Eleven Bloggers and I

Eleven Bloggers and I

In early September eleven bloggers and myself were treated to a holiday with Mark Warner at their Rhodes hotel, Levante Beach. Apart from the odd hello at events, most of us hardly knew one another nor had most of us been on a Mark Warner holiday before. To say I was nervous was a understatement and I don’t any of us really knew what to expect.

After spending five days together I can safely say we had an amazing time and made great friends. It may sound corny to say as much, but considering we were twelve women all together there was not one moment of negativity between us and we all got on like a house on fire.

Today I will talk about the trip and the fun we had, and later on in the week I will focus more on Mark Warner and the resort. But for now enjoy the photos and the stories!

It all started at Britmums this year when we all chucked our names randomly into a bowl and then received tweets like this.

I was absolutely gobsmacked to have won and remember walking around gleefully all that day. Only after some reflection did I become slightly more unsure about the trip, especially considering my illness. However after a chat with Mr H it was decided opportunities like these don’t come around all the time and that I would go for it.

Living more up north, Rebecca and I started chatting on Twitter and decided to travel down to Heathrow the night before and stay over. I’m glad we did as it meant we both knew at least one other person a little.

Spot the London Eye!
The next day, all twelve of us met at Heathrow and checked in, ready to begin our journey. It was a long day as we flew via Athens, but we actually had a really great time getting to know one another and most of the journey was filled with laughter.
A bite to eat in Athens
Waiting for our bags at Rhodes (photo courtesy of Monika)

We arrived at Levante Beach Resort after a thirty minute transfer from Rhodes airport. It was about ten pm at this point, so our bags were taken from us and delivered to our rooms whilst the staff in the restaurant had set up a buffet ready, which was a really thoughtful touch.

After a bite to eat we all head to our separate rooms for a restful night, with no children to wake us up or jump on us and it was bliss. We all had a family room all to ourselves and I have to say it was quite strange in the morning to wake up to all that space to myself.

I woke up on our first morning in Rhodes and I was stunned at my view – feet away from the adult only pool (a must when you are child-free for once!) and right in-between the main building and the beach. The weather was beautiful and I casually made my way up to breakfast with a smile on my face.

View from my room
The activity pool with main building behind

That morning we were booked in for watersports. I wasn’t sure whether or not I would join in these with the M.E. but in the end decided, what the heck! I wanted to have a go at wind-surfing as I’ve done it before and loved it, and what better opportunity than when I only have myself to think about and can rest whenever I wanted.

Photo courtesy of Kara

In the end most people plumped for sailing, so it left Rachael and I the only ones stupid enough to exert ourselves on a surfboard during a relaxing break! Our instructor, Chris, was so great with us, as we did spend half our time in the sea or laying resting on our boards, that was after laughing ourselves silly at our inability! It was such a fun morning. We then all met up for lunch and then head off for a few hours of relaxation. I took the chance to go for a rest in my room, ensuring I was fresh for the evening.

Post-watersports and a little wind-swept!

That evening we met in the main bar, next to the restaurant, for a ‘quick’ drink before our meal. Due to the fantastic Mohito’s and Daiquiri’s that ended up being more like two hours! Needless to say our meal was thoroughly enjoyed, as was the dance entertainment!

Just the odd cocktail!
A beautiful moon that night

On Thursday we had a lovely morning by the pool and I had a play with my new Lifeproof case for my iPhone – I can hugely recommended these. They may have a higher price tag (£70), however for me it was well worth it and I know I will get tons of use out of it.

The gorgeous Katrina
Floating gracefully during aqua aerobics

That afternoon we were treated with a trip to the local town of Lindos, which is an archaeological site from the 10th Century, and home to a fantastic Acropolis towering above the rambling streets and vine-covered shops, home to all sorts of trinkets. A few of us decided to brave the climb and were met with a huge reward at the top, as the scenery was absolutely stunning with an incredible view over the crystal blue Aegean. We then ambled back down to browse a few of the stores and make the odd purchase, and then met up with everyone for a drink and chatter.

I was pretty shattered by the end of the day, so after tea I decided to have an early night.

Friday was our last full day in Rhodes and it was one of my favourites. The morning was taken up with very little before I treated myself to a spot of Reflexology in the spa, and then joined everyone for lunch at the Panasian restaurant on site for some gorgeous food.

Nice and relaxed
In the afternoon more water sports took place, however several of us decided to enjoy some time at the adult-only pool. Kate, Carissa and Vic, along with our fantastic PR Emilia decided to give aqua-aerobics a go and I decided it was time for another play with the Lifeproof. Emily and I had a laugh watching the girls whilst we sunned ourselves and I got some great footage, as well as a few grumbles!

That evening we were taken into Kolymbia, the nearest town, for some fantastic seafood on the waterside as well as shopping and dancing. We ended up at a karaoke-come-nightclub at midnight and after the fishbowl it all goes a little downhill! Needless to say I woke up a bit tender the next morning!

Our amazing PR Emilia
Me and the lovely Rachael
Gorgeous Kate and Julie
Bloggers let loose!

On Saturday I said a final farewell to the beach, after dipping my toes in the warm Aegean for the last time. The sea air cleared my head and helped me reflect on what an amazing few days it had been.

With sadness, we departed the resort at one and then flew back to Heathrow and the remainder of the British ‘summer.’

After a couple of weeks to reflect on the trip I can honestly say it was one I will remember for years. We had so much fun and I haven’t laughed like that in ages. I was proud of myself for going it alone and actually being OK, as well as being able to do things I really didn’t think I could. It has also made me realise how much I needed the break. I have felt so much better since I have returned home, I don’t really think I realised how run down I had become.

I want to say a huge thank you to Mark Warner and their staff both in the UK for arranging the trip and at the resort for being so accommodating when they had twelve different women to appease. Nothing was too much and they went out of their way to make sure our stay was an enjoyable one. Also I know I speak for us all when I say a thank you to the two PR ladies that looked after us – Emilia and Polly. That they managed to get us there and back in one piece was a feat all of its own, but they were so friendly and joined in everything with us, as well as plying us with the odd cocktail!

Finally to the ladies – Julie, Kate, Katrina, Carissa, Monika, Alison, Vic, Kara, Rebecca and Emily, and of course our little adoptee for the week Sebby – I enjoyed your company so so much and I am so grateful to you all for making the trip what it was. I am looking forward to seeing you all again, hopefully in the near future!

If you want to read more about our trip check out these posts:

Mum On The Brink
A Mummy Too
Chelsea Mamma
Not Another Mummy Blog
Cool Bananas Blog

And for even more on Mark Warner these blogs have some great reviews:

Katy Hill’s Blog
Mummy, Mummy, Mum!

Head to Mark Warner’s website for more information, and until the next post is done here is a video of our trip:

*We were sent on this trip free of charge, however all opinions are most definitely my own!

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