Tag Archives: Mark Warner

Travelling alone but not on your own: making friends (and more) on a Club Mark Warner holiday

Club Mark Warner holiday
Mark Warner’s hotel in Latikira, Kos, Greece

Take dozens of single people, put them in a Club Mark Warner holiday beach resort for a week, add sun and alcohol, and it’s simply a matter of time before holiday romances start to flourish.

It was just a couple of days into my Mark Warner holiday on the Greek island of Kos when the first newly-formed couple could be spotted. Walking hand-in-hand towards the beach, they looked happy, self-conscious and smug all at the same time. The rest of us were very happy for them – even if we did think that the holding hands thing was a bit twee – but we didn’t think the relationship would last much beyond the baggage carousel.


For latest deals and prices click here markwarner.co.uk
or call 0844 2730 426
Check out the Club Mark Warner weeks here: Club Mark Warner


It didn’t even make it that far, as it turned out. A row one night over whether to go into town for late-night drinks meant that, what had started off so brightly had, in the way these things do, crashed and burned before the week was out. Still, no matter, there was more dancing and drinking to be done.

Club Mark Warner holiday
Lakitira is known for its good tennis facilities – but there’s sailing too

I initially discovered Club Mark Warner the previous year, when researching a book about dating. I was trying to find out where single people went on holiday to meet other people – given that no-one actually really wanted to go on an actual ‘singles holiday’ – and a friend recommended Mark Warner.

‘But that’s for families, isn’t it?’ I asked. Apparently not, or at least, not all year-round. During school holidays the majority of holidaymakers are indeed families but, for three weeks a year – the designated ‘Club Mark Warner’ weeks – the single supplement is dropped and people can come on their own or with friends, safe in the knowledge they won’t be surrounded by couples and other people’s children.


For other Mark Warner holiday reviews go to:
Skiing on a Mark Warner holiday – on your own but never alone
Mark Warner holiday Rhodes – how to go solo without being lonely
No skimping on the apres-ski  – Mark Warner skiing holiday in Tignes


The week I was there, there were just under a hundred people on the Club Mark Warner package. There were guys travelling together, girls travelling together, mothers and daughters, siblings, one large group of tennis fans from Nottingham, and for the main part, people travelling alone.

Mark Warner holiday Kos

Unlike many other holidays catering for the single – or ‘independent’ traveller, to use the accepted jargon – there was a fairly even split between the sexes and all ages too. There were women and men in their twenties all the way up to fifties and beyond – singletons, divorcees, single parents, people whose partners couldn’t take the time off work – and by the welcome cocktails on the first evening everyone was gassing away like old friends.

Over the next week we saw little or nothing of the young children we had seen – and heard – on our charter flight as families had their own pool, separate beach and often ate at different times. This was bliss, especially for the people who had grown-up children and were now on holiday without them – there is nothing more annoying than getting rid of your own children and being bothered by the yowling of someone else’s.

club mark warnerI

I soon realised that there are two types of people who go on Club Mark Warner holidays. There are those who get up early each day to play a game of tennis before breakfast, followed by a hectic day spent mountain-biking and wind-surfing. They will enjoy just the one glass of wine with dinner and be in bed by 10pm so that they can be up bright and early the next day.

And then there are those who, having spent all day between the sun-lounger and the bar, and all evening eating and drinking to holiday levels of excess, can be found skinny-dipping in the Aegean sea at four o’clock in the morning.

It was when I found myself doing a rather erratic front crawl under the moonlight sky with people I had only known for 24 hours and wondering whether I would ever be able to find my clothes again that I realised I was most definitely in the second category.

I had started off with such good intentions when I’d arrived at Lakitira hotel. The resort, just ten minutes from the airport, has two huge swimming-pools, umpteen tennis courts and an impressive water sports area on the beach, where people can go windsurfing, kayaking or learn to sail anything from lasers to catamarans.

There were free introductory sailing lessons for beginners and intermediates and coaching lessons running throughout the week, while the tennis contingent also had a variety of courses to sign up to, plus an hour of social tennis each evening.

On my first day, I swam in the deserted, infinity-style pool before breakfast, played tennis before lunch, and tucked into a healthy salad, feeling extremely smug as I imagined how fit, thin and tanned I would be by the end of the week.

mark warner singles holiday in kos
Mark Warner is a good way to meet friends too – not just potential partners

However, that was before I had taken into account the main reason that anyone comes on the Club Mark Warner weeks: to meet new people and have a riotously good time.

After a hard day’s sun-bathing there were cocktails every night for the gang in the windy and appropriately-named Breeze Bar. We’d then all walk up to dinner together, which meant I didn’t have to face the single-person’s horror of dining alone or walking into a restaurant and not having the faintest idea where to sit to meet other people travelling alone.

Claire, the rep, had issued everyone with a schedule of events from quiz nights to beach barbeques, which you could take part in as much or as little as you wished. With so many single people on holiday together, a lot of time was rather predictably spent discussing sex, relationships, dating and more sex, and various holiday romances started to blossom halfway through the week.

There were reports of a fair amount of late-night canoodling on the beach and one couple even got engaged, although to be fair, they had known each other before the start of the trip rather than getting completely carried away on the holiday romance thing.

The week was rather pleasantly like being back at Freshers’ week at university: there was a lot of drinking, silly dancing, much laughing, and of course, skinny-dipping. There were several late-night forays into the bars of nearby Kardamena, and one afternoon spent at a pool party on the beach, where we drank cocktails, danced on the bar and played games in the swimming pool.

Mid-week, to ward off cabin fever, several of us went on a day-long boat trip to the picturesque neighbouring islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos – where some headed for the sponge factory and some for the bars – and by the end of the week people who had been strangers on the plane out were feeling like lifelong friends.

In fact, in the check-out queue at the airport on the way home, the ultimate compliment was inadvertently paid by one couple who were cross at there being no seats left next to each other on the plane.

‘It’s all the fault of the single people,’ the guy complained loudly. ‘They’ve all now made friends and want to sit with each other.’

Arrive single, go home in pairs – surely the sign of a very friendly holiday.


For latest deals and prices click here markwarner.co.uk or call 0844 2730 426
Check out the Club Mark Warner weeks here: Club Mark Warner


For other Mark Warner holiday reviews go to:
Skiing on a Mark Warner holiday – on your own but never alone
Mark Warner holiday Rhodes – how to go solo without being lonely
No skimping on the apres-ski with a Mark Warner skiing holiday in Tignes


[Editor’s note: this review was originally published a few years ago but has been updated to contain the latest information]

How to go on a ski holiday on your own without feeling alone

Skiing is one of the world’s most sociable sports – there’s the long lunches, the dancing-on-tables après-ski, the cosy chalet dinners and oh yes, the skiing itself (who wants to go on a ski lift on their own?) – which means that the idea of going on a ski holiday by yourself might be an alarming one. However sometimes friends or family can’t get the time off work/can’t afford it/hate skiing/hate each other and so it’s either a choice of going solo or not going at all.

Mark Warner ski holiday
Going on a ski holiday on your own can be a leap into the unknown…

Going on a ski holiday on your own can be a leap into the unknown…
But if the thought of going on a skiing holiday especially for singles is even scarier than a black run on a icy day, then thankfully there are other options. Last January I went on a Mark Warner ski holiday to St Anton in Austria completely on my own and rather to my surprise, never once felt that I was travelling alone.

Mark Warner ski holiday
An invitation to dinner…

A lot of this was to do with the friendly reps who you got to know the moment you stepped off the plane and ushered onto the transfer bus. The hectic nature of travelling means you never know who’s on their own, who’s with friends, in a couple or in a family group, so there certainly wasn’t a feeling of having to walk down the aisle of the coach all alone under the pitying gazes of smug marrieds sitting in pairs holding hands.

I had been wondering about dinner – would I be sitting on my own in a corner with only a book for company? However when I checked into my room at the Chalet Rosanna there was already a note waiting for me saying that there was a number of people travelling alone that week, and would I like to meet up with the others during the welcome drink and dinner.

It was a thoughtful touch and stopped the feeling of ‘I’m the only person to ever go skiing on their own’.


For other Mark Warner holiday reviews by ALadyofLeisure.com go to:

Sun, sea and romance on a Club Mark Warner singles holiday in Kos

Mark Warner holiday Rhodes – how to go solo without being lonely

No skimping on the apres-ski with a Mark Warner skiing holiday in Tignes


Continue reading How to go on a ski holiday on your own without feeling alone

Skiing on a Mark Warner ski holiday – on your own but never alone

As skiing is such a sociable sport – there’s the long lunches, the dancing-on-tables après-ski, the cosy chalet dinners and oh yes, the skiing itself (who wants to go on a ski lift on their own?) – going on a ski holiday by yourself with a tour operator such as Mark Warner might be an alarming prospect. However sometimes friends or family can’t get the time off work/can’t afford it/hate skiing/hate each other and so it’s either a choice of going solo or not going at all.

mark warner ski holiday
Going on a ski holiday on your own can be a leap into the unknown…

But if the thought of going on a skiing holiday especially for singles is even scarier than a black run on a icy day, then thankfully there are other options. This January I went on a Mark Warner ski holiday to St Anton in Austria completely on my own and rather to my surprise, never once felt that I was travelling alone.


Check out the latest prices and info at MarkWarner.co.uk

Check out the Club Mark Warner weeks here: Club Mark Warner


A lot of this was to do with the friendly reps who you got to know the moment you stepped off the plane and ushered onto the transfer bus. The hectic nature of travelling means you never know who’s on their own, who’s with friends, in a couple or in a family group, so there certainly wasn’t a feeling of having to walk down the aisle of the coach all alone under the pitying gazes of smug marrieds sitting in pairs holding hands. Continue reading Skiing on a Mark Warner ski holiday – on your own but never alone

Mark Warner holiday Rhodes: How to go solo without being lonely

It might surprise those people who associate Mark Warner holidays solely with families that around 40 per cent of the company’s business comes from singles, groups of friends, and couples.

And now the firm is expanding its adult-friendly Club Mark Warner weeks, of which there are two or three each year, by adding more events and excursions at its newly refurbished five-star Levante Resort on the Greek island of Rhodes.

mark warner holiday rhodes
The Mark Warner resort in Rhodes has been recently refurbished

Such is the popularity of Club Mark Warner holidays among those who have heard of them that the flight to Rhodes were full of cries from passengers who recognised people from previous Club weeks. It made for a very friendly atmosphere right from the start.

There were about 80 people ranging in age from their 20s to 50s on the Rhodes week, half of whom were returning visitors.

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Check out the latest prices and info at MarkWarner.co.uk

Check out the Club Mark Warner weeks here: Club Mark Warner
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The Levante Resort, around 30 minutes by bus from Rhodes Town, is built solely for Mark Warner, and features lots of bright white tiles and a large lobby where people cluster to use the hotel wi-fi. Continue reading Mark Warner holiday Rhodes: How to go solo without being lonely

No skimping on the apres-ski with Mark Warner skiing Tignes

You could never accuse Mark Warner of skimping on the apres-ski hospitality – or, for that matter, the pre-ski and the in-ski.

A three-day trip to French Alpine ski resort Tignes to check out its newly refurbished chalet hotel, the improbably-named Aiguille Percee, was notable for epic amounts of drinking, dancing, eating and yet more drinking.

In between drinking sessions there was some rather fabulous skiing, which also included a fair amount more drinking.

mark warner skiing tignes
Mark Warner’s newly refurbished chalet hotel, Aiguille Percee

The scene was set from the beginning. Even before the tyres had started turning on the 2.5 hour coach transfer from Geneva airport to Tignes the first bottles of wine and beer were being opened. (The return trip was a rather more sedate affair, with several passengers having partied so hard over the long weekend that frequent stops to ‘take in the air’ had to be made on perilous hair-pin bends and people started to worry we were cutting it fine for the flight. To render hard-drinking members of the press and travel industry in such a state is tribute to the press team’s dedication to the cause).

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Check out the latest prices and info at MarkWarner.co.uk

Check out the Club Mark Warner weeks here: Club Mark Warner
————————————————————————————————————

Continue reading No skimping on the apres-ski with Mark Warner skiing Tignes