When you think of Mallorca, what’s your first thought? Countless cyclists flocking to the island to experience the hills and thrills? Boozy Brits and promiscuity in Magaluf, a.k.a. Shagaluf? I thought so too. However, a bit further north you will find quite a different scene – a more adult, laid back Port de Sóller. It is also home to Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa, a recent addition to the UAE-based chain of five-star hotels and resorts. Here’s a rundown of my experience of the hotel and the towns of Sóller and Port de Sóller.
When arriving in Mallorca, you’ll probably end up landing at the Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI). You’ll have a few options for getting to Port de Sóller, but to skip the hassle of trains or dodgy taxi drivers, I’d recommend arranging an airport transfer with the hotel. Especially as Jumeirah Port Soller sits on top of a steep hill, you don’t want to be hiking up it with a trolley during a heatwave. The drive takes about 40 minutes, and in our case the driver (I wanna say ‘Juan’, but I could be wrong… I’m almost definitely wrong) shared many interesting facts about the island.
JUMEIRAH PORT SOLLER
Okay, so what about the hotel itself? Consisting of 11 low-rise buildings and stretching over half a mile, it is quite spectacular. Its 120 rooms offer stunning views of either the Tramuntana mountains to the east or the Mediterranean to the west. As you’d expect from a Jumeirah-run establishment, everything is top notch. The staff are friendly without being too over the top and there’s a certain ease about everything without any of the pretentiousness you get in some places (with a lower star rating).
We were allocated a Deluxe Double Room with Sea View, and the view from our private balcony was breathtaking:
The sunsets weren’t too shabby either:
The room comes with the usual 40-something inch TV, Nespresso machine etc. that you’d expect. Oh yes, and the MOST important thing to modern day travellers: there’s free Wi-Fi.
The bathroom was of good size and fitted with both a bath tub and a “rain” shower. The Bvlgari soap, shampoo and other amenities were a nice touch. The floor to ceiling glass windows offered a sea view when taking a shower – or a view of the person taking a shower if you happened to wander to the balcony.
The Talise Spa offers a smorgasbord of treatments, a Finnish and a Turkish sauna, couple of different steam rooms, and an outdoor, heated hydrotherapy pool (see picture below). I absolutely fell in love with this pool during the early spring, when the other pools were freezing cold. There’s also an aerobics room with some weights, exercise bikes and a few treadmills.
The traditional option for getting around Port de Sóller is to hop on the old tram which runs along the bay and goes all the way to Sóller. This is Mallorca’s first electric tram line and has been in operation since 1913. The 20-minute ride through lemon and orange groves to Sóller costs 5.50 Euros per way. A lovely way to see the countryside.
From Sóller you can also catch a train all the way to Palma de Mallorca. Trains have been running between the two cities since 1912.
Another alternative for getting around – if you’re not one for peddling a bicycle to conquer the hilly terrain of northern Mallorca – would be to hire a Vespa. The best option for that in Port de Sóller is Bullimoto. They have a selection of classic, white Vespas at affordable prices.
WHERE TO EAT
Jumeriah Port Soller offers several options for dining. My favourite is the Sunset Lounge Bar with its spectacular views of the Mediterranean, homemade sushi and a great selection of local wines.
If you feel like venturing down the hill to town for a bite, you have a number of options to choose from. The restaurants offer plenty of variety. I liked the paella we had at Randemar as well as the more casual dining at Ses Oliveres, where we enjoyed some Italian cuisine.
Port de Sóller is well suited for a romantic getaway or an anniversary. I would not recommend it for people with mobility issues as the hills are very steep. As for the hotel, it’s a five star rating from me. Everything just works the way you’d expect and it all seems relaxed and effortless. If you’re thinking about a holiday in Mallorca, stay away from the usual tourist traps and head out to Port de Sóller. You’ll thank me later!