We take a family holiday to Mallorca and stay at the five-star Zafiro Palace Alcudia
To land at night is to preserve the mystery of your surroundings until morning – and we were in for a pleasant surprise on our break to the Balearic island of Mallorca.
Early signs are good – we land at Palma and are out of the plane, the airport and into our hire car in a record-breaking 20 minutes.
Safely at the hotel a little later, we love our big, open-plan, ground floor room despite the partially see-through frosted toilet door!
Zafiro Palace Hotel
The huge comfortable bed and sofa which converts into two singles mean it’s easy to sleep.
And when we pull back the curtains the following morning, we are greeted with a sight befitting this five-star hotel, Zafiro Palace Alcudia.
A big terrace awaits us, furnished with a table and chairs and comfy sun loungers.
But there’s also a gate. A gate which leads on to a swim-up pool. Bliss.
In fact, most ground floor rooms here have this luxurious option while top floor suites benefit from a hot tub.
Water is a common theme, perfect for a Mediterranean island known for the aqua sea surrounding it – I count at least 12 swimming pools.
For children, there’s a pirate-themed pool with water slides and another with a ‘wet bubble’ in the middle to climb and bounce off which opens out into the biggest pool here, with a swim-up bar.
Water slides in a pirate-themed children’s pool
But as it’s October and the water is a little chilly, the warmest pool here is the busiest, with one lane sectioned off for serious swimming and double sun beds over the water on the other side for those who’d rather watch.
The warmest pool
All that swimming builds up appetites and the food here is fantastic. Thankfully the main buffet restaurant has enough pancakes, pizza and pasta to keep even our daughter happy.
Plus a good variety of Spanish favourites like Paella and fish and other international cuisine to satisfy all palates.
There are several a la carte restaurants too – an Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean and Bistro/Grill. All of them offer high quality food in a relaxed atmosphere which caters to children.
And the younger ones are also well-served by a playground, entertainment such as mini discos in the afternoons, a mini golf course and a basketball court/football pitch.
The hotel is in Puerto de Alcudia, in the north of this popular island.
It’s surrounded by mountainous scenery and is within walking distance of Playa de Alcudia, a long sandy beach with shallow waters and playground equipment.
Playa de Alcudia beach
We also spend time on other stunning beaches and explore Port de Pollensa, which inspired Agatha Christie’s story Problem at Pollensa Bay.
The beach at Pollensa
Alcudia Old Town is also worth a look as are the fabulous Caves of Drach with its stalagmites and stalactites and stunning musical experience.
One day we take the twisty mountain road up to a clifftop vantage point at Es Colomer, with fabulous sweeping views of this wonderful island.
Es Colomer – walking up to a view
We admire the keen cyclists cruising up the steep slopes – they didn’t appear to have overindulged in a hotel buffet like I had.
We may have arrived at night but we departed in the morning – just time for a final trip to the breakfast buffet.
Does the Zafiro Palace Alcudia live up to its five-star rating on a family holiday with our children to Mallorca
Zafiro Palace Alcudia
Where is it?
In Port d’Alcudia on the north coast of Mallorca, a Spanish Balearic island in the Mediterranean.
What is it?
A luxury five-star hotel with all-inclusive option, with lots of swimming pools, big rooms and delicious food, within walking distance of a beach.
Is it family friendly?
Yes. There are children’s pools, an outdoor play area, a mini disco, mini golf course and a football/basketball pitch/court too.
Water slides in a pirate-themed children’s pool
The hotel is also suitable for people travelling without youngsters as there are adult-only areas.
Adults only section is on raised area in the middle of the site
The rooms are laid out in a U-shape around the pools.
Many of the ground floor rooms have pool access while the top-level rooms benefit from a hot tub each.
There are two other levels, mostly with pool views.
Our room: We had a ground-floor room with an outside terrace furnished with two sunbeds, a table and two chairs and a round love seat.
A gate from the terrace leads on to one of the swim-up pools. This feels amazing although in reality, in October, the water in ours was sadly a little chilly to spend long enjoying.
The room itself was a lovely big square shape with a huge, comfortable bed big enough for the four of us. But the sofa converted into two single beds for the children.
It’s not for the shy as the room is open-plan to the bathroom, which has a bath and two sinks. There’s some privacy with a separate shower and separate toilet although the doors are frosted and slightly transparent!
Food and drink
There are various price options for food including all-inclusive. We were half-board with breakfast and an evening meal.
The main restaurant – The Market – is buffet-style with indoor and outdoor seating.
Breakfast is a lovely selection of hot and cold food and drinks with more than enough choice to keep us all happy.
Outdoor seating at the main buffet restaurant
One chef, Miguel, impressed us as he cooked up a constant supply of pancakes, fried eggs and scrambled eggs.
He was there again in the evening, cooking tasty meats and fish.
Also at night were plenty of pasta and pizza options to keep our daughter happy and enough paella and other Spanish specialities for an authentic experience.
Plus, lovely desserts and ice-cream.
There are a la carte restaurants too – Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean and a steak/grill with delicious food. But you must book first thing in the morning at the start of your holiday or you won’t get a reservation as spaces fill up quickly.
*The swimming pools – I counted 12, including:
Several long pools which swim-up ground floor rooms open on to.
Two children’s pools – a pirate-themed one with slides and splashes. And one with a big bouncy bubble in the middle to climb and slide/bounce/jump off which opens out into the biggest pool here, with a swim-up bar.
The warmest pool was the busiest when we visited in October as it is covered at night to retain heat. It had a strip sectioned off for lane swimming and on the other side are double beds over the water.
The warmest pool
There is also a pool in a raised section in the middle of the site in an adults-only section.
And there are two warmer indoor pools – a small heated one which we spent time in. And a longer, shallow pool for adults in the gym/spa section of the hotel.
Indoor family pool
*Pool towels are freely available, you aren’t rationed to one each a day so if you need dry ones later in the day or to take to the beach, you can help yourself.
*The food. We all loved the food, the children particularly enjoyed the choice a buffet affords. We visited post-Covid and guests had to wear masks when choosing food and walking around the restaurant. Plus there were numerous hand sanitisers around.
*Alcudia – the town is a couple of miles inland from the touristy port area. It’s a beautiful walled town with a largely pedestrianised city centre. Ideal for strolling around, the children can explore the city walls but they are high with just a wire guard on the one side so take care with younger ones.
Alcudia Old Town
*Mallorca is famous for its lovely beaches, the nearest to the hotel is Playa de Alcudia – a shallow bay, with calm waters and sandy beach. There are lots of facilities including toilets, sunbeds and lifeguards. You can walk from the hotel to the start of the beach in about five to 10 minutes.
Playa de Alcudia beach
*Playa de Muro – slightly further along the bay is another soft sand beach. It is slightly less touristy than Alcudia beach but not as spacious at busy times.
*There are loads of other beaches to explore if you have a hire car, we enjoyed Formentor in particular, a 30-minute drive away over mountains. This beautiful beach felt like we were in the Carribean.
The beach at Formentor
*Cycling is a hugely popular activity in this part of Mallorca and you can hire bikes at the hotel. There are good cycle paths and lots of groups and tours available. The more adventurous can tackle the surrounding mountains where we drove past dozens of riders climbing the steep hills.
*Caves of Drach (Cuevas del Drach) on the east coast in Porto Cristo – stunning caves with stalactites and stalagmites and an atmospheric music show on an underground lake.
*We also explore Puerto Pollensa, which inspired Agatha Christie to write a crime story – Problem at Pollensa Bay is about the disappearance of a holidaymaker while staying at a hotel, under suspicious circumstances.
Pine Walk at Pollensa
We walked along the Pine Walk then stopped on the main beach which has calm waters, plenty of facilities, along with rocks and coral to see just metres from the shore.