Last week Shine and I went to Majorca with Thomson to review one of their Thomson Family Resorts (the Protur Aparthotel Bonaire). You can read my intro post here in case you missed it. I have way too much to say (Really? Me? How unusual!) for just the one post so this post is what I thought of the resort.
Before going to a family resort I had pictures in my mind of scrambling for sunloungers at dawn and queueing for an hour to get a bread roll and cup of tea while children screamed around me. Turns out Thomson Family Resorts could not be further from the scenes from my nightmares. Instead, it was an easy, relaxing break with children. Amazing.
If you stay in one of their family resorts, like the one we did in Cala Bona, Majorca, here’s a peek at what your days might look like.
The apartments are clean, modern and spacious. Thomson Family Resorts isn’t just a name, they’ve clearly done their homework and have thought about every aspect of holidaying as a family. It shows through the little touches like high chains on the balcony doors to prevent curious kids from opening them when you’re not looking, and Cbeebies on the television. The cots are proper regular cots as well, not travel cots, with comfy mattresses. This made a big difference to how Shine, and so ultimately, I, slept.
When we woke up, this was the view from our balcony. Utter bliss.
We headed out of our room in search of breakfast, although the fruit basket that was in our room when we arrived meant I could distract Shine with grapes long enough to get ready without being too harassed for food. We ate breakfast in the main restaurant and it was buffet-style. Not ordinary buffet style though. I have never seen a buffet of that scale. Hot foods, fruit, breads, pastries, toast, yoghurt, cereals…I could go on. It was pretty incredible, and all tasted really fresh and delicious. There was a dedicated buffet for children at all meals in the restaurant and Shine was in heaven eating a special holiday diet of pasta, pizza, sausages, bread, washed down with vast amounts of juice and finished off with dessert in the evening which was ice cream, cakes and petit four style mousse. Delish.
After breakfast it was time for a dip in the kid’s splash pool. It was a super fun area with slides and an amazing pirate ship for slightly older children that Sun would have loved. There were pool toys to play with, rings and arm bands. There were also plenty of sun loungers, to my joy. No need to scramble at all. There was a shade cover over part of the kids splash pool, which would have been necessary in the height of summer I imagine. As you can see, Shine loved it and made herself comfy on the sunbeds too.
One thing that surprised me about the resort was that it was fully booked during our stay but it didn’t feel crowded at all. In fact, there was a great sense of space partly because there were so many different areas that the resort absorbed the number of guests with ease.
After a morning splash I could drop Shine off at the creche (there was a kids club for older children) knowing that that she was happy and safe. The creche staff were lovely and made a real effort to get to know Shine and I before I left her in their care. The creche room was set up a lot like a UK nursery room and I think it helped Shine feel at ease right from the start.
While Shine was in the creche I got the chance to take a dip in the main river-style pool. It was salt water and wound right the way through the centre of the resort. Again, I can imagine it can hold a lot of people without feeling crowded due to the clever design.
I also had the chance to read a book. With actual pages, not on a screen. WIFI throughout the resort is being installed in time for next summer season but for now there is internet access in reception if you need it. I had 3G from my UK carrier and had no problems with signal at all while I was there, as my Instagram feed will attest, but I did enjoy reading and not checking my emails every few minutes while I was there.
All that swimming makes for hungry people and we ate lunch on one of the days in the Pool Bar instead of the restaurant. It was a relaxed vibe, being sat aorund the pool, but the buffet food was of the same high standard as the restaurant. We were a group of 8 adults and 6 children and it was never a problem to find highchairs and set up tables to accommodate us. Everyone who served us was always friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Good thing too when you have to serve a certain toddler who’s shouting ‘straw’, ‘more juice’, more ice cream’ every five seconds.
After lunch we’d have to take a wander past the terrapins to say hi. Shine and the other kids couldn’t get enough of them, they were so cute.
While there’s absolutely no need to leave the resort if you don’t want to, I quite fancied exploring the local area – a marina in Cala Bona and a lovely sandy beach at Cala Millor. We had the use of a buggy during our stay, which saved me carting one with me, and Shine was happy to walk a bit then sit back and enjoy the view as I strolled the 20 minutes from marina to beach.
After an explore of local sights we headed back to the resort for a play in the kids playground and soft play area. If you were holidaying with a baby there was a parent & baby room to use that had everything you’d need to chill out and feed or play in a peaceful environment.
I tried to get Shine to have a little afternoon siesta because after dinner there was a live show and Shine loved shaking her stuff on the dancefloor with the other children. The kids went nuts for Thomson the Dog as well, and we were lucky enough to have a personal meet and greet with the T-Dog himself. He blew their minds!
There was also an evening creche from 6-9pm so if you want to have a meal without the kids you can do. We ate one evening meal in the a la carte restaurant and the food and service were superb. I actually forgot I had left Shine in the creche and just thought I was out having a top meal with friends. That might have had something to do with the wine I was (very responsibly, of course) sipping. Shine had a great time in the creche and was calm and ready for bed when I collected her. I wasn’t far behind.
I have to say we had the most incredible time staying at Bonaire. All the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome and relaxed, and the Thomson crew who travelled with us were amazing too. Nothing was a bother and it really felt like holidaying with friends. So a massive thank you to Thomson is in order for giving me the chance to have my mind changed about Family Resorts. Shine has been spoilt now as well. She’ll expect nothing less than the treatment we received during our stay on future holidays.
If you want to read more reviews of our Thomson Preschooler Trip written by the lovely bloggers we travelled with then head to Mummy and Boo, Life According to Mrs Shilts, Confessions of a Crummy Mummy and Mum on the Brink.
If you’d like more information on the resort, like costs and details on the all-inclusive options visit Thomson Family Resorts and there’s a brochure on the right of the page. Or feel free to tweet me or comment on this post if you’ve got any questions.
Just one more post to come from me about our Majorcan adventures. One more post on our day trip to Palma…then I promise not to post any more photos of me and my girl in summery, idyllic locations for at least 6 months.
Thomson paid for Shine and I to travel and stay with them but all opinions are my own. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.