We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

Doncaster, United...
Level Contributor
797 posts
42 reviews
Save Topic
my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

Hello all ,Got back yesterday from my week in Menorca and here is my review. Arrived last Saturday and my first tip if you are visiting Son Bou is to do as we did and just get a taxi from the airport . There were loads waiting and to Son Bou it was around 29 euros and same price on return.This compares to prices I was quoted for booking a private transfer of around £80 to £90 sterling.

We stayed at Valentin Son Bou apartments and our journey there took around 20 minutes. What first struck me about Menorca was how green it looked. Lots of trees and fields it reminded me of driving through the English countryside.

Our apartment was ready on arrival and was excellent for our needs and the place was very clean and as we had hoped for.My review of the hotel/apartments will be up in next day or two so wont go into much detail here but will say this, I have never been half board or all inclusive before and never want to again. Because of this I am going to be contacting First Choice in next day or two to try and change our A/I in Majorca in September to a Thomsons self catering. We hated the hot and stuffy dining hall,the feeding time at the zoo mentality,the repetitive food and the boringness of going to the same place to eat every day. So much so that we ate out on two of our last three nights in Son Bou and had two of the best meals in a long while at Casa Andres(no 1 on ta). Review for this excellent restaurant also to follow.

As for Son Bou itself it is one of the most family friendly holidays I have been on .Families everywhere you looked and the Menorcan people are lovely,friendly and welcoming .The resort itself is small and compact with at an estimate around 20 or so restaurants/bars, several souvenir shops,two or three small supermarkets, a place to book trips, a cosmetics shop,a wine and spirits shop and a couple of clothes shops. the beach is amazing and long with lovely gently sloping sand into perfect sea.there are several beach bars and also watersports activities to hire.Sunbeds are expensive at 15 euros for two beds and a parasol.

Prices I can quote in resort to give people some idea are around 3.50 euros for pint of lager,2.20 euro for soft drink(cola,fanta,sprite etc),3 euro for glass of white wine,4 euro for a toastie,5 euro for a baguette and around 2 to 3 euro for nice icecream on a cone.

food in restaurants was around 8 to 25 euros for a main course obviously depending on what you required but loads of places had "menu of the day" which were valid all day for around 12 to 16 euros. Most of these were three courses and consisted of around 10 starters,ten mains and five desserts. Although we never tried them they did seem good value.

A couple of opinions I will make are firstly ,that I think half board /all inclusive are doing son bou no favours at all . I know we are early in the season but most of the restaurants,bars even in the evenings were really quiet,with the exception of Casa Andres which had reservations every night.I hate seeing places empty and hope things pick up for them all during July and August.

Also for the amount of children in resort I wonder if there could be more to do for them in the resort.The bowling was closed when we were there and apart form a couple of small kids rides outside shops there was nothing for kids to do apart from the beach.Trampolines,swings,slides and crazy golf in my opinion would help the resort cos it would entice families away from the boring all inclusive in the evenings and help the businesses.i know that Menorca doesn't want to turn itself into a trashy holiday island ,but would a few more activities for kids do that? I don't think so .

Anyway and apologies for rambling on, we also went to Mahon for a few hours on market day(Tuesday and Saturday) We got a taxi and it cost 25 euros each way and dropped us right next to the main square where the market is held. Mahon is lovely and we enjoyed our stroll round the market and walk down to the harbour where we had lunch and then went on a boat trip. these last an hour and there are two companies we could see selling them . the cost was around 11 or 12 euros per adult and 5 or 6 euros for a child with under twos free.it was a great trip and very informative .We then walked up the steep hill back into the centre but were disappointed to find at least half of the shops were closed between 1.30pm and 5pm. This did put a dampener on things as we were going to be spending some money in the shops before we went back to Son Bou.We timed the boat trip to finish for 3pm thinking this would take us past siesta time so were really disappointed.

Anyway to sum up would return to Menorca and Son Bou like a shot and would go self catering and try a different restaurant in the resort every night . Loved the place and a week was not enough

Mentioned in this post
Menorca
Menorca
Balearic Islands, Spain
Son Bou
Son Bou
Menorca, Spain
Valentin Son Bou
Valentin Son Bou
1,578 Reviews
Menorca, Spain
Majorca
Majorca
Balearic Islands, Spain
Restaurante Casa Andres
Restaurante Casa Andres
821 Reviews
Menorca, Spain
Mahon
Mahon
Menorca, Spain
Doncaster, United...
Level Contributor
797 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

and nice to meet BedfordRabbit who also posted questions on the forum before their holiday .if you read this get Casa Andres tried and enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Mentioned in this post
Restaurante Casa Andres
Restaurante Casa Andres
821 Reviews
Menorca, Spain
Surrey UK
Destination Expert
for Menorca, Santo Tomas
Level Contributor
14,856 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

I am so glad you had a good time. I see that you found that, as so many of those of us who visit the island regularly have noticed and commented previously , All Inclusive isn't always what it is cracked up to be and once people have bought into that sort of deal naturally they want to use it regardless of how disappointing the choice etc. of food may be. Since the major tour operators started pushing All Incl so heavily many local amenities have found themselves struggling to get trade because people are always going back to their accommodation to dine and doing no more than buy the odd coffee in the resort bars.

I see that you would return "like a shot" which is of course the best recommendation you can give

Doncaster, United...
Level Contributor
797 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

thanks menreg we only did half board and that was depressing enough for me. the food was always cooked well but was so repetitive. on the occasions we spent round the hotel ,or when we returned after being out for the day we noticed the same people in the same positions on their sunbeds day in day out.each to their own but my idea of a holiday isn't lying in the same position for 7 or 14 days doing nothing . I can lie on my bed at home for free if I wanted to do that.

if I cant change the holiday in September I am even considering cancelling altogether and losing £600 I just couldn't handle it for 11 nights all inclusive .either that or I shall have to try and copper together some more spending money from somewhere so we can at least get out and about half of the time and only use the all inc as and when it suits.could kick myself for booking it but we thought it would be better with the young 15 month old. but he also preferred being out and about

London, United...
Level Contributor
666 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

Great report Ben sounds like Minorca and Son Bou really suited you, so glad you had a good time.

I think you are right about cancelling the AI if you can manage to do so without losing too much money, at 15 months your little one is too young to benefit from it, it's really only any use when kids are between maybe ages 6 & 12 and they can join in things and make good use of facilities, chum up with others and can indulge any food fads they have etc otherwise it can be restrictive on the adults and you are paying for things you end up not using.

Mentioned in this post
Son Bou
Son Bou
Menorca, Spain
Doncaster, United...
Level Contributor
797 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

thanks tilley phoned first choice and they seemed really helpful. for a £150 admin fee I can change to a thomsons self catering instead and also change location,dates and duration too.seriously thinking of changing my holiday to next September/October 2015 instead so the little one will be a little less restrictive,and less hard work than he has been this year.loved the holiday but me and the wife are ready for another one lol..wasn't going away at all next year due to financial reasons so it would mean something to look forward too,even though its 15 months away

Edited: 08 June 2014, 17:55
Surrey UK
Destination Expert
for Menorca, Santo Tomas
Level Contributor
14,856 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

If you change to Autumn 2015 and you are considering returning to Menorca Ben, you should know that all the resorts start to wind down drastically from mid-late September and restaruants start only opening at weekends etc. if tourist numbers are down. In October, apart from the half-term UK school hols week ( usually the last week in October) it could be really quiet. Mallorca has a longer tourist season however you sometimes find that in the low season periods hotels are full of Spanish pensioners taking their state subsidised holiday pacakges

BTW - whilst your son is not at school make the most of being able to travel during term time as prices rocket during school holiday periods so dates just before or after are considerably cheaper so you could find somewhere in early to mid September is a lot cheaper than say the last week of August

Edited: 08 June 2014, 19:01
Mentioned in this post
Menorca
Menorca
Balearic Islands, Spain
Doncaster, United...
Level Contributor
797 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

thanks for that menreg im glad you told me to be honest cos I have been on holiday to Majorca and Portugal in the first week of October before and everything has still been open and buzzing still..would have hated to have booked and everything be closed.

as for my son yes I will always take my holidays in term time regardless of school unless it important exam times.cant afford school hol times and the weather is too hot. we are getting a £120 fine for taking my daughter out for this holiday but don't get me going on this cos I will rant all day about it lol . new government rules now mean you are not allowed hols in school time except in exceptional circumstances hence the fine.nanny state government controlling everything you do.it is basically just a holiday tax and it stinks. whoops im ranting :)

Mentioned in this post
Majorca
Majorca
Balearic Islands, Spain
London, United...
Level Contributor
1,883 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

The more people talk down visits in October the less people will go and it will all be a self fulfilling circle?

Nice report but for readers note that Menorca's resorts are all small ( compared to some places ) Son Bou is in fact 3/4 largest beach resort on the island. Always use google maps then you have the facts

Perhaps what was missing is that the setting from Son Bou is pretty spectacular with unspoilt countryside :-)

Mentioned in this post
Son Bou
Son Bou
Menorca, Spain
Doncaster, United...
Level Contributor
797 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

I used google maps and street view sandstroller and did a virtual tour of son bou. more than big enough for us ,you can end up with overkill of bars and restaurants in some resorts around the world.

it was a shock when we got into son bou from the airport run cos it just appeared from the trees and fields we saw along the roads like a flash.made me want to tour the island properly in a car cos it looks lovely . unfortunately with two kids that wont be happening for some years but it has been added to our wishlist

Surrey UK
Destination Expert
for Menorca, Santo Tomas
Level Contributor
14,856 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: my review of first visit to menorca and son bou

That is a very good point sandstroller and I agree that it is an issue on the island ( a bit like the heavy sell of All Inc ruining the local trade argument), but I feel that if people were going for the first time ( or the first time at that part of the year ) they ought to know how quiet their resort of choice might be as it could make for a disappointing holiday otherwise.

It is the same with early May TBH - it is a lovely time to visit if you know the island will be relatively quiet, but someone who has simply read travel brochure blurb and booked a package expecting the resort described in the brochure by the tour operators to be fully up and operational when in reality some of it may not be could be very disappointed as we have already seen this season from some posts and reviews

Edited: 09 June 2014, 10:25
Get answers to your questions about Son Bou
More Son Bou Topics