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Anybody used Mark Warner??

(27 Posts)
knittingmum Wed 08-May-13 20:18:21

Just that really....
We're looking at a Mark Warner holiday for July this year - Ocean Club Beach Resort in the Algarve. Anyone have any experience of using Mark Warner or of this resort?
Would like to know if kids clubs are any good (we have a 2 and a 5 yr old), food, resort facilities....that kind of thing.
Thanks in advance!

givemeaclue Thu 09-May-13 07:49:58

Ok what you will now get is lots of people telling you that this is the hotel Madeleine mccann disappeared from, hence it can be cheaper as people dont want to go there due to it being a place of tragic loss. Some people are fine with it, others feel they can't relax in a place where such a sad event has happened. Only you can decide that.

Wherever you go have a lovely time

Fluffy1234 Thu 09-May-13 16:05:58

I went on 5 Mark Warner holidays when my DC were younger but not to that Portugal resort. Childcare was excellent and my family all enjoyed the food. The accommodation is clean and comfortable but not particularly luxurious. What I enjoyed most was having a break from the DC knowing they were being looked after by the nannies and using the time to waterski and sail. I don't think I would have paid the high prices if I didn't make use of the watersports and my husband the tennis.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 16:08:15

I have just booked the Portgual club! Literally yesterday!

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 09-May-13 16:08:35

Don't. They are bunch of wankers. They are expensive too.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 16:17:34

Reasonable 3 * hotels and seemingly expensive. However, having been on a MW holiday a number of years ago - the kids love it! The childcare is fab. Please note that the Ocean Club doesnt have watersports.

Food is buffet like. It wouldnt be my choice but the kids now nearly teenagers have been begging to go for a number of years!

Artichook Thu 09-May-13 16:23:58

We are going on a Mark Warner next summer as guests if my parents in law. I know we are dead lucky but I have travelled extensively and NEVER stayed in a resort so I'm really apprehensive about the package route. Anyway, I'm watching this thread with interest. We are going to one of the Greek resorts.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 16:39:57

That's a bit rude Just.... I guess you didnt have a good holiday....

handcream Thu 09-May-13 16:47:56

I will be honest, if your kids love kids clubs and being looked after all day if you wish (!!) by the MW staff and you want sometime to yourself its great. There are some offers on a present which I guess is why you are looking at Portgual. The other clubs are more expensive because they are offering the water sports etc.

However if they are not happy with kids clubs then please dont go as your money will be wasted.

I was originally going to go to Butlins (I know!). Its certainly not my sort of holiday but its just me going with the boys so needed something that appealed to them as opposed to me! Butlins sounded horrible, people fighting, wild hen and stag parties, a mad scramble for food at 1730 with people piling their food plates so high they could barely walk and someone saying not to leave your room after midnight - it put me right off. And dont get me started on the weather.... So hit and miss in this country.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 16:50:56

Neilson are meant to be good, however they are another £1k or so. I guess you get what you pay for....

If you really want to splash out would highly recommend the Residence in Mauritius. July a bit chilly tbh but cheaper than normal because its the dead of winter (they were offering a free room during that time for the kids next to you) and a 12 hour flight but I better warn you £6-£7k!

givemeaclue Thu 09-May-13 17:25:07

Neilson are excellent but no resorts in Portugal

hf128219 Thu 09-May-13 17:27:06

Do not like MW. Not very nice food, too much enforced camaraderie with fellow guests and overpriced! Sorry.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 18:01:25

It is a bit full on tbh. My DH's idea (although he isnt going!) is to hire a small apartment in the countryside in the middle of nowhere and then drive to the beach everyday!

It would be the DS's idea of hell....

handcream Thu 09-May-13 18:02:16

Does it have to be Portgual?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 09-May-13 18:06:27

I'm not really bothered if that seems rude. When we went most people said they weren't enjoying their holiday, the childcare staff weren't as good as I thought they'd be and we had a problem that MW didn't give a shit about.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 18:12:19

Just - so bearing in mind you dont favour MW - where would you suggest?

middleagedspread Thu 09-May-13 18:15:30

We've done some luxury 5* hotels long haul for the price of MW. Unlimited waterskiing/sailing etc with lessons included, really good food. I think you're paying for the brand.

handcream Thu 09-May-13 18:18:49

I guess it depends what you are paying, one week in MW Portgual for three of us, one adult, one teenager and one 11 year old was £1800.

Chippychop Thu 09-May-13 18:19:35

I've done. 2 one in Greece - the food and accommodation were basic and awful. The second in Egypt at an Hilton hotel food ok, hotel, pool, beach and room really nice.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 09-May-13 19:00:28


Hard to say really but I would look at the H10 hotels and book them and the flights yourself. The Lanzarote Princess is very good smile

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 09-May-13 19:01:20

I agree about the food being awful too.

sweetestcup Thu 09-May-13 20:51:06

knittingmum why does it have to be Mark Warner?

knittingmum Fri 10-May-13 12:46:44

OOh, lots of interesting responses!

It doesn't have to be Mark Warner - it just seemed like a middle ground price wise between Scott Dunn (£7k for a week!!!) and a basic package. Childcare and kids clubs are a definite requirement for us and I knew this was something Mark Warner were known for.

It doesn't really have to be Portugal either just haven't been and fancied it!

Will definitely be checking out all the suggestions so thank you everyone!

givemeaclue Fri 10-May-13 12:55:07

Scott Dunn are top end of the market and totally different from mark w , eg private nanny and chef etc.

Have you looked at Thomson or first choice family hotels, they have kids clubs and generally get decent reviews on here.

hf128219 Fri 10-May-13 20:03:46

Apart from a kids club what do you like doing? There are so many variables!

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