Just back from 11 glorious days in Palmanova, Majorca, Spain (It took me a lot longer than expected to get this post published; but I finally got there!)
From the very outset I loved our hotel – the quality, location, facilities, our room (one minor point deduction) – everything was pretty much perfect. We stayed with 4* Hotel Son Caliu Spa Oasis.
Our flight was early in the morning and I had heard that the airport had been experiencing delays processing people through security – so I made sure we were there in good time to get through smoothly without worrying about being late for our flight or rushing about on the other side and not having enough time to get some breakfast. But, we made it in good time anyway; security was busy but not as bad as I was expecting.
I was saying to Scott he looked like a wee dwarf in the pool from the angle I was looking at him LOL!
After landing and collecting our luggage we found our coach transfer and we were the first ones to get drop off to their hotel. Bonus! We arrived at our hotel around 12 or 1 I believe it was. The reception team greeted us warmly on arrival; they asked me to pay the mandatory tourist tax – this was introduced in the Balearic Islands in July 2016 – you can read more about it here – https://www.spain-holiday.com/rentalbuzz/the-new-balearics-eco-tourism-tax-explained – they have a helpful tourist tax calculator which would be good to handy if you plan on travelling to any of the Balearic Islands. The tourist tax is based on the standard of your accommodation and is charged per person per day and for guests staying longer than 9 days there is a reduction (50% I believe) plus VAT – we stayed for 11 days – we had to pay €80-something – which works out about €4 per person per day for our hotel. It isn’t much but it’s harsh enough to fork over as soon as you arrive.
Anyhow, I had made peace with it at this point and accepted it.
We are all about the food when we are on holidays together – we both love to pig out basically
We were on the fourth floor and room 415. Our room was GORGEOUS. Couldn’t get over how nice it was! We had booked a double standard room and I had emailed the hotel directly outlining how much we were looking forward to spending our holiday in their beautiful newly refurbished hotel. A lovely member of the reservation team responded promptly, thanked me for choosing them and said they would give us a nice renovated room. They had placed us in a superior room! The room was so spacious and was beautifully decorated – in the open plan room we had massive wardrobes, his & her sinks, waterfall shower, separate room for the toilet (with a sliding door), sofa, flat screen tv, two desk counters – one had the coffee machine on top and mini freeze underneath; the other was beside my side of the bed so of course I used it to lay out all my hair and beauty products. The only one, minor, downside to this room was the balcony – it was obviously what their old balconies were like before the renovation – as I saw other neighbouring balcony’s were bigger, newer and could fit more than one person at the one time. Luckily, this wasn’t a issue for us for two reasons – 1, the view was looking out onto the road at the back of the hotel and 2, because Scott had no interest in sitting out on the balcony to get the last glimpses of the sun in the evenings (but I was)
The first couple of days we spent down by the main pool at the front of the hotel. This pool scene was the most relaxed one I have ever experienced. There was no mad rush to get down to the pool to reserve a sun lounger and breakfast time always had a good distribution of people as you could eat inside the restaurant or out on the terrace at the snack/lunch bar area. As the week went on it did get busier but not to the extent that you were waiting for a table to be cleared or anything like that.
Most of the day time though we did spend in the adults only Portals Lounge – this area does not open until 10:30am which suited us down to the ground as it meant we didn’t have to be up too early or rush through our breakfast – most of the time we were the first ones to queue up. This pool area has the beautiful infinity pool looking out over the coast, has it’s own bar and about 7 double padded sun lounger beds and then about another 3 (I think) balinese beds. Scott has had issues with his back in recent years and the sun loungers just agreed with him so much better than the beds did down by the main pool. Both pool areas give you your complimentary pool towels (by refundable deposit for the main pool area and by the specific portals lounge key cards for the adults only pool area)
We didn’t pre-book any trips or excursions prior to arriving here; which I’m a little disappointed about, but at the end of the day if there was anything that really stood out to us we would have booked it but when we were doing our research on the area the only one that really caught our eyes was Palma Aquarium. We were able to book tickets at our reception (which was pretty much the same price as pre-booking online at their website) and they advised us what buses we should get from down the town.
The rest of the holiday was basically spent eating, drinking and enjoying our free time to just unwind and chill out. We made a few friends along the way and when it came to England playing their match in The World Cup we celebrated a little too hard that night and the next morning was a complete blur – we slept the whole morning and early afternoon – we were in a bad way…but we recovered just in time for dinner!
We are both massive crazy golf fans and both get extremely competitive with each other. I’ve never actually beat Scott before at crazy golf; until now….
Golf Fantasia was in the middle of the Palmanova strip and so was just a short walk for us to get to. They have three different levels to choose from, really well kept and also have a small snack bar area.
We had his and hers bathrobes in the room along with slippers as well – this were specifically for going to the spa from your room. The spa itself gave you towels to use when there. In the Spa Oasis they have an indoor pool with water jets and whirlpool. The circuit includes a dry Finnish sauna, herbal steam bath, steam bath with saline inhalation, Laconium (Roman thermae), an ice fountain and sensation showers. They also have a fully equipped gym with outdoors view and a room for directed exercise classes. The Spa Oasis also offers 7 comfortable and spacious massage rooms to enjoy an extensive range of massages and relaxing rituals, as well as beauty treatments for him and for her with natural products. The indoor pool and circuit is free for hotel guests to use while the treatments are charged separately. You are not allowed your mobile phone in the Spa Oasis (sorry but I took mine for pre and post spa photos). In the outdoor relaxation area (right outside the doors to the indoor pool) they have a few sun beds available – this is actually a nice wee spot to spend your time during the day if you just want to be in a quiet and secluded sunbathing area.
> Although I did thoroughly enjoy just taking each day as it came and not having to stick to a strict schedule; I still think if we had pre-booked an excursion or two prior to arriving it would have broken up the holiday a bit more for us – because looking back on it now, those 11 days went in so so quick. I think I was just a little too pre-occupied about getting the best price.
> If you’re a confident driver, renting a car would allow you to explore more of the island without paying out big money on a taxi or taking the (sometimes packed out) bus. Friends we made on holidays rented a car and advised us to take out a premium level of car insurance and take pictures of the car itself before you drive it anywhere (as they noticed the car was given to them with a few bumps and scratches already and had experiences with this situation before).
> Our return flight was about 11:20 I believe; our transfer pick up time was for about 7AM but our hotel was only approximately a 30 min drive away from the airport. We got to the airport just when the check-in desks were opening so it meant minimum queuing from there and also through security but then on the other side we were hanging about quite a while until we could board the plane, didn’t get breakfast (we weren’t aware we could have got someone small in hotel restaurant as breakfast didn’t start until 7:30am) had to eat a Mcdonalds for breakfast in the airport and then waited ages when until our gate was announced and then waited another age to actually board as our gate was so far from our plane we had to get shuttle bused across the runway yard. If I could re-do this part I would have just got a taxi to the airport instead; I would have had time to get a good breakfast, more time to sleep in a bit and not feel so groggy when leaving the hotel.
> It was a fabulous holiday nonetheless and we were completely blown away by how beautiful our hotel was. Palmanova itself is a lovely area and with it being close to Magaluf you have the best of both worlds; if you want party-party or laid back and relaxed – you can easily choose.
If you’ve been to Majorca before I’d love to hear about your experience or if you have any suggestions for other popular summer holiday destinations. I’d also love to hear any tips or advice you have for further summer holiday planning. Speak soon…