Sunday, 29 May 2011

Travel inspiration - Magical Majorca!

Forget chic hotels and live it up in a celebrity-style villa on the gorgeous Balearic island...  

Sweeping gravel drive? Check. Roman pillars on the terrace of a giant villa? Check. Private swimming pool surrounded by lemon trees? Check.
Who lives in a house like this? I wonder, awe-struck. Then I giggle as I realised I do. Well, for a week at least.

‘Welcome to our new home,‘ I grin as we pull up outside Coste de Na Llucia in Pollensa, Majorca.

And, excited, we rush around the place, deciding who wants which of the three gorgeous bedrooms. ‘It’s big,‘ my son cries, taking in the shaded rooms, three bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining room.

That's lucky as I’ve bought my parents on holiday with us this time, and much as my husband likes them, he’s glad we have our very own suite of rooms on the ground floor while they’re upstairs in the master room. ‘This way there’ll definitely be no rows,’ he jokes. In fact we quickly decide we would live here forever.

It’s only been an hour since we left Palma airport and already we’re rushing into our swimming costumes and diving into the mosaic pool. Heaven, especially as it’s 30 degrees C outside. 

This is my first villa holiday ever - and already I’m hooked. No worrying about dressing for dinner. No fears about whether my kids will eat what’s on the menu - this is a home from home, five-star style.

All I have to do right now is slather my body in factor 10, then decide whether I want to read my new Jackie Collins book, or just soak up the sun while my mum and dad play with the children. 

'Anyone hungry?’ I ask, a few gloriously quiet hours later, and we go off exploring in our hire car. Our villa is in north Majorca, just 10 minutes' drive from the chic harbour town of Puerto Pollensa. ’Very Monte Carlo,’ my mum says as we take in the smart yachts bobbing around on the Med, against the dramatic backdrop of mountains.

No wonder Hollywood royalty Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas have a villa nearby. It's even good enough for real royalty – the King of Spain comes here for his summer holidays after the island is sprayed for mosquitoes. Heaven forbid one of the pesky insects should bite His Royal Highness! 

Majorca really does have everything you could wish for - the temperature of the Caribbean in summer, food to rival Italy's, and the celebrity count of the South of France. But our quiet corner of the islands, away from the busy resorts of Magaluf and Palma Nova, has something else too - a quaintness of a simple island life long forgotten in many places.

Sure, you can buy a designer bikini or diamant√© sandals in any one of the chic boutiques along the harbour. But travel inland for a few miles and you’ll find donkeys snacking on carob trees while the farmers take their siesta. Leathery-tanned men sell their giant, juicy tomatoes and home-grown water melons at one of the dozens of markets.

You can visit a pearl factory, buy a hand-made blown glass vase or bag a bargain fake (or real) handbag for half the price of back home.

On our first night, we dive into a local restaurant and feast on paella, washed down with Rioja. The five us eat as much as we can, and then, cringing, ask for the bill. ‘That can’t be right,’ Mum says, shocked. But it is. An entire gourmet meal for a family comes in at less than £25. ‘Even tastier now I know the price,’ I smile.

But it’s hard to be prised away from our sun-washed villa, so we fill the American fridgefreezer and light the built in barbecue every night after that. True to style, the men hog the cooking, while Mum and I get left the washing up.

So we settle into a simple routine - breakfast on the pool terrace, lunch alfresco and dinner by the barbecue patio sipping Martinis shaken, not stirred, but with a slice of lemon plucked from our very own tree.

Later, after putting the kids to bed we watch films on the DVD player or catch up on the news via satellite TV. 

That’s the great thing about our villa. It’s rustic-chic with all mod-cons. My cleaning-mad mum puts our bikinis through the wash every evening, while my dad trains my dolphin-boy son, my film-buff husband catches up on the latest movies - available in every language, while I just sunbathe, read my book, smile, and eat. 

Soaking up the sun with all of us being able to choose exactly what we want to do has to be the perfect holiday.

At the end of the week we drag our heels gathering up our belongings scattered all over the villa where we've really made ourselves at home. 
As I pick up my handbag and absent-mindedly drop the villa keys inside, I'm half-tempted not to hand them in. That way, maybe nobody else can stay at 'Casa Karen before we come back at the same time next year! 

Getting There...
James Villa Holidays offers villas in the north and south east of Majorca. We stayed in Coste de Na Llucia, a deluxe three-bed villa which sleeps up to six people, in Pollensa, which costs from £629 per week in low season.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen, really enjoyed this blog, sounded like you had a great time. We've stayed in the Pollensa area with our two young ones for a couple of years now, and we love it. Funnily enough we were looking at booking the Villa you've just stayed in, but we looked it up on google earth and it looked pretty close to a busy main road, so we are worried about the traffic noise (the local milk floats wakes us up!) can you advise if there was much traffic noise at the villa please?

    Many thanks,