Sa Tanqueta hits all the high notes as a magical blend of 5 star resort hotel, B&B and vacation apartment rental.
This is the first hotel that I've given an across the board perfect score to. This review would be a 6.0 if something higher than a 5.0 was possible: So this is a first. I have to say a very big thank you to Fina and her family for earning this perfect score. It was MY pleasure!
What makes a perfect hotel? Well it starts with setting the expectations to a level that are quite high, but never-the-less are still exceeded. Perfection is the attention to those nagging details. In all my years of traveling professionally, and for pleasure, I have not come across a hotel (with the VERY close exceptions of the Shangri-la in Shanghai and the Conrad in Hong Kong) that had its act this together. Fina and family are unpretentiously excellent at their craft.
The Setting: WOW! Fornalutx is one of the best kept secrets of the Med. Hidden up in the mountains of the island of Mallorca, just around the corner from Soller, this little village just oozes character and calm with views to die for. It hits my perfection scale by offering sweeping mountain vistas that include palm trees, olive and orange groves. The clanging bells around the necks of the sheep as they make their way on the steep hillsides relaxes. Life is slower here. Even down in the “city” of Soller, which is a fun 50 minute walk through the woods, you notice that the drum beats slower, there is just more space between the tick and tock of the clock.
The Hotel: The email exchange when arranging the stay included the innocent question of when they could expect our arrival. It turns out that Fina is usually personally there to receive her guests and waves to you from down at the bottom of the drive when the gates swing open, letting you into your personal orange-groved enclave. She is standing there when you step out of the car and leads you into the perfect, yet simply appointed, reception/office area. You are asked to have a seat while the check-in details are taken care of and she then asks if you would like to have something to drink, “an orange juice perhaps?”. Take the orange juice! Like others have said, it's just great. I've lived in California and been to Florida more times than I would like to admit – but I've never had OJ that hit this mark.
After the formalities have been completed Fina explains a bit about the hotel, that they also refer to as “apartments” - very quaint, but make no mistake people, these aren't your typical vacation apartments. But I guess that's part of the expectation setting that plays with your psyche. On up to the room, and I could almost feel Fina's joy at watching our reaction to the view from our fully prepared room. The doors to the terrace on the 2nd floor (European 1st floor) were flung wide open and you are confronted with that spectacular view that is uniquely Fornalutx. On the walk to the room you here sounds of “Hotel California” running through your head as you take in the perfection that is Sa Tanqueta. This is the hotel that you don't want to check out of! Not a blossom out of place, no paint peeling, no dirt; clean, perfect, tidy and inviting. Lush vegetation with an attention to varied floral detail.
The room: We were in room number 9 which is a one bedroom apartment. The bedroom was a typical European double, which is basically two single beds each with their own bedding, pushed together to form a double. This is our preferred bedding set up and eliminates the battle for the blankets that occurs with the standard American type set up. In the bedroom there were two large closets with plenty of wooden hangers and shelves, as well as an electronic safe big enough to lock my net book away with space to spare. All of the windows have working wooden shutters so that you could open the windows wide, close the shutters against the sun, and still have air coming in. Have no fear, the rooms are outfitted with modern air conditioners. One in the bedroom and one in the living/dining room. They are both managed with one remote control and were easy to turn on, set the temperature and shut-off. The environmentally friendly hotel has an automatic air-con shut-off, should you decide to open the windows or balcony door. The living room / dining room / kitchenette is like a small studio flat, one area of the room has a TV, large coffee table and two comfortable rattan lounge chairs. In the other corner of the room there is a dining room table and two chairs. A small kitchenette with two burner ceramic range (hob), refrigerator, coffee machine, dish washer, sink and all the utensils, pots and pans, plates you could possibly need.
The bathroom is fully equipped with a bidet, bath/shower unit and that all important magnifying mirror. “Don't forget to tell about the mirror!”, my wife has said about 10 times now. Funny, but it's the ability for her to put on her makeup, sans eyeglasses, in the morning that makes her day. If the hotel has a magnifying mirror, like Sa Tanqueta, then her day, and mine, starts much smoother than without. So thank you again Sa Tanqueta.
Things we really liked:
The fact that the hotel, even though it is relatively new (2003), blends in perfectly with the landscape and the older buildings of the village. The furnishings are not cookie cutter, but selected to match the room and the ambiance. The building looks as if it has always stood there.
The braying of the donkey over on the other side of the valley. I don't know why, but his (or her) imperfect braying mornings and evenings always made me smile.
The breakfast spread. Everyday it was just a bit different. I told Fina this was one of the details I liked and she tilted her head and replied, “it would be boring otherwise, or?”. This is what most hotels forget. They forget about the guest and think of standardization. Thankfully, the standardization at this hotel is limited to an unwaivering commitment to the customer-is-king rule, cleanliness and perfect maintenance.
Fina's 20 years of hotel experience at various hotels around the island, shines in this family owned hotel. Sa Tanqueta is certainly a hotel of much smaller dimensions than what she and her family are capable of handling.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC