Be honest with me, when I mention Majorca what comes to mind? If your answer is Magaluf and the hoards of British school-leavers sporting garish sunglasses and awful tribal tattoos, and inevitable swaying due to their inability to drink, then I agree.
I must admit, the plane journey did little to stop my prejudice – ‘we were all that age one’, I thought. The good news is the flight from Gatwick to Palma is pain-free and fast (apart from the EasyJet check-ion of course) and once the ravers stagger off to make gun salutes and chant ‘oi oi’, you are left in a serene countryside setting that is quintessentially Spanish.
Our transfer to Llucmajor, Southern Majorca, in a Porsche (I don’t think any golf journalist has ever owned a Porsche – most struggle to afford a car) was just 10 minutes and we arrived at the large, attractive Iberostar Son Antem Hotel.
Boasting two 18-hole golf courses, 143 rooms , two restaurants, swimming pool, spa, gym and hair salon, the hotel is a large, 5-star resort catering to travellers who want to be pampered. The resort is ideal for families as it is a secluded setting which ensures you can snooze by the pool as the little ones play.
My room was large, clean and boasted a beautiful patio close to the restaurant and hotel. A large bathroom is on offer, with both a shower and bath, and the television even shows BBC One – remember the time difference if you’re trying to catch Match of the Day!
The East course is the easier track and offers wide fairways, flat fairways and greens and shallow bunkers. It is suited to high handicap players or those who want to go out and score well, but is still a fun 18.
The West course has some stunning views and the back nine has heaps of character. It is tougher than the East course, with smaller landing areas and undulating greens and you will have to play well to score.
The island has been struggling with a drought and the course was not in the best of conditions when we played it. There is a lot of work being done to sort out the greens fairways, so I’d say this is one to watch. If the quality of the course can be raised to match the hotel, then this is a superb place to visit for resort golf.
The hotel provides a buffet for all meals, at least it did when we were there, and there is a selection of Spanish food as well as home comforts. Chefs are on hand to whip up essentials such as scrambled egg but on the whole it’s help yourself. The food was good and the wine is brilliant with a number of Majorcan wines available.
When in Palma, it would be criminal not to visit ???? restaurant. This charismatic restaurant is where the fisherman used to eat and it has maintained much of its original charm. With fish nets for lamp shades and old doors for tables, it served some of the most delicious, fresh food I have ever eaten, and I’ve done my fair share of sampling. Go for seafood and the Cardinal desert, which can only be found in Majorca. The staff are friendly and welcoming - you’ll definitely spend longer than intended.
This beautiful city is the capital of the Balearic Islands and is situated just 15 minutes drive from the hotel, on the South coast of Majorca. Boasting a beautiful, large cathedral and quirky narrow streets, the architecture and history of Palma is breath-taking. The large port allows you to sit and enjoy a cerveza while watching the other-half in their gargantuan vessels.