Updated: Jun 12, 2018
La Manga Club – Resort and Golf Review
I have been going to La Manga Club for about 20 years, at all times of year from Summer holidays with the family, to golf trips in February, April and October so feel I have a good overview of what the resort has to offer, what works and what doesn’t and where to look for the best bargains and hidden gems.
What keeps drawing me back, well partly the more you go somewhere, the more you get to know it, I always seem to find something new which is good, but at the same time the familiarity and easy access from either San Javier or Alicante airports means it’s a great option for an easy to organise break.
This time I went out with my youngest son (18) during his half term break, a whistle stop 3-day trip, we stayed in the Las Lomas apartments which are part of the Principe Philipe Hotel. These are great value apartments (we paid Euros 57/night !) and whilst a room upgrade program is underway they are comfortable, can be used for short breaks and have some good facilities (fully equipped kitchen, etc). You also get discounted golf rates and can use the Spa facilities, which are a 5 minute walk away. There are also a couple of restaurants within walking distance, although, as these are owned by the hotel they can be expensive and of average quality.
What about the resort ?
One of the things that first time visitors often struggle with at La Manga Club is the structure and layout of the resort itself, so I will try and simplify !
The resort is really centered around the golf courses of which there are 3 (North and South are based out of the main club house and the West is a 5 minute drive away with a separate clubhouse). The excellent tennis centre is right in the middle of the resort. At the tennis centre is also the Splash pool which opens in the summer and is a large public pool complex.
The accommodation options are split into the Hotel facilities (main hotel and Las Lomas) which are about 5 minutes apart with an on-demand shuttle between the two locations. The hotel is on the same site as the North/South golf clubhouse and a 10 minute walk to the tennis centre. There is also a large amount of private rental accommodation available from reasonable apartments to large properties.
My tip: If you are looking for a private apartment rental, location is key, do your research and potentially talk to an on-site letting agent. We have stayed in various locations across the resort from a coupe of days to 3 weeks, depending on size of party, ages etc. All locations have had pro’s and con’s to consider.
When people ask me about La Manga I always start by saying, the golf is great but the tennis is better, I also think the cycling is 5 star although my cycling is 2* ability-wise (la manga bike rental will organise for you) and the football and cricket facilities are also great.
My tip: If you are a golfer one of the great options is to play in the weekly competitions run by the resort, these run on Monday , Wednesday and Friday and cost 5 Euros to enter (the resort state you must have a club handicap, although they seem flexible on this). This time we played in the Monday 4 ball better ball competition on the South course. The great thing about these competitions is you play with similar handicap levels and get to meet some of the locals and get some local info and tips.
Of the 3 courses, the South is my favourite, a true championship course with length, accuracy and good putting required. The North course is a great resort course, shorter but still a great test with lots of Spanish baranca (small ravine) to carry onto good size greens. The West has always been my least favourite with tight drives and tricky approaches, although it is finally growing on me after 20 years. I guess I need a decent score to truly accept it. The West also has the best views, particularly from the spectacular 18th tee.
The hotel own and operate a number of restaurants across the resort, these are the ones if you are staying in either the Hotel or Las Lomas you can charge the bill directly to your room, but tend to be 5* hotel prices ! There are also a number of independent restaurants and bars on site that are cheaper and worth a try (the Last Drop and Si ! bar spring to mind). However my tip would be to get off the resort, either by a short taxi ride (15 minute taxi) or with a hire car and go to Cabo de Palos harbour where there are lots of local bars and restaurants, my personal favourites being “El Rancho” an Argentian Steakhouse and the “Miramar” fish restaurant on the corner of the harbour.
Other great options would be the Via Romana in Los Belones (5 minute taxi) or in season only, Antonios (15 minute taxi) in Los Nietos, sitting directly on the Mar Menor.
Around the area
Make sure and try and get into Cartegena city for a walk around, it’s a 20 minute drive.
If you want a beach, head down to the Mar Menor at Mar de Cristal, a 5 minute drive from the resort. In peak season, do this late in the day when the locals head down and the beach gets busier.
Having been to La Manga for over 20 years, my summary would be that you can make the area and the resort work for a great break at any time of year. The Golf is great but there is so much more to do, take the time to explore. Don’t just golf and eat in the hotel, play tennis, cycle and visit at the local restaurants, these are the things that will bring you back time and time again.