Not all bad
I’m usually a fan of city breaks rather than lazing about on the beach, however it was summer and I’d already had my fair share of city breaks already this year after visiting Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona among others so I decided to try something different and visit Majorca. I went many years ago as a child with my parents, but not to this particular resort. Most British people already know the bad reputation of Magaluf, especially since the recent news and video of a girl performing sexual acts on 24 men to win a free cocktail called “a holiday” (she thought it was an actual holiday). I went with my Ukrainian friend and she’d never heard of the resort, so I’m sure she was in for a few surprises and a taste of British culture in Spain, good or bad.
I flew from Manchester to Palma with Ryanair (Britain’s worst airline) and finally arrived 3 hours late after being stuck on the ground at Manchester inside the plane with no air conditioning and not even a hint of an apology or even a free drink to make up for it. We took a bus from the airport to Magaluf which took around 30 minutes. We knew we had arrived when the bus drove though a jam packed street of young drunks who wouldn’t move out of the road and were banging on the side of the bus as we went through them.
As with sod’s law we were almost the last people to be dropped off at our hotel, the Sol Wave House. Now, this wasn’t any normal hotel. From the inside it was fairly standard affair with a nicely decorated reception, modern comfortable rooms, a beautiful pool area and situated only meters from the beach.
The major difference is they have no traditional concierge service and instead rely on a twitter. It’s actually an amazing idea, you can order room service, book a sunbed by the pool or complain and write praise to the hotel with just a tweet. As I’m sat writing this in Park Hotel Berezka in Koblevo, Ukraine, I really wish this hotel would have something similar so I could easily complain about how bad the free wifi is and they could then at least use Google translate to understand me as there was only one woman who spoke only a little English at all. The other upside to this twitter service was they ran regular competitions and at the time we were there it was guessing who would win each world cup match. All I had to do was tweet my prediction with the hash tag #waveworldcup and if I were to guess correctly and was randomly picked from the entries I would win 6 cans of cider. Luckily I guessed correct and I was the only person who guessed, so I won and here is the proof! The twitter service really wasn’t popular at all considering the size of the hotel, but we took advantage of it so it seems everyone else as missing out (or they were just too drunk to tweet).
On the first evening when we arrived we decided to have a walk about and find something to eat. Surprisingly all the bars and restaurants in our hotel were closed so we wandered onto the strip full of young people. We must have been the only two with jackets on here, I felt so out of place. We did find a burger king eventually so we got two whopper meals to take away and ate them on the beach. As was expected we saw a few odd goings on on the beach which I probably don’t need to describe.
During the day it seemed like an entirely different place, the beach and pool were almost empty until past midday at least. The beach was clean and the water was clear and warm and would be the perfect place for a family holiday (as long as you didn’t leave your room in the evening!). As was normal with Spain and other English friendly holiday hot spots, there was the usual selection of British and Irish pubs and cafes offering everything from a full English Breakfast to roast dinners with Yorkshire puddings. We did of course try some of these places as my friend was from abroad (I’m sure she loved the delights of British food!), but also tried some of the more traditional places too although they still had hints of Englishness with Heinz tomato sauce for example.
In the evenings we usually started at BCM square with some light drinks (Jägerbombs and beers!) and watched the dancing girls and the stag and hen parties adding a bit more craziness to the atmosphere. Afterwards we went to either BCM Planet Dance or Millennium which were both in the same building on top of each other. BCM usually had some big names playing most nights; there was Dave Pearce and Danny Howard when I was there who I love to listen to with their dance shows on Radio 1 back at home. Each night was usually themed, for example when we were there the first time it was a jungle theme which involved dancers (both male and female) dressed up as monkeys which was a little bit strange. Underneath BCM was Millennium which opened later in the evening and had a crazy foam party which covered everyone in foam from head to toe and beyond. It was very crowded, but really good fun. Entry was around 35 euros which usually included entry to both clubs, a free bar and even free gifts if you entered before midnight which was quite good value even if we didn’t know what we were really drinking. One of our favourite drinks was red in colour and tasted a bit like skittles, we still don’t know what it was so simply referred to it as RED in a loud voice. Another evening we went to Pirates Reloaded, a acrobat dance show with club anthems and an adult theme. The same people also do a family version, but we opted for the more grown up version with unlimited free beer and sangria. It was a really good night followed by the a Pirate after party at a local bar, something not to be missed.
We didn’t just stay in Magaluf all the time, we ventured out to the next town called Palma Nova, mainly for souvenirs and a free round of miniature gold which was included in our hotel price. Palma Nova was largely the same as Magaluf, but a much more family oriented place. Nearby, we went to Katmandu which was a small family theme park; again this was included in our hotel price and within was an upside down house with many strange and interactive exhibitions aimed mostly at children. We also took the local bus to the capital Palma which was a nice place with lots of old buildings, however there wasn’t really much to do there at all.
I’ve always wanted to try horse riding, but never had the chance until this holiday. I found the prefect excursion described as sunset horse riding with BBQ. We were picked up by minibus late afternoon from our hotel and took the hour’s drive to the other side of the island to Ranche Grande. When we arrived all the staff were speaking French to the people from our bus, so we could only assume I had booked a French session by mistake. Luckily after more coaches arrived, it turned out there were some other English people so we were fine, even though my friend really wanted one on one Russian tuition! There were 4 groups that we could join, turbo for those with much experience, mini turbo for those with a little bit, beginners for people like us and Sangria wagon for people who didn’t want to ride and just followed us in a wagon getting drunk on Sangria. There must have been around 100 people in our group. We were at the back and luckily it was very easy as the horse just automaticlaly followed the horse in front most of the time so we could just sit back and relax and enjoy the ride and sunset. After the ride there was a barbeque meal and some line dancing.
Despite it’s awful reputation, Magaluf still has a lot to offer during the day if you don’t like drinking and crowds at night. If you are going with your family, I’d recommend to avoid it all together and go to nearby Palma Nova instead or head on over the Alcudia at the opposite side of the island. Make sure you put aside some time to explore the rest of the island too, especially the sunset horse riding and BBQ.