Back in July this year, 12 rather lucky bloggers found out that they had won a bloggers holiday with Mark Warner (cue lots of happiness and numerous Facebook updates!) and last week we all lived the dream as we were sent off to the Levante 5 Star Resort in Rhodes, Greece.
Having never experienced Greece or a Mark Warner break before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but all the expectations that I did have were surpassed…and more. Four nights didn’t sound very long in the grand scheme of things but once we were there, it felt like forever.
So, what did I think of what it all?
Stunning. I never expected – or have ever had – a whole suite to myself! It would have suited a family of four perfectly. I was situated equidistant between the main hotel and the beach with all the pools and bars in between. There was a large double bedroom with king-sized bed, it’s own patio door and a mini bar with a sliding door that separated another room that doubled up as lounge come extra bedroom again with patio doors. Both rooms had a large television and the bathroom was huge with two sinks, a bath and a separate shower.
Plenty of choice on offer here. The hotel kindly kept food for us on the evening we arrived at about 10.45pm.
- Breakfast consisted of continental, fruit, cereal, omelettes, pancakes, full english and as many different types of bread as possible! Fresh orange juice, coffee and tea were served by the attentive waiting staff.
- Lunch was a couple of options. Either the snack bar or the Pan Asian which, as it’s name suggests, was a menu of Asian food including noodles, satay, curries and burgers (yep, asian burger and chips!). The snack bar menu hosted a list of family favourites alongside Greek traditional dishes such as Pork Gyros and Chicken Souvlaki
- Dinner always began with cocktails on the veranda outside the bar. Pina Colada, Strawberry Mojitos and Daquiris quickly became the drinks of choice. We then moved on to evening meals where the variety each day was fabulous. There was an outside grill where, on one evening, chicken and sausages were served and the following day was a variety of fish. Inside there were meals to cater for all tastes, including one blogger who had a gluten and wheat intolerance.
Outside the hotel, we experienced a traditional Greek restaurant in the nearby town of Kolymbia. This was situated on a bay overlooking the sea. The waiters brought us many different types of Greek fish – one of which looked rather scary! So scary that we had to cover it’s face over with a lemon so we could eat it!
The Childcare Facilities
Amazing. I loved that all the staff spoke English and needed a British childcare qualification of either a full NVQ or CACHE. They were friendly, attentive and kind. All the things you look for in childcare facilities. The rooms were clean, tidy, VERY child-friendly and well air-conditioned (important in that very hot weather). In fact, I quite fancied staying there myself. I was so impressed that children of all ages had the opportunity to experience the water and the sports it offered including sailing and wind-surfing. There is also care during the evenings from 7.30pm. Whilst you and your plus one are sharing a meal in the restaurant, the young people are downstairs wrapped in their snuggle sacs watching a DVD.
These are in plentiful supply. I got the chance to sail a catamaran and watched some of my fellow bloggers use the paddle boards, wind-surf, go for a kayak adventure and use the sofa surfer (video below!). I also took part in the Aqua Aerobics which happened every day at 3pm in the adult pool (I had to do something in amongst all that sunbathing!).
What a serene environment this was. Of all the options on the list – and there are quite a few, including a chocolate body wrap – I chose the Reflexology Massage. My therapist was professional and very skilled. The massage was hard enough to make a difference with a ‘good’ kind of hurt!
We took a trip via coach to the beautiful town of Lindos. Once there we experienced donkeys – lots of them, shoppers – lots of them and evil eye catchers – lots of them! The shopping was a beautiful experience under vine covered roofs and the views over the bay were stunning and none moreso than the ones we experienced at the RainBird bar where cocktails and peach iced teas were plentiful.
The people at Levante couldn’t have been more efficient and friendly. The first night I was there I noticed a slight problem with ants in my bathroom which I reported to the manager, Sue, at the meeting the following morning. This was resolved the same day. Then, when I had an issue with my room safe, this was also sorted quickly and efficiently. They were attentive without being intrusive.
I knew a couple of the bloggers that we went with in person already but I came away feeling that I had made true friends out of all them from that holiday. We experienced many things together, accepted the fact that – at different stages – one of us would be on our phones(!), and never tired of talking to each other about so many different things. Emilia, our Mark Warner guru, was the perfect host. She was wonderful and couldn’t do enough for us. We were treated like Queens!
Overall, I know that we won this break, but I really do want to come back and experience a Mark Warner holiday with my family. Just so I can live the dream all over again!
With massive thanks to Emilia, Polly and all the team at Mark Warner. You treated us brilliantly and we shall never forget your amazing hospitality.
Would you like to read more? Then take at look at the following blogs who have all written about the Levante Beach Resort with Mark Warner: