In July 2019 we finally decided to take our children aged four and six on their first abroad holiday. This is not an all-singing, all-dancing review of our trip as we were there to enjoy it, but a brief overview of why we picked the one we did, what we liked about it and what we learned about booking future holidays abroad as a family. It also cost A LOT of money and regular followers of Milton Keynes Kids will know that I mostly focus on cheap days out, but given the amount of hours I spent looking at child-friendly holidays I thought you might find this useful to read. We went to the Coma Gran in Sa Coma, Majorca – a TUI family life hotel during the first week of the school holidays. It cost £2900, we flew with Easyjet as part of a package deal and went half board.
Why did we pick the Coma Gran?
Choosing where to go on holiday abroad with children is it a bit of a minefield when you haven’t been before. I spent weeks faffing about trying to decide where to go, looking online at hundreds of hotels. I even went into a travel agent – they were hopeless – it was essentially watching someone else look on the internet. I didn’t want to take the children out of school / pre-school in term-time this year and so was restricted to looking in the school holidays. I wanted the journey needed to be easy and the hotel needed to be really good with excellent facilities and really good online reviews. I also wanted to be within walking distance to a really good beach and for there to be lots of activities for the children to do. Not fussy eh? So after putting in lots of filters and reading loads of reviews I opted for the Coma Gran – a 4 star hotel complex in Sa Coma, Majorca.
What were the best bits of the Coma Gran?
The paddling pool is fabulous. It came up to knee height on my 6 year old. The play frame has a number of slides. Of course you have to watch the kids but it did mean they could play for ages with us watching by the side of the pool or playing with them. My eldest is a good swimmer. My youngest hasn’t had lessons but is fairly confident in the water. The main swimming pool is a good size – it did get busy so not great if you want a swim but good for playing. (The picture below shows an empty pool with tape round it as on our last day it was cleared as a child pooed in it!) There is a splash area with water jets which was good fun although they only came on sporadically. There is an outdoor play area which is really good but the children barely went on it as they spent all the time in pools. We went half board – the food was excellent with a huge choice at both breakfast and dinner. There was a chef’s station – absolutely fabulous when one evening giant grilled prawns were on the menu. There was always lots of meat, salad, fish, vegetables as well as things like chips and sausages. There was a children’s station too and loads of puddings and cakes. We decided not to go All Inclusive but would probably be worth it if you love drinking. There was entertainment every evening with Paw Patrol on a big screen, characters, interactive quizzes and then a show at 9pm.
What was the location like?
It’s an excellent location. Sa Coma beach is only a 5-10 minute walk away and it’s beautiful – white sand and clear warm waters. It was very busy when we went although it didn’t seem too much of a problem – we didn’t go there expecting an empty beach. There were no fish in the sea but lovely for paddling and swimming in. There are shops and restaurants on the doorstep of the hotel. The only downside is that the hotel is a good hour’s bus journey from Palma airport so you do need to factor that into your travel time.
What were the downsides?
It’s a lot of money if you go in the school holidays or at certain peak times. If you’re still looking for 2019 you can go in September and October for between £311 – £717 pp – that’s how much the price varies depending on the day you travel. I can’t see prices yet for 2020. Even when you’re there it’s not a cheap Spanish break. At the time we went the Euro was roughly equivalent to the pound making eating out there a similar price to home – around £40-£50 at least for an evening meal. Local wine was cheap around 3 euros a glass in the hotel and bottled water was around 0.75 euros. The rooms were relatively spacious and good for families although the double bed in our room was two singles pushed together and the kids beds were sofa beds.
What did we learn from this holiday?
For young children it’s brilliant to have a paddling pool with slides that they can play in semi-independently – that was a big hit. Having a beach that was only a short walk from our hotel was fab. Because it was so hot when we went – around 34 degrees – I’m not sure we would have gone as frequently as we did if it had been further away. There was no need to find somewhere with an outdoor climbing frame – the children didn’t use it. Air-conditioning is essential to the room and I’m pleased this worked really well. This hotel DID have a kids club with both morning and afternoon sessions six days of the week. Because the children love spending time with us we didn’t take advantage of it – we should another time. The entertainment was so much fun in the evening that for the first time ever we allowed the children to stay up until gone 10.30pm which meant we were with them from the moment we got up until the moment we went to bed. So actually we spent even more time as a family than we do normally with no time to ourselves in the evening. We don’t regret it – we had the best time but it is worth considering if you’re thinking that you’re booking a holiday and want time to yourselves. If you do go to this hotel and like us have an early departure – DO NOT drink the milk as part of the cold breakfast – just stick to toast and coffee from the machine.
Anything else we need to know?
Yes. We spent a total of about 400 Euros on lunch – most days bought from the supermarket – as well as wine and cocktails in the evening, water and some ice-creams and souvenirs. It would have cost only slightly more to go All Inclusive but quite frankly I would have probably put on another half a stone in addition to the weight I suspected I’ve gained. But you may want to consider that. The hotel room was spacious and well air-conditioned but to open the patio door to the balcony you literally had to pull the door open (not overly easily but my 6 year old could do it with a bit of strength) and with the children sleeping in the living room we had to put them under strict instructions not to open the door as we were up on the fourth floor. We heard very little noise at night but if you do happen to be put in a room above the entertainment area over-looking the pool and DON’T want to stay up late because your children are very young then you might want to ask for a different room. The hotel also has a spa and an indoor pool although we didn’t use it. The pool looked closed when I peered in to look. We flew from Luton airport. It’s great to have an airport only a 30 minute drive away from where we live in Milton Keynes. But beware of the drop off and pick up charges if you’re getting someone to take you or pick you up – £4 for 13 minutes then £1 per minute thereafter – it can soon add up.
Would we go back to the Coma Gran in Sa Coma?
Yes absolutely we’d consider going back to the hotel – although I would try and look out for good deals. A combination of the paddling pool, excellent food and really good entertainment and attentive staff made it a really good choice for a family holiday. Sa Coma itself? The beach was beautiful but busy and I wasn’t particularly inspired by the restaurants we found on our doorstep so I wouldn’t be overly fussed about returning to that area in particular unless there was another excellent hotel. But Majorca is a fab, quick destination to get to from the UK and I’d definitely go back to the island. As the children get older it would be fun to go on some boat trips to see fish as well as visit the two water parks that are there. Lastly – if you found this review useful and you’ve been on a holiday you’d like to recommend please do share your photos and mini review in Milton Keynes Kids – discussion group.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.