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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Budget family holiday idea - Sanguli, Spain

As a family we have tried many types of holiday - 5* all inclusive, budget all inclusive, villa holidays, self is hard deciding on the holiday which will be the best value for you and your family. With this in mind, I wanted to tell you all about our amazing holiday to Sanguli near Salou with Al fresco last summer. This is not a PR collaboration, I just really loved it!

We managed to get a fantastic deal and booked flights for 5 people with to Reus and a Vivaldi Luxe caravan for under £1000 in the first week of September last year (this was booked before the new term time holiday rules). Transfers to the park took about 15 minutes from the airport Via taxi and were about 30 euros.

Thomson Al fresco caravans have everything a family needs for a relaxing break. They are modern, have their own shower, toilet and fully equipped kitchen. They come complete with their own sun loungers, decking and outdoor table and chairs. They also have their own BBQ and we enjoyed a family BBQ on a few evenings. The fridge even comes stocked with a couple of cold beers and juice for your children on arrival. You can pay 3 euros per day for air conditioning in your caravan if you'd like. The whole park has a lovely community feel and is very safe. There is a rep's caravan within the 'Al fresco village' where you can drop in anytime for advice and borrow buckets, spades, inflatables, board games, books and more. We took advantage of this service and didn't need to waste any money buying the children inflatables for the pool which was fab.

The park has so much to offer families - there are 4 swimming pools all with something different to offer including slides and bubbles pools. There is a lovely shaded play park, an indoor kids club full of toys and a timetable packed full of activities. The park has it's own mascot (Guli) who regular walks around the park and greets guests and eening entertainment provided in a large amphitheatre. Our children loved the kids disco and fire breathing show. The two onsite restaurants also cater for children and offer a 3 course children's menu, a drink and colouring sheets for a reasonable 6 euros.

For grown ups there is an on-site spa and if exercise is your thing there is full timetable of classes (for free) and a gym. I couldn't believe how popular these classes were!  Boxercise in the blistering heat is certainly not my idea of fun! There is also a sports bar which had all of the main football matches on and a lovely poolside restaurant. My parents were on holiday with us and watched the children one evening while we enjoyed a lovely meal here. Think candle-lit with white drapes and cava on ice! It was lovely for a treat and what you would expect in a 5 star hotel not a campsite! We enjoyed some amazing cocktails and seafood here. 

Out and about there is a lot to do - you are just across the road from the beach. Sun loungers were a very reasonable 3 euros to hire and there were plenty of beach bars dotted along the promenade where you could buy a drink and cool off.

We enjoyed a trip to Barcelona and the zoo (booked with a company just outside the park entrance). It was a very long day on the bus but everybody enjoyed it.

We also visited Salou market which was probably just the same as any Spanish market but nice to walk around and there is a nice little park next door. The market is about 40 minutes walk from the hotel or a 5 minute ride in a taxi.

In the evening, we either enjoyed a BBQ at the caravan followed by entertainment in the amphitheatre or ventured out for a walk along the promemade to find a restaurant. There are lots and lots of restaurants to choose from, all within walking distance. Our favourite was a Mexican restaurant just outside the park. We enjoyed some lovely food here in a nice atmosphere (and I couldn't believe my 6 year old managed to eat an adults portion of fajitas!).

You can also walk to the Salou fountains in the evening and watch the dancing water and lights set to music for free.

One evening we caught the bus from outside the park along the coast to the next town of Cambrils which was just lovely. It is more up market than Salou and featured a beautiful harbour with a string of outdoor restaurants and quirky, independent shops. When we return to Sanguli, I will certainly spend more time in Cambrils as it was just lovely. We decided to dine in a seafood restaurant and the children were really spoilt by the waiters who spent the whole evening bringing the children little toys, gifts and sweets. You really cannot go wrong catching the bus as they all go to the same place and it is very cheap.

There are lots of facilities on site to make your stay as stress free as possible - free wifi throughout the park is a huge plus! There are also 2 supermarkets with their own bakery sections and a gift shop. There is a main reception who can help with booking taxis or give you any advice you may need. Our flight home was late in the evening and we did not pay for late check-out. There was however a left luggage room (with attendant) and a shower block to use. The shower block was the cleanest I have ever seen! As soon as you stepped out of the shower it was cleaned. There was also a children's section with special smaller children's showers and baths - also immaculate - which was a nice extra.

So overall, Sanguli was pretty much our perfect family holiday. I loved how relaxed it was and being able to pop to the bakery in the morning for fresh croissants and then enjoying breakfast on our verandah every day was just perfect for us. I loved how everything was on your doorstep and you could walk everywhere and I also liked the fact that once we'd put the children to bed in the evening we could sit on our verandah with a chilled drink and relax. We cannot wait to visit Sanguli again.


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