Ibiza. The White Isle. The place of complete and utter hedonism. Where you can go clubbing any time of the day or night and it’s perfectly acceptable to have a beer at 8am. It might not be the first destination you have in mind when booking a family holiday, but it should be.
I have been to Ibiza many times over the years with my friends, it is basically like Mecca for dance music enthusiasts, and something you just have to experience at least once. Made famous in the 60’s and 70’s by the hippie movement, it still retains that chilled out vibe today. Away from the madness of San Antonio’s main strip and the super clubs such as Amnesia and Pacha, there are so many blissful places to just relax, have a cocktail, and watch that famous sunset.
We booked to stay at another Holiday Village after our first one in Majorca last year. If you’re not familiar with them they are all inclusive resorts run by First Choice, catered specifically for families. The kids’ clubs are all included in the price (they run in 90 minute slots throughout the day), and they have nightly entertainment for the children, and then various other cabaret style acts for the adults later on.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for us it was perfect. We loved Majorca last year, but wanted to try somewhere new, and the Seaview resort ticked all the boxes. Still in the Balearic Islands which meant a short flight time (just over two hours from Birmingham), ideal location in Port D’es Torrent (about 20 minutes from San Antonio), its’ very own beach and the icing on the cake – a fabulous water park! We were looking forward to it for months, and it did not disappoint.
Swimming, sun bathing and partying
Our days pretty much followed the same pattern…up around 9am, breakfast and then the pool. All Molly wanted to do was swim. She has never had any proper lessons, but with her arm bands there was no stopping her. If she could have swam at night she would have! What was lovely this time is that because she loved the pool so much, it meant that John and I could take it in turns to watch her and get some serious sunbathing in inbetween. Last year (she was only two) she wasn’t so keen on the water which meant she just wanted to wander about or go to the park. Totally different this year though, it was a struggle to get her out of there!
The water park was ideal for her. The slides were just the right size, and with the splash fountains and the play area, Molly was literally in heaven. It meant that I could completely relax myself knowing that she was having the time of her life, and not have to worry about her getting bored.
The First Choice reps do an amazing job, they are on the go all day and night, and provide quality entertainment for everyone. During the day they run various poolside activities such as the quiz (we actually won it one day!), aqua fit (I did this every day – I felt less guilty about indulging in the all inclusive then), water polo and the pool party. Molly went in the kids club once which she really enjoyed (came out with loads of pictures she had drawn), but was just so busy swimming didn’t go in again.
The evening entertainment began around 7pm with Peppa Pig showing on the big screen for the little ones, and then The Widgets. They are basically puppet type things that (along with the reps) put on a show. After that it’s Live and Loud which is aimed at the older children. It consists of two reps (red team and yellow team) dancing to some ‘big tunes’ (Kou Kou move anyone?!), and various other comedy stuff which the kids go crazy for. Molly knows all the dance moves now!
The kids entertainment finished at 9pm which was ideal for us as by that time Molly was literally falling off her feet (she doesn’t nap in the day). After putting her to bed, John and I sat on the balcony overlooking the entertainment area while playing cards and having a drink.
This just made our holiday. Situated directly next to the hotel with a little bar (Deeva) serving food and cocktails, it was the perfect place to watch the sunset while Molly could paddle in the warm Meditteranean sea. We spent a couple of hours down there every evening, and they are memories we will never forget. With a DJ playing the most cool Ibizan vibes, the fire shows and the sound of the waves lapping the shore, we were in heaven.
Molly played in the sea until 9 or 10pm which she loved, while we enjoyed a mojito or two on the sun loungers. I haven’t felt that relaxed in years just looking out over the horizon with the warm sea breeze gently flowing through my hair…I savoured absolutely every moment of it.
Café Del Mar
I cannot put into words how much this place means to me. Situated on the ‘sunset strip’ in San Antonio (we got a water taxi over there from the hotel), Café Del Mar opened in the 80’s playing chilled out music to watch the sunset by. The interior of the building is like being inside a dream, the architecture is just stunning. I have sat outside on the rocks watching that sun go down so many times over the years, and there is only one word to describe it – magical. It gets deep into your soul and you will come away a changed person.
I have made many a wish on that sunset, and one of them came true – Molly. To be able to sit there and watch it with my daughter in my arms is something I never thought would happen, and I had tears of complete happiness in my eyes. It was the one thing I knew we all had to experience together as a family, and it will remain as one of our most cherished memories.
As the sun eventually set behind the hills everyone cheered, and then they played ‘All You Need Is Love’ by the Beatles which everyone sang along to…I’m getting all emotional thinking about it…if ever there was a perfect moment, that was it.
Best of both worlds
For us, the Holiday Villages are the perfect choice for a family holiday. Going abroad with a young child can be difficult and quite daunting (suffering with anxiety I know all too well how hard it can be), but they really do take the stress out of everything. There is just so much for the kids to do and get involved with, in a safe, happy environment with ice-cream in abundance.
I’m sure some people might find the entertainment a bit ‘cheesy’, or the food not to their liking, but a holiday is what you make it. Besides, there is an entire island to explore outside of the resort (which we will do more of next time), so there is something for everyone.
We will definitely be booking for next year. It was John’s first time to Ibiza and it captured him, as I knew it would. Once you’ve got that feeling, it never leaves and will pull you back time and time again. As our holiday drew to an end the feeling of sadness was overwhelming. Each of us, including Molly, thoroughly enjoyed every moment, and have our own personal memories that will keep us going until we get there again.