The island of Mallorca is often misunderstood. It’s long had a reputation for boozy lads holidays, Hen-do’s and package tours to high-rise hotels but the island I’ve come to know and adore over the last 25 years couldn’t be further from this. I spent a lot of time in Mallorca as a child as my family had a small apartment there and I now try to get back there as often as possible. Luckily the husband indulges my passion and is quickly falling in love with the beautiful Balearic island and its gentle people too. We’ve even recently begun to think that we might like to make Mallorca our home in the near future.
Obviously Mallorca has no shortage of hotels with something available for every budget. I have however discovered over the last few years that the least catered for market on the island seems to be the luxury 5* end. I’ve stayed at several of the hotels that an Expedia search reveal as 5* and I beg to differ! One hotel that has cropped up over the last few years is the Jumeirah at Port De Soller in the north of the island. The Jumeirah chain is a big player in the middle east with 9 hotels in Dubai alone and the brand is certainly known for its luxury and top class service and facilities that you would need to thrive in hospitality in the UAE. The hotel is perched on a cliff overlooking the picturesque fishing village of Port Soller and surrounded by the Tramuntana mountain range. In terms of settings next to the sea you don’t get much better than this!
On this trip we were lucky enough to stay in the spectacular Observatory suite on the 8th floor. Walking into this suite was a real “wow” moment. A bit like the scene from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts walks into the room at the Beverly Wiltshire (without the boots I hasten to add!). This 157 square meter suite has 180 degree views of the sea down below and the port of Soller with its fishing boats and mountain backdrop. The suite is also furnished with a telescope on one of the three huge terraces so you can stargaze on the warm, clear Summer nights. The suite only has one bedroom but we put Aurélia’s bed next door to us in the giant walk-in wardrobe which was almost as big as her bedroom at home! Aurélia was a very happy little bunny when she realised the hallway from the bedroom to the living area was the perfect place to ride her scooter! She was also pretty impressed, as were Brendan and I, with the bath/jacuzzi that could fit all three of us at once. My personal highlight of the room was the fact that you could rather gratuitously gaze out at the ocean and watch all the boats sailing along below whilst taking your morning shower! A luxury that I still miss now we’ve returned home.
The hotel offers several different types of rooms and suites and I have to say that I do think its worth paying extra for a sea view rather than a mountain one if you can as this view really is one of the selling points of the hotel with a sunset second to none. We also looked at a Junior suite sea view which was lovely but perhaps a little on the small side for a suite, however due to the nature of the hotel, lots of the rooms are configured differently so it may always be worth asking if they have another you can see as they all feel really different.
The hotel has two restaurants, Cap Roig which is also where breakfast is served, has breathtaking views of the ocean and is open for lunch and dinner. It’s peaceful but not so much that you feel the need to gag your children if they get a little excitable 😉 Food is very good and the menu clearly states which dishes are gluten-free so you don’t have to mess about with your waiter going back and forth to ask the chef etc. We were a little surprised to have to wait half an hour one day for a kids bowl of spaghetti though, when we had asked especially to have it asap as Aurélia was on the verge of a breakdown. The other restaurant Es Fanals is on a terrace at the very top of the hotel and can I just say, O. M.G! I died and went to heaven! The food in this restaurant is divine. Some of the best on the island for sure. The website states; “Es Fanals is a traditional Spanish and Asian style tapas Restaurant that has raised the light fare to simple perfection. Try fresh local seafood and seasonal, regional tapas dishes, ideal for sharing – all beautifully prepared and alive with flavour.” It’s always a little tricky sharing Tapas with Brendan as he eats gluten and I don’t and I adore fish and seafood and he won’t touch the stuff, however we wholeheartedly agreed that the asian style lamb was one of the best things we had ever tasted. I thought the black cod could give Nobu a run for its money and I must mention the freshly baked gluten-free bread. I’ve not eaten proper crusty bread in years and this one was so good that I had to ask three times to check that it didn’t contain gluten! I would also recommend the Mallorcan Chardonnay. I discovered on this trip that Mallorca actually produces some really pretty good wine! With an intimate setting and a hot, balmy evening this was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. We intended to go back on our last night but were disappointed to find that the restaurant is closed on Wednesdays 😦
The hotel has two pools. The infinity pool which is adults only for some peace and quiet (you lucky buggers) and the Sa Talaia Pool where kids can splash around and make as much noise as they want under the watchful eye of a lifeguard. Although this pool area is mainly for the enjoyment of the children, it’s aesthetically very pleasing and you can still enjoy a cocktail by (or in our case in) the pool as the sun sets. There is also a kids club at the hotel which starts from age three but Brendan took Aurélia along a couple of times and she had a fab time playing with the other kids from all over the world and she really enjoyed some of the activities such as T-shirt painting. She also got to practice her Spanish which was very cute and even found a boyfriend who was half British and half Kiwi!! The kids club can get a little busy at times.
The hotel offers a free shuttle bus down to the port several times a day as even if you have your own hire car, parking in Port de Soller can be a nightmare. Alternatively you can walk down there in ten minutes although you may need a few copa de Cavas to inspire you on your walk back up the very steep mountain road, especially if pushing a buggy! The port is very pretty and has lots of tapas restaurants and bars where you can listen to live music whilst watching the sun go down or spot Soller’s famous tram. A beautiful old wooden one which is a regular sight in the area.
Unfortunately, and this is one of the only downsides of the location for me, the area is desperately short of great beaches. There is a little town beach in the port but it gets crowded and is fairly close to the road (although they do hire out Stand Up Paddleboards which can only be a good thing) but apart from this the nearest decent beach is Cala Deia some 20 mins away by car. This is one of my favourite beaches on the island as the swimming, snorkelling and beach restaurant (the one up high on the cliff) are amazing but it’s not comfortable or ideal for young children as its made up of huge boulders with no flat sand to sit on.
When it comes to pampering, the hotel has a lovely spa where I enjoyed a 60 minute signature massage and a spot of R&R.
If you are happy to hang out by the pool at the hotel during the day, eat amazing food at the restaurant, wander down to the port and enjoy the most incredible sea views and sunsets over the horizon, this is absolutely the hotel for you. Definitely one of the best on the island and I fully intend to visit again soon.