fact that the resort is a great example of sustainable tourism development for the Algarve.
While Bernardo Trindade said: “Projects such as the Martinhal Resort add great value and prestige to Portugal as a tourist destination.”
The Martinhal Resort is the first five-star beach resort in the Sagres region and represents an investment of 100 million Euros.
Although this was the official inauguration, the resort has already been open for guests and occupancy levels have exceeded the expectations of the owners.
Chitra Stern, one of the founders and owners of the Martinhal Resort, said: “In our first summer we had 95 percent occupancy and more than 500 guests on site on a daily basis enjoying our indoor and outdoor facilities. Some of our clients have already made reservations for next year.”
The resort, which is surrounded by the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano, has been designed to complement the natural environment and many local craftsmen were used to supply indigenous materials such as cork, natural rattan and stone from Monchique for the project.
The project has provided 250 direct jobs and approximately a further 250 jobs indirectly in the local area, with the aim of the resort being to integrate within the local community as much as possible.
This policy of integration has led to 33 percent of all staff being employed from the Vila do Bispo area, 13 percent from Lagos, 13 percent from Portimão and 11 percent from other areas of the Algarve.
A spokesman for the Martinhal Resort said: “The integration and employment of staff from the local area is particularly important to the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel and the management feel that employing local people is an important way of contributing to the region’s socioeconomic development.”