The TUI Blue for Families Atlantica Marmari Beach is one of TUI’s premium collection hotels, and right off the bat it’s not hard to see why.
Nestled in the northwest of the island in the small resort town of Marmari, the hotel is an impressive sprawling complex that oozes quality at every turn, spotlessly clean and tidy with beautiful accommodation blocks in delightful pastel hues adorned with lovely flora and hanging greenery, accessed via crazy cobblestone ornate walkways with plenty of ramps for wheelchairs, prams and buggies.
Arriving on a typically balmy Greek evening, my family and I passed the night-lit azure pools and manicured lawns en route to our rooms and as we opened the doors we were immediately caressed by the near-silent air conditioning that must have to be a more than welcome friend during our holidays.
The decor in the room is ultra modern, with a flat-screen TV, tea/coffee making facilities with a Nespresso machine, hairdryer, free safe and fridge. The dual-head shower in our sleek, contemporary bathroom was the perfect answer after a long day by the pool or at the beach.
So, returning to my beach daydream, I turn my back on the sea to enjoy a stretch of sand about half a mile, exclusive to the hotel. As such, all beds and umbrellas are free – don’t try to get your towels in there too early as they are removed if unoccupied by 9am.
Just up the boardwalk is the Beach Taverna, one of the hotel’s (later) specialty restaurants which also doubles as a place to grab drinks and snacks (including souvlaki, chips, tzatziki – make your own gyros!) during your day on the sands.
Stepping out of the tavern and leaving the beach, I now enter the hotel complex and am greeted by a lavish hotel pool lined with cabanas with a shaded bar at its center. Another pool, again with its own bar, is at the reception end of the Atlantica Marmari Beach.
These two tend to be quieter than the third and main family pool with its two slides, swim-up bar, and snack and drink area. This is the epicenter of the resort where the dedicated TUI Blue team do everything in their power to ensure families have the best holiday possible.
This well-rehearsed and reassuring team organizes entertainment, entertains, advises, performs – all with a smile – with parades, fun activities, sports and fitness sessions and much more throughout the day. There are also free kids’ clubs divided into age groups that offer a myriad of fun activities. Teenagers also have their own meeting space.
BabyClubs with qualified staff are available to take care of children up to three years old. They’re open six days a week, plus some evenings, and cost a bit more, though there’s a free air-conditioned baby lounge open all day, every day, where parents can relax with their toddlers. little ones and use the microwave, changing table, bottle warmers and toys.
For the more active, there are tennis, paddle, basketball and beach volleyball courts, plus a well-equipped gym. For the less active, mini-golf is a pleasant activity after sunbathing during the cooler hours before the evening meal. The hotel also has its own spa, offering massages and hair and nail treatments for a fee.
TUI guides don’t return home after dark, and the outdoor amphitheater, complete with honesty bar, comes alive with music and dancing every night as the team show off their versatility with fun events for children, followed by musical shows. The visiting specialist shows add an extra wealth of entertainment and for me the stars of our stay were a trio of South African tenors – The Divos – whose tribute to The Three Tenors and Il Divo was nothing short of spectacular.
So how do you keep track of everything that’s going on? It’s all there on the TUI Blue app, available on the Apple Store and Play Store for Android. Just walk into the hotel and it’s all there in well-organized menus, showing entertainment times and what’s on, kids’ club sessions and how to book seats – simply everything you need know to organize and maximize your holiday .This app complements the TUI app you may have already downloaded for your holiday details and boarding passes etc.
Being an all inclusive resort we have to talk about food and drink. The main buffet-style restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has one of the biggest food choices I’ve ever seen, with Greek and international dishes and a bread section to die for on the ground. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available and a wonderful fruit selection rivals that of the bread.
Beer, wine, and soft drinks are all self-serve, and you have a choice of indoor air conditioning or two shaded outdoor spaces to enjoy (and most likely abuse) them.
Included in the price is the option to switch locations for a visit to each of the hotel’s two specialty restaurants – the aforementioned Beach Taverna and the Green and Grill restaurant, the place where you serve drinks and snacks at the main pool. The first offers an à la carte Greek menu served by a waiter while the second offers more international dishes. These can be booked via a console at reception, but seats are snapping up fast so hurry!
Various bars are open at different times of the day, but a drink can be obtained anytime between 10am and midnight, with the option to continue with premium drinks in the main Lounge Bar until 1am for an additional price.
There are so many excursions to do on the island, but we were tempted by the Kos Island Tour by Land and Sea excursion – a TUI Collection stamp indicating that it is exclusive to TUI customers.
This tour offers different perspectives of Kos, with travelers beset by a wealth of natural and cultural treasures both by land and by sea. Among the main historical attractions is the Asclepeion, a 5th century BC temple dedicated to the god of ancient Greek medicine and a renowned healing center, attracting pilgrims from all over ancient Greece. It is also where Hippocrates received his medical training.
We were then taken to the pretty village of Kefalos, where we enjoyed authentic drinks and food in the traditional Greek house with its village oven, while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views of the island and the Aegean Sea below.
We then boarded the boat in Kamari – beware of the skipper pouring you a glass of fire water raki! – and sailed to a secluded bay, where we could take a refreshing dip before enjoying a traditional souvlaki lunch on the beach.
Our stay was therefore soon over, but I hope this is not the last of our TUI Blue experiences – probably a misnomer as this unforgettable holiday in a beautiful Greek setting could never, ever leave anyone a feel blue.
Tent ? To give you an idea, a sample week’s all-inclusive holiday for two adults and two children (aged 0-17) at TUI Blue for Families Atlantica Marmari Beach departing 7th September 2022 from Manchester Airport costs only £2040 (with a free child seat) at the time of writing.
As the flight was from East Midlands our holiday started well with a night at the picturesque Priest House Hotel by the river with parking for the duration of our holiday arranged by Holiday Extras, the market leader in airport car parks in the UK, hotels, lounges and transfers. A six-minute taxi ride to and from the airport is included in the price.
Booking an airport hotel with parking means you can enjoy more vacations with less hassle. Plus, with Flextras, if you need to cancel or change, you can do so at no cost. Holiday Extras says that every 30 seconds a customer saves £100 on their airport parking with them.
One night’s accommodation at Priest House, East Midlands Airport with nine nights’ hotel parking is available from £160. To book visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 316 5678. Price searched August 2, 2022 for arrival September 7, 2022.
East Midlands Airport Escape Lounge
The East Midlands Airport Escape Lounge is conveniently located just beyond the main food and retail area near the departure gates and offered us a chance to relax away from the hustle and bustle from the main terminal where the all inclusive food and drink was enjoyed just before catching our flight.
The lounge is suitable for passengers of all ages and offers fast and unlimited Wi-Fi, flight information panels, bar service for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a hot and cold buffet.
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This notice was published: 2022-08-06 16:02:20