DREAMING of escaping winter's chilly clutches? Set out for one of these never want-to-leave-resorts.
From Morocco, Turkey to Egypt, here are some fabulous destinations to escape the cold weather.
Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, Morroco
The Pad: There’s more to Morocco than Marrakech, and just an hour’s drive from Casablanca you’ll find Mazagan, Morocco’s biggest hotel.
It boasts everything from a spa and private beach to a casino and nightclub. The lush grounds are meticulously kept and staff are always on hand to tend to your every need, including laying your towel on your sunlounger for you!
As well as the Atlantic Ocean lapping at 7km of sandy beach, there’s a large heated pool, plus a kids’ area and 11 (count ’em!) restaurants, so you’ll never go hungry.
As the resort is on the north coast, it never gets as hot as Marrakech further south, and it’s a balmy 20-something degrees all year round.
Explore: The hotel is located a few miles from the port city of El Jadida, where you can wander around the charming ancient city walls and catch a great view of the golden buildings and sparkling sea beyond.
The city has a bustling market selling fresh fruit and spices for a real taste of the country.
Back at the hotel, saddle up and take a magical ride along the beach on horseback, £34 for one hour, or get your blood
pumping by whizzing along the sands on a quad bike, £30 for 30 minutes.
Refuel: Food is a big part of the Mazagan experience, so make sure you sample all the different restaurants. We loved Sel de Mer, with its fresh fish and seafood options (the John Dory is sublime), but the standout experience is Al Firma, a traditional restaurant in a Berber tent on the edge of the resort.
The set menu, £35, includes mezze, kebabs and tagines, all set to the sound of a Moroccan oud (a musical instrument like a lute).
Don’t miss: The spa is utterly beautiful – and peaceful – so book yourself in for a full-body massage, £75 for one hour, then snooze in the relaxation room overlooking the sea.
Book it: Rooms at Mazagan start from £140 B&B (Mazaganbeachresort.com). Royal Air Maroc flies from Heathrow to Casablanca from £240 return and the hotel offers free transfers (Royalairmaroc.com).
Club Marvy, Turkey
The Pad: Club Marvy hotel and spa is super-tranquil, despite being located close to Izmir, one of the largest cities in Turkey.
Rooms are decorated in a modern Mediterranean style and breakfast is a traditional Turkish feast using ingredients from a nearby organic farm run by the owner’s mum.
You’ll enjoy eggs, pastries and pancakes in a stunning windmill overlooking the secluded bay.
The region gets 300 days of sunshine a year, with temperatures between 10°C in the depths of winter and 30°C in summer – just make sure you swerve the January and February rains.
Explore: If you ever need a break from sunbathing, you can choose between a range of creative, musical and fitness workshop included in the resort price.
There’s nothing like a flower-crown-making session or yoga with a view to take the holiday vibes next level.
Be sure to book on to a sunset sailing excursion, £27, where you’ll cruise along drinking local wine and snacking on fresh fruit, or take a private lesson in a dinghy, £19 for an hour.
With four swimming pools, a water park, a gym, shops and a nightclub, you probably won’t want to step foot outside of the resort. And the entertainment doesn’t stop there – come nightfall, chill out with some live Turkish music, browse an art exhibition on site or head to a beach party.
Refuel: The resort’s main restaurant serves up phenomenal food featuring plenty of fresh veggies, home-baked bread and deluxe salads (dinner is served until 11pm for the night owls). The hotel also features various à la carte restaurants, though these aren’t covered by the all-inclusive price.
For a special treat, book Buono Italiano, a beautiful restaurant run by Michelin-star chef Cristina Bowerman, where you can tuck into epic pasta dishes.
Don’t miss: After chilling out at the hotel’s private adults-only Boho Beach, where food and drink is brought straight to your sunlounger, you’ll never want to go home.
The Marvy Spa is equally heavenly – re-tune with the acupuncture stress reliever massage, £42 for 50 minutes, or take a traditional Turkish hammam (an invigorating bathing ritual featuring an all-over body scrub and a foam massage), £29.50 for 25 minutes, and emerge glowing from head to toe.
Book it: Rooms at Club Marvy start from £126 a night on an all-inclusive basis (Clubmarvy.com). Flights start from £97 return (Skyscanner.net).
The pad: Surrounded by the clear waters of the Red Sea, Somabay is a self-contained resort with five different hotels.
It’s a lush spot to lap up some year-round sun – temperatures can reach a baking 39°C in summer, but winter is more comfortable at around 20°C.
Stay in The Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso, where each room comes with a balcony and swanky rainfall shower.
Explore: Jump in a golf buggy, £17 a day, to save your feet and travel round the huge resort with ease.
Book yourself on to a Ocean Diva luxury catamaran excursion, £42.50 per person – with lunch, cocktails and two snorkelling stops, it’s bliss (Redseacat.com).
Fancy seeing tropical fish, turtles and whale sharks? Snorkel with a guide from Orca Dive Club, from £4 (Orca-diveclubs.com), then grab a beer and enjoy the view from a beach hammock.
Head to the beachside Kitehouse to try activities including wakeboarding, £20 per session, or stand-up paddleboarding, £4 for 30 minutes (Kitehouse-somabay.com).
After a splash about, you can have lunch there while relaxing to tropical house tunes. The burger, £6.40, is a winner!
Refuel: Lucky for you, Somabay’s “Dine Around” concept means you can eat at all the resort’s hotels.
The Cascades Dunes Restaurant offers a mix of fresh Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, plus a dessert section fit for a bakery shop window, featuring tasty regional treats such as basbousa (semolina cake).
Later, head to Sobar for cocktails – a Mai Tai, £6.30, overlooking the marina really is the stuff of holiday dreams (Sobarsomabay.com).
Don't miss: The spa’s Thalasso Tonic Experience, £30, involves floating in a huge salt-water bath while powerful jets give your muscles a deep massage. You’ll feel like a new woman!
Book it: Rooms at The Cascades Golf Resort, Spa & Thalasso start at £69.51 per night, on a half-board basis (Somabay.com). EasyJet flies direct from Gatwick to Hurghada International Airport from £108 return (Easyjet.com).
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