For anyone with younger children wondering if holidays ever actually get easier again, I can confirm they do. Or at least the holiday we’ve just been on at the Puerto Azul Suite Hotel in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca was immeasurably easier than any of the ones we’ve had over the past 9 years.
It may be because Joshua is now 9 and much better at keeping himself occupied than in holidays past. Or it may be that we spent most of the holiday with another family this time around, meaning that he had a friend to do things with.
Or it may be because we chose a hotel this time that was a bit smaller and less manic than in previous years. It may even have been because it was October half term rather than the middle of the Summer holidays so everywhere was a bit quieter. But whatever it was, this holiday felt, dare I say it, quite… relaxing.
Let me contextualise it a bit though – I’m not talking the levels of relaxing that we experienced before Joshua. Oh no, no, no. There was still no relaxing with cocktails by the beach / pool without a care in the world. We still couldn’t get up when we wanted to, and still couldn’t go on the excursions we might have wanted to and most of the holiday still revolved around what Joshua wanted to do – those days of freedom are still a few years away yet!
But we could definitely spend a few minutes not being dragged into the pool, and not being prodded or poked because he was bored. We didn’t have to run after him when he decided he’d had enough to eat and we weren’t in constant fear of him falling into the pool, or getting lost, or falling off of something he had inexplicably climbed onto or running away generally.
Given the hotel was fairly small, and that every room looked out onto the pool area, everything felt safe and manageable. There were also activities for kids going on most of the day, so every few minutes Joshua would be off with his friend playing football, or darts or shooting or water polo. For a child who traditionally finds it impossible to sit still for more than a few minutes this was perfect, as he could generally move from the pool to an activity, then back to the pool and then off to another activity.
The restaurant itself at the hotel was the standard buffet affair for breakfast and dinner, but as the hotel was fairly small and wasn’t crowded due to the time of year it sounded and felt like an actual restaurant rather than a children’s playground adjacent to the gates of Hell.
The pool itself didn’t have any slides (only real downside of the hotel) but was a decent size and had some shallow bits and deep bits so that was all good. Again, probably because of the time of year, or the general area, or perhaps because virtually everyone was British, there was never a fight for sun loungers or umbrellas or general space and no one ran down at 6am to dump towels on all of the loungers. Bizarre.
The room we stayed in was modern and decent – nothing spectacular but perfectly pleasant. It was quite handy in that the sofa in the lounge area converts into one or two single beds, so Joshua slept in there whilst we had our own separate bedroom. There was also a nice balcony overlooking the pool, from which we could also watch some of the evening entertainment, which was handy if Joshua didn’t fancy watching the show.
All the entertainment staff were really friendly, aside from maybe one who looked like she was being held against her will. Everyone spoke good English, which is always a nice bonus, and the people working in the restaurant and behind the bars seemed genuinely friendly and helpful. The effort they put into decorating the hotel for Halloween was also really impressive, with Joshua proclaiming that he’d never sleep again because it was so scary.
Spoiler alert – he did in fact sleep perfectly fine.
The local area was even really nice. The beach was a five minute walk and again was quiet and relaxing with beautiful views and lovely sandy beaches. There were beach side cafes all the way along, serving the normal tapas and fish and burgers, which again were fairly peaceful and had plenty of space. For me, there’s nothing more relaxing that a sandy beach with calm seas and pretty trees, and Puerto Pollensa has all of that in spades!
There was a nice harbour area too, with more lovely restaurants, which also had lovely balconies to gaze out over (and to have photos taken next to…)
The weather was surprisingly good too, staying bright and sunny all week (aside from a one hour downpour one day) and lurking around 23 degrees. A couple of degrees warmer and it would have been perfect for us!
Aside from the one downpour, and the lack of slides, the only minor negatives of the week were the fact the hotel doesn’t do all inclusive, so we had to, heaven forbid, pay for all of our drinks, and the fact that the pool was bollock-crackingly cold. After a few minutes in the pool our bodies adapted a bit to the sub-freezing temperatures but certainly when we first got in we were praying for the sweet release of death. Admittedly the fact we had to pay for drinks didn’t really stop us from drinking as many weird and wonderful cocktails as possible…
Oh and of course on the way there the flight was 50 minutes late and on the way back we were put in the world’s shittiest seats where they dangle a curtain in your face to make sure you can’t set eyes on the faces of the special people in business class in the row in front of you. I imagine it’s a bit like seeing through Claudia Winkleman’s eyes.
But those downsides really were quite bearable given how awesome the rest of the holiday was. It was somewhere that we would happily come back to again in the future, and we’ve certainly very rarely said that in the past. We’ve even got some new ‘favourite songs’ to remember from the mini disco…
So if you’re looking back at your recent summer holiday and are wondering if you will ever be able to relax again, I can happily say that this has been one of the very rare occasions in the past ten years that we are coming home less stressed than when we went. Miracles do happen…
To see where else we’ve been to over the years and how they compared to this trip pop along to the Holidays & Days Out section!