The Premiership club’s first-team squad and coaching staff spent four days at the award-winning venue in Murcia, south-east Spain, in April working on key aspects of their game in the run-in to the end of the rugby union season last month.
The short break, which saw Harlequins take advantage of La Manga Club’s extensive training and leisure facilities, had the desired effect as Conor O’Shea’s team recorded three wins in a row immediately after the visit.
Fellow Heineken Cup contenders Racing Metro 92 also used La Manga Club to finalise its preparations for the climax to the French season and Harlequins would welcome the opportunity to return to the resort in the future.
Graeme Bowerbank, head of rugby operations at Harlequins, said: ““La Manga Club fulfills all the criteria for teams looking for a warm-weather training break, whether it be in pre-season or in the middle of a campaign.
“The resort came highly recommended from within the group from staff who had used the facility with other sports, and from players from within the group who have also been previously, and it exceeded all expectations.
“Each game was like a ‘cup final’ at the time we went there. We were able to work hard for short periods of time on key aspects of our game technically and tactically, but also used down time for team bonding and relaxation. The resort is set up perfectly to offer both and is outstanding.” La Manga Club’s first-class rugby facilities feature two purpose-adapted natural grass pitches and training equipment including a scrum machine, tackle bags and hurdles.
Work can continue away from the pitches with exemplary meetings facilities available to discuss tactics or analyse match footage, three championship golf courses and a 28-court tennis centre provide a great environment to relax away from the training pitch while a five-star spa and fitness centre including a fully-equipped gym and indoor swimming pool are ideal for low-impact training to aid any players not 100 per cent fit.
Bowerbank added: “First and foremost, the pitches and equipment associated with rugby needed to be and were fantastic, while essential relaxation was on offer in nearly every form elsewhere across the resort.
“We arrived at La Manga Club at a tough point within our season having struggled for a few weeks. Mentally, our visit refreshed the group and enabled us to spend some quality time together on and off the pitch. We won three games on the trot on returning, so hopefully it did us some good!!
“Future visits will depend on the strategy we are operating across the rugby department and timing is always critical, but should the opportunity arise and fit in with our planning, I’m sure we would all look forward to a possible return to La Manga resort.”
Harlequins is the latest high-profile sporting name to visit La Manga Club this year as the resort continues to enhance its reputation as Europe’s premier sports and leisure destination.
Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund were one of more than 60 professional football sides to use the venue for warm-weather training breaks over the winter.
Essex County Cricket Club, South African men’s tennis number one Kevin Anderson and the Russian Ladies’ Tennis Federation have also used La Manga Club’s facilities to prepare for this summer while the resort is the overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association until 2016.
La Manga Club boasts unrivalled facilities as a sport and leisure venue including three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000m² spa and fitness centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses, more than 20 bars and restaurants.