Enjoy Majorca with two spectacular hotels
By John Newton
The tourism growth on Spain's Balearic island hot spot – it's now topped 12 million a year - has led to a phenomenal growth of quality hotels and fincas, with Palma's property portfolio comprising more than 6700 hotel beds of which 74 per cent are located in four or five-star properties.
Gone are the days when hordes of rowdy young hotheads on cheap holiday package deals invaded Mallorca (or Majorca) to let their hair down - the island is today a more sophisticated destination with many mature holidaymakers returning to hotels and properties like Bon Sol Hotel Resort & Spa overlooking the Mediterranean at Illetas and Finca Sa Garriga near Sencelles in the Mallorcan countryside.
Bon Sol - just eight kilometres from central Palma, the island's capital - is a unique hotel with its underground walkways connecting the stylish hotel rooms, suites and the beach-side restaurant.
Run by the Xamena family for more than 60 years, the property juts out from a hillside, linked by lifts, tunnels and paths, to its own delightful cove and sandy beach.
Martin is also quick to point out that the hotel's four-star rating could and should be five-star but is quite happy for it to remain as it is, because that's the way he, his wife and clients like it. “It's also very green – something people value these days,” he said.
From the moment you step inside, the Bon Sol oozes class with its objects d'art and antique furniture and more than 150 original paintings – many of them 18th century. Many were inherited by Martin's father, Antonio - the hotel's brainchild – from an uncle (a priest), who had used his fortune to restore a monastery on the island.
The hotel is also renowned for its a la carte and buffet meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner with the casual beachside option, featuring a terrace overlooking the sea, the most popular on warm days and evenings – that's if you can find a spare seat. Bookings are recommended.
For those who prefer to dress to impress, the Bon Sol's elegant main restaurant is a smart affair.
Evening entertainment can range from a flamenco show to talented musicians and singers. .
Errol Flynn would have been even more impressed today just as he was in the early 1950s when he stayed at the Bon Sol in its second year before renting a house nearby and remaining friends with
Sa Garriga - No other island offers such a wide range of finca hotels than Mallorca. Those seeking tranquillity and nature rather than a holiday hotel by the sea have never had it so good when it comes to finding a breathtaking finca location in the Mallorcan countryside.
One such property is Sa Garriga close to Sencelles and the thriving wine town of Binissalem. Here, You'll not only be welcomed by the owners – Nicholas and Arantxa Schurian – but also get a rousing greeting from Coffee, a two-year-old labrador/Bernaise mountain dog and four-year-old Murta, a Mallorcan shepherd dog named after a herb. And, if you are lucky, you might get a fly past from Paco the noisy and talkative Yako parrot!
Transformed by Nicholas into a finca from the original house (circa 1844), Sa Garriga has nine guest rooms, comprising three suites, three deluxe double rooms two standard double rooms and an apartment.
The couple and their night manager-cum-waiter, Eduardo – a former leading ballet dancer with Spain's national ballet – share cooking, restaurant and bar duties. Eduardo had to retire from dancing due to ill health when he was 56 and became the right hand man of his friend Nicholas.
Breakfast at Sa Garriga is a delight with fruit grown on the four-hectare property, which has more than 200 apricot, cherry, fig, mandarin and orange trees. Jams made by Arantxa and olive oil produced on the property are used during the buffet breakfast. The three-course evening dinner on the terracotta-tiled terrace costs 24-28 euros, including wine)), either Arantxa, who hails from Spain or German-born Nicholas, don their chef's aprons.
According to Nicholas, the finca – built of Mallorcan stone – is at its busiest and colourful in February when the almond trees blossom with pink and white blooms. “People from all over the world come to see the spectacle,” he said.
The gardens are also home to some of the couple's “outdoor treasures” which include a giant three-metre Balinese Buddha – made of unpolished copper - and two marble lions – each weighing 1500 kilos - from an old temple in Vietnam.
More details at: http://sagarriga.com/
Images as supplied.
Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.co.au
1. Bon Sol Main Bar
2. Bon Sol
3. Bon Sol Lobby
4. finca sa garriga Buddha
5. finca sa garriga gates
6. Palma’s Cathedral
7. Palma’s Central Square
8. finca sa garriga courtyard