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Late May holiday - do we choose Arenal d'en Castell, Cala Galdana, Santo Tomas or Punta Prima

(13 Posts)
diabolo Tue 27-Nov-12 18:18:27

Tamashii I swore I'd never go to the same place twice, but I have been back to Menorca for the last 10 years now, just in different places and accommodation.

Arenal suited us really well when DS was smaller, then we moved on to Playas de Fornells (renting privately) and now stay in a villa in the countryside near Sant Clement / South Coast.

I love Menorca. Some people find it boring, but to me it's heaven. grin

Tamashii Mon 26-Nov-12 10:01:51

Just wanted to add to this thread in case anyone else is looking for info on Arenal d'en Castell.

We ended up going to Isla Paraiso at the end of May 2012 and were upgraded to a 2 bedroom apartment with a full size cot for the baby. It was fantastic. We were high up in the 400's so had an amazing view over the pool and out to sea. All the staff we encountered were nothing but helpful and friendly without being in your face. The apartments were typical of a package holiday but really clean and spacious. We had plenty of room on the balcony too and there was a Supermarket on site so if we ran out of anything we just nipped out to get it. There's another supermarket literally across the road but it also sells souvenirs, stuff for the beach, swimwear, hats etc. Great.

The actual resort is so much more beautiful than the brochures or online websites show. The beach is one of the most beautiful I have been to. We just loved it.

Went to Cala Galdana for the day. It is gorgeous too but seemed to be much hotter and way busier. There was no space on the smaller beach at all. Glad we didn't stay there after all. It was really, really steep too. Arenal is quite steep but we had no problems with the buggy. There are lots of steps in Arenal too but we coped fine. It would probably help if you had a spare pair of hands to help carry buggies up and down steps but most of the time DH and DS1 went down the steps to the beach and I just caught up with the DS2 in the buggy by going the long way down the roads avoiding the steps.

Loved it. So hope we can go back and we have never been to the same place twice!

Tamashii Tue 08-May-12 11:15:44

Thanks diabolo will def look out for the wildlife! I had been looking at a hotel in Ciutadella but OH chose Arenal. Ciutadella sounds fantastic.

diabolo Mon 07-May-12 12:56:50

Enjoy - as I said above, the Arepar / Isla Paraiso combo worked really well for us. It is 6 years since we last stayed there - but it still looks just the same.

I would recommend hiring a car for a day or two, visit Fornells, Mao, Ciutadella if you can, they are fabulous places. Keep an eye out for tortoises, red-kites, vultures and lizards galore if you like that sort of thing (which I love).

Tamashii Mon 07-May-12 00:06:31

Thanks for all the help. Special thanks to you diabolo We have ended up booking a week at the Isla Paraiso Aparthotel (although they said there is the use of Arepar and Paraiso pools etc). Noticed on Tripadvisr that there is often double bookings here but we really wanted apartments and the villa we saw was just too far out and everything else was over our little budget. So, Arenal here we come. I just hope it's worth it cos the whole organisation is down to me therefore if it turn out to be a crappy hol that will obvs be down to me too!!!

I would have liked to try Cala Galdana but OH passed on the kids club type places in Cala n Bosch and the warnings about steps/steep hills and clifftops in Galdana (as well as the smelly river) so we have ended up with Arenal. Lucky really since we couldn't have afforded the prices in Galdana this time round.

Looking forwards to getting away so OH will be forced to stay away from the office and his work mobile is not invited! Hmph! Thanks again smile

Sirzy Sat 05-May-12 18:19:41

Cala n Bosch is lovely.

Cala Galdana is lovely to visit for a day (you can do a boat trip from Bosch) but I wouldn't personally want to stay there for any longer.

diabolo Sat 05-May-12 18:17:19

Your MIL is wrong about the number of restaurants in Arenal / Galdana.

Cala n Bosch is another of the resorts that most people love, but I wasn't keen. I don't know why. It has a pretty marina, a beach, lots and lots to do, crazy golf , there is even a small waterpark (there is one at Son Bou and I believe a new one is due to open this summer in Arenal). It is near Ciutadella which is my utterly most favourite town in the world.

The Arepar used to do kids disco's every evening at its sister hotel the Isla Paraiso (but that may have changed).

My SIL and BIL stayed in a villa near the Aguamarina last June and loved it (although the Aguamarina itself can be hit and miss, so I have heard).

Tamashii Sat 05-May-12 15:13:18

We don't want anywhere too busy but MIL is trying to talk us into Cala n Bosch now. She seems to think Arenal and Cala Galdana will only have 4 restaurants between them... I found a villa in Arenal that's in our budget too! Not sure in case DS1 misses out on the tacky kids discos thatthey seem to love so might end up atAguamarina.... argh!!!!! heeeelllpppp!

dreamingofsun Sat 05-May-12 09:58:48

we liked arenal - though we don't like really ra ra places with lots of entertainment. went about 15 years ago and there were enough restaurants/bars then to give a nice choice. not sure what we would have done if it had rained though - but then none of the resorts are good if it rains. i was watching a video of our hol a few days ago and the water was lovely and clear and the beach nicely shelving for our then 3 young kids to play safely in.

Tamashii Sat 05-May-12 00:05:05

Oh noooooooo.....
I was set on Cala Galdana but now I hear Arenal is the busiest I am looking at it again.... but Son Bou has been added. What a beach! Help!

diabolo Fri 04-May-12 19:01:15

You may also want to consider Son Bou - largest beach on the Island (like a Caribbean paradise, white sand, azure sea), and it has a bigger resort centre with a bowling alley etc.

diabolo Fri 04-May-12 18:57:06

Arenal is probably the busiest of the resorts you have listed. I have stayed at Arepar twice, when DS was 4 and 6 respectively. We went in mid-June the first time, then end of July. Arepar are great apartments - nice pools, spacious 2 bed apartments, well-equipped, clean - you won't have any problems there.

There are lots of restaurants and bars in Arenal, I don't know who has told you otherwise but I would totally disagree with them. They range from Sa Gavina (head-waiter called Fernando will make a big fuss of your DC's who will then badger you to go back every night) - nice Spanish food but quite expensive, to the Good Bridge Cafe - more English, good value. There is a Chinese, several more Spanish restaurants, an Irish bar, and lots of shops in the Romani centre.

Arenal served us very well when DS when was young and we were new to holidaying abroad with a child. The beach is stunning, shallow water ideal for children, there are go-karts and bouncy castle things at Goody Goody on the beach, pedaloes, kayaks and more restaurants down there too.

Santo Tomas is nice - but is much smaller than Arenal, but I think you would enjoy it just as much.

I have only visited Cala Gladana once. I didn't like it, but everyone else I know who has been there does, it is very like Arenal, only even prettier.

Whichever you choose, you will have great fun and everything should be open for the season when you go in late May (season starts 1st May).

Enjoy! I am heading back in July for the 10th year running.

Tamashii Fri 04-May-12 07:58:59

We are trying to get our first holiday since we had our boys. They are DS1 4 and DS2 7 months so we are heading to Menorca if we can get a deal...
We have never been before and will be going end of May so it will probably be quieter than usual so we don't want a resort where all the entertainment/restaurants are closed.
So far Arepar Apts in Arenal d'en Castell are winning but we have just been told it's a VERY quiet resort with few restaurants even in Summer season so are panicking now... Don't want to get there, it rains and we are stuck with nothing to do so have been recommended all the above resorts.
We have been told to avoid Calan Forcat as it has no beach and is more geared towards older children.

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