If you’re anything like me, Ibiza is not the first place you think of when it comes to family holidays. After all, isn’t it full of teenagers dancing to rave music, and drinking too much booze?
So when First Choice Holidays invited us to spend a week in Ibiza to experience the Seaview Holiday Village with First Choice Holidays, I don’t mind admitting I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The hotel itself is HUGE, with more than 400 rooms catering to around 1,500 guests. Our family room was in the Hibiscus building which is furthest away from the main hotel, meaning it’s relatively peaceful – I suspect the nearer rooms are quite noisy at night. Our room also had a spectacular sea view, and a balcony which made for a lovely spot to sit and watch the sun set.
Holidays here are all-inclusive and that means you’ll never be short of something to do. You can kick off your day at the large pool, or the on-site water park, which has a range of slides. At almost 9, Flea could go on all the rides bar one, and had a fab afternoon here after we arrived. The pool is huge and there’s a separate small pool for babies and toddlers, which is always nice. The main pool gets very busy during the day, though, and can feel a bit crowded.
But it’s not just about swimming. The Seaview Holiday Village also has its own high-wire adventure course, football pitches (complete with daily coaching sessions for children), and a full activities programme with three sessions a day in each of the kids’ clubs (which are grouped by age) as well as a full programme of family activities, from morning until midnight.
Flea took part in the Razzamataz stage school session, which was great fun, even BEFORE a surprise visit by the pop group The Saturdays, who were performing that evening at the hotel as part of the First Choice Holiday Village 10th anniversary celebrations. The kids here learn singing, dancing and acting with UK coaches, and it seemed to be lots of fun.
Flea also loved the high wires course, which I thought was very well managed by the on-site activities team, with nervous children getting lots of support when needed. Needless to say, my child was NOT one of the nervous children.
As an all-inclusive resort, it’s not just activities that are included. The resort also offers all-inclusive food and drink as part of the package and there are lots of options to choose from.
The main restaurant is a buffet, which is large and has a number of stations where you can choose from salads, hot dishes and an enormous range of desserts. You can also eat at two restaurants which are directly across the road from the hotel, one Italian-themed and one an American-style diner. Finally, there’s the Sunset Grill, which offers fresh grilled steaks and fish with a spectacular terrace offering gorgeous views over the bay at sunset. We tried all the restaurants once and the Sunset Grill was by far the best, but we also made the effort to eat out and take picnics to the beach – it seemed a shame not to try some local places when the opportunity was there!
There is absolutely loads going on at the hotel, but what really surprised me was how much I loved the island of Ibiza itself and how much we enjoyed exploring beyond the hotel and resort. We spent most of our time out and about exploring the many things to do around San Antonio Bay.
My heartfelt advice is to avoid the tourist hot spot of San Antonio (unless you enjoy explaining numerous sexually explicit signs and shop displays to your young child). There are countless gorgeous beaches and bays around the island that offer a laid-back hippy vibe and decidedly upmarket food, drink and shopping. There are frequent boat taxis from Port des Torrent, and a bus stop right outside the hotel which takes you into San Antonio (although you can walk if you prefer, it’s around 45 minutes away on foot) and from there you can get buses to pretty much anywhere on Ibiza, including the hippy resort of Santa Eulalia, which is definitely worth a visit.
Here’s just a glimpse of what we got up to during our week in Ibiza:
Our top three don’t-miss-em Ibiza adventures are:
Cala Bassa: There are regular boat taxis from Port des Torrent to Cala Bassa costing 9 euros for a return ticket. This beach is run by the Cala Bassa Beach Club, so the long, sandy beach is fringed with luxurious sun loungers, shaded four-poster beds and dining tables with crisp white linens. You can book sun loungers and tables in advance via the beach club’s website but the luxury beds aren’t cheap (55 euros a day) and do definitely need to be booked ahead. We loved Cala Bassa for the shallow, clear waters where shoals of fish swim around your toes, and the range of water sports – you can hire jet skis, go tubing, try parasailing and even ride a banana boat here.
Ibiza Old Town: While we found little to entertain us in San Antonio, Ibiza Old Town is gorgeous. You can take a bus into Ibiza and walk up the hill to the old fort, which is a wonderful place to watch the sunset. From there, wander down through the town, checking out the tiny stores lining cobbled streets, and dozens of restaurants offering tapas and paella. The old town is split into districts, with areas for bars, restaurants and hippy clothing, and we loved just people watching. As the night goes on, there are musicians and entertainers lining the city walls, and it’s a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy an ice cream. First Choice offers an evening excursion called Trinkets and Treasures that combines a few hours in Ibiza Old Town with a trip to the hippy market at Las Dalias. I’d definitely recommend this for a fab taster of what the city has to offer.
Seaview Village Water Park: Our final highlight of the trip to Ibiza was an afternoon at our own hotel’s water park. It’s clean, convenient and FREE (I’m so impressed by this, having spent fortunes on water park tickets on previous trips) and I thought the level of supervision by the lifeguards was extremely impressive – the whole site feels really safe and convenient. My one tip is to take flip flops with you – both of us got blisters on the soles of our feet from the scorching hot ground here, as there is very little shade (I know, you’re weeping into your cup of tea, aren’t you?)
Details: We stayed at the Seaview Holiday Village in Ibiza with First Choice Holidays. Stays in a family room here during August start at £950 per person, including return flights from the UK. For more information, please visit the First Choice website.