AS THE kids happily splashed about in the pool while we toasted our arrival with an all-inclusive cocktail, I felt really happy and relaxed and just knew this was going to be a brilliant family holiday.
I was in Menorca with my friend Jade and her daughter Abigail, 6, and my children Oliver, 4, and Jasmine, 2.
It’s a tall order taking little ones abroad single-handed, so our wish list included a hotel geared up for families, somewhere with a short flight and short transfers and a holiday that wouldn’t break the bank.
After what felt like days of internet searching, I found a great package deal for Hotel SunConnect Los Delfines in Cala’n Forcat, Menorca, with Thomas Cook, via Airtours.
With two pools, plus its own splash park with slides, daytime activities, evening entertainment and a choice of board options, the hotel ticked all the boxes.
Our holiday started the night before our flight at the Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport Hotel where we chose to stay to take away the stress of motorway driving on the day of the flight.
From our bedroom window, we could see the airport, so as soon as we checked in, we felt as if the holiday had begun. The five of us shared a family room and there was plenty of space and we are also both able to leave our cars there while away.
In Menorca, we shared a two-bedroomed apartment, which was ideal for us. It was minimalist and modern, very clean and had a kitchen and lounge with Sky TV.
There was also an on-site kids’ club, which caters for children aged from three to 11. We didn’t use it, but had we wanted to, it was provided by Thomas Cook free of charge. In the main hotel, there was also a teen chill-out lounge with computers.
We chose to go all inclusive – it’s just far easier with kids and it’s also a good opportunity to get them to try new foods.
The only downside was that the hotel only has one restaurant, which is self-service. The food was absolutely fine – but nothing special. We found having three meals a day in the same place a bit repetitive, so we had a few leisurely breakfasts on our terrace after shopping at the local supermarket and ate out a couple of nights, too.
The hotel was neither luxury nor budget, it was somewhere in the middle.
It has a great location on a street tucked behind the main road through the resort, so it’s quiet, but also just a stone’s throw from the main drag.
Cala’n Forcat is almost like a resort of two halves, with the hotel in the middle. If you walk from the hotel with the coastline on your right, it’s fairly derelict.
You can see what once would have been a bustling part of the street, which now has boarded-up bars and restaurants. In the opposite direction, the street comes to life with bars, restaurants and shops.
The beaches are all small beautiful coves and our favourite one had the most amazing quirky beach bar, which was like something straight out the Caribbean with cool music and the most fabulous cocktails.
If you want to go further afield, Thomas Cook offers plenty of excursions so you can see the sights and experience the culture.
We chose the animal park excursion (21 euros for children and 32 euros for adults) which included a visit to Lloc Zoo, followed by an afternoon at Cala Galdana – famous for its blue-flag beaches. The kids loved being at the zoo, where there’s a wide range of exotic animals from all over the world, and Jade and I loved seeing another part of the island and having a full day out.
Overall, we found it to be a very friendly family-oriented place to holiday, where we made some amazing memories, and, despite being two girls on our own, we felt very safe.
NEED TO KNOW…
LOCATION: Hotel SunConnect Los Delfines in Cala’n Forcat, Menorca
PRICES: Prices start at £321 per adult and £161 per child for seven nights, based on family of four sharing a one bed apartment on a self-catering basis.
CONTACT: Thomas Cook (Airtours): visit http://www.thomascook.co.uk or call 0844 4125970 or visit the nearest Thomas Cook or Co-operative Travel store.
Airport Hotel: Crowne Plaza, Manchester Airport. M90 3NS.