TRAVEL: Magalluf looking to switch from party resort to family fun
Partying, drinking and holidaying to excess. Think of Magalluf, and rightly or wrongly, that may be the image that jumps into your mind.
Well, not any more. Majorca is apparently shifting gear.
Tour operators are keen to attract families to the resort and shift the stereotype. But have they succeeded?
The first leg of my Spanish excursion took me to BH Mallorca in Magalluf. Within hours of landing, our group was crawling through a tunnel in the middle of a haunted house.
The house is based at Sol Katmandu, a holiday resort come theme park which is squarely aimed at families. Its star attraction is an upside-down house, a strange construction with topsy-turvy rooms and furnishings. It also boasts a giant yeti mascot scaling the hotel building.
We stayed in BH Majorca, a nearby over-18s only resort, for the first three nights.
BH, a four star resort with 656 rooms, is packed with pools and waterslides. Three massive slides sit in the middle of the resort, with two vast pools on either side of the room complexes.
Hundreds of sun-seekers were draped on deckchairs and poolside beds around the water’s edge in the blazing sun, while bars dotted throughout served no-extra-cost drinks to those on all inclusive deals.
Some very big-name DJs pop in throughout the year for gigs, including David Guetta, Example, Disclosure and Craig David.
During our stay, a chap from The Only Way Is Essex performed a DJ set during a VIP pool party. Ultimately, it felt like Where Young People Came To Party, helped of course, by the nearby, massive, riotous and relentless BCM nightclub which hosts all sorts of foam parties and offers all-inclusive drinks for BH guests. I stayed at BCM until 4am - by which time it was even busier than midnight - before admitting defeat.
The second resort, Fergus Magalluf, was the other side of Magalluf geographically and metaphorically. Located on the beautiful coastline, overlooking the beach, the Fergus felt designed purely with relaxation in mind.
The resort boasts a large pool, as well as tennis, mini-golf, a gym and various other activities
Each room was beautifully appointed; bright, modern and stylish, and my balcony had a stunning view of dazzling waters. In the baking sunshine, the setting was simply sensational.
The food was exquisite, none more so than when the head chef of the Fergus chain cooked us an eight course banquet, taking in octopus, sushi, lamb and cod. It was sumptuous.
We flew courtesy of Jet2.com. No complaints about the flight; standard low-cost fare, but the flight from Leeds Bradford was quick and painless. We also made use of the resort check-in: this allows you to check your bags onto the flight at the hotel, instead of lugging your luggage around all day on the final day. I asked questions like ‘what if the van breaks down on the way to the airport?’, but The Man would not be flummoxed.
Although there is still much about Majorca that feels skewed towards 18-30s, there’s clearly a growing market for families and relaxation sun-seekers, too.
Not just holidaying to excess, then.