So this is what we work all year for! A holiday in the sun. We are having an all-inclusive week in Cala Dor in Mallorca, where we are experiencing the pros and cons of a package holiday.
We fancied some sunshine and that is exactly what we are getting! The views are also stunning here, with clear blue sea and bright blue skies. Gorgeous. Check out the face in the rocks in the pic below!
As with anything we buy, we searched for a good deal before booking. We found the best price on Teletext Holidays. I didn’t know they still existed! Incredibly, when we looked, the all-inclusive was a cheaper price than half board. How can that be? It seems holiday pricing structures move in mysterious ways.
We flew with Ryanair. The flight was absolutely fine with no problems or delays. However, I found the online check-in process frustrating and misleading. They wouldn’t let you check in more than seven days in advance unless you paid, and you couldn’t reserve seats until you had checked in, which they also charged for. I wanted to make sure we sat together so we had to pay more – around £50!
I think this could have been reduced or avoided but, as I said, it was bewildering. We also had to pay a 15 Euro local tax when we arrived, which we weren’t expecting. We had a cup of tea on the plane but brought some fruit and baguettes with us to save a bit of money on food whilst travelling.
I have never been on an all-inclusive holiday before. I usually like to self cater to keep my budget low. I wasn’t sure how the food would be, but so far it’s pretty good. Lots of salads, fruit and veg, free wine or beer, and you can have as much or as little as you fancy. However, this hotel is busy and so is the dining room, so not the place for a quiet meal.
As well as your meals, you can have drinks and snacks throughout the day as part of the all-inclusive deal. We will be putting on weight!
The room is good, clean and basic, but there is no kettle! We couldn’t find a cup of tea anywhere when we arrived yesterday – something of a crisis for us tea swilling Brits 😀. We did have a very strong coffee at the hotel beach cafe in the afternoon, but there was no tea there or in the restaurant. Apparently we had to find the sports bar, but we were too tired. Having been up to catch our flight at 3.45 am, it had been a long day.
Which brings us to our next problem: our room overlooks another bar, where there was loud entertainment until midnight. This will be ok when we are out in the evenings, but not when we want to relax in our room. I guess they intend you to chill in the sports bar with your evening cuppa! We asked them to move us and they did. The staff here are great.
Although this post is headed the pros and cons of a package holiday, we found more advantages than disadvantages. It helps that the hotel has its own private beach complete with sun loungers at 12 Euros a day. Being money savers, we opted for a couple of towels on the sand. We stayed at the Hotel Barceló Ponent Playa. If you want a good basic hotel and value for money, you can’t go far wrong.