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By all means search the world, but watch out for our recommended hotels labelled Been & Seen.

Ronan Keating

Ronan Keating

Irish popstar, BBC One Show TV host, Magic FM radio presenter, husband and father of five… Ronan Keating is a busy man! And with two little children in tow, scheduling holidays into his busy working life has never been more important.

Although Covid-19 has restricted all of our travels, Ronan, like most, is keen to keep seeing the world and finding new places to visit. He greatly values time away with his family, so when he asked Travel Seen to find the perfect spot for their first post-lockdown getaway we knew just where to send him…

Penha Longa Resort
As seen by... Ronan Keating

Looking for a holiday at the start of June, the Travel Seen team scoured their little black book of top family hotels for the perfect retreat for Ronan Keating, his wife Storm and their two young children Coco and Cooper.

With Portugal the family’s first choice for a short-haul holiday there was one hotel we’d Been & Seen and knew would be the perfect fit: The Penha Longa Resort

So how did Ronan feel about his first holiday abroad post-lockdown?

“Honestly, I was just excited about getting to the airport and having some time in the lounge!” he jokes. “I’ve always loved travel but the buzz to step back on a plane after so long was different this time.”

Just a few hours’ flight from the UK, and then a speedy 25 minute transfer to the resort, Penha Longa is a great choice for families with young children seeking a break with no time difference and limited air travel.

At the resort there’s plenty for both children and grown-ups, with the Keating family making the most of the facilities including the golf club, kids’ club, playground, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and the spa.

“It was incredible to finally get to Portugal and to stay at the Penha Longa Resort after so long without a foreign holiday,” says Ronan. “And to be catered for with such a great choice of dining options too.”

Ronan and Storm experienced the resort’s Michelin-starred restaurant Midori during their stay, as well as some of the other eight restaurants including: the modern Portuguese fare of Arola; poolside Aqua; the elegant Italian dishes of Mercatto; and the Pan Asian delicacies of Spices.

“It really was the perfect first getaway for our family,” says Ronan.

Holiday highlight: “We found the organised tour of Sintra fascinating, and the kids loved our day at the Guincho beach in Cascais.”

Ronan, Storm, Coco and Cooper Keating flew with British Airways from Heathrow at the start of June 2021 when Portugal was on the UK government’s green list for travel.

They stayed in the resort’s Imperial Suite, Penha Longa’s largest suite, which has additional living space including a dining room and study, a kitchenette (ideal for a stay with little children), and a terrace with views of the Sintra Mountains. Oh and did we mention the sauna and Jacuzzi in the huge bathroom?!

Ronan Keating’s Travel Bucket list

Cuba has been on my list for some time. I’ve been told to go as soon as I can because it’s changing so much. Another destination is New Orleans. It has an appeal for me: the food, the old town streets and of course the music!

“And for the kids, I know it might sound crazy as it’s long-haul but I really want to show them as much of Australia as possible. It’s their home (Storm is Australian) and Coco has never been. We usually take three to four trips there a year but for obvious reasons it hasn’t happened recently. It has such a wonderful cosmopolitan feel with so many incredible people and places to visit. And the food and the wine is next level. For me it's a country that has something for everyone.”

 Ronan Keating’s favourite holidays

“Paris never disappoints. Storm and I love to jump on the Eurostar and stay at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. To wander the French capital’s streets and find hidden little restaurants or sit out near the river with a glass of wine watching the world go by is my idea of calm.

“Certainly one of my all time favourite destinations though was the Maldives. We took the whole family there over Christmas 2017. It was a magical experience. Honestly so special.

“We stayed at the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas and the service and the amount of activities and dining options were incredible. Even though we were there for 10 days we missed out on a few things as there wasn’t enough time. The Maldives is the perfect family getaway.”