Much of the discussion of the Palace de Muro centres around whether it's a true "five star" hotel. That depends on how you view it. Compared to what you'd expect from a "week by the pool in Majorca" hotel, it's absolutely top-end. But if "five star" to you means some sort of white-gloved, Michael Winner-approved establishment, then no, it's not. But if you want that sort of thing from your sunshine break, go to Reid's Palace in Madeira or Sandy Lane in Barbados. The Palace de Muro is nothing like that sort of place - it's just a pleasant, modern, spotlessly clean, upmarket hotel.
We can only describe the Palace de Muro as we found it. Let's focus on the things which didn't bother us, but might put you off. For a start, we stayed at Easter, well off-season, with the place considerably less than half-full. Things may be less relaxed in the summer. But in April, we could take our pick of the loungers by the pool, the beach was often deserted, and the gym, spa and restaurants were very quiet indeed. Fabulous if you want to chill out and don't mind rattling around in a building designed for many more residents. Not so much if you like, er, "atmosphere".
Secondly, this is not a major destination for the British. The largest group were Germans, followed by Spaniards. We also noticed Dutch and French visitors, and no more than a handful of Brits. For us, this continental feel makes it more of a holiday, and we especially appreciate not having to overhear English conversations. But the staff are quite happy to converse in English if required.
Finally, the Palace de Muro is a distance from anything exciting. The 5- or 6-mile beachside road from Alcudia to C'an Picafort seems to have low-rise hotels, bars and shops along most of its length, but the Palace de Muro is right in the middle, so it's a good couple of miles' walk into what might be called a town. There are frequent cheap buses, and taxis are easy to find, but again, this might put you off. Not us. We loved the quiet, relaxing atmosphere of the area, and didn't really have any plans to venture out from our hotel all week anyway. It wasn't ever intended to be that type of holiday. There is a decent small supermarket right next door, so bread and other provisions are never far away.
Right, onto the accommodation. There are two types of room, a standard double and a suite. Do find the extra for a suite. Presumably you're booking the hotel independently (we didn't see it pop up in many package deals), so check every booking agent you can find. The rates - even from the agencies provided here on Tripadvisor - varied wildly when we booked. The majority of suites face to the side of the hotel, which is a shame, but there'd be no harm in asking for one of the few facing the sea.
The suite has a large lounge area with TV, a kitchen (with crockery, cooker, fridge and microwave), a bathroom (separate shower and bath) and a double bedroom (with another TV). The origin of most guests is reflected in the TV channels: a couple of dozen in Spanish, as many again in German, plus Sky News and CNN in English. But we didn't come on holiday to watch TV.
Rooms are kept very clean, and serviced daily, with a change of towels offered in the evening. There are separate towels available for poolside and beach. A third (small) bed can be supplied for permanent installation in the lounge. Big fluffy white robes are provided, and these can be used in the hotel and around the pool area.
We opted for breakfast and evening meal at the hotel throughout our week's stay, and weren't bored at all by the same arrangements every day. You may be! Apart from the main buffet restaurant, the hotel has a Japanese and an Italian restaurant, and for full-week guests, a buffet meal can be "swapped" for a meal in each of these. In addition, there's a Majorcan themed night at the buffet, so you'd only need to repeat the standard buffet on four nights if you wanted.
It's a fine buffet though, which won't disappoint. Again, the German clientele get the bulk of the attention, with an extensive array of cold cuts and yoghurts, but who comes to Majorca for Chicken Tikka Masala? Not us, anyway. The freshly-cooked pork and fish, and the fine salad selection, were highlights, along with the desserts and cheese.
So, what is there to do at the hotel? Firstly, there's a nice "health club"-style spa area consisting of an indoor pool, a gym, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Children are allowed in during the morning, which is a good arrangement. The bar areas are very nice indeed. The outdoor pool is clean and a decent size, although it'll only be warm enough to swim in seriously during the summer months. And best of all, the pool area leads straight onto the beach, which is supposed to be one of the nicest on the island, and I can well believe it.
There's in-room wi-fi available at a charge of Eur15/week.
Over the road from the hotel is a nature reserve, which extends for miles and makes for an interesting walk.
Would we recommend the Palace de Muro? Absolutely, provided you have no problem with the quietness and the predominantly non-British clientele (both of which we found plus points). You'll have a very classy, but never stuffy, holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Be Live Collection Palace de Muro is a modern resort for families and business people in Playa de Muro, Majorca. This hotel has direct access to the beach and is just 5 kilometers from the center of Alcudia. A perfect choice for those who want a beach holiday where they can relax with wellness & spa in northern Majorca. At the Be Live Collection Palace de Muro you can find nature, fine dining, sports and relaxation. This hotel has the ISO 14001 Certification, as a result of its effective environmental management system. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Be Live Grand Palace De Muro Hotel Playa De Muro
- Be Live Collection Palace De Muro Playa De Muro, Majorca