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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Marina D'Or Holiday Resort 

This Spanish resort is like no other I have been to! The resort itself is not just about a holiday, it’s a way of living on the Costa Azahar, huge resort situated in between Barcelona and Valencia. The complex is comprised of a number hotel buildings including several multi-service and self-catering apartments all of which grant their residents access to resort amenities. 

View towards sea from Gran Duque hotel 
I flew from Gatwick airport and landed at Barcelona in under 2 hours. The transfer to the resort was 2.5 hours so it might be quite difficult for parents with youn children. The plan is for the new airport in Valencia to transport visitors to the area which would take considerably less time.

View from 4 star hotel - Gran Duque
I stayed at the Marina D’Or Gran Duque four star hotel with a group of friends. The room I stayed in was a double room which was covered in white bedding and which looked more like a bed you’d find in your Grandma’s cottage. I wonder whether it was really a four star room as there were no tea/coffee making facilities, no trouser press nor iron. The other aspects of the room were acceptable and in comparison to the other rooms, I'd say there needs to be a bit more thought to the styles overall, as rooms were mismatched.

I slept well despite some noise from maintenance works being carried out, as I did go there during off-peak season. The majority of the resort was closed apart from the Gran Duque hotel, which meant that the sounds travelled and resonated more loudly than they would during peak season. I decided that I needed a more quiet room and so approached the receptionist who was very helpful despite her limited understanding of English. After checking out several rooms I decided to stay put as the room I had was south facing and the only one which guaranteed sunlight on the balcony during the day ....something I desperately craved. 

As I looked out from my balcony with the sun streaming in, my first impressions were of the magnitude of the resort. I thought it was a mix between Egyptian  magnificence and grandeur and a trespass of the Shrek Kingdom combined! Entwined on the complex of Marina D'Or are designer shops and boutiques, a hair dresser and supermarket with pharmacy, jewellers, cafes and bars, restaurants and a night club.

Marina D'Or Full-Service  and Self-Service Apartments

Marina D'Or is not just for tourist but serves as a second home to may Spanish families and so it is not uncommon to see them utilising the resorts' facilities at every turn. In my opinion it adds to the experience of being in Spain as you don't even have to leave the complex to be able to see and share in the culture

The expanse of the resort means you need to give yourself plenty of time to get around although there is a tourist train which you can hop on, to get around more quickly.

The resort offers a wide range of facilities and what you will have free access to, will depend upon your accommodation choice. There is three, four and five star accommodation to choose from, some offering sea views at an additional cost....well worth the money. You will have the flexibility to add on any desired extras to make your stay more enjoyable.

I had a wonderful time there eating as much as I could at the buffet during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course you don't have to eat as much as I did, but it is hard to resist the temptation of sampling all the different foods on display. Each meal allows you to have as much bottled water, beer and wine as you like. 

By the time I went to experience the wonderful spa experience, with the realisation that I had to don a bikini I felt regretful but this only lasted a short while as I decided that I was there to have a good time and that I would! I tried out all the different baths Roman, Turkish and Scottish, jacuzzis and pools, saunas and solarium. I relaxed in the heated pools of warm salt water and bathed with oranges floating, milk pouring and mud bathing as a final treat. 

The bar staff are very attentive and will do their best to ensure you have a great time. Waiter service is available and you will find that their interpretation of soft drinks includes Spanish beers. The only downside for me was that my cappuccino was served in a plastic bistro disposable cup! A good variety of alcoholic drinks are available and will cost around 5 euros each whilst hot beverages cost 1.5 euros each.

The nightly entertainment provided by the hotel appeals to all ages and you will notice the Spanish children dancing in tandem to the professional acts. The entertainment hosting is all in Spanish but after a few drinks in my opinion you will find it quite easy to follow the requests to participate in dancing and singing appres' dinner. The on site night club is close to the five star hotel and only a stones throw from the Gran Duque. There are police patrols so you can feel quite protected at any time of the night.

Overall a good resort with a variety of facilities and attractions to satisfy everyone's appetite! For top tips at this Resort sign up for our newsletter now.

Annette Beckford - MD for Global Getaway