We spent a week at Las Palmeras apartments on a self-catering basis, two adults and a 12yo boy.
The complex of single and two-storey apartments is grouped around the central pool. Despite the closeness, noise was never an issue as the pool closes at 7pm and almost everyone respects that. The pool bar was open until around 630pm, serving drinks, crisps and ice cream. There was only one day where we struggled to find either a sunbed or chairs around the pool, otherwise they seemed to be plentiful, and you can always bring the chairs from your balcony or patio area. The pool itself appeared to be the best of those in the various S'Algar hotels - warm and clean, kidney shaped with two sets of steps leading gradually into the shallower areas. Although inflatables are officially not allowed in the pool, there were plenty of lilos and balls being used, without crowding the pool. There is a separate, circular pool for smaller children (0.6m depth) surrounded by sunbeds. The kids' club is based in a small building next to that pool and there is a small swing and slide set.
Las Palmeras appears to attract a range of nationalities, including several Spanish families, making for a cosmopolitan, good-natured atmosphere around the pool. There were plenty of children of all ages, so kids will have no problem finding holiday friends if they wish. There is also a pool table and air hockey in the pool area.
The room was spacious and clean, though the mattresses weren't particularly comfortable. The cleaner visited once during our week-long stay. The main room is air-conditioned (free of charge) with a clever system that switched the a/c off when the patio doors were open. The separate bedroom has an effective ceiling fan. The bathroom contains a powerful over-bath shower and bidet. The kitchen has a fridge, stove-top kettle and a two-ring hob, though there were no washing up materials provided, so you will have to buy or bring those. We left our washing-up liquid and tea towels for the next occupants, but it would be interesting to know whether they were removed. (You also need to be careful with food crumbs as there is a plentiful supply of ants). The safe key is available from reception but it seems clear security isn't a problem. The rooms have a TV showing mainly Spanish channels, but with BBC World and Eurosport in English.
English newspapers are on sale from reception, and there are two coin-operated internet terminals (1E for 10 minutes, 2E for 20). Next to reception is a TV lounge showing some British programming.
If you are eating out, you have to look away from Las Palmeras. The pizzeria there is promoted as one of S'Algar's restaurants, but we found the food and drink - including bottled water - overpriced (even by comparison with S'Algar's other restaurants), the meals were mediocre and the table service was poor, even slow at lunchtime when it wasn't busy. If you plan to stay on-site most of the time, but eat out, it may still be worth considering the all inclusive option as drinks at Las Palmeras bar are expensive (3.50E for a large beer, 1.90E for an orange juice) or stock up at the village supermarket, where you can get a decent bottle of wine for 2E and local beers for 85 cents a tin. There's no problem having your own drinks and snacks around the pool.
The view from the rear of our single-storey apartment looked over the adjoining bay, but those on the opposite side of the pool will probably enjoy a less-spectacular view over neighbouring properties.
Las Palmeras is at the very top of S'Algar, a brisk five-minute walk downhill to the village centre (slightly longer coming uphill in 30C heat on the way back).
There are no cashpoint machines in S'Algar - the nearest are in San Luis, which is a bus or taxi ride away.
A small road-train runs around the resort, advertised as 7pm-10pm, but during our stay this was often already full by the time it arrived at Las Palmeras. In reality, it runs from around 7.20-9.40, if you want to catch the last one back up the hill from the village. (Because of the route it uses, it's also actually quicker to walk).
The village centre consists of two areas grouped around courtyards, with two restaurants, El Pirata and Reine Isabel, a small supermarket, a bakery offering a selection of fresh bread and pastries, and well-stocked gift shop and a couple of car mhire businesses. There's a small ladies' cloithing shop on the sea front and, during the day, a snack bar at the nearby Hotel S'Algar pool (if you are staying at Las Palmeras, you can use this pool, overlooking the sea) as well as the one at the Hotel San Luis.)
Both restaurants offer extensive menus - Reine Isabel is the more upmarket of the two, but the pine trees seemed to attract mosquitoes. Both bars also show football on big screens, but this was never intrusive. They also have cigarette machines - the only places in S'Algar you can buy them.
There is also a bar, Dinky's, specialising in cocktails. This clearly has ambitions to be a music bar, but in the week we were there none of the advertised music events (a mix of tribute bands and DJs, from 10 or 11pm) took place. The bar was never busy, possibly due to the higher drinks prices and disinterested staff who appear to think no-one in S'Algar is trendy enough to deserve being served by them.
The Asia restaurant, close to Hotel San Luis, offers an imaginative, hybrid Japanese-Thai menu amid pleasant surroundings. Best to book a table in advance, particularly at the weekend, and it doesn't open on Mondays.
As mentioned elsewhere, the big downside of S'Algar is that it doesn't have its own beach. The nearest, in a picturesque cove at Alcaufar, is a 30-minute walk, into the village centre and then along a rough path (it would take longer if you have younger children, pushchairs etc). It's worth the walk though, as the beach is small but pretty and the seabed slopes downward gently. You can buy drinks, snacks and meals from the adjacent Hotel Xuroy, but the prices do reflect the fact that they have the monopoly. There's another bar/restaurant, the Piccolo, set further back from the sea, but offering fabulous sea views over S'Algar from its terrace.
We tried to get a taxi to the large beach at Punta Prima but, despite her best efforts, the very helpful Las Palmeras receptionist couldn't find a taxi company that could come within an hour. This is apparently commonplace, so if you're planning to get a taxi anywhere the best plan is to book well in advance.
The alternative is to use the buses to get around. There are six a day from right outside Las Palmeras to Mahon (1.60E per person one-way) but on market days particularly, the morning bus was rammed full. A taxi from the rank in Mahon market square back to Las Palmeras will cost 13-14E (the last bus back is at 6.30pm).
Las Palmeras, and S'Algar, are perfect if you are looking for a holiday where you want to slow down and relax. Yes, S'Algar IS quiet, but that doesn't mean it's dead and there's still plenty to do, eat and drink.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Las Palmeras Complex is situated in the upper part of the Resort, next to the wonderful Nature Area of Rafalet and 600m from the center with it's shop's, supermarket, diving center and the small bay of S'Algar. The complex has 72 apartments with 1 double bedroom. They are all very bright and have a pleasant terrace, double bedroom with 2 single beds next to each other, a living-dining area with 2 sofa beds (80 x 170 cm), kitchen and fully equipped bathroom. They are equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, an equipped kitchen including a refrigerator, glass-top stove and microwave, fully equipped bathroom featuring a bathtub with shower and hairdryer, Wi-Fi (fee) and safe (upon request, for a charge). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Las Palmeras Apartments Hotel s`Algar
- Las Palmeras Apartments s Algar
- PortBlue Las Palmeras Spain/Menorca