Thursday, 11 August 2016

FIRST FAMILY HOLIDAY | GRAN AMADORES



Life has been somewhat of a whirlwind over the last few years.  From the birth of Oscar, to birthday trips, weddings, London visits and everything else in between we've hardly had time to really relax as a family and spend some quality time together.   When the opportunity arose earlier this year to book a family holiday I jumped at the chance.  Don't get me wrong this year is already jam packed with events but this was one thing above everything else that I REALLY wanted.

After many evenings of searching the internet for the perfect family holiday that wouldn't cost us the earth, I eventually came across a deal that fitted our needs.  Gran Canaria!  Ian and I have been here once before, back when we were young and child free, but one of the things that we remembered about that holiday was how many families there were in the resort.  We already knew that it was family friendly, and also that the transfer to the hotel wasn't overly long. We booked through Thomson Holidays, and the best bit, it was direct from Aberdeen.  It's rare to get direct flights from Aberdeen to any holiday destination, and when your flying with a toddler, the last thing you want is to be taking more than one flight, or having to travel several hours before you've even started.

Our flight times were great, leaving at 10.20am, arriving at 2.30pm.  Transfer to the hotel was pretty much direct and took around 40 minutes.  Oscar was so well behaved during the flight and on the bus transfer to the hotel.  I was a little worried that he would struggle but he was a trooper.  The flight itself was a small aircraft, and as Oscar wasn't 2 at the time of flying he was still classed as a baby and therefore he had to sit on our lap.  This wasn't great I have to say, and we did feel a little like sardines.  He fell asleep for around 45 minutes so we had some downtime.


After arriving at our destination, we checked in which was so quick and easy and we headed off to our apartment.  The apartments are built in a horseshoe shape so that every single balcony looks onto the pool.  I am always worried about the cleanliness of holiday apartments and the possibility of cockroaches, I just have this thing about them, they freak me right out.  I know it's ridiculous but after a bad experience it's stuck with me.  However, I needn't have worried as the apartments were spotless!  We loved them!  The apartments are one bedroom with a pull out bed in the lounge area. The top part of the sofa is also classed as a single bed.  If you had more than two children above the age of 8/9 then you may struggle for space, however for a family of 4 it's perfect.  By the time we arrived, taking into account our transfer it was around 3.40pm, we dumped our stuff and headed out to the supermarket which was right next to the apartments. We picked up some essentials for breakfast and snacks and stocked up on water.  By the time we got back to the apartments it was nearing 5.30pm and Oscar was getting grumpy, so we cooked some classic beans on toast and by 6.30pm he was ready for bed.  We decided to just pop him to bed and enjoy the view with some cold kopparbergs.  I knew from the moment we arrived that this was going to be a great week! 


The following day we got up around 8am, had some toast and then headed for the pool!  Armed with his rubber ring Oscar couldn't wait to get into the water.  The sun hadn't come round the top of the cliffs yet so it was a little cold, I nominated daddy to go in first....muhahaha!  Within half an hour the sun had risen over the pool and the temperatures were soaring!  We sat by the pool all day until around 2pm when we headed back for some lunch and the boys needed a nap.  The remainder of the week pretty much went the same. We spent most of the week by the pool, Oscar just loved the water. From Tuesday - Sunday the hotel had Sinnead, a lovely girl who kept the kids entertained throughout the day playing pool games and treasure hunts, and in the evenings she ran the karaoke and bingo! There were also two evenings of the week that were taken up by animal shows which the kids loved.


We absolutely loved our first family holiday, so much so that we are booking to go back next year, but this time for 2 weeks.  One week just wasn't long enough.  We stayed in Gran Amadores, just outside the main Puerto Rico resort.  It was around 5 minutes drive from Puerto Rico but we decided not to venture into the resort as Gran Amadores had everything we needed.  Just a 5 minute walk from our hotel was Gran Amadores beach, the beach front is lined with restaurants and beach shops and of the two restaurants we visited (Max's Italian & Solimar Steak Grill) they were both delicious!  There was a live music bar just on the corner next to our hotel which we had planned to visit but we never got round to it.

Oscar was brilliant and most evenings he managed to stay up until around 10.30pm before going into melt down tired mode.  One of the reasons we didn't venture too far was mainly because we knew he wouldn't be able to last long in the evenings.  The hotel entertainment was just enough for us.  The hotel bar was open from 8am - 12pm daily and offered everything from breakfast, lunch, snacks and evening dinner.  On Wednesday's and Sunday's they run an all you can eat BBQ which we loved!  Kids under five eat free too! 

Our first family holiday was amazing and it'll certainly be one we won't forget!  See you again next year Gran Amadores!




Kirsty x
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