MDL Marinas Open New Lodge Development

Posted: 15th September 2017

In Autumn 2018, MDL Marinas launched a new development of beautiful bespoke lodges at Woolverstone Marina near Ipswich. The luxury lodges offer another aspect to enjoy this marina on dry-land, further extending its appeal as a destination for both on-water and land leisure pursuits.

Woolverstone Lodge Park is set in 22 acres of stunning parkland on the River Orwell and the new lodges are set to complete the Park’s premium leisure offering. The beautiful space has been used to open up the marina to new visitors, ideal for those looking for a family-friendly retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Woolverstone Marina itself provides abundant sailing opportunities, hosting 235 berths, first-class facilities and on-site chandlery.

The new lodges are individually designed to offer an exclusive experience. Clover Lodges, with their clean, modern aesthetic and open plan living space, provide accommodation for four guests and include a woodland balcony and outdoor hot tub. Fern and Willow Lodges also sleep up to four guests and feature spacious living and dining areas, providing a beautiful and relaxed environment, whilst still benefiting from the modern luxuries of free Wifi, multi-channel TV and the latest appliances.

Dean Smith, Commercial Director, MDL Marinas, said: “With Woolverstone Lodge Park’s new offering officially open, we're delighted to reveal the stunning lodges, which are ideal for those looking for a taste of the outdoors with a touch of luxury. Anyone looking to book a break at the retreat should get in touch with the Woolverstone Marina team now to reserve your accommodation.

“Vistors looking to make the most of the waterfront location will be able to enjoy a plethora of water sport activities, including yacht charters and an RYA accredited sailing school for both sailboat and powerboat courses. For those who like to keep their feet firmly on dry land there are beautiful walks in the area, as well as cultural attractions to take in locally. There are also plenty of on-site activities for our younger guests, including a children’s play area and many family-friendly walking and cycling trails. Offering culinary delights and a wonderful place to chill, the Riverside Bar and Restaurant also provides stunning views across the water.”

The significant investment in Woolverstone Lodge Park forms part of the ongoing strategy at MDL Marinas to evolve its enviable network of marinas not just into fantastic sailing venues, but also ultimate leisure destinations that offer a wealth of on-water and on-land activities for everyone to enjoy.

Find out more about Woolverstone Marina or book online with Hoseasons.

Young Sailing Talent Celebrated at 30th Anniversary Sail Training Awards

Posted: 15th September 2017

Six deserving young people who won a place on the 30th Anniversary MDL Sail Training Awards voyage will be officially presented with their trophies by Eamonn Feeney, Chairman of Ocean Youth Trust South, on Tuesday 19th September at 3pm (stand E52). The youngsters returned from their trip earlier this year after spending five days at sea with the Ocean Youth Trust South, on the maiden voyage of its refurbished vessel, Prolific.

The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for 30 years, offer admirable young people - carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard the training yacht. 

The passage commenced from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina and the team made their way down to Dartmouth, being taught along the way how to sail the vessel, before circling back along the coast. During sailing, the team carried out drills such as rescuing a man overboard and pilotage planning, whilst having plenty of fun in between. Upon returning to shore, the young sailors deservedly earned a ‘Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting Certificate’.

Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a hugely important initiative for us, which we have undertaken with Ocean Youth Trust South for an amazing 30 years. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for those selected, honouring them for their remarkable achievements at such a young age. We look forward to this day at Southampton Boat Show each year, as it’s a fantastic chance to hear all of the stories and see what an inspiration the trip has been for everyone.”

Mark Todd, Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust South, added: “Over the last three decades years we have met many truly inspirational young people through the MDL Sail Training Awards. Throughout the 30 years, MDL Marinas has given us tremendous support and, without them, we wouldn’t have our magnificent boat, Prolific, back in the water – so it was very fitting that they supplied so many of the young crew members for this voyage. The MDL award winners are always highly deserving and inspirational young people and this year’s winners were no exception.

“We have a long track record of using adventure under sail to give young people the skills to succeed in life – the skills that individuals, families, schools, employers and communities need – and MDL’s generosity plays a key role at the heart of all our work.”

For more information, please visit

MDL Launches Nautical Guidebook to the Ebro Delta Region in Spain

Posted: 15th September 2017

MDL Marinas will be launching a new nautical guidebook to the stunning Ebro Delta region in Catalonia at this year’s Southampton Boat Show.

A launch event featuring a number of top chefs flown from Catalonia, as well as a presentation of the guide, will take place on Thursday 21 September at 3pm on the MDL Marinas stand, number E52. Visitors to the stand at this time will have the opportunity to enjoy traditional dishes and wines.

Edited by Martin Muth, the guidebook has been created in partnership with MDL Marinas, Ports de la Generalitat, Sant Carles de la Ràpita council and the Terres de l’Ebre Tourism Board. ‘Portbook Terres de L’Ebre’ aims to promote the area as an idyllic destination for cruising, holidays and leisure.

Nicolas Gonzalez, Marina Manager at MDL’s Sant Carles Marina, said: “The unspoilt Terres de L’Ebre region of Catalonia is where the River Ebre meets the Mediterranean Sea and is home to Spain’s rice fields, as well as being a haven for birds and sea life. Set in the natural port of refuge, Port des Alfacs, MDL’s Sant Carles Marina provides the perfect gateway to the beautiful fishing town of Sant Carles de la Ràpita, a truly unique destination for water sports enthusiasts.

“We are delighted to unveil this new guide which highlights some of the many reasons to visit and explore this stunning stretch of coastline and sample the delicious array of seafood which is found in abundance in and around the delta. We look forward to welcoming visitors at the Southampton Boat Show to the MDL stand where they can find out more and be some of the first to grab their copy of the guidebook.”

MDL’s Freedom Berthing members have access to 100 marina destinations across the UK and Europe, including Sant Carles Marina in Spain. MDL Marinas is offering a special weekend package for two in Sant Carles de la Ràpita for only 140€ per person. The package includes two nights at Miami Mar hotel with breakfast, dinner for two from the delicious tasting menu, a one hour guided tour of the lagoon and aperitif at Sant Carles Marina and a traditional Mariner’s lunch at Bon Marisc Restaurant.

MDL Unveils Next Stage of Ocean Village's Transformation

Posted: 15th September 2017

This year’s Southampton Boat Show sees Europe’s leading marina operator, MDL Marinas, mark the next chapter of the highly anticipated £3.5million transformation of Ocean Village Marina, climaxing this October with the opening of the five-star, luxury Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa.

Ocean Village Marina has undergone an extensive redesign and refurbishment since 2015, as part of a five-year investment strategy which will complete in 2020. The redevelopment includes the opening of new restaurants and bars, as well as the ongoing renovation of its berthing facilities. The opening of the luxury Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa this autumn is a significant milestone and is set to firmly position Ocean Village as one of the most desirable five-star marina locations in the UK.

During this year’s Southampton Boat Show, Ocean Village’s enhanced identity as a cosmopolitan leisure hub will be revealed, with presentations taking place from both Harbour Hotels Group and MDL Marinas. Seamlessly tying together leisure, sailing and a stunning location to live, Ocean Village offers more than a destination, it exudes a lifestyle which perfectly encapsulates Southampton’s maritime heritage and thriving millennial scene.

The 85-bedroom luxury hotel has been designed to emulate a super yacht and is ideally positioned on the edge of the promontory projecting into the marina. Amongst many features, it will boast a spectacular destination rooftop bar, as well as the award-winning Jetty restaurant concept, offering panoramic views across the Solent. For those attending Southampton Boat Show, there will be the opportunity to be some of the first to experience the restaurant’s mouth-watering menu, with the Head Chef providing a not-to-be-missed ‘Taste of the Jetty’ session each day between 1pm and 2pm on stand E52.

Dean Smith, Commercial Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “The regeneration of Ocean Village Marina is truly remarkable and we’re thrilled to unveil its ongoing transformation, with the opening of the luxurious Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa this autumn marking a highlight milestone. The marina is positioned in the very heart of the maritime city and epitomises its cosmopolitan personality, so this year’s Southampton Boat Show offers the perfect opportunity to launch our new Platinum membership package.”

The MDL Platinum package is being exclusively revealed at Southampton Boat Show and will marry together MDL’s unrivalled Freedom Berthing package - which includes complimentary stays at over 100 marina destinations, free WiFi and fuel at cost - with full membership to the hotel’s spa and gym facilities. This includes indulgent treatments, a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and relaxation areas. An exclusive concierge parking service is also set to be introduced for MDL Platinum members, with each vessel at the marina being allocated a private car parking space.

Following the opening of the hotel, the modernisation of the pontoon berths at the marina will complete later this year and, combined with the many benefits of the on-site luxury hotel, there is set to be hot competition for berthing at Ocean Village. The marina is also being configured to allow for the arrival of much larger yachts, creating easier access than ever before for all boat owners. In readiness for completion, MDL Marinas is taking advance annual membership and is advising those interested to get in touch early to avoid disappointment.

Dean continued: “Ocean Village embodies our ultimate marina experience, marking a new era for MDL Marinas which champions not just sailing but the plethora of associated leisure opportunities, from wining and dining, to retail therapy and spa days. With the enhanced five-star offering, we are urging people to secure their berths early as interest is already high.” 

Mike Warren, Managing Director of Harbour Hotels, added: “We are delighted that our new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa is only weeks away from opening and are very confident that the hotel will prove a fabulous addition to the city. The innovative yacht-inspired architecture captures everything Ocean Village represents, at once a maritime gateway to the Solent but also a melting pot of unrivalled leisure opportunities.

“We very much hope that you will join us at the MDL stand at this year’s Southampton Boat Show, where we look forward to bringing you an exclusive taste of our Jetty restaurant and sharing the full Ocean Village transformation story.”

Ocean Village Marina member wins trip of a lifetime with Land Rover BAR

Posted: 14th September 2017

In celebration of summer sailing and the 35th America’s Cup, we came together with Land Rover and Ben Ainslie Racing to offer one lucky person a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bermuda. With over 1,000 entries received the competition was fierce, and we’ve found out the inside scoop on how our winner got on experiencing the world’s most prestigious sailing tournament... 

Our partnership with Land Rover BAR spans many years and we are immensely proud to be the teams Official UK Marina Partner - a partnership built on our shared values of pride, innovation, and experience. In recognition of this crucial partnership, we wanted to bring our members closer to the sailing action than ever before, so created a bespoke trip with Land Rover BAR to give one lucky member the ultimate inside look at one of the most respected sailing teams in the industry.

Sue Bushnell from Ocean Village Marina was crowned our lucky winner and, on receiving the news, she said: “When I took the call I couldn’t believe it – you enter competitions never really thinking you will win, so receiving the news that we were being whisked away to Bermuda with Land Rover BAR was the most wonderful surprise. We had just celebrated our daughter’s wedding, so were already on a high, and then this just blew us away.”

Sue and her husband were treated to a fully complementary five night trip to Bermuda, which included travel and accommodation at a luxury resort. As well as exploring the beautiful island, they were given a VIP pass to the sailing action, which included exclusive access to the race village and a tour of the team’s top secret training centre – an area few have been privileged to see.

On the trip to Bermuda, Sue commented: “When we arrived absolutely every detail had been thought of and the trip was perfectly organised. My husband and I are huge sailing fans so we were pinching ourselves to be so close to the racing. Not only did we experience the racing, but the tours we were given were just amazing – being so close to the inner workings allowed us to see the immense skill and dedication of not only the race team, but every member of Land Rover BAR involved in the Cup, from the technical design right through to the training.

“As well as the tours, we also had the opportunity to find out about the extent of the Land Rover BAR operation and its influence around the globe, learning how the aerodynamic racing boat designs and materials have been incorporated not just within the sector but in the manufacture of cars and other technologies.”

The couple attended a banquet at the Commissioners House which now houses the National Museum of Bermuda, offering the perfect chance to reflect on the trip. Sue added: “The hospitality throughout the trip was fantastic, even meeting the likes of Clare Balding.”

 To finish the trip they enjoyed an amazing BBQ on the beach watching the sun set over the turquoise blue water, listening to live music. 

“The entire trip was seamless from start to finish and we’d like to thank both Land Rover BAR and MDL Marinas for providing us with an unforgettable experience.”

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