As I sit in the taxi on the way back to the airport, I have mixed feelings about my stay at Son Caliu.
First things first, it is a beautiful hotel, not what you expect when you see the outside. The reception area and communal areas are vast and thoughtfully finished with plenty of seating in either the bar or the tranquil wifi area - more akin to the lounge of a country home with nicely thought out tables and chairs alongside plush sofas. The bar again is vast and has plenty of space, although it was not open during the day (there is an outside bar during the day)
Check in when was when I first had an irk with the hotel though. A couple before me were seen by a gentleman who explained to them in great detail about the restaurant, pool towels and local area. I was seen by another gentleman who barely said a word and gave me my room key with little more than a grunt. One showed great customer service and the other the complete opposite. Maybe as I am a young guy travelling on my own he didn't deem it important to give me information but in hindsight it would have been very useful to have known.
I went to my room, 463 which overlooked the front of the hotel. I really wanted a sea view so I decided to pay the extra 30 euros a night for this, probably not worth it but a nice room none the less. It was one of the superior rooms, 203. The rooms are a good size with double bed, TV and balcony. There is a minibar as well. On checking in, another couple were checking out and had minibar items on their bill that they hadn't used...the same happened with me so beware. I'm sure just a genuine mistake, I used the fridge to store beers bought from the nearby supermarket so confusion could have come from that. The bathrooms are the best part of the bedrooms, other than the shower curtain (I have a thing about shower curtains) they were lovely and the addition of decent toiletries helped. There is a safe in the room but you need to rent this per day.
The pool area is small but more than adequate for the hotel a d it was not crowded during my 5 days. The attendant is helpful and will move chairs for you if you want. The water was very cold but that's just down to the time of year and not the hotel's fault! There is a small beach just off the pool area which looked nice to sit at, I didn't purely because there was still work ongoing to finish decking the jetty which once completed will be a great feature. Plenty of sunbeds and parasols if needed. The restaurant in the hotel is expensive for lunch and dinner and as I was on b&b I ate out other than breakfast. Bamboo Beach is a little bar/cafe just off the beach and does great simple food and all reasonably priced. Great hospitality from the owner as well, would definitely recommend as somewhere to enjoy a cold drink overlooking the med! Breakfast was very good with a decent selection and a chef making omelettes and eggs on demand. The addition of a Nespresso machine is another nice touch which was enjoyed every morning!
I only drank in the bar once and it was fine, service was surprisingly slow given the number of people.
I used the spa every day and this is another huge bonus for the hotel. Decent swimming pool and a superb thermal area with a number of steam rooms and sauna along with an ice fountain!! Use it, it's cold but great! I had a couple of treatments (one for sunburn) and these are reasonably priced but the service at the spa in helping choose the treatments was great. A real gem.
The hotel is going to appeal to couples and families looking for a quiet retreat, in hindsight it's not the place for a single traveller as there is not a lot to do in son caliu other than sunbathe...my sunburn put paid to that!! I walked in to palma nova every day and this is a 5 min walk. A very touristy resort with a mix of restaurants, disappointingly more British or Indian or Italian than Spanish cuisine on offer.
So if you're looking for peace and tranquility in mallorca, son caliu is the place to go, if you want a bit of action, go to magalluf if you can face it!