Mark Warner Holiday in Corsica
At the beginning of June 2019, we got to experience the best holiday. Easily the best holiday of the boys lives so far. We made memories, friends and relaxed with Mark Warner in their San Lucianu resort in Corsica. Corsica is a island off the coast of Italy but is part of France, so French speaking, bonjour.
I wanted to pull out the favourite bits of our holiday and share some pictures of paradise.
We chose to take the boys out of school for four days to take them on this holiday at the beginning of June, just after half term. Being term time, the prices were cheaper, and we also knew that the Corsica temperature would be nice in the high 20s. There were a few other parents who did the same.
We flew on an early morning EasyJet Flight from Stanstead. The price we paid included out luggage allowance and seats. The travel experience was all very relaxed. We left home at 3am and by 11am I was paddling in the sea at the resort. Flight time was 2 1/4ish hours, depending on the wind. And transfer time from Bastia airport to San Lucianu resort was 30 minutes. We were met at the airport by the welcome team who helped with luggage and finding the coaches.
I must start with the incredible team at the San Lucianu resort, who are a total credit to Wayne the resort manager. Every person whom I spoke to was so friendly and helpful. And I spoke to a lot! From the receptionists, to bar staff, to restaurant team, chefs, fitness team, spa team, childcare staff, water sports team and cycling team. Everyone was lovely.
Particular shout outs to Emma, the fitness queen, and who gave me an award for Yoga queen. To Guy from the fitness team who stayed at the back of the organised run with me. There was Amy on reception who I had lots of chats with about life as a student. To Chloe on the water sports team who taught me how to sail, a fellow Cornish girl. The lovely Kieran who looked after the boys, to Luke the tennis coach, whom was the boy’s favourite. And to Wintour the expert cocktail maker! The staff really made it a superbly friendly holiday.
Food was included in the price paid. This was five evening meals, seven lunches and seven breakfasts. For two nights there was the option to head into the local town, a 10-minute walk away and get something different or you could stay and pay a bit extra for a lovely BBQ.
Breakfast was always lovely and started at 8am. The boys favourite meal where they would eat five different courses, toast, cereal, eggs, fruit, bagette! For lunch there was hot food and salad items, always freshly prepared. Dinners were lovely, served restaurant style with starter, main and dessert.
There was an early dinner for the kids, perfect for Jack who was starving by 5pm. The older boys tended to join us for later dinner whilst Jack enjoyed going to the movie club every evening. And wine was served with lunch and dinner, unlimited wine! Rose for lunch, red for dinner, my rule.
The chefs made some amazing food, including this tomato soup that they gave the recipe for. It was so good I had to remake it as home. Chef Rory Seaman and Troy Damper-Elms.
This makes a lot I am guessing
- 20 tomatoes (Corsican tomatoes are beautiful)
- 200g sun blush tomato
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- 350 ml red wine
- 75 ml red wine vinegar/sherry
- 5 litre stock (veg or beef)
- Seasoning to taste
- 4 onions slices
- 6 crushed garlic cloves
- Double cream (optional)
- Half the tomatoes and put them on an oven tray flesh side up. Drizzle with oil and season. Roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 mins or until very soft and slightly coloured.
- Whilst the tomatoes are in over, sweat off the onions and garlic in large saucepan.
- Once the tomatoes are roasted, ass the sun blush tomatoes to the tray and combine. Roast for a further 5 to 10 minutes
- Add the tomatoes to the saucepan and de-glaze the oven tray with red wine and vinegar. Place the tray over the hob and reduce by half. Add to the saucepan.
- Add the stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 30-45 minutes before blitzing. Add seasoning to taste
- If you want cream of tomato soup add desired amount of cream to the pan before you blitz it.
The Sport Activities
A Mark Warner Holiday is an active one if you fancy it. There is a schedule of activities every day and you join in whatever you want. I did three 7:30 am runs, guided runs of around 5km. You have to go early as it is so hot.
There were loads of fitness classes by the pool, beach area with Emma. Yoga, stretching, Boxercise, Zumba, aqua aerobics. All sorts. I took part in a class every day! There was an incredible waterfall walk, that you have to go on.
There are plenty of tennis courts that you can borrow rackets and use. Luke is the professional coach so you can book great value lessons with him. There was fun tournament on the last day that Jack managed to win!
Mountain bikes, hybrid or racers can be borrowed to tour the island, I borrowed one to zip into town to buy some beautiful Corsican sparking wine. There are also daily guided cycling tours, ranging for 5km up to 90 km grand tour on the last day! There was also a triathlon on the last day, I didn’t take part in that, although wish I had.
By the beach bar was badminton, pool and table tennis. Dylan and Josh spent a lot of time playing there. And there is a volleyball court, with a game every evening at 5pm. Dylan and Josh adored this and played every day.
Mark Warner are famous for their water sports facilities. There is so much you can do with tuition or by yourself. I learnt how to sail on the first day. There are all sort of different boats, although I stuck to the small Pico boat when I went out by myself. There was kayaking, paddle boarding and wind surfing. Wind surfing was the only sport I didn’t do as I ran out of time to get a lesson!
The waterfront team was incredibly hot on safety, there was always boat patrolling the sea especially when Josh decided to paddle board to the very edge of the safety area (which was huge). And we did see a few days where kayaks were rescued in the wind!
The childcare facilities are amazing. There is 3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon and then 3 hours in the evening if needed. The boys would pick and choose what they wanted to do with the childcare. But it included all the water sport tuition, football, field games, pool games, creative activities. Kieran was a wonderful guide, despite the boys playing up at various times. It was a quiet week for childcare and the children from age 6 to 13 were all grouped together. Great for my boys who were all together, but a challenge to find stuff that everyone enjoyed doing.
I had an afternoon at the spa and had my nails done and a wonderful facial. Scarlet was the therapist and really knew her stuff. My face 100% looked younger after that facial. And the prices were very good. Of course, extra to pay on top of the holiday cost, but there were plenty of offers, particularly when you check in the Mark Warner Corsica app.
Bar & Drinks
There were two bars, a lounge bar and a beach bar. We spent mucho time at the beach bar trying the various cocktails that they created. There was happy hour from 4pm to 6pm. I can highly recommend the aperol spritz, strawberry mojito and negroni! Cocktails did cost extra but were very reasonably priced, at around six Euro.
There was a cocktail night, organised by Wintour. Lots of fun. And I got to make an Amaretto something. It was very lovely!
We spent very little time in our room! We had two joining rooms on the second floor that were clean and modern. The bathrooms had recently been redone so were lovely. The beds were very comfy, and we had glorious vies of the sea, gardens and beach. The rooms were cleaned every day and beds made.
The beach and pools
The hotel has its own beach, a mixture of sand and pebbles. Def take water shoes as it was a bit ouchy getting out to the boats. I loved a bit of sea swimming and spent much time floating around and doing a bit of breaststroke. The med is lovely and warm.
There were two pools to chose from, one more friendly for the little children with a shallow end and another pool for grown-ups. I did a few laps of this pool.
There is a mixture of people who go on a Mark Warner holiday which makes for the most interesting of conversations over a rose at lunchtime. I bonded with a friend who came on holiday with her two boys. Our children all became best mates. We chatted to social workers, farmers, investment bankers, lawyers and accountants. We got on so well that we are planning a catch up over the summer holiday. Everyone loved hearing about Mrs Mummypenny!
It was the perfect relaxed week for finding out about different lives and understanding life in different parts of the country and people of different ages. There were families, groups, couples, young and old.
We got a discount as we were reviewing the holiday so paid just under £2000 for the five of us. We then spent another £350 there on cocktails, beer, BBQ, dinner in town, spa, ice creams from beach bar, gifts to bring home. I did ask around and if booked last minute people were paying around £400 to £500 each for a room with three sharing. You can book a Mark Warner holiday last minute and get great discounts. Of course, in the summer holidays the price will jump out, but the last-minute offers will still be there.
I cannot lie the hotel is a bit tired, but this is reflected in the price you pay. It is the cheapest of the Mark Warner locations. But I loved it, and Corsica is a just an incredible place to visit. I had an issue with a phone charger that disappeared, the reception team replaced it immediately. Anything anyone asked for was resolved quickly. Dylan says can you add bacon to the breakfast menu.
I think its obvious I loved this holiday. The boys were happy with so much to do. Nobody got bored, with all the various activities and choice to do things independently of each other. I got to relax and enjoy myself. Every morning I got up at 5:30am to watch the sun rise. I was hugely inspired and came up with many ideas for my business, including the book idea that I had been searching for a few months. I loved it so much that I am going back for a few days in September with my friend Neil!
As mentioned I did receive a discount for this holiday in return for an honest review and social media shares. If you want to enquire about a price to go to Corsica here are the details.
Prices start from £552pp for a week at San Lucianu Beach Resort
Includes; Flights (Gatwick or Manchester), resort transfers, 5 days full board and 2 days half board, watersports with tuition, tennis, cycling, fitness classes and childcare from 2 – 17 years (4 months – 2 years is chargeable @ £180 per week)