there is nothing quite like discovering somewhere new and i have a seemingly endless string of destinations on my ‘must travel to next’ list.
that being said, every year i find myself making time to head back to a handful of places and la manga club is somewhere i feel very much at home.
i have been going to the resort, which is situated close to murcia in south-east spain, with family or friends for the past 12 years, yes really.
it may not be as glamorous as st tropez, nor does it offer so much in the way of culture or breathtaking views like in santorini, but i have made so many happy memories there over the years and i’m still a big fan.
back in the day my parents were attracted to the destination because of the championship-quality golf courses and the tennis centre – as a family we enjoy chasing after one ball or another and together we have experienced many moments bonding (and arguing) over points on the tennis court.
as a teenager i loved it because there was a nightclub i could actually get into without id, plus the same friends always returned year after year. sadly yesterdays is no more and the piano bar at the hotel has not only moved but revellers don’t get so drunk they are dancing on the instrument – things have toned down somewhat.
i was always extremely excited when we visited in june / early july because there was usually a football team staying for pre-season training. sadly one year i missed david beckham by a day – i was understandably devastated.
these days the resort is much quieter, which actually suits me better in my old age, but it still boasts great sports facilities and some brilliant restaurants. it’s the perfect place to eat well, play a spot of sport and relax, which is exactly what i did during a recent trip.
we stay in las lomas, a little village on top of a hill, and it is a short drive, or trip by wah wah the resort bus, from the la manga club centre where the main tennis centre, swimming pool, bars and shops are located. on the other side of the resort there is a long and winding road down to a teeny-tiny beach ‘la cala’.
the terracotta coloured apartments sit side by side looking out onto impressive views of the golf courses and out to the sea. the resort is well maintained with beautiful bright flowers dotted around in stark contrast to the arid landscape outside of the complex.
as well as a tennis court, a swimming pool, a gym and a spa there’s a deli, and italian, chinese and indian restaurants all close by in las lomas, although i have to admit i prefer the mediterranean eateries elsewhere in the resort (don’t worry there will be more on the food in an upcoming post).
while there is very little to explore outside the resort (i wouldn’t even bother visiting la manga strip) this trip we discovered an adorable little cove embarrassingly close-by. it’s literally a stone’s throw away from the club so goodness knows why it took my parents more than a decade to find.
if you are in the region, cala reona beach is definitely worth a visit – i highly recommend taking a good book, relaxing in a deck chair and sampling the sangria from the beach bar.
for those looking for a thrill you can join the locals launching yourself off the rocky cliffs and into the sea – an activity that proved too much for me in the 30 degree heat.
i was in la manga to relax after all, and relax i did, breaking only for food and to get thrashed by my mother at tennis (it happens every year). i need to up my game.