Alison and I joined Vacation Club in June 2002 and have since then taken holidays in 16 different resorts, visiting a number of them more than once. We were therefore hugely interested to read of the purchase of the catamarans and the birth of the Club La Costa Yacht Club.
We had a taste of what was to come back in January while staying in the San Diego Suites in Spain. The first of the boats, Romy, was berthed in Puerto Banus stopping on its way to Mallorca and featuring as the
-Guest of honour- at the official launch of the new club. We quickly found its mooring and were welcomed on board by Yacht Club Commodore Leor Revivo. We were taken to see the cabins down below and were impressed with their size and en-suite facilities. On board, preparations were well advanced for the naming ceremony the next day when the press [including the Spanish equivalent of Hello magazine] would be there to report on the launch of this exciting new venture.
On arrival back home, we quickly booked a cabin on one of the boats to go on a voyage at the end of May. The Yacht Club this year is sailing from Palma de Mallorca. This is an ideal place for such a venture with easy access from all British airports. The boat is berthed just a ten-minute journey from the airport. What could be better?
We were met at the airport by a member of the CLC staff in a minibus, as are all Yacht Club guests. One couple had been staying at the resort of Cala Pi Nou the week before and were collected from there, again without charge. The rules for
behaviour' are simple, but logical. The first is that you take soft cases so that they can be stowed away in the limited space of the cabin. The second is about footwear: to protect the quality of the decks, you are asked to remove shoes, meaning that we all spent most of the week in bare feet. This did our feet a lot of good! Our shoes were ceremonially placed in a basket as we boarded, and handed to us whenever we went ashore on the dinghy.
We were introduced to the other three couples who would be with us on board the
Club's second yacht, Nicodemus, and at about 6.00pm, the first of the
week's cocktails arrived, together with a variety of cheeses and wafers. What we
didn't know was that the regularity, quality and quantity of the food and drink would be one of the many highlights of the week. Our boat was skippered by Gal, assisted by his
'other half' Meshi. They are both Israeli and have until recently spent many years honing their skills in the West Indies: they were superb in every way. Meshi, before she trained in yachting, was a professional cook. The kitchen space she had in which to operate was limited but the results would easily match those of a four star hotel. Salads were produced in a way that would be worthy of any TV chef and the variety of meat and fish was outstanding. Some of the cooking even took place on a barbecue mounted on the stern of the vessel.
Just to whet your appetite, I can say that our menus contained Sea Bass, Steak, Salmon Moroccan-style, Pork tenderloin in a pepper cream sauce and the best Paella I have ever tasted. The variety of cocktails was prolific. Of course, the menu reflected the personal preferences of each guest as we were all asked to fill out a food and drink preference form prior to arrival. That way, the crew made sure that we got what we all liked best. The
'all-inclusive' fee we paid covered all of this wonderful food AND unrestricted access to the well-stocked drinks cupboard. With such attention to detail, no one was disappointed. What more could you want?
The routes we took during the week were to a certain extent determined by the wind and weather. On the first morning, after a healthy breakfast, we set sail for the island of Cabrera which is a nature reserve roughly 55km south of Palma. This journey took just over three hours. We set sail in perfect weather with three of the women lying on sun mattresses attached to the cabin roof and two of the men [including me] perched towards the front of the boat. As we moved out of the shelter of the mainland, the wind picked up and the sea became more challenging. As we sailed into the wind, the spray was regularly propelled over those up at the front! The less adventurous ones amongst us were ushered back into the shelter of the open cabin area at the back of the boat to complete the journey in more comfort. Cabrera is beautiful and there are many interesting flora and rock formations. We enjoyed a walk and tour by the local guide, who spoke good English.
Each day Gal decided what sailing we could do after consulting the weather reports and local advice. After checking that we were all happy with the plans, he set off. He prefers to use the sails at every opportunity rather than the engine, to help us experience the
'real' way to sail. Those of us who wished to were allowed to take charge of the wheel, under careful supervision of course. Most chose to merely relax. Each day was different but we always ended up mooring for the night in a quiet bay ready to explore or just relax. One bay that we all particularly liked was so enchanting that we opted to stay for two nights. Nothing is fixed - it is always negotiable and it is clear that the
guest's choice is what matters most.
At all the places we moored we were able to use the equipment on the yacht. These included a simple single-handed dinghy, a kayak, snorkels and masks, water skis, and even a thing called a sea-biscuit [on which you sat while being towed at high speed by the inflatable boat]. If you have a qualification in scuba diving, you are allowed to dive. There were rods for fishing. Although we only caught one fish that was big enough to eat, it was delicious.
When we started sailing back towards Mallorca we were travelling with the wind, reaching speeds of about 11 knots. This, said Gal, was fast for a boat of this size but nobody got wet and it felt less
'scary' than before, or maybe we had just discovered our sea legs!
The rest of the week was spent exploring the West side of the island, enjoying the sailing and looking for suitable coves in which to moor and enjoy the facilities. On Tuesday, we ate our on-shore meal in Andraxt, a small fishing village with nearly as many restaurants as inhabitants. As if to emphasise the lengths Gal and Meshi went to, to satisfy
everyone's personal wishes, one of the group was taken ashore on the Wednesday evening to watch Liverpool fail to win the Champions League.
All good things of course must come to an end and we were all sad to arrive back in the marina in Palma on the Friday night. Here we enjoyed a meal in the town to allow Meshi a deserved night away from the cooking! The next morning bags were packed and four happy couples went their separate ways back to dry land and normality, whatever that is.
While on board, Gal had explained to us how the future of the Yacht Club will work, with new routes planned, including some planned sailing in warmer climes this winter. New boats are apparently already on order to accommodate the rapidly increasing membership. After this
'taster' trip, I'm sure a lot of the customers will be back on a regular basis. We certainly shall.
Michael and Alison Smedley 4th June 2007
Barbara and Brian Rose
Meshi and Gal you are a fantastic team. The trip has been excellent. You are very professional in every way, but also good company, as were the other couples aboard. Food fantastic.
Love and best wishes
Barbara and Brian Rose
P and S R
Well,what a week!
There was nothing we could fault-until Saturday's weather, which was good for neither departing guests nor for the crew.
He [Leor] was extraordinary, inspirational, occasionally frightening, always fun, masterful and most of all in total charge. He made sure we were all to have a great time. Leor, it
doesn't seem enough-but thank you!!
She [Meg] was incredible, could be invisible, always caring, multi-tasking and best of all Australian! The cooking and service was truly exceptional. Meg, you were simply wonderful. Many thanks.
If this weren't enough, we had memorable company in David & Charlotte and Noel & Pauline.
We could not have asked for a better time. The memories will be long-lasting and the desire to repeat considerable!
The investment in holiday time with a company as reliable and forward-looking as Club La Costa is one of the best things we have ever done.
P and S R
I write to thank you for the efficient manner in which your administration team dealt with our arrangements and documentation for my holiday last week to Tenerife.
I had a bad experience several years ago with one of these timeshare type short notice holidays and also for the current one when the original supplier went bust. Last year, Club La Costa sent me a voucher and I have to say I feared the worst with a feeling of impending doom.
However, in this case the reverse happened, with me being advised several months ago of my travel dates. I was delighted to be told 4 or 5 weeks before departure that we would be going from a nearby airport, instead of having 2 days
- notice that we would be leaving from the other end of the country. The tickets arrived in plenty of time, the care hire arrangements were handled efficiently and we got adequate notice of our accommodation.
All in all this was a very pleasant experience and full marks to all your staff for the way this was done.
Greenock, Renfrewshire UK
T and F Vint
Just thought I would drop you a few lines to let you know about the great holiday we had at CLC Monterey in Tenerife. The resort was great and the staff were friendly and helpful. We took two of our friends with us and they could not believe the standard of our apartments and the resort. We all had a great, relaxing time. This was our first time at Monterey but it
won't be our last as the four of us have already started to plan our holiday for next year. This is only our second year with Club La Costa and already we have been to Florida and twice to Spain
- the first time to Santa Cruz Suites and then to Marina del Sol. Both of these were also great and on both occasions we had family members with us. This is one of the best things about being a CLC member
- you can take your family and friends with you.