Booked with Thomson Holidays (UK), and paid for an upgraded package 'superior room' , so taxi transfer from Palma Airport direct to the hotel - in darkening, driving rain - nasty - but clear, bright, sunny and occasionally quite warm for the week we stayed. Offered choice of two 'sea-view with balcony' rooms, side by side, on the (UK) second floor: first with one large bed, the other with twin single beds in a slightly smaller room. Looking at a picture of the sea view of the hotel: follow line of little pier up to the hotel, then up to second floor - dead centre, and that was our choice of rooms - great!! Fruit basket in room, towelling dressing gowns, and wine for first night's dinner - from the tour company: house wine, but a decent bottle, which we chose (white or red) for remainder of our meals at about twelve pounds/Euros bottle, paid for on departure - four bottles = Euro 51 = £47 on my card when I reached home - OK, but a bit pricey for 'house wine'? Drinks in the bar were moderately expensive we thought with a (large) G&T, but with enough gin for two stiff drinks, and an extra tonic i.e. two stiff drinks, plus one sherry = almost 10 Euro. 'Tea for two' i.e. two of the 'world-wide' Lipton yellow-label cheapie tea-bags, and some UHT milk = 2 cups of tea = Euro 5 !! Having said that, we were on half-board (breakfast and evening dinner meal - or a picnic instead of dinner, by request) and this gave us enough to eat simply some fruit at lunchtime, when we were away from the hotel anyway.
Our room was on the small side, which was why we were offered the choice on arrival, and it had an excellent balcony looking directly out to sea along the little pier in the pictures. Sparrows came to be fed bread-crumbs daily, and the balcony was sunny from breakfast until dusk: drying wet -wear when we were out and providing our own sun-bathing area when we were 'in'.
The room was visited by housekeeping staff daily and was kept clean: tiled floors with a small bedside mat each side of the bed needed attention daily, in my view, but didn't always get it. Otherwise, cleanliness and towel-changing was perfect. Bathroom with shower over bath and with twin hand-basins and a toilet was spotless, and kept so.
Food: generally from very good to excellent, in our view. The breakfast buffet was the most extensive I have ever seen in a hotel, and I have stayed in many around the world. From the restaurant entrance, there were - in turn - self-service areas for orange juice squeezed by machine in full view, hot water supply, tea-pots, UHT milk/lemon slices,decaf instant coffee, chocolate drinks, etc - all self-service ad lib. Cereals followed, then dried fruits - dates, prunes etc - then fresh fruits of about six different kinds daily, breads and rolls of every shape and size, a hot food buffet (largely English-style bacon, sausages, tomatoes, beans, hash browns, etc) - again self-service, and with eggs cooked to order while you wait. A diabetic/diet foods area followed and finally at the end - traditional Spanish/Mallorquin breakfast foods - Serrano ham, etc. Eat at lunchtime? - no, I could barely walk..... Tables were reserved by room number, and the tables/rooms for two persons seemed to do better around the walls, with either sea views or the (outdoor) pool: larger groups had tables in the centre.
Dinner was served by the waiting staff and offered three courses, with three or four choices for each course - starters included some excellent soups, cold meats, etc, with main courses offering a meat dish, a fish dish, a vegetarian option and one further dish - sometimes a Mallorquin speciality of some kind. Puddings varied too and always included a cheese, every night from a different area/country. Fresh water was provided, with mineral waters, wines etc to order at the tables or from the bar. Portions weren't always huge but guests were encouraged to use the salad bar: ostensibly provided as an alternative to either the starter or the main course, but again it was self-service ad lib.
Dinner was followed on three nights by entertainments: musicians on two evenings and a local dance group on another, but all fairly sedate in the (non-smoking) lounge. For smokers, there was an area between the entrance hall and the restaurant, which also housed the bar, so walking through could have been unpleasant for non-smokers. However, I only saw one person light up in that area in the week: most of the few smokers puffed outside.
There was an outdoor swimming pool, with sun-bed/loungers and mattresses and in an area with a glass wall to keep out the breeze - pleasant to sunbathe but not warm enough in March to swim ! Swimming was fun, and warmer, in the small indoor pool where there was also a jacuzzi, saunas and changing rooms, but requiring a deposit payment for towels, which seems unnecessary. Between the hotel and the sea is a terrace with straw-shaded tables, and more loungers, and a dining area/outdoor restaurant (open in the summer only, we were told).
The 'Pine Walk' (fifteen minute 'stroll') into the main marina/restaurants area of Puerto Pollensa deserves a mention: if you know the area, prepare to weep now, as a lot of damage has been done by the exceptional winter storms with some of the larger pines demolished and being cut up (down?) in a 'chainsaw massacre' during our visit. It hasn't spoilt the promenade to/from the centre, but has left gaps and made the 'going' even more uneven underfoot in places. Those with mobility problems may need some more assistance now. The centre was being 'opened up' for the season with new restaurants and hotels blossoming every day, as were the spring flowers, birds and butterflies - magic !
One final point: transport - we used the local bus services and went somewhere different every day, at very cheap rates (1.5 Euro per local journey - which took us up to eight kilometres quickly and cheaply in coach-class busses, with generally very helpful drivers with some English/German, etc. language skills. Timetables are on the 'bus stops' and a paper timetable is freely available from the Tourism office - a small building beside the main bus stop near the marina - with a young lady who spoke quite good English and was very helpful with suggestions for visits, and so on.
Conclusions: a lovely hotel, smart in dark woods with light walls, excellent and helpful staff at all levels and good food - but not a great hotel for very young children, perhaps. Not enough for them to do, and with many 'older' guests, there was some minor friction from the 'peace and quiet' brigade sometimes.
Would we go again - oh, yes. Recommend it to others - certainly, but perhaps a long way from the 'centre' for the mobility-impaired and with little to offer to smaller children.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Illa d’Or, founded in 1929, is a hotel which still maintains the authentic classical style from yonder. Situated in placid Puerto Pollença, where one can experience the sensation of beauty which has served as inspiration to a multitude of yesterday’s and todays’s artists and writers. At the Illa D’Or, the sky and the sea are a gentle carress, dusk is a symphony of colours and night, whilst on the terrace and contemplating the moon reflection in the sea, one realises that it is one of the most beautiful areas, not only in Mallorca, but possibly, in the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Illa D'Or Majorca/Port De Pollenca, Spain
- Illa d Or Hotel
- Illa Dor