Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Europe

Corsica- Mark Warner San Lucianu beach resort

A very last minute invite saw me frantically packing and trying to organise childcare.  I failed!  The Madventurer was away over some of the dates I was to be away and family was too far to come help out. There was no choice but to take the kids with me all the way to Corsica.

We were headed to Mark Warner’s San Lucianu resort- me and the three little Madventurers!

The best bit about travelling with Mark Warner is flying out of Heathrow and flying with British Airways.  Heathrow is just a 45 minute journey from Oxford with good coach connection too. This time we got The Madventurer to drive us, it was an early morning flight after all!

Flying BA means the staff are courteous, give you a small meal (one less worry when travelling with kids) and supply OJ (for the Littlins) and Gin and tonics (for mummy).

The flight to Corsica is a mere 2 hours. That’s hardly any time to keep the kids occupied between take-off, meal, drinks, a toilet visit or two and landing. Along the route, looking out the window, we even got to enjoy the snow-covered peeks of the Alps. Breathtaking!

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Bastia airport is small.  Clearing it is relatively quick.

Mark Warner staff were waiting just outside for our little plane load of holiday makers. We were split among 3 couches. Our coach was not the best- air con not working, dribbling condense water onto some passengers instead. We got little splatters too.

After a 25 minute transfer, we pulled up the long drive to San Lucianu hotel- tennis courts, bikes, palm trees and a bright orange building greeted us. At reception we were given our room keys- 208 and 207- and our luggage was labelled to be delivered to the room for us.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

 

Of course the first thing one does going to the room is looking out the window, right?

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Not a bad view to have, is it? (looking sideways)

 

Our waterfront facing room- 208- was really modern refurbished with bright clean shower rooms.  There were twin beds, large wardrobes, a plethora of really good lighting (unusual for hotel rooms nowadays, which tend to have all sorts of whacky by inadequate lighting), a desk and a TV.  There was a small fridge- no minibar contents sadly-, but no safe in the room.  (Safes were available at reception)

We had a travel cot for Max…or basket as he called it. 🙂

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

The hotel had offered to give us a guest bed for Hugo, but fitting it in was a bit awkward, as it blocked the corridor slightly.  We declined and I borrowed an extra duvet to make a mattress over the split between the two beds pushed together. It worked perfectly.

The large terrace door opened onto a decent balcony with a clothes hanger for wet clothes and two plastic chairs.  I liked that part of the balcony had glass allowing Max and Hugo to sit and watch the happenings below us on restaurant terrace.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Unpacking- plenty of storage space

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The other room, across the corridor from us- 207- was west facing and have a lovely view onto the mountains behind the resort. It wasn’t refurbished. However, except for the tired carpet, I liked the decor of the room- it was cosy and rustic.  The style fit perfectly with the shutters on the terrace and the vistas beyond.  The bathroom and the separate toilet were outdated, but impeccably clean. Not a spec of mould. (Something I’ve seen all too often recently even in 5 star hotels.)

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

I loved the rustic feel of this room! It felt so cosy!

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Just look at that view towards the mountains!

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Interesting decor, but practical layout.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

The rooms had air conditioning that was easy to adjust both for intensity and temperature. The air conditioning automatically switches off when the terrace door was opened.   It can, however, be reactivated in a fan function, which I found useful when I was working away on my laptop in the room one morning.  Otherwise, we didn’t have the aircon on during the day instead we mostly had the terrace door open.  After the first night, when all the bugs on the island found Angelina we decided to sleep with the door closed and the aircon on.

Most of the hotel had a feeling of stepping back a bit in time, to a slower paced, family-focused life.  San Lucianu is not the glitzy resort that I experienced at Mark Warner’s Levente Beach Resort in Rhodes.  It is very much a 3 star property.  However, it is a lovely little resort- it carries the old world charm very well. It’s intimate and we found it extremely family-friendly.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

View from our room- 208

We got into the groove of our holiday very quickly.  On the Saturday we arrived, we went to the briefings on activities available and kids’ clubs.  The later kicked into action that evening already with a film night for kids- 2 to 8 or 6 to 16.

The beach and the beach bar are great places to hang out as the evening nears.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

The view from out room

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Kids made friends very quickly and loved running in the grass or playing in the sand.

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Food at San Lucianu

We were half board only, as I dithered last minute about whether £50 for me and £40 for kids each was worth the upgrade to full-board and ran out of time to book. (At the resort the upgrade fee was 90€/ adult and 65€/ child- a fee not worth it for us.)

Breakfast was buffet style, served 7:30 to 10.  There was good choice of cereals, muesli, ham and cheese, jam, full English- tomatoes, hash browns, bacon, delicious sausages and mushrooms- and eggs made to request.  I had an omelette most mornings with fresh warm croissants. The kids loved the cereal selection followed by huge amounts of fresh, juicy fruit.

Corsica San Lucianu Mark warner child care sailing windsurfing tennis

For lunch we were either grabbed some fruit (which I had bought at the shop just outside the resort) or some chips (3€) and paninis (5€) at the bar.  It was hot and not having a large spread of buffet food tempting us was actually quite good. The light lunch worked for us.

(Had we chosen to, we did have the choice of having lunch at the restaurant any of the days for a cover charge of 15€/ adult and 10€/ child.)

The resort has a kids’ high tea from 5:30 to 6 pm.  This is timed quite well for kids after an action packed day. On the first day we joined the kids’ high tea. I found the food quite bland and boring- pasta, pizza, chips… All the usual kids’ food.  Not what my kids are used to eating at home or when we travel.  Max, when he heard we were eating at a restaurant, asked to eat crab.  🙂  I encourage them to be adventurous and try new things and avoid kids’ menus at restaurants.  That’s just me though.

If you prefer an easy holiday, then the kids’ high tea is perfect with a wide choice.  Also as the week went on, those who were having the kids’ high tea said the meals choice and flavour improved greatly throughout the week. ( I guess the chef was just finding his feet in the kitchen.) We didn’t get around to testing it again.

The evening meal at San Lucianu was à la carte, except for two buffet nights- a regular buffet and a BBQ buffet.   On the à la carte evenings there were 3 choices of starter, mains and desert.  There was generally a meat, a seafood and a vegetarian option. Most meals had a gluten free and dairy free alternative, with gluten-free pastas being served if requested.   The kids ate with me most meals and we really enjoyed the food.   The seafood, which I tended to choose, was particularly good.  (I did feel slightly sorry for vegetarians with only a single choice.  However, when I raised this concern with the hotel manager, she reassured me that the staff are flexible and would be happy to find alternatives for vegetarians if the food did not meet their liking.)

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Water was provided at the tables, but all other drinks had to be ordered. A bottle of wine was between 14€ and 25€.  If you bought one and couldn’t finish it that evening the staff labelled it and put it aside for you for the following night.

For dinner to flow well we were asked to sign up for dining times each morning. The slots were every 15 minutes between 7:30 pm and 8:45 pm.  This system seemed to work well.

Activities at San Lucianu

A Mark Warner holiday can be as active or relaxing as one chooses. There are a range of activities to do.

Fitness

Throughout the day there were different classes running from aerobics, to yoga, beach volley ball, a sunset stretch.  Tempting as they were I didn’t partake.  A friend, Julie, did take part and won the Abs of the week award.  Read about how Julie stuck to her diet and fitness plan over the holiday.


Bikes

At the front of the resort is the bike station.  Mountain bikes and helmets waiting for those wanting to go pedalling.  The staff have mapped out a range of routes from easy to 100km strenuous ones.  The bikes are all new, well-maintianed, squeaky clean.  I was tempted to go for an easy route one morning, but the bikes are all men’s bikes and my child-birth weakened hips hate swinging my legs up over the back. Not lady-like at all!  I chose the water instead.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Tennis

Numerous courts and instructors await those willing to endure the heat to perfect their back hand. Another sport I do not participate in, but my friend Charly and her other half made good use of these facilities.  The kids got a taster too…but more on that later.

Corsica San Lucianu hotel Mark Warner

Watersports

The watersports facilities at San Lucianu resort are really very good, so much so I wrote Watersports at San Luciano Resort Corsica as a totally separate post.

Childcare

Mark Warner’s holiday childcare is the benchmark for the industry in my Mark Warner Childcare post I outline why I think that.

Other facilities

San Lucianu also had a spa, with a range of treatments from facials to manicure and massages.  While tempting and prices were reasonable, I didn’t indulge.

Sometimes, especially as I was away on my own with the kids it would’ve been great to Skype with the Madventurer.  Sadly, although there was free WiFi at the resort and the signal strength even in our room was decent, the bandwidth and the ability to stay connected was rather poor.  Not once did we manage to Skype, it was email and Watsapp contact for the week and the occasional phone call. Saying that, this was probably my biggest gripe and aside from this I was extremely pleased with the resort and the staff.

As the week drew to a close and we completed our travel bucket list items for Corsica I wished we’d spent a lot more time at the resort.  I’d happily go back and highly recommend it to parents who what to blend relaxing, activities, family time and couples’ time.

Do you feel you need a holiday but would also enjoy all the activities?  

In collaboration with Mark Warner we are giving all Family {m}adventure readers a £50pp discount on all Summer 15 & 16 bookings made by 31 July.  Pop over and check out the offerings on the Mark Warner’s site.…there are some great offers for the summer still to be bagged.

Discount code is: MonikaBlog50

 

T&Cs:  Not valid for free child place or infants and can’t be offered in retrospect.

 

Disclosure: Mark Warner covered the cost of the flights, accommodation and half board for this trip. All opinions are, however, my own (some may have been influenced by the kids). 

 

You might like:

Sharing my love of Watersports with the kids – On my next trip I took the kids and we had some amazing times on the water

What makes Mark Warner’s childcare world class– I dissect our experiences of the Mark Warner’s childcare and discuss why I think it is the best in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Europe, Sleep

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