Two directions, but two radically different results
As I turn left to leave my resort, i walk along the tree-lined walkway past restaurants open air where families enjoy their daily catch with a peaceful view of lapping Mediterranean Sea.
If I’d turned right, I would have been greeted by foam parties, stag do hi-jinks and neon signs hanging over club doors, all just a short walk away.
I’m staying near the notorious party town of Magaluf on the sun-soaked island of Majorca.
But my experience is a little different to the raucous scene you might expect — as seen by my stroll into the peaceful Son Matias, Palma Nova, where everything is quiet and quaint.
My resort, the slick new Cook’s Club Calvia Beach, is just 300 metres from the sea in an enviable location right between the two distinct towns of Magaluf and Palma Nova.
It’s an ideal spot for those who might like to dabble in partying but still need their downtime.
Thankfully, during my short break on the Balearic island, the only sore spot is my head when I wake up, as three nights of frozen cocktails and €3 pints deliver a painful reminder that I’m not 21 any more.
Luckily, on the streets surrounding Cook’s Club, instead of pubs with names such as EastEnders, and the Prince Harry kebab shop dishing up doners at 5am, there are restaurants serving fresh seafood caught only that morning.
Families are building sandcastles and pedalo rides, and meandering through the nearby playgrounds while stopping to eat slushies or ice cream along the way.
And instead of tales of tipsy tumbles and tattoos from the previous night, there’s laughter and life with a relaxed, rather than regretful, tone.
From Palma Nova, it’s a 20-minute taxi ride north west to Majorca’s stunning capital city Palma, which has a fascin-ating history of invasion and renovation dating to the Bronze Age.
I would highly recommend booking a walking tour with Bluebird Mallorca (€19pp at bluebirdmallorca.com).
We walked from the Gothic Cathedral through streets filled with art galleries, designer boutiques and traditional Spanish eateries.
There are modern, familiar brands such as Zara and H&M but they all blend seamlessly into the Gaudi-inspired archi-tecture and dry-stone structures.
Bar Espana, a hidden gem in a side-street offers an authentic Spanish taste.
Locals prefer to hang out here, instead of on the Magaluf Strip.
Waiters bring us little plate after little plate of truly Spanish tapas — sizzling patatas bravas, crunchy cod fritters, spicy padron peppers and cured ham croquettes — all bursting with flavour and washed down with the Spanish beer Mahou.
Avoid the crowds by getting to Palma before lunchtime. The city is packed after that time.
Booking a Mediterranean Sea boat trip was our way to get away from the chaos.
Lemon Boat’s four-hour tour took us to a beautiful bay where you can swim in the clearest water.
When we returned to the ship, there was delicious home-made food, San Miguel beer and soft drinks.
If you’re on a Maga mad one with a stag or hen do, you can always opt for one of the catamaran booze cruises instead.
That is, of course, assuming you even want to leave the sun-drenched serenity of the Cook’s Club sanctuary during the day.
This adults-only establishment, launched in May this year, offers 211 modern rooms with a choice of single, double or triple beds.
Breakfast comes with the standard booking, but you can upgrade to half-board — and you may wish to when you see the wealth of food on offer at the hotel’s cantina.
You can choose from a wide range of breakfast buffets, lunches or dinners à la carte that include everything from healthy vegetarian dishes to indulgent meals.
During the day, there’s a large main swimming pool and an infinity pool, plus there’s a sandy beach area that has its own bar whipping up fruity cocktails.
If you don’t fancy venturing into Magaluf, the resort has a DJ delivering music sessions around the clock, with the tunes tailored to the time of day without giving off an extreme party atmosphere.
We saw couples of all ages, as well as solo travelers, 40-strong hen parties, and people who were in their 20s and 30s, doing different things on holiday.
The hotel’s location is a little noisy, but it doesn’t disturb your enjoyment of the holiday.
And at a cheap €82 per night — and with an easy-going vibe and stylish, modern design — you can’t go far wrong.
You can still enjoy the kebabs as long as they are not Prince Harry.
Get There: Wizzair flies from Luton to Palma de Mallorca from £12.99 each way. See wizzair.com.
STATING THERE One night’s B&B at the Cook’s Club Calvia Beach costs from €82, based on two guests sharing. You can see. cooksclub.com.
OUT & ABOUT: Lemon Tours offers sailboat hire for 11 people at €60 per person. You can see. lemon.tours/en.