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Articles tagged with: Holidays

Our Holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos - Part Two.

on Thursday, 22 January 2015.

Following on from my post the other day about the first part of our holiday to Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos, here is the second part.  I absolutely loved going back through and looking at all the photos of our adventures, plus you can never have too many holiday photos.  Can you? 

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I absolutely adore this photo of Mr E and LL dangling their feet over the pier.  We loved walking to the end of the pier, watching and listening to the waves crashing against the wooden structure.  There were even glass viewing panels and if you were lucky you might see a fish or two swimming by.

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Some early morning paddling- there's nothing better than kicking off your flip flops and letting the water swirl around your feet. 

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A watermelon hair slide and a pretty bracelet = that guaranteed holiday feeling!

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Back in the Summer, the girls were a little wary of the sea- they would paddle in it for a bit before getting a bit nervous about the waves.  But they loved the beach here (and so did I) and it was so warm so they were going in and fully swimming in it.

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Daddy's girls.

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One of my favourite places to eat breakfast was the Sky Bar, a gorgeous open air restaurant on the roof, with panoramic views of the ocean.  A lot of the 19 restaurants at Beaches were buffet style (and also delicious) for breakfast but Sky Bar was cooked to order.  I just loved it and we went there a couple of times. 

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Bliss.

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Two of my three.  One not fully awake yet.

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The triple stack of pancakes- blueberry, chocolate and mandarin orange with whipped butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.  They were delicious and the girls wolfed them down too.  Plus Sky Bar had good taste- we got these same plates and crockery for our wedding gift list, although ours are by a different company.

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She's at such a funny age where she gets in the most amusing little strops if she doesn't get her own way.  We didn't take a buggy on holiday with us as we like her to walk around as much as possible, especially in a place where the only thing likely to get in your way are the resort's choo choo train or a stray golf buggy.  She would demand to walk, totter along for two minutes, want to be carried again, and then want to be put down straight away again.  This photo caught her mid strop.

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Look at the late afternoon sunshine.  So beautiful.  One of my favourite things to do was to get ready and head out early for cocktails and to catch the setting sun as the light was just perfect.  Beaches Resort is split into four villages, each really different and all great in their own ways- but my absolute favourite had to be the Key West Village.  It just had a really chilled out, 'beachy' vibe and I loved sitting in one of the big love seats by the fire pits and watching the ocean in the background.

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I love this one of myself and my little girly- she made me so proud all week as she walked around smiling, waving and saying 'hiiii' and 'byeeee' to all the staff and other guests. 

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Having a cuddle with 'Baa'.

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The other two.  On this particular day Mads wasn't well, she woke up with a sky high temperature and cough and I haven't seen her like it before, she just wanted to sleep all day.  Unfortunately her and Mr E spent the day in the room while LL and I went out and about, but by the evening she was a lot better and came out for some dinner.  She still wasn't 100% though and just wanted to cuddle her Daddy.

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One of those beautiful sunsets I was talking about above.  This is the larger of the two Key West village pools, that were more of a chilled out adult vibe than the busy and fun pools in the other villages.  I came here a couple of times for a bit of alone sun time while the girls were having a nap in the room with Mr E. (Mr E loves a good afternoon siesta!)

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I love this photo of them snuggling- I snuck up on them when they weren't looking.  They are so sweet together.  Most of the time.

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As I mentioned in my previously, Beaches is affiliated to Sesame Street and there were lots of Sesame Street activities around the resort, both included in the price, and ones that you had to pay a little extra for.  What was really great was that you could totally avoid it if you wanted too, Beaches did a really good job of keeping it quite low key if you didn't want to participate.  But of course with two little ones and a Mummy who loves a bit of Elmo, we loved to see them.  One massive highlight of our trip was the Sesame Street Sail Away Catamaran Cruise. (it's an extra cost but definitely worth it)  It's two hours sailing around the island with some of your favourite Sesame Street characters on board- there was a free bar, a DJ, lots of dancing, relaxing and they even got a free gift from their favourite friends too.  It was one of my favourite parts of our whole holiday and seeing them dancing away to Gangham Style with Elmo was a surreal but magical experience.  LL doesn't look too impressed here but she absolutely loved every moment of it.

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Chilling on a massive catamaran with my littlest lady- totally channeling my inner Simon Cowell as I hear he was on a yacht in neighbouring Barbados at the time.  ;) 

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I absolutely love this photo and looking at it makes me feel a little emotional.  It was such a special experience for us all meeting and spending time with the Sesame Street characters- it was magical to watch the girls with them and they were so amazing with them.  I love how LL is trying to pick her nose, while the rest of us look bemused and happy.  

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A morning of sunshine, cocktails, dancing and Elmo doing the Conga, while sailing round the beautiful Turks and Caicos- definitely one of those 'pinch me' moments.

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The high seas suited this girl. ;) It didn't suit her hair though, we were brushing it and layering on the condition for about an hour each evening.  So tangly.

 

You can see more of our catamaran cruise and of our holiday adventures in the last of two little videos I made about our holiday...

 

 

I have a couple more photo posts of our holiday to publish next week and after that normal wintery service will resume.  But allow me to live in my dream world for just a little while longer...

 

 

Massive thanks to Beaches for inviting myself and my little family to stay for the week.  All photos, words and opinions are entirely my own, we really do think that Beaches Turks and Caicos is the most incredible place for families. 

 

 

 

 

Our Holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos - Part One.

on Tuesday, 20 January 2015.

Last week feels like a surreal dream.  Albeit it's an amazing, beautiful, spectacular dream, but it still feels like it didn't really happen now I am back in the cold and wet UK.  This time last week myself and my little family were on holiday over 7000 miles away in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, staying at the incredible Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.  Also there at the same time as us was my fab fellow Space In Your Case blogger Alison and her family.

I am lucky that I have travelled to the Caribbean a couple of times before, but this is the first time I have ever flown long haul with my girl's and before we left we were all incredibly excited and a teeny bit apprehensive about the flight.  However we need not have worried, the whole thing was an adventure from start to finish and we have come away with the most amazing memories.

I am a really emotional person.  I tend to form real and strong attachments to places and things, and I am really enthusiastic so if we have a good time, then I inevitably fall in love with the places we go or stay, and can't quite imagine not going back every year.  But Beaches Turks and Caicos really was utter paradise and absolutely incredible for adults and children alike.  We could have stayed there for a lot longer and not even began to get bored- it was perfection.  The resort is 'luxury included' meaning that practically everything is included in the price of the holiday- it's so convenient to go into all the bars and restaurants and not have to take money.  It's also testament to the resort that we didn't leave it the whole time we were there- so we literally didn't spend anything extra.

I have a thorough review and guide to the resort coming up in the next couple of weeks, but as usual I took SO many photos that I want to make sure I document and remember every last detail of our trip.  Apologies for the fact that this blog is going to be full of photos and holiday memories for the next week or so, but at least it might brighten it up for a while before normal wintery service resumes.  I don't think I can do the resort justice though, even with all the photos, it is far more incredible than it looks.

Here is Part One (of many!) of our holiday at Beaches Turks and Caicos...

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I must admit to being a little nervous about the flights before we went.  Of course I wouldn't dream of not flying, after all we do these things so we can have adventures and make memories, but add two small people, four flights and a slightly apprehensive flyer into the mix and I was a little nervous.  However it couldn't have gone smoother- my girls were as good as gold on the way there. (I pack them 'plane goody bags' on every flight we go on)  You can fly to Beaches Turks and Caicos in a number of different ways but we flew with American Airlines from Heathrow to Miami (9.5 hours) and then from Miami to Providenciales. (1 hr 20)  

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Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos is massive (more about that in a later post) and is split into villages with many different room types.  There are 20 restaurants, lots of different pools and of course you can walk and use all the different places, which is great as each village makes for a really different experience.  After a bit of a room confusion at the start we found ourselves in the Italian Village, in a Ocean View Concierge Family Suite with Kids Room.  Mads loved that she had a seperate area with a bunk bed. (again more on our rooms in a later post!)

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The view from our balcony was absolutely stunning- the beach was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

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Due to time differences I ended up waking up around 5am most mornings. (Mr E and the girls carried on sleeping but I am a light sleeper)  I loved going out on the balcony and watching the sun come up- there really were the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

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We had a little routine where we would go down to the beach around 7am as the light was gorgeous and it was pretty much deserted, we would have a little walk and then head back to one of the many restaurants for breakfast.  

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It was great getting the Summer clothes back out of storage for a week- I forgot how much I loved the girls little towelling boat dresses.

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I love the early morning light in these photos.  The sand was the softest I have ever felt.

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Mads hair went a little crazy with the heat and chlorine- major curls alert!

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Me and my big girl.

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I love this photo of the three of us.

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On our first full night we went to the weekly family beach festival- it was amazing- there was twinkly lights everywhere, face painting, music, lots of different food stands, and of course a Sesame Street stage show.  Beaches Resorts are affiliated with Sesame Street and we made some incredible memories over the course of the week, and have all become huge Sesame Street fans.

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Without a doubt if you asked Mads what the highlight of her trip was (bar our Sesame Street activities) she would say the 'waterpark and eating ice cream'. The resort has it's very own water park, with lots of slides, a lazy river, a kids jacquzzi, a pirate water play area and even a surf simulator.  There are a few swim up bars throughout all the different pools but the girls loved the 'kids' one in the water park- where you could order all sorts of kid friendly cocktails.  The pirate ship also housed 'Bobby D's'- an American style diner restaurant which we went to for lunch on a couple of occasions.  They also have an ice cream parlour- where we got an ice cream most days.  Cookie Dough for me- yum!  Obviously all these are included in the all inclusive pricing, but we didn't go mad.  Honest.

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We loved the lazy river- it went right round and through the water park and was great fun.

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Another early morning walk.  The grounds of the resort were gorgeous- full of shrubbery, flowers and little areas you could sit or lie.

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There was a pier on the beach that we loved to walk down in the mornings.  It was stunning.

 

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Cuddles for Daddy.

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Sharing a joke with my big girl.

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'Sitting on the dock of the bay...'

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This girl shows no sign of being less of a Daddy's girl.

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The girls went to ''Camp Sesame' the kids club for two mornings (for 2 hours at a time) so we could have a little bit of adult time- they could have gone in a lot longer but to be honest we really didn't want them to- there was just so much to do for kids and adults alike that we all had so much fun.  Still the little break was nice just to relax for a while. We still gave the girls a nap in the afternoons as we were keeping them up much later at night and as Mr E prefers the shade he sat on the balcony while the girls slept and I got to go and have a bit of sun time around the resort!

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The view from the pier.  Absolutely incredible.

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As I mentioned above Beaches Resorts is affiliated with Sesame Street and there are loads of different activities you can do.  There were stage shows most evenings, a massive parade once a week and also you could pay extra for special Sesame Street Packages. I will talk about this some more in another post but one of the ones we did was the Sesame Street Tuck In- where your favourite character comes and reads you a story and tucks you in at night.  We chose Elmo (my Mum bought them the cute Elmo PJ's before we went away!) and it was the CUTEST thing ever.  LL hugged him when he knocked on our hotel room door and then when he went to tuck them in I had tears in my eyes- it was truly magical.  He gave them a cuddly toy each (we specified which ones when we booked it) and they haven't stopped carrying them round since.

 

Here is Part one of two little videos I have made about our amazing holiday....

 

(I did say there was going to be lots of photos and that's only the beginning.  Oops.  Expect lots more holiday posts over the next week or so!)

 

Massive thanks to Beaches for inviting myself and my family to stay for the week.  All photos, words and opinions are entirely my own, we really do think Beaches Turks and Caicos is the most incredible place for familiies.  

 

 

A Lovely Week At Center Parcs...

on Wednesday, 17 September 2014.

Last week we went on a little week long break to Center Parcs with our good friends Lucy and her family.  After having a lovely long weekend trip last year we decided to add an extra night this year.  I was really looking forward to it, but was prepared for it to be a little hectic, with four young children in a pretty small villa.

It turns out it was the perfect week.  The children were all so well behaved, thoroughly enjoying each others company and making us smile with just how cute they were with one another.  Yes it was hectic, but we also got some relaxing time in the evenings when they all went to bed.  Lucy and I managed a spa evening which was just bliss, while our husbands cemented their bromance by two nights out.  

We all loved swimming, last year Mads was a bit unsure in the water but this year with swimming lessons and lots of trips to the pool this Summer, she was a changed girl, jumping in and splashing about without us holding her.  LL is also a little fish, loving all the slides and generally being more of a daredevil than her big sister.  I loved watching them in the amazing Center Parcs pools.

It's so lovely to be able to find a family to go on holiday with who have similar aged children, whenever we go away with Lucy and her family it just seems to work so well and we did genuinely have a great time- I felt so sad to come home on Friday with so much washing and cleaning to do.  It almost feels like this little break signals the end of our Summer.

Head over to Lucy's blog too as she has posted a video of our adventures too.  We were going to do a joint one but us and technology don't mix clearly!

Here is a snippet into our week through photos and a video...

 

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I love this photo capturing my girlies cuddling- they really are that affectionate with each other, although they do fight nowadays too!

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Her little Toy Story characters come with her everywhere, she loves them.

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It is compulsory when you are little to share a bath with your friends.

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It is also compulsory for your Mummy to take photos of you to make you laugh when you are older.

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These two were absolutely adorable together and we often found them cuddling up on the sofa.

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Her hair is so long and unruly, and she absolutely hates having it brushed but I couldn't bear to cut it.

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Whereas this little one is getting exactly the same curls as her sister.  I do love my little curly mop heads.

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Too much cuteness.

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These two are looking so alike nowadays, and their bond is growing stronger every day.  Although she's still a Mummy's girl.

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Two peas in a pod.

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The Roberts.

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Weeeeeee.

 

A little video of our adventures.... Roll on next year!

 

Our Holiday With Mark Warner- The Nitty Gritty.

on Friday, 18 July 2014.

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For the past week or so I have been posting photos from our recent holiday to Levante Beach in Rhodes.  Sadly this is the last post so from now on it will be back to normality, but I wanted to spend a bit of time giving my opinion on the holiday itself. I have split it into categories so hopefully it will help anyone planning on booking a trip with Mark Warner.

 

Getting There.

 

Mark Warner fly to Rhodes via two destinations- Manchester with Jet2 and Heathrow with British Airways.  We flew from Heathrow and were pleasantly surprised with the whole process.  Mark Warner charter the BA flight, meaning that nearly everyone on the plane was going to Levante Beach.  This was quite nice actually as it meant that we got chatting to a few families on the flight and also there were lots of children on board so we were all in the same position of keeping them entertained.  The flight to Rhodes is four hours long, a funny time really as not long enough to be classed as long haul but also a bit longer than your average short haul flight to Spain or Portugal.  Still we had the iPad babysitter and the girls were so tired that they fell asleep for a while too.  

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Flying BA meant your usual free drinks and food, which was nice to pass the time a little.  On arrival at the airport, we were incredibly impressed with the efficiency of the transfers.  There were friendly Mark Warner staff there to greet you and we were all split into different coaches so that it would be quicker check in at the hotel.  You sign the check in forms on the coach meaning that it takes less time at the hotel, this was a great idea. On arrival at Levante Beach, which took half an hour, we were greeted with some sliced watermelon and a nice cold drink which was very much needed!  We left our bags on the bus and they were taken up to our rooms within minutes, which again we thought was efficient.

 

First Impressions.

 

Our first impressions of Levante Beach were just how clean it was.  Everything was shiny and spotless and you could really tell that the resort was only a couple of years old.  We were shown to our room, a deluxe suite and were delighted to find that it opened out on to the main pool.  Being a family of four, we were worried about space and whether we would keep each other awake at night, but we need not have worried, our room was large and split into two separate rooms for us and the girls, with a big sliding door that we could choose whether to keep open or shut.  The bed was ridiculously comfy and the bathrooms nice and modern with double sinks and a separate bath and shower.   

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There was a welcome meeting on the first evening where we got to learn all about the different facilities and activities, and I would definitely recommend going to this, especially if you are only there for a week as you really want to know how to get the best from your holiday.

We had a quick walk around the resort on our first evening and found that even though it is quite large, it didn't feel like anything was too far away.  We were a 30 second walk from the main area and restaurant, and the beach and other pools were less than five minute walk away.  The gardens are beautiful and it was interesting to see that there were ancient ruins on site as well.  On one side of the hotel there is open shrub land, and the other side there is a hotel but also some building work.  This wasn't our side, but none of the other rooms seemed to look out on to it and it wasn't noisy at all. 

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Facilities.

 

The facilities at Levante Beach are fantastic.  Mark Warner are known for their active holidays and they certainly didn't disappoint.  There were a number of well lit tennis courts, a fantastic beach front full of watersports equipment including kayaks, sailing boats, windsurfers and waterskis, as well as a place you could hire bikes.  There were four different pools, and they were always spotless with lots of sun beds (so no fighting for a good spot!) - there was the main pool with kids pool, an adult only pool, a pool with comfier sunbeds and a pool bar, and the indoor pool as well. For the little ones there is the incredible childcare centre (more about that later), as well as a large, clean playground which Mads and LL loved to play in.  

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There are three restaurants (again more on those a bit later too!) and a cocktail bar which were all modern and clean.  The hotel is large and although it wasn't completely full while we there as it was just the start of the season, even if it was at capacity I don't think you would feel like it was too busy.  There are lots of areas to sit and relax, including a large reception and a big outside bar area.  There is a spa, which I didn't have time to experience but by all accounts it looked lovely, and a gym which had just enough of what you needed for a week- some weights, a couple of treadmills and the usual cardio equipment.  There was also an on site supermarket as well, which although small had everything you may need, including nappies.


Activities.

 

Mark Warner is known for it's activities, with the main ones being watersports and tennis. We tried most of the activities available, bar the tennis, although Mr E went down and joined in and watched the Tipsy Tennis one evening (literally playing tennis while having a few drinks!) and said it was good fun.  The beach front has many different water sports, including sailling, diving, wind surfing, water skiing and kayaking, with all of these bar water skiing being included in the price.  Obviously you have to pay extra for diving but there are free taster sessions in the pool.  

Mr E did a three hour wind surfing session which he loved, and he learnt a lot from the instructors.  We both tried kayaking, which was great fun, and I was really impressed with the safety procedures they have in place.  There are speed boats out circling around constantly and they operate a flag and tag system, meaning you have to sign in and out so they know you have come back safely.  There are water sports on every day and so many different sessions to suit all levels.

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Bikes are included in the price as well, and there are mountain bikes and road bikes available, so it is a great way of getting out and seeing a bit of the island.  There are daily organised bike rides, ranging from a 10k jaunt to get a drink in a nearby bar to a full 60k bike up a mountain.  We did the 10k ride down the coast which was lovely and Mr E also did the tougher ride, which he said was good fun.  There are exercise classes and things like water polo going on, as well as a couple of organised group runs going on as well.  There are so many activities that you could be busy all day every day if you wanted too, but we also love to relax by the pool and read books in the sunshine too. 

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Food and Drink.

 

We were on a half board basis, meaning that breakfast and dinner was included in the price of our holiday.  You could upgrade to full board but we liked having the flexibility of choosing where to eat lunch.  The main restaurant Almalthia serves a buffet style breakfast and dinner.  Having had many buffets in hotels in the past ranging in a variety of different budgets of holiday, I can honestly say that this was some of the best buffet food I have eaten.  

The breakfasts were delicious, with a huge choice.  Lots of continental pastries, cold meats, a large number of cereals, every fruit you can imagine, fruit salad and yoghurts.  There was lots of different hot choices, with made while you wait omlettes with a number of different fillings, lots of potatoes, hash browns, beans and the other usual cooked breakfast options.  Our favourite little indulgence was the pancake and waffle bar, with a really happy cheery Greek man cooking fresh, warm pancakes and waffles, with a choice of nutella, honey, vanilla cream or cinnamon to go on top.  Our girls loved these and got excited every morning.  Fresh fruit juice was a nice touch as well.

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Dinner was just as good, with a different theme every night including Greek, Italian and Fish, although these were very loose themes.  There was a huge amount of choice, and I was really impressed especially with the salads, of which there were about ten different kinds each night.  There was a variety of different dishes each night, and a nice mix of fish, meat and veg.  Sometimes I find that you get bored of eating buffet food after a while on holiday, but this wasn't the case, we looked forward to seeing what there was each night.  The desserts were divine, but they were definitely 'my sort of pudding' with a lot of mousses, creme brulee's and creamy desserts.  There was the odd cake and a different variety of ice creams each evening, as well as lots of fruit as well.

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There are two other restaurants as well, but you have to pay a little extra for these - the poolside Greek Taverna and the Pan Asian restaurant.  We ate at the poolside restaurant for lunch a fair bit and the food was really reasonably priced and tasty, serving the usual things like pizza and sandwiches.  We had stuffed pepper one lunch time and it was absolutely delicious.  We also had lunch on our terrace a few times, getting snacky bits from the supermarket on site.  They sell things like yoghurts, bread, ham, cheese and crisps.

Each evening from 5.15 to 6.15 there is a children's dinner (main dinner starts at 7.30), although if you would prefer they can eat with you later in the evening.  There are a huge number of highchairs, all absolutely spotless with plastic clingfilm over the trays between each use.  There are also a large number of plastic cutlery, plates and bowls, which is a nice touch.  I think that the children's food was the only area which we thought wasn't up to as excellent a standard as everything else.  It was fine, with a variety of different dishes, but some nights it wasn't as good as others, with some of the food looking a little bland, especially compared to what you got in the buffet a little later.  That said, there was something for everyone, and my children are so fussy and managed to find things to eat.  They loved the puddings, which was ice cream and similar things to the adults later in the evening, as well as lots of fresh fruit, LL got fixated on juicy slices of watermelon.

Drinks weren't included, bar juice for the children, and juice and water at breakfast, but there was a wide choice available.  There was a great cocktail menu, some nice beers and a good sized wine menu.  The drinks were pretty reasonable in price, with a beer costing about four euros and a cocktail costing about seven.  This is similar to English prices really, and I was pleased to see that they hadn't over priced them just because they effectively could.  

There is local beer in the mini supermarket for around 80 cents and Mr E actually thought it tasted really nice, so he enjoyed these on the balcony in the evenings.  Soft drinks like diet coke were about two euros at the bar and a euro in the shop, so again pretty standard.  There was a large range of ice creams at the pool bar, including Ben and Jerry's, which was a nice (but lethal!) surprise.

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Overall we were incredibly impressed with the food- it was delicious, the hygiene standards were impeccable and the local Greek waiting staff were very friendly and polite.  We all left about two pounds heavier!

 

Childcare.

 

Before we arrived, I knew that Mark Warner were famous for their childcare facilities, but I wasn't sure how I felt about putting my girl's into a Kids Club.  Morning childcare and evening were included in the price of the holiday so we thought we may as well try it and if Mads and LL didn't like it we would no longer use it.  I was a little nervous about the idea of leaving them in an unfamilar environment with people they didn't know.

 We were invited to a meeting at the childcare building on the first afternoon, where we could check out the facilities, meet the staff and ask any questions that we may have.  On arrival at the childcare block, I was incredibly impressed- it's an air conditioned, spotless purpose built building, with a large number of toys of a really high standard.  They were all pristine, it was genuinely nicer than the equipment at the girl's nursery at home and that has an outstanding OFSTED rating.

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There a number of different clubs depending on your child's age group, LL was in Toddler club for 0-2 and Mads was in Mini club from 3-5.  The staff were all incredible- so friendly and good with the children and they operate a key worker system so you drop them off to a familiar face each morning.  It wasn't at full capacity when we went, but there was a ratio of about one staff member to two children which was fantastic.  The staff were all so friendly and we got to know them all over the course of the week. 

The activities and events were absolutely brilliant.  Mads had the most amazing time, despite a couple of grumbles when we dropped her off on the first couple of days, she soon made friends and came home each lunch time with stories to tell.  There is a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, including singing, dancing and arts and crafts, as well as tennis, swimming, windsurfing and sailing.  Seeing my little girl doing these watersports was a highlight of the holiday to me, as was looking up from my sunbed to see them all walking along holding a rope and singing songs.  

One small thing that I found really reassuring and impressive was seeing that whenever they went in the kids pool, the lifeguard came and sat with them and played with them all too.  They also were always wearing Konfidence float jackets when they were in the pool too, and I never saw them without a hat on either.

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LL obviously is smaller, but she still went paddling, on walks down to the beach and lots of indoor play too.  The security was amazing, you signed your child in and out, and had to give a password at the start of the holiday in which you were asked when you picked them up- I didn't once not get asked the password.  I thought I would feel a little uneasy about leaving them in a strange environment but I couldn't have felt more reassured or have trusted the staff anymore, and that is an absolute testament to them and the Mark Warner ethos.

In the evening they offer a evening creche service from 7.30pm till 11pm where you take your child along in their PJ's.  They all then snuggle and watch a film, before getting into little beds and snuggling and watching another film with the lights out.  They get the same bed each evening with a name tag on it, which helps get them excited about their own little space, Mads and LL shared one at my request and I loved seeing them snuggled up together when we went to collect them.  Before we went on holiday, I had already said to Mr E that I didn't think we would even dream of using this facility as I am so strict about routine, but we ended up using it every night.  

The girl's absolutely loved it, and for us, who can probably count on two hands the amount of nights out we have had together in three years, this was absolutely priceless and made our holiday.  We never left them all night, the latest being about 10pm on one occasion, but even having an hour or so to enjoy dinner was so nice.  On arrival to pick them up, they had a sheet to tell you what time they fell asleep, which I thought was brilliant too.  Mads didn't sleep but LL fell asleep once, and it was actually really easy to pick her up and pop her in her cot back at the hotel room.

mark warner childcare

I could talk about the childcare aspect of Mark Warner all day, but I really couldn't fault it at all, it exceeded our expectations by far and definitely helped make our holiday amazing.  As anyone with young toddlers will know, on holiday you literally have to watch their every single move and more often than not it can be less relaxing than at home.  But just by having a couple of hours in the morning to ourselves, then having the rest of the day to enjoy as a family, really did make all the difference.

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Overall.

 

Having been on many different types of holiday over the years, from budget travelling with a backpack round Thailand to staying in one of the most luxury hotels in Dubai, (before children!) I didn't think that I was a typical 'package holiday' kind of person.  However our week in Rhodes has changed my mind.  We had such a special week as a family, and it was the perfect mix of fun activities, relaxing, quality time as a couple and non stop fun.  Obviously it helps that everything ran smoothly and we didn't encounter any problems, but Levante Beach really is fantastic and I really can't fault much at all.

Both the British Mark Warner staff, and the local Greek restaurant/hotel staff were incredibly friendly, polite and knowledgeable, and the facilities, activities and food were all a high standard as well.  It's testament to the resort that we didn't leave the hotel once, other than to go on a bike ride, we didn't feel the need to explore as we had everything we needed all in one place.  I normally get a little bored and want to explore on holiday, but I was just quite happy staying put.  The one main thing that we observed was the cleanliness of the resort- everywhere was literally spotless, I didn't see a speck of dirt anywhere the whole time.  Obviously it helps that the hotel is only a couple of years old, but hopefully it will stay this way in the future.

The childcare made the holiday for us, and I never dreamt that I would feel comfortable leaving them for a couple of hours in a strange place, especially in the evenings, but I couldn't have felt they were in better hands, and I am so thankful for that aspect of our holiday.  The girl's had such a great time, making new friends and having new experiences, and we had chance to reconnect as a couple- it really was priceless.

I wanted this to be a thorough, unbiased review but it's really hard because I really just couldn't fault Levante Beach in any way from our experiences over the course of our week away, the only thing I personally think they could have improved on was the children's dinner time food, but even that was pretty good, especially in regards to the facilities. I can genuinely say that we have fallen in love with the Mark Warner ethos and it has changed the way we look at holiday's abroad with children.  

We all get a little post holiday blues, but I did feel a little emotional to leave, more so than normal holidays we have been on in the past.  I have no doubt that we will go back, and that we will be loyal fan's of Mark Warner for many years to come.

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 You can check out the rest of our holiday posts here-

 Holiday Spam

Our Holiday to Rhodes- Part One.

Our Holiday to Rhodes- Part Two.

Our Holiday to Rhodes- Part Three.

Our Holiday to Rhodes- Part Four.

 

 

 

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