Rufus Purdy and his wife leave the kids with their grandparents and head to the Med for sun, sea and sand bunkers.
Life changes after having kids, especially when it comes to going on holiday. But once the children were old enough to be left with their grandparents for the weekend, my wife Sarah and I decided to try something new: a trip to Mallorca.
Couples can stay at the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel, which – despite its name – is about far more than the game Mark Twain once described as ‘a good walk spoiled’. The pueblo-style building, all sand tones and burnt ochre surrounded by palm trees and neoclassical water features, wouldn’t look out of place in a spaghetti western. There are comfortable and opulent rooms with huge French windows, and from cave-like balconies you can watch trees sway before a backdrop of fairways as green as snooker baize.
Additionally, you can head down to its La Bodega del Green tapas restaurant and take an outdoor table beside the enormous pool, drink glasses of ice-cold cava and marvel at the star-spray overhead.
Here, there are plenty of new foods to try, such as dates wrapped in salty jamón ibérico, glittering garlicky prawns, thick wedges of chilli-flecked, custard-coloured tortilla – all dishes that kids would hate, but which new mums and dads will devour with the hunger of people who haven’t been permitted pepper in their casseroles for the past five years.
Consider ordering a taxi one day and ask the driver to take you to Palma, the island’s capital. You can sit at cafés on the Plaza Major, people-watch while drinking bottles of Estrella Damm, browse the boutiques on the Avinguda Jaume III or take a look around the waterfront cathedral.
You can also take a bus up to Bellver Castle, set atop a hill and looking down on the city and the Mediterranean Sea, where you can spend a lovely couple of hours watching ships sail in and out of the harbour.
Once you return to Arabella, end your evening by visiting the nearby Castillo Hotel Son Vida, sister hotel to the Arabella, and its fine-dining restaurant Es Ví – thought to be one of the best dining experiences on the island.
An upmarket golf hotel is ideal for relaxation. The Arabella may be in the midst of three golf courses (green fees for all are included in the room rate), but it isn’t really close to anything else. So, glorious, sun-saturated days are spent either pitching and putting, or reclining on the loungers around the hotel pool.
Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel has double rooms from £260 per night, including breakfast and unlimited golf at the Arabella golf courses – Son Vida, Son Muntaner, Son Quint and Son Quint pitch and putt.
Mealtimes can play a big part of your weekend in Mallorca. Book a table at the hotel’s formal Es Carbó restaurant, which serves high-end Mediterranean cuisine. They have many exotic dishes, such as an entire sea bass packed in salt and baked for several hours. It will feel great for Mum and Dad to try something new again.
At The Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel, make sure you book tables at La Bodega del Green and Es Carbó. The ‘food art’ at the nearby Castillo Hotel Son Vida’s Es Ví is well worth checking out, too.
How to get there: easyJet flies direct from several UK airports to Palma de Mallorca, from about £90 return.
Travel time: A flight from London to Mallorca takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes.