Some time for me with Mark Warner Holidays

You will all know that as a busy parent you rarely get any time for you, especially if your children have not yet started school.

At Britmums in June I entered a competition to win a short break with Mark Warner holidays.  At the time I “Hmmm’d and Arrr’d” about whether to enter as it wasn’t for the family, but just for me and Sebastian if I chose to take him as he would be under two.

I made the decision that I had to be in it to win it and put my hat in the ring, not expecting to be chosen.

A few weeks later and this tweet arrived!

If I am honest Hubby wasn’t sure about me going as it meant he would have to use some of his valuable holiday to look after the other children who would be at school, but how often does an opportunity like this come along, plus, he went to Las Vegas last year without me so I had my bargaining tool – I was going!

As the summer holidays got into full swing, the venue changed from the Mark Warner Sea Garden resort in Turkey to Levante Beach in Rhodes but I don’t think anyone minded.  I was going with 11 other bloggers and we all started chatting excitedly over email and twitter.  My only worry was travelling with a baby, but everyone promised to help.

We arrived after dark and the team were waiting for us and took our bags to our rooms whilst we were treated to a buffet.  By this time Sebby was shattered so we retired to our room which was stunning!  I don’t think I have ever seen so much storage space in a hotel room but if you were there with a family it would definitely be useful – and the rooms could be separated by a sliding door so if you were travelling with the family you could have some much-needed privacy.

MWLevante Rooms

After a good nights sleep, thanks to the air conditioning, we met for breakfast before having our welcome meeting.  Included at no extra cost on all Mark Warner Holiday’s are the activities and the first one of the trip was water based and we could choose between sailing or windsurfing.  As I had Sebby with me I sat out with him and watched from the beach, where we had a paddle and played in the sand whilst the ladies were taught how to sail and windsurf.

Mark Warner Water Sports

It all looked such fun, but by now Sebastian was tired so we went back to the hotel room for a nap.  The hotel room has two televisions so I caught up on some world news whilst he slept and when he woke up I opened up the doors to our patio and let him charge around whilst I took in the view.

Mark Warner

Our next planned visit was to the Childcare facilities, which I was particularly interested in.  Childcare is included in the price of the holiday from 2 – 17 years but from 4 months to 23 months it chargeable, however the drop-in evening crèche is free and available to all children over 4 months even if they have not been in childcare and there is no need to pre book!  All nannies have to be fully qualified, English speaking nannies and having just completed the CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Professional Development in work with children and young people myself, I know how much work they would have had to have done before they joined Mark Warner.

There are 7 different stages of childcare:

4 months – 23 months
6 Mornings: 9am to 12.30pm or 6 Afternoons: 2.30pm to 5.30pm – £180 per week
6 Full days: 9am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 5.30pm – £360 per week
Toddler 1yr
6 Mornings: 9am to 12.30pm or 6 Afternoons: 2.30pm to 5.30pm – £180 per week
6 Full days: 9am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 5.30pm – £360 per week
Toddler 2yrs
6 Mornings: 9am to 12.30pm or 6 Afternoons: 2.30pm to 5.300pm – FREE
6 Full days: 9am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 5.30pm – £180 per week
Minis 3 -5yrs
6 Mornings: 9am to 12.30pm or 6 Afternoons: 2.30pm to 5.300pm – FREE
6 Full days: 9am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 5.30pm – £180 per week
Juniors 6 – 9yrs
6 Full days: 9am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 5.30pm – FREE
Kidz 10 – 13yrs
6 Full days: 9am to 12.30pm & 2.30pm to 5.30pm – FREE
Indy 14-17yrs
Able to drop in and out of sessions throughout the day – FREE

The children are all separated into age appropriate rooms and then taken out and about for adventures suitable for their age. The mini’s and above all get to learn watersports at the beach, whereas the younger children like Sebby get to play at the beach, go swimming in the toddler pool and even have some fun in a boat.  Levante also has a fabulous play area complete with Little Tikes cars and bikes.

Childcare at Mark Warner

The little ones are taken out in double buggy’s complete with snoozeshades to protect them from the sun, and all float suits are provided for swimming.  All we have to provide is swimwear, swim nappies, a change of clothes / nappy and suncream.  I never thought that I would leave my children in childcare, however it was clear right from the start that Sebby was happy there and shot off to play with all the toys they had on offer.  I was happy he was well looked after by his keyworkers, Charlene and Fiona, and you have to leave your location in case they need to come and find you if the children won’t settle.

That was it – Sebby was happy and settled and I had some time to myself.  As I missed out on sailing in the morning, Monika from Mumonthebrink, invited to take me out on a catamaran, reassuring me that she was an experienced sailor and would show me the ropes (literally).

I was in charge of the jib, the small sail at the front, whilst Monika manned the main sail and the rudder.  We were having great fun and occasionally one of the Mark Warner watersports team would come past to check we were OK and offer us some tips……….then the wind whipped up!  Monika had been telling me about pitch poling earlier on the water and I made her promise she wouldn’t do it to me, however, we were going quite fast (read very) and the wind caught us wrong.  We buried the hull and over we went.  Thank goodness the sea was warm!

The rescue boat was with us like a shot and hauled me in and then he taught Monika how to get the boat back upright before another member of the Mark Warner team arrived to help sail the catamaran back to shore.  I chose to stay on the speed boat, but I have to admit I found the whole experience funny rather than scary.  I just wish we had pictures!

Once we were back to shore I collected Sebby for childcare and took him for dinner.  Mark Warner do children’s meals in the main restaurant from 6pm and you could choose lots of child friendly food such as chicken nuggests and fish fingers.  Again the staff couldn’t be more helpful and bend over backwards to get you exactly what you want – even making porridge at the wrong time of the day!

I took advantage of the drop-in evening crèche and left Sebastian watching Room on the Broom whilst I enjoyed a child-free meal with the other ladies.  I got as far as dessert before on of the Mark Warner team came and found me as Sebastian was unsettled, but once he saw me he was fine and came and joined us for some dancing to the entertainment.

Mark Warner Levante Night

The following day involved a visit to the spa at the hotel which was amazing.  I had a pedicure whilst Sebastian played in childcare, followed by a trip out to the local town of Lindos which I will tell you about in another post.

The final full day of our stay saw Monika, Rebecca and me heading out to explore on kayaks.  We were joined by Jack and Ben from the Mark Warner team and paddled past the headland to the next cove.  It was surprisingly relaxing and although we didn’t spot the turtle they had seen the day before, we did get lots of information about the earthquake and subsequent rock formations and the line you can see 2 metres above the water is where the island was pushed up above the sea.

Mark Warner Kayaking

Both Jack and Ben were friendly and chatty and when I mentioned that I would like to take Sebastian out on a boat, they arranged it for that afternoon, with Jack taking us out on a laser fun boat.  Sebastian enjoyed it so much he slept in my arms for almost the entire voyage!

Mark Warner Sailing

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for the day, we managed to get talked into trying sofa surfing which is not for the faint hearted (don’t worry, Sebastian didn’t come out with us).

Our Mark Warner experience was amazing and I hope to take the rest of the family back so they can experience the fun too.  I would love to try the cycling and have a game of tennis but sadly we just ran out of time as there is so much to do.  Some of the ladies even went to the gym took part in Yoga and water aerobics, but that was far too energetic for me!

MW Levante

The attention to detail in the whole resort is out of this world, the restaurant is decorated beautifully and the whole resort is abundant with green grass and fresh flowers growing up the walls.  There is even their own Greek ruin!

Levante Mark Warner

P.S the Cocktails are out of this world – particularly the Strawberry Mojito!

Thank you Mark Warner and Levante for a wonderful stay.  Hopefully we will be back very soon!

21 thoughts on “Some time for me with Mark Warner Holidays”

  1. I’m glad you had such a good time! I do like the fact that the childcare staff come and tell you in the evenings if your child is unsettled. That happened to us a couple of times, and it made us feel that we could trust them to let us know if something was wrong.

  2. I love the idea that the activities are included in the price. So often you have to pay extra so this really appeals to me. We’ve been on the look out for an activity based holiday so I’ll definitely take a closer look at Mark Warner.

  3. Pingback: Mark Warner Sea Garden Holiday's for Grown Ups

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