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Another Praia da Luz guest

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Another Praia da Luz guest

Post by whmon on 07.04.13 22:24

Not sure where to post this. One of the guests at the Praia da Luz was the editor of the 'This is Money' site. While his account of that week tells us little, I thought I would post it as he is 'contactable'.
http://anmblog.typepad.com/this_is_money_blog/2007/05/my_experience_o.html

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Re: Another Praia da Luz guest

Post by Guest on 07.04.13 22:36

Yes, the article is here on our forum in the Press/Video archives. I wonder why he has never been interviewed??



https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t4612-my-experience-of-maddie-s-resort-in-praia-de-luz-the-algarve
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Re: Another Praia da Luz guest

Post by whmon on 07.04.13 22:42

Ok thanks - I should have checked!

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Re: Another Praia da Luz guest

Post by tigger on 08.04.13 7:07

My experience of Maddie's resort in Praia de Luz, the Algarve
I need to break from the usual financial slant of posts on this blog. I'm sure you'll understand as I thing's it's important to give my views on this...

[..]

We picked the Ocean Club resort in Praia de Luz, a quiet village, because of its connections with Mark Warner Holidays. The company has a growing reputation among families for offering comprehensive childcare wrapped in packages with free sports activities, such as tennis and water sports. The balance of a family holiday with time to relax away from the kids is attractive to millions of Britons.
??This feels to me as if MW had (possibly via Bell Pottinger) asked for some damage limitation.


We had a great time, able to spend time together as a family while also having some time out. Sam, our two-year-old son, was well looked after while we lounged by the pool, or why I played tennis or sailed. My wife Andrea and I even made nightly jaunts to local restaurants, a rare treat for new parents.
The Ocean Club has several hubs. One is a 24-hour reception, the other two have swimming pools, restaurants and tennis courts. At their furthest point, these centres are 10 minutes walk apart. In between are Ocean Club apartments mixed with local homes.
?Still feels like MW advertising.

[..]

Madeleine and the younger twins Amelie and Sean were sleeping at the McCanns’ apartment overlooking the swimming pool at the main hub of the resort. Around that pool was the Tapas bar which was in high demand every night. Most guests went to the buffet at the Ocean Club’s Millennium restaurant, a 10-minute walk away from the McCanns’ apartment. But eager guests would queue from 9am to book one of the limited number of tables at the Tapas bar, which served barbecued fish and meat dishes to order. Both restaurants were included in the price of the holiday.
??? How priviliged were the T9? To manage a whole week's booking and everyone else had to queue? Besides the fact that MW staff is on record as saying the table was booked on Sunday by a man, the T9 stating errrrmm it was Rachel on Monday night.

The McCanns’ choice to leave their children at the flat and make regular checks is surprising given the alternatives. In their defence, they may have been expecting, as advertised in Mark Warner brochures, a ‘listening service’. Staff told us that the service had been discontinued because the apartments were too spread out. The resort, however, offered a baby-sitting service for 15 euros (£10) an hour, which was staffed by a member of the daytime nursery teams, or a ‘dining out club’. This involved parents dropping off children at the crèche where they would be supervised watching videos until they went to sleep. Parents would then return before 11.30 to scoop up their sleepy offspring.

I can imagine the McCanns’ dilemma. The ‘dining out club’ was more than a five-minute walk from where the McCanns stayed along cobbled streets or a winding pedestrian path through the apartments. It’s not far - it worked brilliantly for us on most nights - but it would have felt much further if you had to ferry thee children there and back (and hope they were still asleep after doing so). Plus parents were required to wait until children under two, which includes the McCanns’ twins, were asleep. We talked to parents who said this was enough to put them off the option.
??The twins were over years old on 1st Feb 2007 so no excuse. So a 'more than five minute walk' - say 6 minutes from the dining out club would have been a good compromise. They could all have dropped children off gone over to the Millennium without having to carry any children - Mill. being 10 mins. away not the epic journey related by the McCanns - picked up the children and off home. With excellent sleepers like those children there shouldn't have been a problem Drs. McCann?

[...]
- Andrew Oxlade, Editor, This is Money

Interesting article, so soon after the event. I think MW may have asked for some of the information to be included.
The Tapas booking becomes even more interesting. The Millennium is only 10 mins away - even without the buggy question, why can't a strong and sporty father not carry Sean for that distance? Amelie was petite, could easily be carried by Kate.
Only half the time to the 'dining out club'.
(this reminds me of the Tapas 'baby club?' https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t3295-baby-minding-club?highlight=the+baby+club)

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