This is the follow up to part one of our holiday with Mark Warner to Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes. I wanted to go into a little more depth about the childcare because honestly, it was one of the most impressive parts of the holiday and Mark Warner has it absolutely spot on.
Having the childcare available not only meant that Justin and I could spend some much-needed one on one time together it also gave all three children-especially Lewis and Holly, the opportunity to try some new and exciting activities which really made the holiday extra special for them.
Mini Club (age 3-5)
We chose morning sessions for Rose so that we could spend the afternoons doing activities with her. On the first morning, Rose was a little apprehensive to be left but her nanny was amazing at settling her. Within a few minutes, Rose had stopped crying so we felt comfortable to leave her. The childcare centre is amazing, it reminded me of a mini school with lots of toys, books, games and crafts for the children to play with.
There are planned activities every day, so the children might be taken to the pool for some swimming or down to the beach to have a go at sailing or windsurfing.
Whilst Rose was at mini club she packed so much into her week, she is still talking about the windsurfing to this day and looking back at the video and photos of her perched upon that windsurfer makes me cry, she looks so independent!
It was amazing to watch Rose flourish throughout the week and she was beaming after every session, it’s almost as if we watched her grow up in the space of a few days. We were made to feel completely at ease and totally trusted the childcare staff with Rose, especially when they were doing anything near the water. Rose had a life jacket on at all times and I honestly felt from observing that Rose’s Nanny looked after her as if she were her own child. The staff don’t let the children out of their sight and are constantly talking to them and reassuring them which in turn, makes the parents feel totally relaxed because we all know how hard it is to let our little ones go.
As well as the daytime childcare sessions there is also an evening listening service available for children aged 4 months to 5 years from 7.30pm until 10.30pm. There is an early tea for children at 5.15pm which left plenty of time to go back to the room, give Rose her bath and change into PJs ready for movie club. It was a total revelation for us to be able to have a later more relaxed dinner instead of having to put her to bed and then sneak around the hotel suite! There are little beds and sleeping bags in the movie room and the children are put into the same bed every night so it’s familiar for them. Rose was always fast asleep well before the movie ended. We would pick her up around 9.30-10.00pm and tuck her straight into bed back at the room-our night time routine has never been so easy!
Apart from the very first morning at Mini Club Rose raced to get into club each day and was full of it each time we picked her up, contentedly showing us what she’d made that day and chattering away telling us what she’d been up to. At the end of the week, there was prize giving which was really lovely. Rose got the ‘Colgate Award’ for having the happiest sunniest smile! She was so proud collecting her certificate and it was just such a special moment seeing how much she’d fallen in love with her nannies-she didn’t want to leave them.
Indy Club (age 14-17)
Oh Indy Club, you surpassed ALL expectations! I will admit that Lewis and Holly were a little dubious about attending a ‘kids club’…except this isn’t just any ordinary club, it’s especially for teens and the key workers have mastered a brilliant balance of fun whilst remaining sensible and most importantly: safe.
Teenagers are tricky characters, they are very self-conscious and despite what you might think, a little nervous to meet and mix with new people their own age so I really wasn’t sure how my two would handle it. I needn’t have worried as the whole vibe of Indy club from the word go was complete inclusion; a group of kids that met on a Saturday and by the afternoon had gelled as if they’d been school buddies for the last 5 years!
There was an absolutely packed schedule of activities organised for them including pool games, beach volleyball, windsurfing and more sedate activities such as the music quiz and bingo. Lewis and Holly were in their absolute element and made friends with other kids that they have vowed to stay in touch with, in fact, one girl Holly became firm friends with will be coming to stay with us in a few weeks!
On a typical day, Indy club members meet for breakfast at 9am and then move onto their planned activities. If Justin and I were around the resort we would happen across the group of teenagers who would be in a huddle, chatting, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. They all hang out together during their free time so it’s as if they are ‘in the club’ 24/7 a couple of days we barely saw the kids from the crack of dawn until dinner time! All of the kids in the group were extremely polite and well behaved and the older ones were trusted enough to have a couple of drinks vouchers in the evenings to buy a beer with. They were all so sensible about it so I had no qualms in allowing Lewis and Holly to let their hair down a little.
We would go down to the beach as a group in the evenings at sunset and just chat. I felt totally inspired by other members in the group who have became mates, and the key worker Tristan helped me realise that it is possible to travel AND get paid for it. What a lege!-Lewis, age 17
I wondered how much there would be for the older children but there was always something new for them to learn or discover. An opportunity to sail or snorkel, time to chill out by the pool and muck about with their mates. I just can’t rate a Mark Warner holiday highly enough if you have teens they will have the time of their lives!
So as you can see we were very impressed by the childcare, we had the perfect mix of time to do whatever we wanted and time spent having fun hanging out with the kids. It was great that we got to eat together at lunchtime most days and it was lovely watching Lewis and Holly dash off to spend time with their mates at any given opportunity. They loved that they had a bit of freedom and we really trusted them to be sensible.
Thank you to all the Mark Warner childcare staff that took such amazing care of the children for the week and gave them a holiday and an experience they will never forget!
*We were guests at Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort for the week. All words, thoughts, and opinions are as always, my own.