An unforgettable combination of culture and comfort in the TUI Blue For Families Atlantica Marmari Beach Hotel, Kos

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The TUI Blue for Families Atlantica Marmari Beach is one of TUI’s Premium Collection hotels, and right from the start it’s not difficult to see why. Located in the north-west of the island in the small resort town of Marmari, the hotel is an impressive sprawling complex with quality every step of the way exuding elegance, immaculately clean and tidy with beautiful apartment blocks in delicious pastels, adorned with pretty flora and hanging greenery, accessible via ornate, crazily cobbled sidewalks with plenty of ramps for wheelchairs, prams and buggies. Arriving on a typically mild Greek evening, my family and I passed the night-lit azure pools and manicured lawns on our way to our rooms, and upon opening the doors were immediately caressed by the almost silent air conditioning, which was a more than welcome friend during our holiday should be.The Room The decor is ultra modern with flat screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, complimentary safe and fridge. The dual-head shower in our stylish, modern bathroom was the perfect answer after a long day at the pool or beach. Getting back to my beach daydreams, I turn my back on the ocean to enjoy about half a mile of beach, exclusive to the hotel. Therefore all beds and umbrellas are free – just try not to put your towels on them too early as they will be removed if they are not occupied before 9am. Just up the seafront is the Beach Taverna, one of the hotel’s specialty restaurants (more on that later) which doubles as the place to go for drinks and snacks (including souvlaki, fries, tzatziki – make yours) during your day on the sand own gyros!) hotel complex and be greeted by a gorgeous cabana-lined hotel pool with a shaded bar in the center. Another pool, also with its own bar, is located 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 self-service drinks area. This is the epicenter of the complex where the dedicated TUI Blue team does everything in their power to ensure families have the best holiday possible. This reassuringly well-resourced team organizes activities, entertains, advises, performs – all with a constant smile – with parades, fun activities, sports and fitness sessions and much more throughout the day. There are also free kids’ clubs that are divided into age groups and offer tons of fun activities. Teenagers also have their own hangout. Baby clubs with fully trained staff take care of children up to three years of age. They’re open six days a week, plus some evenings, and cost a bit more, although there’s a free, air-conditioned baby lounge open all day every day, where parents can relax with their little ones and use the microwave and changing table can , bottle warmers and toys. For the active there are tennis, paddle, basketball and beach volleyball courts as well as a well-equipped gym. For the less active, a mini golf course is a nice activity to do after sunbathing in the cooler hours before dinner. The TUI guides don’t go home after dark, and the outdoor amphitheater with an honesty bar comes alive to the sound of music and dancing each night, while the team shows their versatility with early fun events for the kids, followed by music shows. Visiting specialty acts add to the entertainment and for me the stars of our stay were a trio of South African tenors – The Divos – whose homage to The Three Tenors and Il Divo was nothing short of spectacular. So how do you keep track? Come on? You can find all of this in the TUI Blue app, available in the Apple Store and Play Store for Android. All you have to do is enter the hotel and everything is included in easy-to-read menus showing times of entertainment and events, kids’ clubs and booking places – quite simply everything you need to know to organize and maximize your vacation. These App is a complement to the TUI app that you may already have downloaded for your holiday details and boarding passes etc. As we are an all inclusive resort we need to talk about food and drink. The main buffet-style restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers one of the widest range of food I’ve ever experienced, with Greek and international dishes and a bread section to die for. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and a wonderful selection of fruit to rival the bread. Beer, wine, and soft drinks are all self-service, and there’s a choice of indoor air-conditioning or two outdoor shaded areas (and most). probably exaggerate) all in itself. Included in the rate is the option to change that venue for a visit to either of the hotel’s two specialty restaurants — the aforementioned Beach Taverna and the Green and Grill Restaurant, which serves drinks and self-serve snacks by the main pool. The former offers a Greek a la carte menu served by the waiter, the latter offers more international dishes. These can be booked via a console in reception but spaces fill up fast so be quick! Different bars are open at different times of the day, but a drink is available anytime from 10 a.m. to midnight, with the option to continue with premium drinks in the main lounge bar until 1 a.m. for an extra charge. There are so many excursions on the island but we were tempted by the Kos Island Tour by Land and Sea Excursion – a TUI Collection stamp indicating it’s exclusive to TUI customers. This tour offers different perspectives of Kos, surprising visitors with a wealth of natural and cultural treasures both on land and sea. Among the most important historical sights is the Asklepeion, a temple from the 5th century BC. for the ancient Greek god of medicine and a renowned healing center that draws pilgrims from all over ancient Greece. Hippocrates also received his medical training here. We were then taken to the pretty village of Kefalos where we sampled authentic drinks and food in the traditional Greek house with its village oven whilst enjoying the stunning panoramic views of the island and the Aegean Sea below. We then boarded the boat in Kamari – watch out for the skipper to pour you a glass of firewater raki! – and drove to a secluded cove for a refreshing swim before enjoying a traditional souvlaki lunch on the beach.So soon our stay came to an end, but hopefully not the last of our TUI Blue experiences – probably a misnomer like this An unforgettable holiday in a beautiful Greek setting could not make anyone sad. irritated? To give you an idea, a sample week all inclusive holiday for two adults and two children (0-17 years) at TUI Blue for Families Atlantica Marmari Beach departing at 7 (free child place) at the time of writing. For more information, see www.tui.ukHoliday Extras As the flight was coming in from the East Midlands our holiday got off to a great start with a night’s accommodation at the quaint riverside Priest House Hotel with car parking for the duration of our holiday organized by Holiday Extras, the market leader in UK airport car parking, hotels, lounges and transfers. A 6-minute taxi ride to the airport is included in the price. Booking an airport hotel with parking means you can enjoy more of your vacation with less hassle. Plus with Flextras if you need to cancel or change you can do it for free. According to Holiday Extras, every 30 seconds a customer saves £100 on airport parking. One night 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 on August 2, 2022 for arrivals on September 7, 2022.

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