It’s a luxurious Spanish resort which is popular with celebrities including David Beckham – but there is a way for those with less disposable income than the stars to indulge in the same luxury.
Even the most exclusive places, like the La Manga Club Resort in Spain will lower their prices – if you’re willing to travel outside the height of the summer.
My partner and I have just returned from a romantic two-night weekend break at this most luxurious palm-tree lined five star resort – at a fraction of the August prices.
And despite visiting in October, we still enjoyed 29 degree heat, with warm evenings, and the flight was under three hours long – making viable for a weekend get-away from Hull.
Here the average temperature is 22 degrees, with more than 300 days of sun a year. So, if you fancy a spot of winter sunshine, it’s worth looking at the La Manga Club promotion page on the website.
Covering an area of 1400 acres, the golf resort offers exclusive accommodation, first-class professional sports facilities and fine dining. There’s a spa, bars and shops, and it’s right on the beach too. You could not want for more.
At La Manga there’s a range of choice for accomodation. We stayed in the resorts’ multi-award-winning five star Principe Felipe hotel and what a treat it was.
There’s also La Lomas Village four-star apartments – designed for families or those who seek greater independence, whilst still enjoying all of the resort’s magnificent facilities and security. There’s also deluxe villas and apartments to rent.
The beautiful hotel is literally fit for a king – and in 1878 the King and Queen of Spain did make a surprise visit to the hotel for a spontaneous lunch!
On arrival we were provided with a ‘what’s on’ timetable which listed restaurants for lunch and an evening meal.
It also listed the places to enjoy live music, including DJ and karaoke, a flamenco show and the Piano Bar. The timetable also included a fitness schedule for gym classes and listed the golf tournaments.
Our room was very comfortable, with a sink-into bed and plush decor. I particularly enjoyed my candle-lit bubble bath and cozied up afterwards in the fluffy white robe and slippers.
Our balcony looked over the 18th hole of one of the three golf courses on the resort and we enjoyed several drinks outside, just looking out across the views with the peace only briefly broken when the golfers were in sight.
It was also really lovely to have the turn down service with a beautiful chocolate left on our pillows at night.
It’s a vast resort, but a shuttle bus will take hotel guests to the centre of it, to any restaurant and also to the beach and spa.
World-renowned golf resort
If you’re a golfer, you no doubt will have heard of La Manga Club.
It’s one of the best resorts for golf in the world, with three 18-hole courses and a pitch and putt course. It’s been named as the best golf and spa resort in Spain.
The magnificent golf facilities also include one of the best Golf Practice Centres in Europe and the new golf academy.
La Manga is where former world number one Luke Donald learned to play golf from the age of nine.
The resort also has a range of sporting academies, including a 28 court tennis centre, football, rugby, triathlon, cricket and mountain biking – to name a few! Sport is lived and breathed here!
But, you don’t have to play any sports to enjoy the resort. I’ve never played golf in my life!
Celebrity spotting at La Manga
This is the perfect place for celebrity spotting. The likes of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and many English football teams have all stayed and trained at the hotel.
Other stars who have stayed at the hotel include Sir Cliff Richard, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Matt Damon and Simply Red – the name a few.
Liverpool and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish, 1992 Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell and former Celtic, Southampton and Coventry manager Gorgon Strachan all own villas on the resort.
The huge spa offers a world of complete calm, in a perfect setting to enjoy a well-earned rest.
There’s a huge pool with plenty of loungers – in fact we were the only ones there when we visited. There’s also a jacuzzi and multifunctional pool with hydro massage beds, treatment rooms, a steam room and a relaxation room.
Eating and drinking
La Manga Club boasts more than 15 bars and restaurants, all of differing styles, from traditional Mediterranean cuisine to the more avant-garde trends. Most are in the centre of the resort which you can walk to from the hotel.
There isn’t an all-inclusive option, but the beauty of the hotel being in a vast resort is that you can walk out and choose a different restaurant every night.
A delicious buffet breakfast is included for hotel guests. We sat outside, overlooking the golf course to enjoy ours in the sunshine.
Our favourite restaurant was Asia where you get a taste of south-east Asia without setting foot outside the resort.
Chef Paiman’s dishes are marked by a fusion of cultures that turns every meal into a fascinating and unforgettable experience.
For a meal with a view, you must visit La Cala paella and fish restaurant which is perched on the hilltop at the beach, overlooking the sea.
During our two nights there we had such varied nights out. On the first night, after our evening meal we found ourselves in busy The Last Drop bar in the centre of the resort, drinking cocktails and danced the night away until the early hours.
On the second night, we found ourselves in the hotel’s Piano Bar – a total contrast to the night before and because it’s so different to what we usually do, this was probably my favourite night.
We sat around the piano, drinking gin and tonics, listening to and singing to songs we had requested. And it did get lively too, by the end of the night people were dancing on top of the piano.
It was a brilliant atmosphere and the perfect way to round-off our stay.
Getting there with Ryanair
The best deal I could find for flights to Murcia was with Ryanair. Although you can get Ryanair flights from Leeds/Bradford, on our chosen dates the flight times were better from East Midlands Airport. We enjoyed a stay in the Raddison Blu hotel the night before flying.
The airline, which operates more than 2,000 flights per day has more international passengers than any other airline.
It’s quite amazing to think a Ryanair flight takes off every 45 seconds and they fly to 33 countries.
Our flights were comfortable and stress free and most importantly – on time. We kept costs down by only taking hand luggage.
Joanna Lovell was a guest of La Manga Club Resort and Ryanair. All views her own. Visit: www.lamangaclub.com and www.ryanaircom for more details
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