Have decided to reproduce this article Yet Again from a few years ago as I think it still applies & may help some newbies....
Children play on the beach while parents enjoy a meal, a glass of wine and, yes, a conversation. Welcome to Puerto Pollensa
Here's a question. What can adults do in the evenings when on holiday with children? Let's look at the options: go to bed at same time as offspring. Put offspring to bed and whisper in hotel
room, with telly on but sound turned down. Sit on balcony, admiring windowboxes at opposite hotel for 14 nights. Go out and put kids to sleep under restaurant table, using them as a handy footrest.
Here's a more appealing proposition: Puerto Pollensa. We warm to the bustling Majorcan town when it becomes apparent that everyone here has children. The only holidaymakers without miniature people attached are the clubbers from Bristol in the next apartment
who have landed here by mistake, sold a dud by their travel agent.
But for us, it's ideal. The horseshoe-shaped beach slopes gently into the sea: as safe as a large expanse of water can be for fearless pre-school kids. Bordering the beach, the Pine Walk offers the town's favourite stroll where families amble, admiring grand old homes with endearingly peeling shutters, shaded by whopping pine trees.
Away from the beach, in the sun-bleached square, we hit the manic market. It's a jumble of appealing tat (like you need a knitted fruit bowl). Shops offer a mix of artsy homey bits, batik-printed trousers and inflatable Dalmatians you'll be forced to blow up twice daily. But we didn't come to shop. We intend to do precisely nothing, and almost manage it. There are no high-rise hotels
here, no 18-year-olds yanking you into bars to drink Hubba-Bubba cocktails.
Puerto Pollensa is big on family-type complexes with kids clubs. I have mixed feelings about these. When you're perched in the travel agents, your kids removing the late deal cards Blu-tacked on the window, you're demanding 24-hour kiddie facilities and even contemplating sending the kids to Florida while you head for the Med. Yet when you arrive, you feel guilty packing them off with the nice lady from Unijet.
It's a new thing, wanting the kids with us. But they are ridiculously manageable. On the beach, I manage to read seven lines of a novel. In the evening, they scamper on the beach with a pack of British and Majorcan kids, clambering on to pedaloes, licking pine trees: “Because that big boy made me do it. Will I die?”
And here's the unexpected joy of Puerto Pollensa: you can venture out after dark. Every night if you like. Your kids aren't whirling around the restaurant, flinging salt, banging spoons, because they're on the beach. While you chomp sardines and gawp at a view that is surely more impressive than your living room, the kids are right in front of you, feet away on the sand.
Two restaurants offer optimum dining-with-kids experience. (Bar Katy on the Pine Walk with its mammoth no-frills fish dishes slammed in front of you by Waiter With A Cob On. GONE NOW!
) Posher, a few doors down, is Little Italy: orgasmic pizzas and the kind of fresh, modern offerings Jamie Oliver lops out for his mates, and you try at home, but end up with something soggy that used to be a fish. We go out more during our two weeks than we have in four years as parents. We have conversations without simultaneously unloading the washing machine. We're not even envious of Posh Family: the immaculate couple whose pristine daughters are whisked off by nanny, brought back for occasional photo opportunities and reminded to keep their white dresses clean.
Puerto Pollensa doesn't suit everyone. If you're planning on pulling or waving your arms in the air until 7am, you've come to the wrong resort. As the clubbers from Bristol told us: Yes, there are good things about Puerto Pollensa. The bus to Magaluf for one thing.
copyright. Sunday Herald 27 January 2002