With the kids’ clubs and family beach at one end, the family pool in the middle, and the adult beach and watersports at the other, plus a tennis club and adult-only pool behind the hotel, Mark Warner's Lakitira Beach Resort is brilliantly laid out and well equipped for families.
After a reasonable 3-hour flight, we arrived in a very hot Kos to be welcomed by Mark Warner reps, who took our bags and ushered us onto a welcoming air-conditioned bus. The resort is only a 15-minute drive from the airport and our rooms were ready, so it was a quick change and mad dash to the pool to cool off. We managed to miss the welcome meeting, which turned out to be quite crucial because not much information is written down, but we talked to others who hadn’t been so lax and gained most of the details we needed to know.
After a comfortable night’s sleep in our Junior Club room with terrace plus convenient sliding doors between the adults’ and children’s sleeping areas, and a full breakfast in our tummies, we took our kids to their respective clubs. Kids’ clubs on holiday have always been something I’m not particularly sure about using, on the basis that we want to spend time together as a family. Another quandary for me was that our 6-year-old had to go into the Junior Club and our 4-year-old into Mini Club – I’d have felt much better if they could be together.
As there are several arrival days, kids are split up within the clubs by arrival and age; ours were allocated to Picos and Sharks respectively. As it turned out, the first Picos activity was water-based – sailing. Rather nervously, we handed over our first-born, who was far more confident than her parents and who dutifully joined the line to march off to the beach, quickly picking up the group song ‘Picos, Picos, Picos are the best…’ (every family holiday seems to have a theme song to go with it!).
We crept down to the family beach to find ourselves sunbeds and observe. It didn’t take long to realise that she was perfectly safe and having a ball, and that all we were doing was missing out on our own activity time. Making our way to the watersports area, we saw a familiar-looking blond boy holding on to a rope walking towards the swimming pool, singing away: ‘Everywhere we go-oo, people always ask us....’ His daily water activity was ‘fun in the pool’. We were reassured to see that the Mini Club kids all wear confidence jackets in the pool whether or not they can swim, whereas in Junior Club it’s optional depending on swimming ability.
As the week progressed we found ourselves in our own routine: drop towels at pool or beach on the way to breakfast, drop kids at their clubs after breakfast, go to the adult beach for our own watersports (hire and group tuition is included in the holiday price), pick up kids, have lunch, spend afternoon by pool or beach (with the kids playing with their new-found friends from the clubs and us reading books and dipping in and out of the pool), kids’ early tea at 5pm, quick shower and change, drink at the beach bar followed by dinner for us parents with No.1 child going to the evening DVD club and No.2 (not keen on films) joining us for dinner.
There are three restaurants: Trattoria di Mauro, which serves lunch for the full-board guests and early tea for the kids (both buffet style) then an à la carte Italian menu (booking essential); The Terrace, serving buffet-style breakfasts and dinners; and lastly Taverna Platia, serving Greek food in the evening (booking essential; requires a supplement for full-board guests).
On our return we were asked what Kos was like, but apart from my husband, who had taken part in a few mountainbike expeditions, the rest of us had really only seen the resort – we’d easily filled our days and hadn’t had time to do anything else! Our only regret was that we hadn’t booked for two weeks – a feeling that I think may be common as heard some guests enquiring at reception about extending their stay. Albeit not the cheapest family holiday, Mark Warner was a fantastic experience – the children loved the kids’ clubs and really seemed to thrive in them – and we’ll definitely return to Lakitira Resort in time, and for more time!
Find out more about and book your family holiday at the Lakitira Beach Resort, taking advantage of an exclusive 5% discount for Take the Family readers.