The British package holiday was pretty much invented in Mallorca and my parents went here on their honeymoon in the late sixties. That was when you couldn’t leave the country with more than £50 in your pocket and big aeroplane’s still had propellers instead of jet engines. Over time perceptions have changed and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived for my first visit to the island.
After a two hour flight from the cold wind at Gatwick, the Balearic air in Mallorca felt like a warm hairdryer blowing in my face. A pleasant forty minute drive from Palma Airport later I arrived in the small North Eastern town of Puerto Pollensa (Port de Pollenca). Apparently even in the peak Summer months this part of Mallorca never gets too busy and the relaxed pace of life is as intoxicating as the local green aniseed flavoured liqueur, Hierbasm they serve here. My hotel, the Illa D’or is perfectly situated with stunning panoramic sea views at the end of a gentle 15 minute coastal walk into town.
The Hotel has some impeccable history, this is where Agathe Christie stayed when writing her novel ‘Problem at Pollesa Bay’ and it’s actually referenced (under a thin veil) in the story. The book was first published in 1935, the Hotel itself opened six years before that and you can see the pictures of its long history on the first floor landings. They’ve updated and expanded over the years including a recent major refurbishment, but it still has a lovely nostalgic aura surrounding it.
My room is overlooking the hotels private jetty and I can’t help but imagine how it must have been all those years ago when Agathe stayed here. I have dinner in the Hotel restaurant, a brand new a la carte menu features dishes such as ‘Prawn Tails in saffron & Pastis sauce’ for starters and main dishes like ‘Hake Poached in White Wine served with sea-weeds and Chinese Mushrooms’ or ‘Braised Salmon with a pistachio crust and lemon grass cream’.
The standard is far higher than the usual half-board and a lot of the hotel guests choose to dine at the restaurant too. A quick look at review websites will tell you all about Illa D’or’s legendary customer service. Miquel, the Hotel Manager wanders happily conversing with guests like they’re old friends, and some probably are as many return here every year.
The hotel has built it’s success on the personal touches, the excellent facilities and location are just added bonuses. In addition to the 120 Hotel rooms there is also 24 apartments available as short term rentals and it can be hard to get a room in peak periods. Over the Summer dinner is served outside on the Hotels private patio restaurant ‘La Terassa’ on the edge of the still waters, it’s a perfect location to relax and de-stress. After 3 days in Mallorca I felt like I’d been there for weeks.