When Balearic Villas offered us the opportunity to visit one of their family-friendly villas in Mallorca, we thought about it for…. ooh… ten seconds. And so it was, we kicked off our May half-term this year with three days in Pollensa, a small village in the Northern part of Mallorca.
And this was the result – Villa Alba. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Villa Alba is a brand new family-friendly villa in Pollensa. It’s in the Northern part of Mallorca, a few minutes drive from the closest town, and some spectacular coastline.
It’s all very white and contemporary and spacious. The house is an L-Shape with an open plan lounge/kitchen/dining area along one side, and then a corridor with three bedrooms – each with its own en-suite bathroom. There’s also a small guest bathroom and utility room.
The design is perfect for the setting – one entire side of the house is pretty much glazed, mostly with slide-open doors, meaning your gaze is drawn outside to the pool and gardens, and allowing the breeze to move through the house on hotter days.
For families, there’s plenty of extra touches to make your holiday home from home feel a bit more luxurious. Once you’ve got to grips with the TV, iPod docking station and remote control fireplace, you can have a play with the kitchen – Flea thought it was BRILLIANT that the drawers have little lights inside (“so you can cook in the dark!” she said, oblivious to the fact that I’m always in the dark when it comes to cooking).
The villa is still very practical – the kitchen is brilliantly kitted out with coffee machines galore, toasters, table linen and more pots and pans than you could hope to use in a month. There’s fast WiFi and plenty of seating for larger groups, especially in the outside area.
Speaking of outdoors, we felt this is where Villa Alba really comes into its own. There’s a generous seating area, as well as an outside dining area, complete with a table that seats 8 people, an a gas barbecue that’s the size of my first car.
There’s a lawned garden with playhouse and sun loungers, and even a ping pong table tucked down the side of the house. Here’s a quick video tour from Flea:
The whole area feels very safe – the villa is on a quiet, residential street with electric parking gates, so you could let little kids have the run of the garden without worrying they’re going to wander off accidentally.
The pool is lovely – especially at the end of the day, when we found it was perfectly warm, even this early in the summer.
Flea – needless to say – was never out of it. One thing to note – bring some sort of pool shoes because the design of the house encourages kids to wander in and out and the floors do get slippery very quickly, which I found a bit nerve-wracking.
Pollensa is a perfect destination for a family break in Mallorca – there’s stunning scenery, gorgeous old towns to explore, it’s close to the beach, and there are plenty of water sports and adventure sports for more active sorts. It’s easily reached from the island’s airport (Palma) within about 45 minutes, and the route is fairly simple, along major motorways for most of the route. If you’d like to know a bit more about what we got up to, check out this post about our Pollensa adventures.
What you’ll need (and what you won’t)
If you’re travelling with kids, there are plenty of practical extras included – a huge utility room, high chair, travel cots and the like. The kitchen is very well equipped with bottles of oil, vinegar, seasonings, tea, coffee and so on in the cupboards and drawers. We found plenty of candles and the like for dinner, too.
Bed linens and towels are included and we thought they were lovely quality – there are plenty of towels to use around the pool as well as for bathing.
I love that all the showers are walk-in showers – when you’re trying to shower sandy toddlers, it makes life SO much easier! There are samples of shampoo and shower gel, as well as soap – which means one less thing to leak in your suitcase on the flight over.
One thing that isn’t included, but which I would always, ALWAYS take on this sort of holiday with younger children is a pool alarm – a small device that floats in the pool and emits a loud alarm if something (or someone) drops into the water – it always gave me a bit of piece of mind when Flea was younger, although of course there’s no substitute for proper supervision. I’m always aware of just how easy it is for accidents to happen in this sort of property.
I love the laid-back possibilities of a villa holiday. But sometimes you can miss being taken care of, can’t you?
The folks at Balearic Villas are hoping to fix that with a range of services to families who hire villas in Mallorca this summer. Need a car? No problem. Want to serve lunch or have a cold glass of champagne when you arrive? They can do that, too. Send the company your shopping list, and they’ll ensure the kitchen is fully stocked when you arrive. Speaking as someone who has wanted to throw a full-on toddler tantrum at the thought of finding my way to a supermarket after a long flight and airport transfer, I particularly love this idea.
You can even hire a masseuse to come to the villa and work away your stresses and strains, or a chef to cook up a local specialty dish for dinner.
We were lucky on our trip to have the services of Awesome Mike (this is our nickname for Mike, not what he introduces himself as. That would be weird.) You want to know where to get a healthy vegan seaweed smoothie? Mike’s your guy. Obviously, though, we wanted to know where to get chocolate crepes. Mike knew that too, luckily.
It was Mike who told us the best place to find a lunch menu, and which town to visit when the weather forecast was not too bright. He took us to the beach, and helped us avoid the expensive beachfront restaurant by showing us the hidden canteen where locals get their snacks. When we forgot towels, Mike had towels. When we couldn’t open the boot of the car, well, Mike couldn’t either – but he did clamber over the back seat to rescue our luggage. Last but by no means least, Mike went way, way beyond the call of duty by teaching Flea how to sail a stand-up paddle board (and let her push him off. Repeatedly.) Thanks, Mike.
The right host can make all the difference to a break – and having someone local who can advise you on the best places to see is – I think – what makes a holiday not just memorable, but magical, too.
If you’d like to find out more about Balearic Villa’s range of family-friendly villas in Pollensa, and Mallorca, check out their website. Villa Alba is a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom property with private swimming pool, air conditioning, WiFi, satellite TV and off-street parking. Rental rates start at 2,200 Euros per week, depending on the time of year.