This year has flown by in a blur for us. I know, I know we all say that. Life and children and work, where does the time go? This year we’ve watched our nursery babies turn into little people, ready to go off to big school, Mr TT has been away a lot and I’ve been squeezing in work everywhere whilst juggling childcare. It’s been a good but crazy year so far.
In February it got a bit more crazy when the lovely people at Mark Warner chose us as one of their blogger ambassadors families and asked us to test out two of their holidays. You can read our entry here. As you can imagine, we were totally overwhelmed. It really reminded me of why I love this blog so much (and why I’m often still tapping away at midnight!).
We’d been on a Mark Warner holiday last year to Lakitira Beach Resort in Kos and were wowed by the all round service that they offer for families, giving us a real break and something for everyone from the moment you arrive.
This year, we decided to try out their resort in Lemnos – but how would it measure up?
Watch our adventure here:
We were due on an early flight from Heathrow to Lemnos, but had arranged to stay at the airport the night before which meant a super smooth start to our adventure. We arrived in Lemnos all in good spirits, and stepped off the plane to a delicious wall of heat, so welcome after the grey weather at home.
After an easy peasy transfer, watching the rolling landscape of beautiful Lemnos roll by, we arrived at Lemnos Beach Village, just in time for the stunning sunset over the bay. Seriously though. Would you look at that view?
Mojitos and mocktails in hand, we’d already settled into the Mark Warner Holiday rhythm before the sun had gone down. They really are absolute experts in making a family holiday easy and enjoyable for everyone.
The resort itself is very different to the other Mark Warner resort we’d been to before, it’s quite small (or it feels that way at least) and it’s much more laid back somehow.
The feeling of the place is friendly, intimate and totally relaxed. Very different to some of the bigger, more corporate hotels we’ve stayed in the past. If you’ve stayed in independent, small Greek hotels before, it’s definitely on that end of the spectrum.
The super friendly and relaxed staff made us feel at home from the moment we arrived. Nothing was too much trouble and the whole laid back feeling of the place, somehow encourages you to slow down into the Lemnos pace of life, which is very slow! Such a welcome rest from normal life.
There’s one main outdoor pool, with a very small, shallow kids pool next to it. Although this area isn’t huge, it’s comfortable and not crowded. There’s a pool bar there (where my children fell in love with strawberry slushies!) and a main bar, overlooking the bay.
There’s a third small bar on the beach, where we enjoyed happy hour drinks most evenings, watching the sunset. We met some really lovely people and this was the perfect spot to meet up and all chat about our day (and compare our watersports success or failures!)
Our room was a family suite, with the children in the living room, a bedroom for us and a big bathroom. Whilst the room was spacious and functional, the view from the balcony across the bay was just breathtaking. It was such a joy to open the curtains to that every morning.
Also, big thanks to the amazing housekeeping team, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such clean and tidy rooms each morning.
There’s no pressure to do any of the amazing list of activities on offer, but they are all there ready and waiting, easily accessible if you fancy.
Never tried sailing? There’s free intro sessions. Not into hardcore tennis but want a knockabout? Try an evening social session. A morning run, snorkelling trips, evening live music, windsurfing or paddleboarding, there is so much choice. It even made me put down my book and venture off of my happy place on my sun lounger occasionally!
We ran out of time to try the cycling but this would be top of my list if we visited the resort again. There were mountain bikes and road bikes available and apparently the scenery and cycling around the resort were just fantastic.
The setting on the beautifully calm bay make it super inviting to try watersports, even if you’ve never ventured in before. This would be such a brilliant place for older kids and teenagers to really gain confidence in the water on their own in a monitored and sheltered spot. It’s a really unique position and something quite special if you are keen to learn new watersports.
There are two restaurants at Mark Warner Lemnos Beach Village. Breakfast and lunch are served in the first floor restaurant, with a balcony looking over to the beach view. Dinner is served outside the other restaurant, on the ground floor, overlooking the bay.
We loved sitting eating lunch on the restaurant balcony, watching the windsurfers pass across the bay as we had a little break from the glorious sunshine.
The food is fairly standard buffet fayre. Always fresh and plentiful, with a choice of dishes. I was slightly disappointed to not see a more Greek feel to the menu, but we did all eat very happily at every meal.
G&H were booked in for afternoon sessions at Mini Club (the kids club for their age group), this is sessions each afternoon from 2:30 until 5:30. The Mini Club building at Lemnos Beach is an enormous, lofty room, spotlessly clean and filled with more toys and books and activities than a four year old could possibly need!
There’s also a small outside area with some great climbing activities for them.
During their sessions they tried sailing and windsurfing and spent lots of time in the pool, splashing their nannies with glee. There was an ice cream trip and face painting. As always, the Mark Warner nannies were helpful, accommodating and full of energy.
This year H was less keen on the kids clubs, she was desperate to do all of the activities and be in the club, but then when we went to leave there were tears. No win parenting situation right there. The nannies were so kind and helpful, trying everything to make her feel comfortable and help her to enjoy the activities she so wanted to do. She was finally more settled towards the end of the week, then I wished we were staying for two weeks!
The other Mark Warner service that we loved last year and was brilliant again this year, was the evening movie club. At 7:30 in the evening, you take your littles, ready for bed, to the Mini Club room and they can watch a movie with their new friends. Then, when they are ready, they hop into their cosy sleeping bag in their own little bed for the week. You pick them up, happily snoozing at 10:30 and carry them back to your room.
This is such a great way for them to enjoy the evening with their little pals in a restful way, and also to be able to enjoy an adult dinner. We don’t have a ready supply of babysitters at home, so this is such a rare treat for us, we really made the most of it on this holiday.
On our last day, we took a boat trip with Captain George (his phone number is on a board by the beach bar) to Myrina. It was the perfect length of trip with little ones. It took about half an hour there and back and we stopped in the nearby town for lunch and a wander.
Myrina is a beautiful, unspoiled little Greek town, well worth a visit. We wandered down the vine covered streets and stopped for lunch (feta, feta and more feta – no complaining here!) overlooking the stunning harbour.
This was such a wonderful day and so worth doing if you’re staying at Lemnos Beach Village. You could also easily take bikes out to the town, or a taxi.
Pluses and Minuses..
All of the things that make Mark Warner holiday great are there in bucket loads; watersports with brilliant safety, British nanny run kids clubs included, fantastic staff, evening children’s ‘movie club’ and high tea for the little ones. Here are some of the other bits we loved about this particular Mark Warner resort..
- Wine included at mealtimes. This was a huge plus for us as it could potentially be a super money saver and it’s also a particular treat, when you’re on holiday, to just enjoy free flowing wine!
- The bay is an absolutely beautiful spot. Really stunning, peaceful water, safe and calm. Absolutely ideal for older kids and teenagers to gain some independence on the water.
- Watching the sunset over that bay during dinner are moments I will remember for many years to come. Absolutely magical.
- Generally, the small size of the hotel means everyone, visitors and staff seem super friendly. We met some lovely people who we have already kept in touch with. I think this is less common in a bigger resort.
- The nearby town of Myrina is absolutely charming. A real find and a taste of traditional Greece.
Less great bits:
- For me, the food could do with some improvement, particularly at lunchtimes. Although there was lots of choice and everything was well prepared it was not very inspiring and didn’t feel very Greek, which is a real shame.
We’re undecided as to whether we would go back to Lemnos again or whether we’d prefer to return to Lakitira. Whichever we decide, there will certainly be a Mark Warner trip on the cards, we are total converts to their holidays and I can see us enjoying them for years to come. They really have got the winning formula for family holidays and it was such a privilege to be one of their ambassador families this summer, we can’t recommend them highly enough.
Holidays with Mark Warner to Lemnos Beach Resort, Lemnos Island, Greece start from £695 per person, for 7 nights flying from Heathrow.
A night’s stay at an airport hotel is the perfect way to get your holiday off to a hassle-free start. HolidayExtras.com offers a choice of UK airport hotels that can include your holiday parking along with lounges at all major UK airports. Prices at The Heathrow Airport Park Inn for a night’s stay in a family room with 8 days’ Meet and Greet parking start from £124. To book visit www.holidayextras.com or call 0800 1313 777.
Disclosure: Our holiday was provided by Mark Warner free of charge in return for an honest review. As always, all opinions are truthful and I wouldn’t endorse a product I didn’t genuinely think was excellent.