The Mark Warner Lemnos Beach Resort is situated in a picture-perfect bay that sees the sun sink into the water in a breathtaking sunset every evening. It’s definitely one of those situations where the setting really makes the resort.
Set on an incline with restaurant and pool at the bottom, the rooms are dotted on the hill above. The rooms further up the hill get an amazing view of the bay, but involve climbing several sets of stairs, or a rather steep path.
Tip – If you have small children, I’d definitely recommend asking for a room on the lower levels. We had rooms 201 and 202, which were very easily accessible from the pool, restaurant and the kids club, with only one small slope to climb. The downside is that not all lower level rooms have an unobstructed view of the bay.
But, you get to see the same beautiful views from the terrace where you eat dinner every night. We hardly spent any time in our room apart from to sleep. If we visited again, I would still request to be where we were rather than have a longer walk up the hill.
Lemnos Beach Resort is small and personal. A pushchair isn’t really needed for a toddler to get around the resort. Our buggy stayed in the room unless we knew Rory would nap, or were going off-resort. It was really nice to be able to walk around the resort without anyone tiring or the toddler pace affecting our time-keeping.
I’m not sure if it was the Mark Warner ethos in general, or the fact that the resort was small, but the Mark Warner staff all seemed a very tight, friendly team. Some of the waterfront team told Sam they’d worked on other resorts and prefered Lemnos as it’s size made it more friendly, with more opportunities to bump into the same faces again. Many seasoned Mark Warner holiday-makers that we spoke to said they found the smaller Lemnos more appealing than the larger resorts. We certainly found Lemnos’s size and setting very charming, and one of our favourite things about our time there.
On the flipside, a smaller resort does mean smaller facilities. Upon arriving, we did find ourselves wishing the children’s pool was just a little bit bigger. However, our initial worries soon melted away as it became apparent that the children didn’t care one bit about pool size.
I imagine that if you have been to several Mark Warner resorts, there will be aspects of each resort that you love and wish you could take and plonk into another resort.
The sports activities
Being more inclined to opt for a sun lounger and a good book, I hadn’t given all that much thought to all the sports activities on offer at Mark Warner. Except that I was excited that the kids were going to get to do lots of cool watersports, and I knew there would be plenty to keep Sam busy once the all the lazing around in the sun became boring for him.
And there definitely was on that front. Sam tried every single activity bar the cycling, and completed a whole lot of introductory courses – windsurfing, sailing, and paddle boarding.
By the end of our holiday, the watersports had become a favourite for our whole family, myself included. I can see why people book to come back time and time again, as the ease of joining in with the watersports and the opportunity to build on your skills is a real credit to Mark Warner.
There were people of all ages and abilities doing the courses – it wasn’t just intimidatingly young and sporty people, which was something I’d feared until Sam forced me out on the water by signing me up to do a windsurfing course before I’d had a chance to object.
Once out on the water, I forgot that sports are not something I ‘do’ since becoming a mum and a bit older and all that. I became focused on the task at hand, with a real drive to get the hang of it and improve my skills. All of a sudden, I was my younger self again, the person who tried new things without hesitation, the person who had fearless enthusiasm for learning new skills.
I think we tend to lose that inclination as we get older. But the way the watersports are arranged at Mark Warner means that it’s very accessible, whatever your skill range. I really enjoyed my opportunity to do something different.
There are courses for beginners, intermediates and advanced level. You can also opt for a one on one lesson with an instructor if you prefer a focused session. And you don’t have to do a course, if you are already confident, the equipment is all readily available for you to take out onto the water whenever you fancy it. During our stay, we were often getting out the paddle boards, windsurfs and kayaks. After completing his introduction to sailing course, Sam was able to take us on a little family sailing trip round the bay.
The waterfront staff are always on hand to help get you out in the water, everyone was so friendly and always encouraging – there was never any inkling that I was as inept at windsurfing as I definitely looked.
Sam also did a one on one tennis lesson (40 euros for an hour) – something he had wanted to do for years. He returned from his lesson full of enthusiasm and said the instructors had been brilliant, giving him some really helpful advice about improving his form.
We had two rooms next to each other, with an interconnecting door which we kept open. A bed guard had been handily placed in the boy’s room for Rory. Our rooms were just a base for sleeping, we really didn’t spend too much time there, but we found them to be everything we could have asked for – light and airy, spotlessly clean every day, and the beds perfectly comfy (note – it’s two singles pushed together). Check out this video I’ve made of our holiday at Lemnos to see a room tour.
There are four meal times at Lemnos Beach resort. Breakfast runs till 10am (allowing a more leisurely breakfast post kids club drop-off if you choose). Lunch starts at 12.30, which co-incides with the end of the morning kids club sessions. An early children’s dinner runs from 5pm-6.15pm, giving enough time to have your children fed, washed, and ready for bed before film club in the evenings. And then there’s dinner on the outside terrace, beginning at 7.30pm.
A traditional Greek cuisine is offered – lots of salads, feta, olives, aubergines, grilled meats, moussaka, rice and tzatziki. Different dishes are served every day, so the food never felt too ‘samey’.
The quality of the food becomes really important when staying at an all-inclusive resort, and it’s something that has a tendency to really effect my enjoyment of a holiday if I don’t feel it’s up to scratch, especially from a hygiene point of view. None of these issues at Mark Warner Lemnos – everything was freshly cooked and of a great quality.
It also helps that I LOVE Greek food and could happily eat it forever.
There is a whole section of my video dedicated to the evening buffet where you can see the food selection in more detail.
A note for my fellow wine lovers – The carafe of wine that comes included with dinner is very drinkable but nothing outstanding. If you have specific tastes when it comes to wine, you have the option of ordering a bottle from the bar to have with your meal.
The early children’s meal is a much smaller selection and although there was always fruit and veg on offer, the children’s food did cater more towards the beige palette. I was in two minds about this, because for my child that only eats a beige diet, it was perfect, and it would have been ten times more hassle had their NOT been anything he would eat. But for my child that eats everything and loves to try new things, I wished the selection could have been more like the food served at the evening meal. He did, however, thoroughly smash up ALL THE FOOD at lunch time and breakfast, so overall I felt he was still getting a very balanced diet and able to enjoy the experience of being able to pick from lots of new and exciting dishes.
It’s such a simple thing, but one of our real food highlights at Mark Warner Lemnos was the yoghurt at breakfast. You just don’t seem to get the same thickness and taste when you buy ‘Greek Yoghurt’ at a supermarket in England.
Next post – more about that amazing sunset, going off-resort, and all the nitty gritty about sunbed availability.
Click to read to read my in-depth post all about the childcare and kids clubs on a Mark Warner holiday.
We are honoured to be working with Mark Warner. We were given the opportunity to pick a resort and share our experiences on Sorry About The Mess.