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Retreat for professional classes

Original Source: Mail: 04 May 2007
Last updated at 21:14 04 May 2007
The Ocean Club consists of four different areas of holiday apartments and self-catering villas built around the old fishing village of Praia da Luz, on Portugal's sunny Algarve coast.

Purpose built in the 1980s, its aim is to allow guests to experience the charm of Portuguese village life with the peace-of-mind of an all-inclusive resort.
'Family-friendly' resort: The mcCanns' apartment was on the ground flour
Madeleine McCann went missing from a Mark Warner hotel

However, its unique character may have contributed to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Whereas most Mark Warner resorts are based in private, self-enclosed resorts, the fact that the Ocean Club buildings are spread out across the village means anyone can wander in and out of the holiday areas.

The McCanns were staying in an apartment in the central area of the Praia de Luz, rented by Mark Warner for the summer season.

Most of the other apartments in the five-storey block are privately owned.

All are said to have "quite sophisticated" locks on the doors.

Mark Warner has built up an enviable reputation as a child-friendly holiday company and in Praia da Luz its customers can take advantage of free evening childcare if they dine at one of the resort's two restaurants.

Strangely, despite eating in the resort's tapas restaurant, the McCanns elected not to put their children in the creche.
Instead, they chose to check up on their children themselves.

Around half of the buildings in Praia da Luz are used by holidaymakers and inevitably the industry dominates the town.

Britons make up the majority of visitors during the summer and there is a British pub, called The Bull, in the village.

Built in traditional Portuguese and Moorish styles, the Ocean Club buildings are set around landscaped gardens and most have views of Luz beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Mark Warner Ocean Club, where the McCann family were staying when little Madeleine vanished
The Ocean Club features four swimming pools, three poolside snack bars and five tennis courts.

Holidaymakers with Mark Warner can sail and windsurf for free.
A week's half-board holiday for the McCanns would have cost 1,619.


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