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Mark Warner First Timers’ Review: Phokaia Beach Resort 2019

Back at the start of October, I was lucky enough to be invited to experience my very first Mark Warner holiday. As a newbie to these types of activity holidays I didn’t know what to expect. Choosing this resort as my first to test the award-winning Mark Warner facilities, I knew I had nothing to worry about, with Phokaia being a firm favourite with customers.

First Impressions:

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the friendly staff & offered a drink & hot towel. My initial first impression was, wow, what a beautiful reception! It was spotlessly clean & had a boutique-style feel, laid out with large comfy sofas on marble floors & marble décor throughout. A beautiful & perfumed scene, fresh flowers arranged in opulent vases & a grand piano in the corner, all added to the luxurious feel.

We were taken through outside to the lovely terrace area, overlooking the stunning pool,  where there was the outdoor/indoor restaurant to the left & a relaxing bar area to the right. The hotel’s public areas are immaculate & very impressive & certainly set the scene for what was going to be a fantastic weeks stay!

Location:

The hotel is approx. 2 kilometres from the local town of Foca. This has a fascinating harbour where you can see the local fishermen with their daily catch & it has an abundance of restaurants, gift shops, bars & supermarkets. You can also take numerous boat trips from here.

The walk into town takes about half an hour, or you can take out the bicycles from the hotel. There is also a local bus service, that runs very efficiently & regularly & you can pick this up in the town & it drops you directly outside the hotel entrance. This costs around 3 Turkish lira each which works out around 50p regardless of how far you go. A 5 minute walk from the hotel is a small supermarket, where you can pick up snacks, drinks & other necessities.

The resort itself is set out beautifully & is surrounded by picturesque gardens. It is situated right on its own sandy beach, where there is a beach bar/restaurant which becomes the main entertainment area in the evening.

Resort Facilities:

The facilities at the resort are excellent, it really does have something for everyone. It has a large outdoor pool which is beautiful. This is surrounded by plenty of comfy sunbeds, deck chairs, large cabana beds & plenty of sunshade when needed. It has a great sized kids pool also at the far end which is covered over to keep the little ones out of the sun.

In the middle of the beach is a jetty that you can take a walk along to look at the fish & at the end is where you can try out all the water-skiing & other motorised watersports. The left side of the beach has a more relaxed feel – perfect for people who just want to sunbathe all day.

To the right is where all the sailing area is situated & the children’s castle is located for the kids’ clubs. I am not a sailor, but other guests agreed that the sailing facilities are excellent & possibly the best at any other resort they’d been to. You can take different kinds of boats, catamarans etc & there are also kayaks & stand-up paddle boards. There are numerous friendly, helpful & patient instructors/life guards on hand & safety is paramount.

There are optional water aerobics, swimming lessons & water polo & the yoga & fitness classes are in a lovely covered area at the side of the pool. If you take the steps down from the pool there is a small courtyard with an indoor pool, a spa, some gift shops, a hairdressers & the bike station, where you can take out bikes for the day. This can be done either as part of a group, with various skill levels, or at your own leisure.

There are numerous tennis courts & again you can play as part of a group or take lessons from the professional coach. There is a full sports & entertainment programme, throughout every day/evening & you will be given a copy of during your resort transfer.

There is always some kind of entertainment throughout the day to get involved with, with things like beach volleyball, tournaments etc. for the adults, to keep things fun throughout the whole day.

The food is excellent, with a variety of dishes to suit every palate.

You’ll also find a full list of activities outside the main reception, by the bar/restaurant.

Every night they had varied entertainments at the beach bar. On ‘my’ week that we were there, the young ladies from the children’s team were in charge of the evening productions & they did a brilliant job! They got everyone involved & had fun quizzes, games, karaoke & dancing. Big shout-out to all the girls, you were fabulous!

Childcare:

The hotel is suitable for all: couples, singles, groups & families. It has something for everyone & you can join in as much or as little as you wish. The children are so well looked after by the British nannies & you can tell they are passionate about their job. The staff at the hotel from the bar staff, waiters, entertainment team, animation, sports & kids team could not be faulted. I have never met any staff as friendly, professional & attentive as I have at this resort. The staff even come & have their meals in the restaurant with the guests & try to sit & chat to as many guests as possible.

Dining:

Phokaia Beachclub is ‘Resort Board’, which includes daily breakfast, daily lunch & 5 dinners. This gives you 2 evenings that dinner is not provided & you then have the option to go into the local town for a meal, or join in with the beach barbeque. I could not fault the food at all. It is all buffet style, so you can help yourself & have as little or as much as required. Lots of choice, with cooking stations outside & inside where you have a mouth-watering variety of salads, soups, local breads, etc. There are vegetarian options, but if there are any special dietary requirements, a quick word with one of the chefs & they will do their utmost to cater for your needs.

The Rooms:

The resort has a spacious feel, but is very easy to get around. It has very good facilities for disabled people, as there are many ramps & disabled toilets/ changing rooms at the beach. So this is also good for families with pushchairs. The rooms are decorated beautifully, in a boutique-style & have everything you need, wardrobe space, drawers, dressing table etc. There is a digital safe in each wardrobe & a full bathroom with waterfall-style shower. The rooms were cleaned & changed daily & the maids were so friendly.

Getting there:

We flew with British Airways from London Heathrow. Both flights were on time & it’s approx. a 4 hour flight. You could purchase snacks & drinks on board however, you can only pay by card, not cash. The transfer is around 1 hour 45 mins, but a new motorway should cut future journey times by about 30 minutes.

Verdict:

Overall, I had a fantastic holiday & it’s easy to see why Mark Warner’s Phokaia Beach Resort is a firm favourite amongst so many Travel Club Elite customers! There is a wonderfully friendly atmosphere amongst the British guests & we met some lovely people (don’t be afraid to make new friends & get stuck in to all the social activities!) & there was nothing I could fault about the resort.

Would I go back? Absolutely!

Take advantage of Mark Warner’s early booking offers for Summer 2020, including an early booking discount of £300pp, half price room upgrades & pay in full reductions.

Prices for Summer 2020 start at just £719pp* off-peak, including flights, transfers, accommodation, kids clubs, activities & half board dining. Call Travel Club Elite on 0800 707 6229 or email our Mark Warner Specialists at [email protected] for huge extra savings.

*based on 2 adults sharing, departing 16th May 2020. Price correct as of 25/10/2019.

 About the author: Sharon Driffill is a Senior Travel Consultant at Travel Club Elite. She has over 20 years’ experience in the travel industry, from package family summer holidays to luxury worldwide getaways & cruise.

For any questions about Mark Warner Phokaia Beach Resort, please email her at: [email protected] or call free on 0800 707 6229

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