For those who’re not an all-inclusive form of person, I’ll allow you to right into a secret… nor was I until I had children.
Now, with a busy job and two young kids, I’m a complete convert – and resorts equivalent to Club Med Magna Marbella are the explanation. It makes for the right family holiday.
Nestled on the foot of the Sierra Blanca Mountains, this swanky recent resort provides a fun-packed break with a dollop of luxury, delicious food and more activities – for young and older – than you would possibly fit into your day. There may be a lot to try this there is no have to enterprise into Marbella town unless you desperately need to (we didn’t).
Dan Sanderson and his family checked in to the recently opened Club Med Magna Marbella, where around half the rooms have views of the Mediterranean
The resort boasts 14 hectares of ‘lush garden’, five swimming pools including a family waterpark, and an adult-only Zen Zone. There may be also a spa, two restaurants – Suenos, and the Tierra Gourmet Lounge – and three bars
From the moment you stand up, to midnight and beyond there’s never a dull moment. And since it’s brand spanking recent, every little thing feels fresh and sparkly.
The resort boasts 486 rooms – half of them with views of the Med – 14 hectares of ‘lush garden’, five swimming pools including a family waterpark, an adult-only Zen Zone, a spa, two restaurants – Suenos, and the Tierra Gourmet Lounge – and three bars.
Plus, there are 10 tennis courts, a decent-size gym, outdoor group workout areas, a kid’s playground, an archery range, mini-golf, several shops, an outside stage that hosts evening shows and even circus and trapeze rigs for each adults and kids.
‘From the moment you stand up, to midnight and beyond there’s never a dull moment. And since it’s brand spanking recent, every little thing feels fresh and sparkly,’ writes Dan
‘The main target here is firmly on children having the time of their lives’
The main target here is firmly on children having the time of their lives – and the world-class facilities staffed by the good ‘Mini Club’ team be sure that little ones might be entertained while adults chill out, or not…
You simply need to see the apparel of most guests on the unfailingly impressive buffet breakfast to know that nearly all of people start their day with some form of sporting activity.
Being wearing board shorts or a kaftan is just not the norm within the mornings. As a substitute, tennis skirts, running shorts or expensive yoga gear is way more common.
The predominately French clientele (the exceptionally polite and enthusiastic staff will assume you’re French until you tell them otherwise when their impressive English skills kick in) hit the tennis courts, despite the tremendous heat, with the kind of enthusiasm that needs to be reserved for Wimbledon.
And if they are not playing tennis there’s the morning run club, which my wife Claire and I watched from our balcony, coffee in hand, pretending to one another that we were going to present it a go the next morning. It transpires the lure of a breakfast banquet and a shaded sun lounger was too strong.
If running is just not your thing, there’s Float Fit, a rectangular-shaped board concerning the size of a surfboard, which is tethered to the side of the pool, on which you attempt a mix of yoga and functional moves – think standing on one leg, squats, high knees, and burpees.
Yes, you read right, high knees and burpees on a floating board. Claire, who is often very energetic, struggled to rise up on two legs let alone do the more ambitious moves.
The adults-only Zen Pool (pictured) is where parents can get away from all of it for just a few hours
Dan reveals that he would watch the morning run club from the comfort of his room, coffee in hand
She fell into the water at the very least every 30 seconds, much to the audible frustration of the bronzed Adonis on the board next to her, who was being thrown off balance by the waves she was creating.
At 11am every day many of the women and a few men around pool do aqua aerobics.
And if you’ve got still got some energy left there are volleyball and football tournaments happening, group and individual tennis lessons, fitness classes, yoga and aerial yoga and circus-skills classes.
If all that appears like an excessive amount of labor (it did to us) the fundamental family pool, situated alongside the hotel’s biggest bar, is a full of life, fun environment to while away your day.
But head to Zen Pool should you’re in search of some quiet time since the family pool is all loud music and a hive of activity. It’s here we first witnessed Crazy Signs and got here to grasp that it is a Club Med obsession.
The ‘Mini Club’ for youngsters is an actual plus for youths and fogeys, reveals Dan
Children can have a splashing time at the youngsters’s waterpark (above)
Pictured left is Dan’s daughter Nell on the resort’s archery range. On the precise, having fun with an exciting disco foam party
Dan’s daughter Nell loved the Magna Marbella ‘Mini Club’, which ran an activity session in a cordoned-off section of the splash pool (above)
Crazy Signs is straightforward – just follow together with dances led by the staff. There are even YouTube channels dedicated to it.
At midday sharp every day, seven or so staff would come to the pool, the dance music can be pumped up, and the compere would encourage everyone to get off their sun loungers and take part. There is not any room for self-consciousness at Club Med.
Multiple generations of the identical family would spring up and diligently follow along, throwing themselves into the ridiculousness of all of it with wild enthusiasm. And so they all looked as if it would know all of the moves.
We disregarded our awkward ‘Britishness’ and fully embraced the Club Med experience. By day three we were joining in singing ‘Put your hands within the air, ole, ole, ole’ while busting out our greatest moves like Club Med veterans.
Dan says that Club Med Magna Marbella is ‘pure, unadulterated, good old-fashioned fun’. Above is certainly one of the 486 rooms
The resort ‘comes alive after dark, says Dan, with choreographed dance productions on the fundamental stage, ‘good’ live bands, a flamenco band and a nightly disco that goes on until midnight ‘and beyond’
Dan describes the food offering as ‘delicious’. Above is the Tierra Gourmet Lounge, certainly one of two on-site restaurants
The Mini Club features a show that the youngsters practised all week and performed for the parents. The Sandersons’ daughter Nell (pictured) had such a bond with the staff she was in tears on departure day
The youngsters club, meanwhile – called Mini Club – is seriously impressive. With its vast outdoor area, a cordoned-off splash pool and lots of cool indoor space, the staff looked as if it would love their jobs and knew all the youngsters by first name after the primary meeting. You’d often see a parade of children walking behind their club leader, chanting various phrases, heading to different areas of the resort throughout the day.
The activities were varied – our daughter Nell, six, even learnt trapeze – plus that they had an inflatables afternoon, a foam party, a mini-Olympics and even a Mini Club show that the youngsters practised all week and performed for the parents on the Thursday night.
The incontrovertible fact that there have been only a few English-speaking children meant ours had an immersive French experience. As great as that’s, it also meant we couldn’t leave them there all day every single day, or risk them feeling a little bit isolated. Nevertheless, Nell had such a bond with the Mini Club staff she was in tears on departure day.
You’d think that, with all this activity happening, guests can be too drained within the evenings to do anything apart from eat supper in certainly one of the 2 restaurants (a buffet and an ‘a la carte’ offering) and get an early night.
But Club Med comes alive after dark. There are fully choreographed dance productions on the fundamental stage, good live bands, a flamenco band, and a nightly disco that goes on until midnight and beyond.
The highlight of every night, though, is Crazy Signs, when the dance floor is filled with guests of all ages dancing in unison. It truly is something to behold. The sense of fun is palpable.
And that is the great thing about Club Med Magna. It’s pure, unadulterated, good old-fashioned fun.
It’s how I imagine holidays would have been a long time ago when people didn’t think they were too cool to make a idiot of themselves and get stuck in. It is not a soothing holiday, however it is ideal family time, in sumptuous surroundings, that can make you discover your inner child again. The Sandersons loved it.
Seven nights all-inclusive stay at Club Med Magna Marbella, Spain from £1424 (was £1675) per adult (based on dual occupancy). Price based on the departure date of May 20, 2023 – excluding flights. Seven nights all-inclusive at Club Med Magna Marbella, Spain from £1701 (was £1952) per adult (based on dual occupancy) with return flights from London Gatwick with transfers included. Price based on the departure date May 20, 2023
PROS: Entertainment from early morning to midnight and beyond, delicious food and good quality cocktails. Excellent kids club for babies through to teenagers.
CONS: A lot entertainment it’s hard to chill out. Music goes on until late and might be heard within the bedrooms. Thirty-minute walk to beach and Marbella town.