Katie had always enjoyed travelling and authentic holiday experiences, and when she had children this didn’t change. Here we discover how her passion for travel inspired her to create a hotel giving families an alternative holiday experience.
After working in the service industry travelling in Europe and the USA, Katie dreamed of opening a restaurant of her own. And when she returned to Liverpool she decided to enrol on a local business course.
“With a lot of perseverance, a partnership with my mother and hard work, I was able to open the restaurant and it was an immediate success.”
Whilst working on the restaurant Katie met her husband to be Craig. Katie and Craig then got married in Mallorca, where they soon bought a Family holiday home.
“After many return holiday visits we started to fall in love with the island, realising that there was another side to the island far from the preconceived conceptions that most people have in the UK.”
So when they were made an offer they couldn’t refuse on their restaurant in Liverpool, Katie and Craig were given the impetus to move over to Mallorca permanently. Their new home was situated in a conservation area of the island completely unspoiled and little known by British tourists.
“Living on the island, we thought about looking for a property where we could offer an alternative holiday experience.”
By chance, Katie and Craig then found a half completed Hotel with licence project just 10 minutes from their home.
“We made an offer and signed documents for basically a building site, but we just felt that it would be a success, although I didn’t know when signing that I was 6 weeks pregnant with our son Isaac!”
Financially, Katie and Craig knew they had to get the hotel open and up and running by the next season and with their first guests already booked in, the couple faced a lot of work to be ready in time.
“Things were happening so fast, that we didn’t have time take a real stock of our lives. We had gotten married, sold our business, our house, got a new baby, moved to another country and opened a new business all within 18 months!”
However, even though the move took a lot of work and they had the massive adjustment to living with a new culture, Katie and Craig both agree that the move has enriched their lives.
“We have made many new friends of all nationalities as the island has a rich pool of people from everywhere. Some people say we were crazy for doing it and I have to admit, it has at times been tough dealing with everything from where to buy nappies and baby food to just trying to be a new mum while missing the support of my close network of friends back home, coping with school runs and the day to day running of the hotel. The reward however is living on such a wonderful island with a fantastic climate and seeing things going from strength to strength for the business and in our family life as we now have a 1 year old little girl Harper who was born here in Mallorca.”
Now every year in their winter time off, Katie and Craig enjoy travelling with their children when the resort is closed for five months. As well as allowing them to relax, these breaks also inspire them to develop their business further.
“Whilst travelling we began to realise just how there was a gap in the market that catered for people who had travelled before and yet still wanting the same type of holiday experience with baby (not ready for any big hotels with kids groups) with the facilities and assurance that we would be safe and welcoming for children yet still cater for the needs of the parent.”
Hotel Migjorn now has 10 individual apartment suites, evolving from having only couples staying there to now having a strong baby/toddler friendly ethos. Guests can enjoy the best of both worlds, the space and independence of their own apartment with the conveniences of a hotel. For people looking to unwind there is the stunning pool with sun lounges and day beds, while the island’s best beaches and nature reserve is just a bike ride away. The hotel’s featured evenings are also very popular with families and couples alike and are a perfect opportunity to mix with other guests. All of the hotel’s food is prepared fresh and is in keeping with rustic appeal of the area whilst embracing influences from around the Mediterranean as well as further a field and always includes some attractive child friendly alternatives.
“We are now so child friendly that people come and stay and say they feel like they are staying with their extended family.”