My family have used Julian and Abbotts Travel for many years, and continue to do so, but this was the first time I had personally used them to book a holiday.
We had been forced to postpone our wedding three times during Covid, and so actually a honeymoon, especially abroad, was very low down on our priority list; our main concern was whether a wedding without restrictions would be possible in early September.
We didn't book our honeymoon until early August and had been looking at European destinations that we hadn't previously visited and after some deliberation decided that Mallorca may tick our boxes.
I went to see Julian for some advice as there seemed to be so many different pockets of Mallorca that all seemed worth visiting and he helped advise which would suit us and our honeymoon on an honest and appreciated level.
It was he who suggested hiring a car and staying in two different parts of the island. We couldn't decide between the southern part of Mallorca with Palma and neighbouring parts of the northern hills and with his advice we opted to stay four days in Puerto Portals and then drive up to Soller for three nights.
He totally hit the nail on the head because we got to see so much of Mallorca and our first hotel was quite glamorous and modern, in a buzzy area, and our second destination was quite the opposite; quieter and understated but still so beautiful.
The hire car also meant we visited beaches, Palma and beautiful restaurants we just wouldn't have gone to without that flexibility.
Although both double vaccinated, the Covid restrictions were a nagging concern before we left. We hadn't travelled for 18 months, and three days before the honeymoon we had a wedding of 150 people, so felt travelling was a risk but one we were happy to take.
I have to say, Covid didn't change our experience at all. The airports were easy and controlled, masks were expected to be worn inside our hotel but that really was all.
There were no tests prior to travelling or for entry into Spain due to our vaccination status (although we'd both been testing constantly in the run up to and after our wedding!) and we had to take a test 48 hours before leaving Spain and two days after returning. Julian kindly recommended test companies and they were brilliant.
Our first hotel, Portals Hills Boutique Hotel was modern, glamorous, and in tune with that part of Mallorca. The staff were exceptional, the rooms were clean and luxurious, the food was brilliant, and I would certainly recommend it to others.
The pool and pool area were small, not a pool you'd swim lengths in if that's what you're after, but it was beautifully designed and laid out.
I wouldn't say it was crowded at all, but I was surprised that it was still busy as it was technically out of season. The staff and their attentiveness and the food at the hotel were outstanding.
The second hotel we stayed at was the Jumeirah Port Soller, situated at the top of the mountains with unbelievable views of the sea. The hotel itself was deceptively huge, taking us a few hours to find our way around.
Again, the staff were just brilliant. The Jumeirah had a completely different vibe to the Portals Hills - I loved both - but this hotel would suit a more mature guest who's after understated luxury.
The views were fantastic, a beautiful large bathroom with a bath overlooking the sea and modern gadgets like curtains that open remotely from your bed. The food around the pool was amazing, although we didn't find the opportunity to eat dinner at the hotel.
The walk downhill to Port Soller is quite steep but enjoyable, though I wouldn't recommend walking back to the hotel. Luckily, a guest service collects from town every hour, so no taxis are needed.
Port Soller is just magical, a mixture of an old town with some modern restaurants and I imagine it'd suit singles, couples and families alike.
I honestly couldn't choose my favourite part of the trip because both offered something different but equally enjoyable and I had no idea how beautiful Mallorca was. On reflection, it was most certainly the right thing to do; we needed the holiday and after the past couple of years, you appreciate it even more.
There is no way that we would have found the hotels or the locations without Julian’s assistance and I wouldn't hesitate to do the same again. A wonderful experience.