Four years ago, when Harry came along and made us a family of six, we reluctantly accepted that foreign holidays may not be an option for our family. Not only would it be too difficult to find, and afford, accommodation for the six of us but, with a ten year age gap between Harry and Lewis, it seemed unlikely that we would ever find somewhere to provide for both a 4 year old and a 14 year old at the same time.
And as much as we enjoy our UK holidays, I have to admit that, after a long cold Winter, we all longed for some sunshine. So when Eurocamp Holidays offered us a review trip to Sanguli, Spain, we quite literally jumped at the chance. By some coincidence I had stayed at Sanguli with my family in my teens, twenty years ago now, and I still remember it as the most amazing Summer. It was lovely to think I would return with my own family to make memories of our own.
Situated in Salou on the Costa Dorada, Sanguli is just a 2 hour flight from Manchester to Reus Barcelona airport, with a 12km transfer to the resort. As you arrive at Sanguli and pull up the drive there’s no denying that the welcome is pretty impressive.
There are two reception areas for Sanguli, one for caravans and camping, and one for all other accommodation on the Parc. The first thing that hits you about the reception is the smell, I have genuinely never been into a building that smells as amazing as that one. When we were all hot and sweaty after our journey, there was literally no better feeling than sitting down on a comfy couch and breathing in that fresh scent!
Check-in was super straight forward with our keys, our wrist bands and a map ready waiting for us. Every guest at Sanguli must wear a wrist band to use the facilities and my top tip is to make sure it’s loose enough to slide up and down your arm or you’ll end up with a white tan line when you take it off – something Gaz only realised on the last day!
Our Eurocamp accommodation was in the area of the park named Africa, with the most incredible African theme running through the general surroundings, restaurant and pool.
Everywhere you look there are models of zebras, rhinos, elephants and giraffes and, although we undoubtedly knew that we were in Spain, it really did feel as though we could well be on safari!
Our home for the week was the Azure mobile home which is the newest addition to Eurocamp accommodation and has a contemporary and flexible interior as well as a large covered decked terrace.
With three bedrooms – a double and two twins – there was plenty of room for the six of us and the living space was completely usable and fully equipped. We were pleased to find that it had air conditioning, a real must during the Summer months, and even better, at an additional charge, all of our bath and beach towels were already waiting for us which saved a huge amount of space in our luggage!
I’ll be honest with you, we spent all of our time on the decking, either shaded beneath the canopy or lounging in the sun, and our mobile home simply acted as somewhere to sleep in each night. I’m not sure if it was down to the beds, the air con, or just general exhaustion from all the fun we’d been having, but the children have never slept as well as they did during that week. We actually had to set an alarm and wake them each morning. Amazing!
I think it’s safe to say that the most impressive thing for the six of us was the swimming pools at Sanguli. We have never been to a resort before with so many different pools and water slides, and due to our visit coinciding with the Spanish heatwave, we spent the majority of each day playing in at least one of them!
The great thing about Sanguli is their rule that no sun beds can be reserved before 11am, so you don’t have to worry about not getting a sun bed if you’re not up at the crack of dawn. I also love how in all of the sun bed areas there are shaded areas should you need them.
THE AFRICA POOL
Our favourite pool was over in Africa and was undoubtedly one of the most amazing pools we have ever swam in. With a large rectangular pool for swimming, a shallower splash pool for the children, and a variety of water slides for all ages, it was just perfect for us with three little ones and a teen.
The animal models in the water are such an amazing touch and when the children saw the water fountains coming from the elephant trunks they were so excited!
I loved that the Africa pool had both smaller water slides for the little ones and larger water slides for Lewis. It was lovely to see all four children playing together which is exactly what I had hoped for on our holiday.
Several days we stayed at the Africa pool right through from morning to night, buying lunch at the bakery beside the pool, or getting a bag of chips to share from the takeaway. Having been used to full on UK holidays with days out and constantly striving to find ways to entertain the children, it was so lovely to just sit back and relax and know that regardless of how long we spent in that pool, they genuinely never, ever, got bored!
THE FIESTA POOL
The Fiesta pool was another complex where we spent a lot of time during the week. As far as swimming pools go this one is pretty special – made up of a large pool with the Bar Oasis, water slides and chutes, a pool specifically for little ones with small water slides and inflatables, a rectangular pool for swimming and a splash pool with the most amazing water play zone for children!
The great thing about having so many pools is that nowhere feels overly crowded, not even in peak season at the height of Summer. Also with having so many separate areas for different age ranges, for the first time in six years, we were able to sit back and allow the children to play in the splash zones as we watched on, knowing that they were only ever a few feet away, in no danger of being knocked knocked over by older, more boisterous, children, and weren’t about to wander off out of their depth into a deeper pool.
PLAY AREAS AND KIDS CLUB
To the back of the Fiesta Pool, a bit of a hidden treasure, was a fantastic (and shaded!) play area for the children. Built on sand, it was great for them to play on in the heat of the day, whilst still being able to dip in and out of the pool without needing to get dressed and go elsewhere.
The play area is also in direct view of the sun loungers which is great for us parents who can lie back and know that the children are within view at all times.
Despite being July, most days there were just a handful of children playing in the playground and the majority of the time, just our three! It was a real safe haven from the sun, although wow that sand could get hot without flip flops!!
The great thing about all of the pools is that there are snack bars everywhere you turn, so you don’t have to walk far to get a cold drink and an ice lolly. I was surprised by how reasonable the prices were for things like ice creams and cold drinks although to save more money it was just a few minutes walk to the resort supermarket where they had a huge range of cold drinks and multipacks of ice lollies. We went through a fair few!!
For children who prefer something other than playing outdoors, the resort has an on-site kids club, ran by Sanguli and not Eurocamp, open to all children over four. Under fours are welcome but an adult must stay with them at all times. The kids club runs various activities throughout the Summer, with timetables clearly showing the planned activities for the week.
My only issue with the kids club is that the staff there refuse to accept responsibility for the children who attend. Of course they offer support with activities and are there to help out, but if you leave your children there, you do so at your own risk. The kids club gate is open at all times and leads on to the main car park which, in my opinion, is way too risky for my children to be attending alone. That said, it was lovely to enjoy doing crafts together there together and the staff were wonderful with the children.
At fourteen, as much as Lewis enjoys lounging around the pool, he also likes to be doing some form of sport to keep active, which is why Eurocamp is perfect for older children too. Sanguli has the most amazing sports facilities with daily activities for all ages, including over 12’s, or for smaller groups to create their own games. At the main sports hub you can find the daily timetables as well as a member of staff to hire sports equipment from.
Whilst the kids and I spent time at the kids club, or playing in the pool, Gaz and Lewis enjoyed a few games of table tennis which was free to hire for unlimited use, with just a small, refundable, deposit to pay for the bats and ball.
There is also a volley ball net, where you can take part in group games or as a family, as well as a large basket ball court which is free to enjoy.
There is also a tennis court and a football pitch, both of which Gaz and Lewis used throughout the week, with Lewis taking part in a few of the over 12’s football games. For older children on holiday with their parents, these organised games are a great way to make friends.
For those who like to keep fit there are daily spinning classes available (In that heat? You must be mad!), crazy golf for all the family, trampolines, three boules pitches, and bike hire! I don’t think we have ever been to a resort where the sports facilities are anywhere near this standard, and Lewis especially was so impressed.
When it comes to dining at Sanguli, we really were spoilt for choice! With three large restaurants and several snack bars and takeaways, for those who wish to go on holiday and forget all about the cooking, Sanguli offers a delicious, and extensive, menu.
We first chose to eat at the restaurant in Africa which, with indoor and outdoor seating, has such a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. As someone who often feels stressed taking my children out to eat incase they show us up, it was a whole new experience for us to just sit back, enjoy the view, and feel completely at ease for once!
There is no need to book at any of the restaurants and, even for a table of six, the longest we were waiting was just ten minutes – plenty of time for Lewis to have a quick scroll through Instagram and the children to explore the surroundings.
All of the restaurants have children’s menus which I was really impressed with. Rather than the usual chicken and chips, there was a real variety of dishes and side orders and the waiting staff were more than happy to custom build our meals to suit any dietary needs and preferences.
There is something so lovely about eating outside with nobody complaining they are cold, no wind blowing our napkins away, and no seagulls attacking us for food. I think dining al fresco is one of my favourite things about being on holiday, and I looked forward to those moments every single night.
All of the meat is prepared on an open grill beside the restaurant, and all cooked from fresh. If we weren’t hungry before we sat down to eat, with the waft of food coming from the grill, we were starving by the time they brought the food to the table.
Our meals were beautifully cooked, well presented and well sized portions. For six of us, with a main course and drinks, the meal came to just under 70 Euros, which I think is so reasonable, especially to pay on-site at a resort.
We also tried another of the resorts restaurants, at the opposite end of the Parc, which was so light and airy and a lot quieter than the first restaurant. I love how each area of the Parc is so different which is reflected in the restaurants and facilities, and in the general atmosphere and surroundings.
Located on the edge of the pool, in perfect view to watch the sunset, it was so lovely to sit there, surrounded by palm trees, and feel as though we were in our very own private paradise.
One thing I was really surprised about, although extremely grateful for, was that each restaurant on site had a gluten free menu. It was something I really worried about before we went away, wondering how I would cope if gluten free dishes weren’t readily available, and yet not only did the restaurants have dedicated menus, but the supermarkets had a fantastic range too.
Our meal was delicious and I honestly can’t fault the service we received at Sanguli. Several nights we ordered pizzas from the site take away or whole chickens from the rotisserie, and we were more than satisfied with it all. I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen the children eat as much as they did during that week!
Sanguli offers a huge variety of entertainment, from pool parties, aqua gyms, and activities throughout the day, but the night time entertainment revolves around the amphitheatre – the most spectacular arena, which photos most certainly don’t do justice!
Each night starts with a children’s disco and at 10pm there are various acts on followed by an adult disco. The amphitheatre is such a great idea, with tables all around where you can order food and drinks to whilst watching the evenings entertainment. You can also take your own food and drinks should you wish, we saw lots of people bringing a cool box of beer from the supermarket, which is a great way of saving money on bar prices!
During our stay we saw various acts at the amphitheatre, from a Brazilian dance act to a Pirate performance, and the shows were all really impressive for both the children and us adults. I absolutely loved how everyone came together at the end of the day to watch the shows together, the atmosphere at the amphitheatre was pretty special.
SHOPS & SUPERMARKETS
There are two large supermarkets at Sanguli, as well as a mini market, a gift shop and a bakery. The supermarkets are well stocked with literally everything you could ever want or need, and the fresh breads and pastries from the bakeries were to die for! For those who prefer to shop elsewhere, there is a huge Lidl just down the road from Sanguli, although personally we shopped on-site and found it so convenient.
SANGULI BEACH CLUB
Sanguli has it’s own beach club just a short walk away from the parc, literally just 0.2 kilometres across the level crossing and onto the promenade. The beach is stunning, with white sand and clear seas, and sunbed and parasol hire – a real necessity in 40 degree heat!
Their are several play areas along the beach for the children and also pedalo hire should you wish to go out to sea. I’ll be honest with you, the weather was so hot that we only ventured to the beach once it had started to cool down a little, usually around 6.30pm, as it was unbearably hot before that time. The sea was lovely and warm though and people were on the beaches until long after it started to go dark!
Just a 1km walk from Salou, Sanguli is in prime location for those who prefer to be near busy towns and cities. It’s a straight walk along the promenade into Salou and there is lots going on, as well as lots of lovely places to eat and drink. Also just a few km down the road is Portaventura, Europe’s largest theme park, and Gaz and Lewis enjoyed a fantastic day out there, travelling via bus direct from the promenade.
SO WHAT DID WE THINK OF EUROCAMP?
I think it goes without saying that we had the time of our lives and we were all so sad to see the holiday come to an end. Eurocamp was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more than I thought it would be, and even when I tell people how amazing it was, I still feel as though I can’t express in words just how much I mean that.
I never thought that we would find a holiday destination that was both affordable and practical for a larger family, and that could accommodate a four and fourteen year old equally. Our week passed in a delightful blur of sunshine, fun, and laughter, and I know we will look back on this holiday for years to come and remember it as the first time the six of us travelled abroad together, the first time the youngest three flew on an aeroplane, their little eyes wide with amazement, the year Eva learned to swim without armbands, zooming down waterslides and diving underwater without fear.
The year we swam in Spanish seas, ate chocolate croissants for breakfast and lime ice lollies for lunch. The year the children played unicorns and pirates in the sunshine, when they asked me, “Why does everyone speak so funny?”, when they ran around in just their swimming trunks, their skin tanned and their hair white.
The year Gaz and Lewis rode rollercoasters at Portaventura, battled it out in boiling hot temperatures at table tennis; the year I loved every single moment of having all four of the children together.
The year we watched shows and ate pizzas, strolled along the promenade and felt the sand in-between our toes; the year everyone whinged a little less, laughed a little harder, and slept a whole lot more.
The year we woke to glorious sunshine each morning, when we swam in the pool from morning ’til night, when we lived each day without a care in the world, the worries of daily life a million miles away.
And yet undoubtedly, one of my favourite memories of our holiday was each night after dinner, when we walked to the show or into the town, and the children would look up at the sky, seek out the brightest star, and tell me, “There’s Joseph! He came with us!”. And my heart has never been so full as it was in those moments.
We have been so incredibly lucky to spend this time together as a family and one thing is for sure – it may have been our first visit to Eurocamp but it certainly won’t be our last.
To anyone debating whether to book Eurocamp for your family holiday, my advice would be just do it. Make the booking, make the memories, and prepare to have the absolute Summer of your lives.
** We were gifted a 7 night complimentary stay at Eurocamp in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own **