I was recently invited to Rhodes for a long weekend, to stay at Mark Warner’s fabulous flagship hotel – The Levante Beach Resort, where I had the opportunity to swim, cycle, paddle board, play tennis, sail and windsurf…and to also be whizzed over the waves on the ‘Crazy Sofa’ – but I’ll get to that a little bit later!
When the invitation arrived in our office and it read ‘this trip is suitable for someone who is keen to try all watersports and activities’ …all eyes pointed to me (as it’s true I love a little adventure & trying new things!) And so with my sports gear packed I gladly took up the gauntlet on behalf of the Thames Travel team!
It was a super early start at Heathrow, so when we landed, it was great to only have a 25-minute transfer onto the hotel where we were greeted with a cool drink, refreshing fruit and then shown straight to our rooms. I was staying in a Deluxe Suite overlooking the large family pool, featuring one master bedroom with a king size bed and a separate closed off living area equipped with 2 pull-out sofas. The bathroom was a great size and two balconies offered fabulous views and wonderful sunsets.
The weather was a balmy 26 degrees during the day and a little cooler at night, making Rhodes a really great choice for families in the October half term, especially with so much to entertain the kids – not to mention the fantastic on-site childcare centre plus all the friendly Mark Warner staff are English speaking. There was a good mix of families here at this time and couples of all ages too. The atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming and the quiz on Monday night was quite hilarious!
The itinerary for the weekend was action-packed and on day 1, after my early morning run and hearty cooked breakfast we took to the tennis courts. The team of tennis pro’s introduced themselves and soon enough we were split into teams and practising various shots & volley’s and it proved a brilliant start to the day!
Every Thursday evening on the courts its ‘Tipsy Tennis’! Sounds like such fun as surely Pimms in one hand and a racket in the other is the best way to improve your forehand topspin?! Such a shame we weren’t there on a Thursday – I shall have to return!
After a delicious lunch in the Pan Asian restaurant, it was time for a stint on the SUP’s! That’s Stand-up Paddle Boards to you and I! The watersports teams kitted us out in life jackets and paddles and then hauled the enormous 12 person XXL paddle boards into the water (the shoreline of the beach is pretty rocky, so I would definitely recommend beach/surf shoes). We split into teams and raced out to the buoy’s and back – it was hysterical and very wobbly but the watersports team made sure safety came first and we had such a great time! We then tried our hand at sailing and learnt about the many clinics guests can sign up to and the qualifications that can be gained too – the same applies for windsurfing and throughout your holiday it’s so easy to give so many new sports a go or improve your technique from a previous visit.
Levante Resort is located in a pretty little town called Kolympia with a wide selection of bars, cafés, restaurants and gift shops. We ate at one of the beachside taverna’s one evening which would be a leisurely 30 min walk from the hotel, but of course taxi’s are very easy to arrange. The food at Taverna Michel was incredible and the idyllic water’s edge setting made for a fabulous evening.
And so onto the last day and to work off the previous night’s indulgence, we were met by Rich, the resort’s answer to Bradley Wiggins who measured us up for bicycles and we set off to mountain-bike our way around this beautiful part of Rhodes, thankfully stopping mid-way for a cool refreshment!
The quality of the Road and Mountain bikes is very impressive with the opportunity to upgrade to a premium fully carbon-frame Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultegra for as little as 30Euros for a half day tour. The Rhodes landscape is a cyclist’s dream too, offering smooth open roads as well as punchy hill climbs, there is something for everyone’s ability and teenagers are welcome to join in on a cycling adventure too!
I promised to let you know about the Crazy Sofa…well here’s a couple of snaps! I have never laughed so much as I literally held on for dear life!
My lasting impression of Levante Beach Resort is how professional, encouraging and friendly the entire Mark Warner activities teams are. No matter what level your ability is, the overall ethos is to simply give everything a go but mostly it’s to have a fantastic time!
Let us plan your next Mark Warner holiday to the resort that best suits you!
You can email me on [email protected]