Stayed here for 5 nights with my mother in April. We got a bit of a bargain through Jet2 holidays having seen how much it would cost to stay for a week in high season! Having previously visited Majorca 18 months ago in October 2012 (stayed in can pastilla), I would say that April is not quite as warm a time to visit as October, however it is certainly less windy! It was warm enough to walk round with vest & shorts on and a cardi at night which was lovely.
We were the first drop off on the transfer from the airport, this hotel is in the indulgent escapes jet 2 package. After a disappointing experience last October in Portugal we said we would never use the transfer bus again having sat on the bus at the airport for nearly an hour to go 10 minutes down the road. However on the indulgent escapes brochure it's included in the price. You are also entitled to a airport fast track security pass and a private transfer but because we went out of high season this wasn't available.
The resort itself is quiet, hard to say where the centre is really, there's a little shopping centre over the road from the hotel with a spar and a few cafes, jewellery shop, bike hire place, hairdressers, bank etc. Further found about 20 mins (fast walk) or 40 mins slow ambling walk away is the illetas beach. there is a beach club here. we looked at this but didn't visit. All of the hotels in illetas are at least 4 star which makes it a lovely quiet resort.
We arrived early about 11am and were checked in, our room wasn't ready so we were shown out onto the terrace and given a complimentary drink (on top of the complimentary welcome drink and hot towel you receive on arrival). They found a room for us about 15 mins later and our luggage was there when we arrived.
The room was enormous (some people have said they are small, I have no idea what they mean!), the beds and pillows were comfortable and the evening turndown service was lovely. They fold the bedsheets down and lay your pyjamas out and leave a chocolate on your pillow. Lovely that they do it without you asking.
There is a minibar in the room we bought milk from the Spar and kept it in there no problems, also chilled our own bottles of water in there without issue. Note if you are there on a weekend the spar shuts at 2pm on Saturday and doesn't open again until Monday morning! there is however another shop turn left out of the hotel about 10-15 mins walk up the road towards the beach club which is open.
The room had a nespresso machine which was lovely, we used lots of capsules (at least 2 a day), the menu seemed to say you got 4 free and the additional ones would go on the minibar bill but we were not charged for these. a nice touch. There is no kettle though so if you like your tea, bring a travel kettle! There are cups thought.
There is plenty of space in the room to not feel like you are on top of each other. There is a sofa at the bottom of the bed which was great to lie on/sit on and the balcony furniture was exceptional. The balconies are arranged so you cant see the rooms either side of you which is great. All have a sea view.
As others have mentioned the breakfast is really excellent, the only thing mum & I felt was missing would be pate, there was lots of cheese and ham every day but it was a bit samey and it would be nice to have pate and soft cheese just as a variety. Some interesting juices I haven't seen before either such as kiwi and watermelon. You could also have cava with your breakfast included in the buffet! And the butter was nice too (not that tasteless white stuff you often get abroad).
We ate in the hotel on the first night but just in the bar because we thought the restaurant would be too pricey given that it was a 5 star hotel. We both had Caesar salad and wine and it came with bread, followed by a fruit platter and a chocolate tart, I think this was about EUR50 which was pretty pricey but then again its a 5 star hotel. They offer you blankets on the terrace in the morning and evening because it can be a bit windy, but we didn't need these.
On other nights we ate outside the hotel. One day we ate at the RoseMallow, a british café bar just over the road which seemed popular, We also had lunch here one day. Really simple food, things like paninis, jackets, curry etc but very good value for money and good sangria! Run by a scottish man who was really nice. We then ate at sloanes bar, again a british bar we had pizza/pasta and wine and was good. Another night we ate in palma centre in a restaurant on the main street down to the cathedral called Born 8, we had grilled sole and it was really lovely, would highly recommend this. If you get off the bus in palma centre near C&A/McDonalds its 5 mins down the main street on the left. On the last night we ate at Il Paridiso in Marivent on recommendation of the hotel, again the bus stops right outside and its maybe 10 mins away, just through Cala Major.
We used the bus a lot, to go into palma and also to get to the Il Paridiso restaurant, one day we went to the end of the bus line which is the far end of illetas and walked back to the hotel. The one thing illetas lacks is a seafront prom but its quite rocky so it doesn't have this. We also went to the other side of palma out to playa de palma and s'arenal because we had been thinking of staying here and wondered what it was like. We then got on the little tourist train which runs along the sea front all the way to can pastilla, it was a few euros. We also looked at the tourist train to soller but decided against it due to reviews on here. I think you would need to make the effort to go early if you wanted to do this, it was lunchtime when we were looking and decided it wasn't worth the hassle.
I can't stress enough how easy it is to use the buses in this part of Majorca. In can pastilla we had an awful experience standing in blistering heat watching bus after bus after bus go past totally full, but in illetas because you are at the start of the number 3 bus route there are no problems at all getting on! Also a bit of a tip, if you go into a tobacconist shop (not all of them sell them) you can ask for a ''targeta turistica'' which is 10 euros, and gives you ten journeys! so its cheaper than paying 1.5 euros every time if you think you will use the bus a bit it is definitely worth it. Also, if there are two of you, you don't have to buy two tickets, you can just buy one and they work a bit like oyster cards where you tap them on the machine at the front of the bus, you just tap twice for two people and it takes two journeys off. You really do not need to use taxis to get anywhere unless it is somewhere really obscure. One day we found the coach station in palma (next to the train station, on placa d'espanya) and got a coach to Puerto portals, took maybe half an hour and was 2.5 euros each. so easy!
Two minor niggles with the hotel would be as others have mentioned to do with the housekeeping - one day they picked up my hair turban because its made of white towelling material and looks a bit like a towel, I did get it back a few hours later, but still annoying. Also whilst cleanliness was overall excellent, one of the shelves in the wardrobe and under the mirrors in the bathroom and on the stand where they put the toiletries etc were covered in dust. Not just a bit, but completely thick with dust. Not sure if this was because maybe the room hadn't been used for a while, but seemed odd that there was dust only in a few places?!
One weird thing about the hotel is that because it was out of season and so quiet, you basically never saw anyone on the corridor, saw housekeeping maybe once the whole time we were there!
The bar is expensive, but that's to be expected. Paid 15 euros one night for a gin cocktail, but I guess that's close to what you would pay at home in a fancy bar, and it did come with complimentary snacks (jelly tot things and hazelnuts). We also got two mojitos on the last day on the terrace as they had just opened the pool bar up when we were there and these were pricey too but worth it.
The pool isn't heated (they never are) and it doesn't seem to get the direct sun and therefore doesn't warm up. The hotel told us though that it warms up over the year so later on in the year it is warm. There is also a lovely Jacuzzi (again, not heated, which is very odd!) up on the top. We didn't use the bali beds or the moet garden, would have been nice to have something in the room maybe which told you how much these were for the day?
The staff were excellent and so helpful. Some people have complained that the sunbeds are uncomfortable, honestly I have lain on SO much worse! they look fairly new to me and if you ask the pool man for a mattress he will bring one over and put it on the bed for you!
The shower in the room was great and great that it wasn't over the bath! Separate toilet too which was handy. The clock wasn't working in our room but that didn't really matter.
Illetas was definitely quieter than can pastilla, so it depends what you are after. But I would definitely return here due to the close proximity to the airport and the ease of getting to palma, I would however choose to go out of season again either in april or October as I always do because to go in high summer would be a phenomenal price!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Gran Melia de Mar, a contemporary beachfront hotel Enjoying a tranquil setting in the residential area of Illetas, yet only ten minutes from Palma’s city centre, the newly-refurbished, adults-only Gran Melia de Mar, exclusive member of Leading Hotels International, has a privileged location directly facing the sea and offering a small, sandy beach. The hotel has been architecturally designed to make the most of the spectacular views Built / renovated date: 1964 / winter 2015/2016 – Rooms number: 142 – from airport Son Sant Joan - hotel: 17 km with 142 Rooms including Suites. All with Terrace with spectacular front sea view, Bathroom with hair-dryer, magnifying mirror, bathtub and shower stall, Air-conditioning. Heating. Satellite TV. Direct dial telephone. Mini-bar, Nespresso, and Safe. Room Service. 6 Meeting rooms. WIFI free of charge. The spacious ‘RedLevel Experience’ rooms and suites offer special VIP amenities. 2 outdoor pools with a delightful pool surrounded by Balinese beds with concierge service. Magnificent breakfast buffet served in the “PERSEO” restaurant and terrace overlooking the sea , the new ARRELS by Marga Coll – fine dining restaurant with a terrace providing an extraordinary range of modern Mallorcan cuisine. Big variety of F&B offers, service in outdoor spaces or indoors. In summer months enjoy the BARDOT Pool Bar & Restaurant. AMARO Lobby Bar & Lounge. Spa by CLARINS. Valet Parking. The hotel opens from April to October and is strictly adults only. Minimum age 15 years old. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Melia De Mar Hotel Calvia
- Melia Hotel De Mar
- Sol Melia Calvia
- Gran Melia De Mar Majorca/Calvia, Spain