Luxury hotel, Martinhal Sagres, situated in the Algarve, Portugal, recently played host to its Art, Design and Wellbeing event for the eleventh year....
This weekend presented the opportunity to explore creativity through art, fashion, food and beauty, whilst also allowing me to tick another country off our bucket list. As we touched down in Faro and my husband eagerly awaited our luggage to loop around the belt, I was excited to embark on this experience — not just for this creative event, but for the resort itself, rated as one of the top luxury family-friendly hotels in Europe. Greeted by the sun glistening on the endless ocean, we arrived at Martinhal Resort. I was instantly entranced by the grandness of the resort and the warmth of the concierge.
The Kids Club
Martinhal Sagres has thought of every small detail to ensure children are as well looked after as the adults: from the colourful and enticing crockery come mealtime, a fully-equipped bathroom to ensure those tiny toes reach the sink, to the five pools and endless play areas. One of the standout features of this family-friendly resort is its extensive range of amenities and activities tailored specifically for families. Children will be thrilled by the dedicated kids' club, offering a wide range of supervised activities and entertainment, allowing parents to relax and unwind knowing their little ones are in safe hands.
In today's fast-paced world, finding balance and nurturing our wellbeing has become more important than ever. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through art and design, which have the power to inspire, uplift, and promote a sense of inner peace, which is the ethos behind the resort’s three-day event. Held in a serene and creatively charged setting, this interactive experience invites individuals from all walks of life — whether you are an art enthusiast, a design aficionado, or simply someone looking to enhance one’s overall lifestyle — to explore the intersection of art, design, and wellbeing.
The programme consisted of a series of interactive sessions led by renowned artists, designers, and wellbeing experts. Participants had the opportunity to engage in art workshops, learn new design techniques, and discover wellness practices. To mark the 11th iteration of the festival, the team strengthened its curatorial work to prioritise craftsmanship, environmental sustainability, and the importance of taking time to reconnect. It also offered a stage to leading Portuguese artists, brands and entrepreneurs.
This year’s artist-in-residence, Henriette Arcelin, embodies these principles through her inspiring work. Arcelin is a French illustrator and ceramicist currently living between Lisbon and Paris. Her work (mainly depicting nature) is beautifully intricate, with an experimental approach to colour and a keen eye for detail. The intricate lines and vibrant colours used in her pieces not only showcase her technical prowess, but also convey a profound depth of expression. Guests had the opportunity to unleash their creativity with a flower-making workshop, exploring Ikebana: the art of Japanese flower arrangement. The workshop was led by Nathan Kunigami, founder of Kokuga, a Lisbon-based flower studio. His relationship with Japanese culture began at an early age, as his mother practised Ikebana, but truly took hold following his own trip to Japan where he studied the craft.
The event showcased an impressive array of brands that truly exemplified creativity. One such brand that caught my attention was Cambridge Distillery. Founded by William Lowe, Cambridge Distillery is an independent brand that stands out from the crowd with exceptional craftsmanship and play with unique flavours. The gin brand uses only the freshest of botanicals, which are individually distilled at low temperatures. This pioneering process allows the team to extract the purest flavours from each botanical. These blends are meticulously crafted, to not only create stellar gins, but also to carry a sense of provenance that traditional distillation methods can not replicate.
I also had the opportunity to meet the team behind Fairly Normal: a menswear label brand which resonated with me for its oversized fit and neutral tones. Proudly producing garments in Portugal, the label was born out of a desire to create high-quality, timeless designs that fit in with their customer’s everyday lives.
I experienced a truly rejuvenating spa treatment with Oryza Lab. Oryza Lab skincare innovatively harnesses the skin-transforming power of rice for healthy and radiant skin. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, this innovative beauty brand celebrates the humble rice grain, unlocking its hidden skin-rejuvenating and nourishing potential.
As a self-confessed foodie, the highlight of this event was a plant-based four-course dinner prepared by chef David Jesus. David’s passion for cooking was demonstrated through the complimentary flavours of the food that left everyone in silence around the dinner table.
The event was truly inspiring, I left feeling motivated and fostered great connections with the artisans and fellow guests. As the event progressed, I fully grasped the concept of integrating design and wellbeing, appreciating how they co-exist, and I am eager to continue exploring this intersection. The event provided a space for attendees to connect with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community. Networking opportunities, group activities, and social events encouraged us to engage in meaningful conversations, exchange ideas, and build lasting connections with fellow art and design enthusiasts.
Address: Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts Quinta do Martinhal Apartado 54 8650-908 Sagres – Portugal
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