Friday, August 2, 2013

GUEST BLOG, Palma de Mallorca, Castillo Hotel Son Vida

This week we have a guest blogger - one of our loyal Finnish customers gives us his family's experiences of a hotel in the hills, far from the crowds of Mallorca. Esa, Cleo, Kalle and Kasper Rautalinko enjoyed the quiet calm and luxury of Castillo Hotel Son Vida for a week in July...and found it great for families. What is more - even The Saint would have liked it for style...

Cleo, Kalle and Kasper Rautalinko
Esa Rautalinko writes:
Castillo Hotel Son Vida proved out to be an excellent choice. The hotel is charming, located on the hills overlooking Palma giving outstanding views to the sea and Palma. The Son Vida area (not just the hotel but a larger area containing a couple of other hotels and private residences) is very exclusive and the area perimeter is guarded or at least the traffic is monitored, so the place is an oasis of tranquility.
Getting to Palma is easiest by taxi, taking about 10-15 minutes and costing 10-15 €.

Good taste and style

The hotel has been renovated a few years ago and the atmosphere is classic yet contemporary. Good taste is present everywhere and Spanish traditions are present in a nice way: a lot of dark wood, marble and classic furniture.
The staff is very helpful and friendly, sometimes a bit leisurely about things, but it doesn´t really matter. At the end of the day, the experience is very pleasant and relaxing. The hotel and its service take you back to the 1960s in a contemporary way: professional and courteous service given by people who are proud of their craft. Sitting by the poolside gives you a totally different experience than anywhere else; why, hard to say.
If Roger Moore´s “Simon Templar - the Saint” was still around, this would be his hotel of choice, no question! Probably the setting with the furniture, the service and clientele just make the combination. Quite a lot of families with small kids were there too, but somehow everything was serene and calm. By the way, the pools are lifeguarded, which always is a bonus.

We were also greeted very nicely by Select with some champagne, red wine, fresh juices for the kids, chocolates, fruit, nuts etc. Thank you!

Dining


Palma is not within a dinner walk´s distance, so prices are not designed to be competitive. But what great menus and quality of food does the Castillo offer! The food is throughout excellent offering local and other Spanish specialities as well as international cuisine. Just to name a few, their gazpacho is the best we have ever had as well as their rack of lamb. The wine list is very extensive as well as their drinks list and selection of whiskies.

And as the icing on the cake, desserts are excellent as well as their house specialty: a variety of differently constructed gin & tonics. And let´s not forget about the breakfast: simply put awesome! So the Castillo is a (wealthy…) foodie´s paradise!

At the time of arrival we were given vouchers for the whole family for a massage and also for afternoon tea. They also have special massages for youngsters and the experience was very good as well as the excellent afternoon tea (it is advisable to pre-order it).

The by far most pleasant surprise was that we were given free half board vouchers. The vouchers worked as everyone would like them to work: no separate half board menus. You just ate what you wanted, the whole family, in all restaurants. You just paid for the drinks. What a treat!

Spa & leisure

My favorite place in a hotel is the gym and in the Castillo it is rather small but well equipped, open 24/7 and not too crowded. Also the spa with its services is very good, although pricey, but yes, the “physical activities“ side is well organized. There is also an illuminated tennis court, excellent surrounding golf courses and great biking routes, so the Castillo is a good base for an exercise filled vacation.
Swimming pool

Golf courses


Rooms



Suite

We had a combination of a Deluxe Suite and Grand Deluxe Room as the suite was nor bookable for a family consisting of two adults and two 10-year-olds. The rooms were not interconnected, but they were located at the end of an corridor and there was an extra door just before our rooms enabling us to keep the room doors open if so wanted. The suite was number 560 and the room 559. The suite was well equipped with two smallish balconies, overlooking Palma and the sea from the 5th floor, so the setting was very pretty.

The suite was not bookable for the family and we had to take an extra room which we did not use at all. After the first night the staff saw that we all had slept in the suite and they asked if we all wish to sleep there. When we said yes, there was no problem and we utilized the sleeping sofa that already was in the room and the staff delivered everything necessary.

In a nutshell

It is very hard to find anything negative about the Castillo Hotel Son Vida, almost nit-picking. Yes, the service can be a bit leisurely at times. Yes, the prices can be a bit on the high side, but what do you expect? As always when travelling, you need to keep track of your expenses, remembering that vouchers given at the time of arrival can somehow be forgotten by check-out.
Overall: An excellent hotel which has been noticed by celebrities, too. Ex-German footballer Oliver Kahn was among the guests as well as Cristiano Ronaldo some time ago. We would definitely go there again!

Why go

+ Atmosphere and tranquility

+ Views and surroundings

+ Staff

+ Cuisine

+ Sporting possibilities

+ Stylish old-school rooms

Things to note 


-       Palma not within a walking distance

-       Service sometimes a bit leisurely

  

The Rautalinko family rating (4-10): 9

Esa, Cleo, Kalle & Kasper

Select loyals

Note: the first two images by Rautalinko family, the others (c) Castillo Hotel Son Vida   

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