I booked this hotel because, after a dire British summer, it seemed to offer a means to get some much-needed sun at a competitive price. It was obvious from reading its own blurb and the reviews of others that it was a place used by the big package holiday groups, situated in a resort, rather than a town. But as long as the sun was shining nothing else mattered, I thought.
I made my reservation through a well-known website for booking rooms late and was surprised to see that the room offered, for an unbeatable €38 per night, had a sea view. But there it was in black and white. I even added, in the notes on the booking form, that I was hoping for a sea view as per the description. Once I arrived, however, I fell back to earth. No sea view. When I enquired I was given the familiar story for single travellers, that the individuales are all at the back (my note, which had obviously been ignored, drew a blank). Having journeyed extensively around Spain, I would have expected this outcome. But since I had been led to believe otherwise, I felt deceived. The room was the size of a prison cell: bed with noisy springs, a low armchair whose legs were not of equal length and a desk. The bathroom was tiny, requiring a two-step manoeuvre to enter, with the toilet so close to the wall that you needed to sit on it sideways. The view took in the back yard and, to the right, the Pollenca Park, which, with a lick of grey paint, would be indistinguishable from one of Britain’s finest inner-city council blocks.
As far as noise was concerned there is some sort of air conditioning machine or possibly a large generator at the back which makes the thin walls vibrate. But sleep was possible using the Travis Perkins workmen’s earplugs that are ever-present in my travel kit.
Having said all that, I don't really want to give the place a hard time. All hotels offer up pictures of their best rooms for the websites: the wide open spaces and the beautiful Mediterranean outside. But I suppose I'm just offering up some advice for any kindred-spirit single travellers. Ignore the pics on the website and take a look at what you get.
But the hotel is very well run. By and large, the staff, all uniformed and English-speaking, were polite, professional and conscientious and it was clear that some of the guests, possibly from repeat visits, had a good relationship with them. I heard no complaints from other guests. You might find the barman a bit smarmy, especially if you want to talk to him in your imperfect but perfectly understandable Spanish. One night he charged me €3.50 for a small beer and two nights later it had changed to €2.35. It's not really the kind of discrepancy that can occur accidentally, for a barman, and it rather soured the rest of the stay.
But on the whole I got what I paid for. The receptionist when I arrived kindly found me chair so that I could actually sit at the desk in my room, and had it delivered the next morning. Though the décor in the room was dated, it was kept immaculately clean. The hotel itself is separated from the beach by a road, though set back far enough for it not to be too intrusive, about 15 minutes walk from the “centre” of the resort, which makes for a much more relaxed location. The rooms at the front must have really good, unhindered views (though beware that road).
Of course, it depends largely on what your idea of a holiday is. If all you want, literally, is beach and bars then Puerto Pollensa will be worth a visit. If you want anything other than those things then you might want to think again. There are bus stops 20m from the hotel but Pollensa and Alcudia (which has an interesting excavated Roman settlement), the nearest towns, won't keep you occupied for more than a few hours each. Lluc is worth a visit but buses are limited. Palma is over an hour away.
I'm guessing that a lot of the people who were there had been there before and will go again. I can't blame them since the hotel clearly does its best to give them what they want and if they get a room with enough space to swing a cat then all would be well. Equally, I won't be returning. I knew there wasn’t going to be much to see in Puerto Pollensa so I was relying on having a comfortable room to retreat to when required. While the hotel as whole may be worth its three stars, you couldn’t seriously put that rating on the room I had.
Places to go: La Goleta and Los Faroles served excellent food; Cafe 1919 (inside) serves coffee the way it's served in the more traditional joints of Barcelona and Madrid, and Neptune does a good line in "beer and tapas" if you're fed up with all those eateries trying to serve up some candle-lit Isla Bonita paradise. Places to avoid: these are mostly obvious.
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- Also Known As:
- Pollentia Hotel Port De Pollenca
- Hoposa Pollentia Hotel Majorca/Port De Pollenca