Cape Town - “Can we call him Donkey Bongs?” (In reference to the stuffed toy donkeys they found on their beds)
“Can we keep him?”
“When can we go down to the indoor pool?”
A barrage of questions - just a hint of what I had to go through during our weekend at Club Mykonos in Langebaan.
The aim of the trip was to have some downtime and also to check out the recent R100-million resort refurbishment. Normally “refurbishment” is PR speak for a lick of paint or upgrade to 2-ply toilet paper in the bathrooms - yes there was a new coat of paint, and the redone bathrooms didn’t look too bad either.
Club Mykonos has been kind of an institution in the Western Cape when it comes to resorts. Better known as a timeshare holiday spot, It's been around forever, well, since 1988, so it was probably time for that new lick of paint anyway.
Ask any Capetonian and they would have probably visited the resort or adjoining casino at least once. The problem with me is that I didn't fall into that category - so I had no before and after to compare.
I had a hard job and needed someone to judge the resort on family-friendly fun. My litmus test for the weekend were my four-year-old son and six-year-old nephew - a tough crowd, but someone had to do it.
Modelled on the famous Greek island of Mykonos, the resort sits on a rocky outcrop of the Langabaan shoreline on the West Coast, giving guests unadulterated views of the ocean and abundant fauna. The whitewashed walls and Greek-style buildings come close to the authentic thing, but I guess that's where the comparison ends.
Because of the large area size and the apartment clusters dotting the valley, the resort does tend to get a bit full.
Luckily, you can escape to the oasis of your apartment, which I might add have all been updated with modern appliances, flat-screen TVs and subtle ocean-inspired decor.
We stayed in a four-sleeper overlooking the ocean for the weekend which provided us with more than enough space without that overwhelming feeling of cabin fever. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn't play along, with the wind keeping us off the front balcony for our entire stay. But thankfully we could use the braai area on the back porch - clever design trick on Mykonos' part.
The resort itself also underwent a transformation. I've been told that the health centre and wellness spa had a R2m upgrade, including the new indoor pool decking and gym equipment. Money put to good use, me thinks - it's a refreshing take on resort culture.
The Italian-inspired Cellu-Beauty Spa offers everything from facials to massages. The decor is a rich mish-mash of all things Italian and transports you to a surreal place that doesn't feel like you're in a resort - pity about the pan-pipe music though.
I was booked in for a full-body massage. Forty-five minutes later I floated to my kaliva (apartment) completely relaxed. Even the kids nagging to visit the indoor pool for the second time that day couldn't crack my resolve. Kneading my flesh like putty certainly did the trick - an experience that goes into my top 5 spa visits. The wellness centre is adjacent to the casino, so I recommend that you make a booking at least 48 hours before the time.
As far as activities go, there's so much to do, whether you're keen on fishing or gambling. The one ace for me (pardon the pun) was the Club Onos kiddies play centre. Also recently upgraded, the centre, located on the Marina, offers more than enough to keep the little ones occupied for hours at a time. Resort guests also get the added bonus of booking the kids in at no extra cost while the adults have some alone time - definitely a selling point more resorts should adopt.
In retrospect, it was meant mainly for the kids. And in the end, they thought it was absolutely awesome.
From the kids' play centre to the choice of pools and a beach on your doorstep - it's non-stop action. For parents - it's a draining experience that needs comfortable walking shoes. Luckily I packed a pair!
If You Go...
Thing to do
There’s a host of activities to do, including gambling at Mykonos Casino, the health and fitness centre which houses the indoor pool and spa.
For the kids, the resort does a weekend programme, which is a lifesaver and enough to keep them relatively occupied.
Things to do in Langebaan
Kids can enjoy a visit to the fun park where they can try their hand at go-karts, quad bikes, trampolines or the waterslide. Horse-riding is also a popular activity with gentle trots along the lagoon. Visit www.capewestcoast.org/regions/town.php?town_id=17 for more info.
The resort has three restaurants situated on the marina. These are Little Venice, Bouzouki and Dockside Cafe. Their food is reasonably priced and child-friendly. The Oceanis Pool Bar also offers gorgeous views of the bay on sunny days.
There are four different accommodation types to choose from: Hillside, Marina, Seafront and Village. Apartments range from 1 to 3 bedrooms, with prices ranging from R1 100 per night onwards. Also, check the website for ongoing specials.
How to get there
Langebaan is situated on the West Coast Road, approx an hour out of Cape Town. Visit www.clubmykonos.co.za for more info - IOL