Simpson Travel promised us a lot with Mousses Villas and they did not disappoint!
As we set our alarm clock for 3.30 am to get up for the flight from Manchester to Perveza, situated just north of the stunning island of Lefkada on the west coast of Greece, we were anxious that we may be expecting a little too much of our family holiday. With three little girls (Eldest aged 3.5 and the younger 2.5 year old identical twins) there is never a dull (or a quiet) moment and this was to be our first two week holiday as a family without the help of friends or the grandparents. We were also anxious as to whether we were up to the job!
We survived the journey (traveling with three young girls gives you a true appreciation of how great an invention the iPad is!) and we arrived mid afternoon to be greeted by a clear blue sky as well as Natasha, the kids club manager, and Suzie, one of the two Mousses managers.
We did encounter an issue at the airport as the car hire company failed to get their head around the idea of three children under 3 ½ in the same family (they are not the only ones!) and didn’t have a car big enough for 3 car seats. However by the time we got to the villas and settled the kids by the shaded toddler pool, three brand new car seats have been delivered and fitted.
First impressions were that Mousses was small but perfectly formed. With only ten villas round the large pool (+ toddler pool), and two larger villas with their own pool, the small complex never felt busy. The villa itself had just been completely refurbished as part of the Simpson take-over from Thomson and all of the issues raised by negative Mumsnet/Tripadvisor reviews last year seem to have been addressed.
A huge comfy bed, choice of pillows, black out blinds in both bedrooms, brand new kitchen full of toddler essentials, new bathrooms and new air conditioning throughout. The only downside for us with 3 toddlers was no bath, although the shower was very good with brand new solar heating and very warm water.
For me Mousses Villas was the perfect balance between a villa and a hotel. I could cook the children’s meals and snacks myself but the onsite bar/restaurant served beautiful food to our patio once the children were asleep. More book reading and white wine time for me!
The menu at the onsite restaurant is small but all the food was excellent and not expensive compared to menus at hotels of a similar standard. The weekly communal BBQ was brilliant value for money at €20 a head (free for children under 6) and really good fun the both times we attended.
The villas were cleaned every day and both bath and beach towels were changed very frequently along with the sheets. An excellent welcome pack (i.e. wine and beer) was provided on arrival and basics like washing up liquid and washing machine/dishwasher tablets were topped up daily (Not to mention the olive oil and balsamic vinegar!).
The week before we departed my husband decided to treat us to a surprise upgrade and after the first week we moved to a 3 bedroom villa with its own pool. We couldn’t use the third bedroom as it is accessed separately from outside (more a grandparent or teenagers room) but the large comfy lounge for watching DVDs borrowed from Turtle Club, the large bath in the en-suite, undercover outdoor table (for colouring and reading mid afternoon) and our own pool for peace and quiet when our girls were at kids club were a huge treat.
So did we survive? We did. But it was more than that we had a really fabulous family holiday and fell in love with Lefkada. Lefkada is a beautiful island, much greener than I imagined with calm waters for the kids to paddle in, beautiful restaurants and friendly locals who just wanted to make us feel welcome. But if I’m honest we really survived because the kids club was fantastic.
The kids club named ‘Turtle Club’ (or by ours ‘Beach Club’ ) is superbly managed by Natasha and her team and you could tell they all loved their jobs. After some initial tears from our three (the twins having never been to nursery) they settled into Turtle Club very happily. We paid for 4 mornings each week and one evening.
So as the three went off to Turtle Club not only did we get 3.5 hours of precious sunbathing/book reading/sleeping time 4 times a week, we also got an evening out each week to enjoy a meal in Lefkas Town which is a short taxi away – Thymari and La Vinera were our favourites in town and Seven Islands and Kanioria in Ligia (Superb views with dining right on the beach.)
My three girls spent their mornings at Turtle Club dancing, singing and doing craft, usually out of the sun as it was so hot, leaving the afternoons for us to play in the pool with them or visit the local beaches (Kathisma and Agios Nikitas our favourites) not worrying about them having been out in the sun too long. I was worried before we went about whether the twins would settle in a kids club, but as Turtle Club has strict ratios on children per (Ofsted registered) nanny there will never be too many children in the kids club, and when we travelled they was only 6 children in the club in the mornings, 3 of which were mine!
The rest of the Mousses team cannot do enough for you, and the new barman Paris became a firm favourite with our girls as they would leap out the pool and order juice and ice creams on the tab you can set up.
So as the title to the review says it really was practically perfect in every way and yes if you are interested I’ve enquired already about availability for next year, something we have never ever done.
Travelled: 2 adults; 3 children (3.5 and 2.5 twins) in June 2014 with Simpson Travel
Website: Simpson Travel – Mousses Villas
Cost: Approximately £860 each plus Turtle Club