Earlier this year I participated in a press trip to the beautiful island of Corsica. It was a destination that I’d never been to before and it’s certainly one that I won’t forget in a hurry.
We were escorted by Mark Warner to experience the San Lucianu Resort for a short break, taking part in activities that the hotel offers as part of its all-inclusive plan.
You can read what I thought about the whole trip here, but I wanted to offer a more detailed description of the hotel so you can see if it’s a good choice for you – whether you’re part of a couple, on a girly trip or away with the family!
So the San Lucianu Resort, which is located on the east coast of Corsica (an island about the same size as Wales), is exclusive to Mark Warner. This basically means that you only get to stay there if you book with the operator – not a bad deal as they’re a reputable company – and from what I’ve experienced, their activities are second to none.
The three-star hotel is set in landscaped gardens, which lead down to a sandy beach where you can take part in a whole range of watersports (more on that later) and the 95-room property offers a backdrop of mountains and eucalyptus groves, accessed via a picturesque, tree-lined road.
Who should stay here?
The resort is definitely geared towards those who love activities, particularly watersports. If you’re a ‘fly and flop’ kind of person, then you can lounge around on sunbeds reading all day and watching the kayaks, speed boats, paddle board, sailing boats – and whatever else – go by…
First and foremost, the hotel caters really well for both families and couples, but while I was there, I also saw plenty of older people as well as a few group parties.
What’s great about the hotel is that if you decide to take a solo holiday, they have what’s called a ‘sociable’ table at dinner – where you get to sit and dine with others, which I thought was a great idea. It was always busy as well, suggesting that even those in couples prefer the company of others sometimes!
The hotel offers a total of 95 rooms, with different types to suit different holidaymakers, and just over half of these have been refurbished to a ‘superior standard’.
I stayed in a refurbished one, which was comfortable and featured a minimilist décor and colour scheme (grey tiled floors, oak-style wardrobes and clean lines). The balcony offered beautiful views over the back of the property (the pool), while mountain view rooms are also available.
Other in-room facilities included a desk, chair, balcony with seating (a small table would have been handy), air-conditioning, flatscreen TV, shampoo/shower gel etc…
I particularly liked the little touches – things like rotating bedside lights built into the headboard and a full length mirror with a plug point underneath for a hairdryer (good thinking – and cleverly designed by a woman possibly – or an understanding man!)
Apart from wanting a small table on the balcony, there was only one thing that I thought would make the rooms better – and that would be to have tea-and-coffee facilities – us Brits like a good old cuppa! Other than that, they were very comfortable with plenty of space.
I also liked the fact that when I opened my balcony doors all I could hear were birds cheeping and the distant roar of the ocean in the background – very peaceful and relaxing.
The refurbished rooms offered:
- Satellite TV
- Complimentary Wi-Fi (throughout the hotel)
- Complimentary toiletries
- Mini fridge (superior rooms that do not interconnect)
- Safe deposit box (superior rooms only)
The public areas
Downstairs the hotel offers a large, airy lounge area with an eclectic mix of furniture, adding to its relaxed theme.
This is where most guests tend to congregate in the evening, especially if there are activities or entertainment put on – and there’s plenty of seating. Guests would also sit at the beach bar which tended to be a bit quieter.
We stayed to play in the weekly quiz game and there was fun banter going on between holidaymakers, encouraged by the staff which was fun to be part of.
The lounge area also houses a pool table and the restaurant is located off the lounge.
In terms of food, I was suitably impressed with the selection; most evenings a buffet was offered – which was great, but occasionally they’d bring out the a la carte menu.
This is where I felt the hotel really excelled itself; even though the food arrived very quickly suggesting it was all pre-made, it tasted delicious and was beautifully presented.
And even though I’m not a ‘foodie’ as such, I could really appreciate the effort that had gone into the final preparation of the food – it didn’t disappoint.
I should also mention that there’s tea and coffee on tap in the restaurant, which can be accessed pretty much all of the time which is great – and the bar area also has a selection of lights snacks and ice-cream (some of which is included in the all-inclusive plan)
If you’re looking for plenty of action and adventure, then a stay at the San Lucianu Hotel is most definitely worth it.
There’s a huge amount on offer including sailing, windsurfing, tennis, cycling, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking – you won’t have time to be bored.
Alternatively, if you just want to kick back and relax, perhaps take a swim in the hotel pool, sit by the beach bar and chat to people or relax on a sun lounger, then there’s plenty of that going on too.
As a parent of two water-loving tweens, a stay at one of their resorts as a family would be just my cup of tea.
And when the sun goes down, they don’t forget about the kids – with shows and entertainment to cater to all age groups.
During the day there’s a dedicated child care centre run by experienced, qualified British nannies, giving mum and dad peace of mind that they are being well cared for.
Plus the watersports staff take the kids sailing and windsurfing (under careful supervision of the childcare team), meaning they’re not left out when it comes to fun on the water.
What I quite liked is that most of the staff working there (all Brits it appeared), are in their teens and early 20s, so they’re always full of energy.
I also liked the fact that they seemed to take the time to have a chat – and ask questions about what you’d been up to.
They seemed genuinely interested and were frequently offering tips on what to see and do when venturing off-site to explore a bit of the island. Customer service was spot on.
What sort of prices?
Well, you’d be surprised that a stay at a Mark Warner resort is an affordable option, especially considering what’s included.
An off-peak stay in July (only possible really with kids who haven’t yet started full time education) costs from £679 per adult and £579 per child (age 12+) for one week.
And a peak stay in the summer costs from £1,059 per adult and £979 per child, with all prices based on two sharing.
Included in these prices are:
- Return chartered flights with British Airways to Bastia
- Transfers (it’s a 35-minute coach journey to the hotel)
- Accommodation from a choice of twins, suites and interconnecting rooms
- Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with wine at meals
- Free childcare and clubs for kids aged two-17 years (four months – two years is chargeable at £180 per week for half day sessions)
- Evening crèche/ movie club/ evening evnts for older children (all ages)
- Sailing and windsurfing with tuition (a three-hour intro, then refresher sessions throughout the week)
- Paddleboarding and kayaking
- Biking with guided tours
- Fitness classes
Other options are also pre-bookable including RYA sailing and windsurfing courses (adults £70/children £50); a tennis course – Xpress/classic adult course is £80 and children’s courses are from £30; and Viva salon treatments if you fancy a bit of pampering.
Other activities such as private tennis lessons, private sailing/windsurfing lessons and excursions are bookable while in resort.
Other things you should know
I stayed on an all-inclusive basis at the resort, which is recommended if holidaying with kids (they usually want a drink or ice-cream every half hour!) – you can upgrade for £120 per adult and £65 per child, per week.
This basically includes all meals, selected soft drinks and ice-cream plus selected beers, wine, spirits and cocktails for the adults as well as beach towels.
In terms of kids clubs, the ‘Indy Club’ (for 14-17 year-olds) only runs during July and August and peak dates.
There’s free Wi-Fi at the hotel but it didn’t work well in the rooms; the best place for connecting is in the lounge area, but at busier times during the day, it was sometimes frustratingly slow.
My overall impressions of the San Lucianu Resort were that it offered a relaxed, homely vibe. There were particular areas of the hotel that stood out and excelled – the newly refurbished rooms, for example, and those that could have done with more work (mainly décor aesthetics in the public areas).
Overall this is a lovely hotel that offers a plethora of activities for families and those looking to keep active.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that Mark Warner regularly runs promotions and offers for stays across all its properties.
As an example, there’s currently a sale on for summer 2018, with some early bird booking offers.
Prices start from £579 per person (saving up to £150 per person off of the brochure price) and there’s also free child places offering a great deal for families. Plus if you pay in full, a further discount of £100 per person is offered.
Don't forget to watch the video review (below)!
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