Son Caliu Hotel and Spa
These are random notes jotted down throughout a one week stay in late September.
A quick summary - Overall a good experience and would definitely return.
A longer summary -
Public areas well maintained, comfortable and attractive.
Most of the staff encountered were very professional and friendly. We arrived at 8pm and had a prompt and efficient check in. Reception staff exceptionally good and most spoke good English (I wish my Spanish was half as good). One unforgivable action in the breakfast room - one of the staff changing tablecloths sneezed into her hands then just carried on changing the cloths and using her hands to spread the cloths and remove wrinkles.
Food - breakfast generally quite good (did not live up to the hype generated by previous reviews but nevertheless a positive experience). We were not once checked at breakfast to confirm our eligibility as guests to be there. Whilst this gave a sense of freedom it also made us wonder if some of our fellow eaters had just wandered in off the street and found they were onto a free breakfast! We did not try other meals in the hotel so cannot fairly comment except to suggest that the puddings that are displayed in the bar area did not appeal to us.
Clientele : we only saw a couple of pre school age children, otherwise it was all adults ranging from 20's to 80 years. Plus one dog! I guess the mode would be around 40 to 60 years old.
Check out: our flight was in the evening and as check out was 11am we had to vacate our apartment then. Reception are very good with this situation and have a safe room to store cases. They also allow use of a room for changing or a shower etc. for 20 minutes or so before finally leaving.
Spa pool – approximately 16 metres by 8 metres. We only encountered a few other people so it did not feel crowded. Superb water sprays to massage the back:) there is a private garden area accessed only through the spa pool area - very pleasant for unwinding on one of the plentiful loungers. The whole spa area is very calming and well thought out.
The outside pool - not Olympic size but completely adequate especially with the beach and sea just through the gate:) Here we observed the usual pattern of towels and books being left on the sun loungers by this pool with no matching human in sight. This was really unnecessary as there were more than enough available for all.
Accommodation:- we chose to stay in an apartment and were given one on the first floor of the apartment block. As others have stated this is a few minutes walk from the hotel via the road in front of the hotel or via the small beach alongside the hotel. We were fortunate that it did not rain during our stay, if it had we could have got a bit wet:) we felt it a good choice as it gave a sense of independence whilst at the same time having the advantages of room cleaning from the hotel staff. The apartment was spacious, especially for the two of us. It had clearly been well used as there were numerous dents in the walls and doors, possibly left by less than careful guests. That said, the cleaning standards were good so it was no real problem. The cover of the settee/third bed though was clearly due for a serious launder. There is a lovely view of the sea and beach from the very private and good sized veranda. As previous reviewers have stated, there is a reasonably well stocked food supermarket 5mins away on the main road and with the good sized refrigerator in the kitchen was really useful. The kitchen also had a microwave, a two ring electric hob (solid disc type), a toaster, a few pots and pans plus cutlery for 4 people. It is worth bringing washing up liquid and tea towel/washing up cloth/scourer as these are not provided. A draining towel is provided. There is an extract fan with light over the hob. Avoid touching the grease filter:) I made the mistake of trying to clean it with fairy liquid that turned out to be inadequate as a degreasant for this task.
There is a telephone in the room for contacting reception if needed.
We tried a few of the local restaurants chosen from recommendations found on Tripadvisor - should have taken these with a large pinch of salt....always risky to recommend anywhere to eat:) even the girl in the tourist office said their staff were not allowed to recommend anywhere (she did give us a comprehensive list of restaurants in the local area). We were not overly impressed with the food and the choice of food in any of the restaurants that we tried or observed. A case of "one man's meat etc.."
WiFi :- free to use in the reception area and probably the hotel rooms but not available in the apartments. There appears to be insufficient bandwidth for the number of users. From 1 mbs to 3.32mbs download speed was the best in the week we were there. It was also intermittent in availability and would regularly drop off.
Television. Whilst it did not bother us, some English speaking guests might want channels other than CNN. The other issue was the tv reception. It reminded us of 50 years ago holding an indoor aerial in different parts of the room to achieve a picture, the best we achieved was unwatchable. The television was an old CRT type with a small screen. Fortunately we had a radio so could keep up to date with the world news.
Noise in the apartment block:- we mainly encountered noisy neighbours on the Friday and Saturday nights. Otherwise the main noise was from the closure of the next apartment’s front door and from neighbours clip clopping down their passageway. We were usually awakened around 7am by noise from some collections outside. Apart from this there were no real noise issues, although this might change according to the types of guests at the time. There might be noise from the apartment above, the floors are all tiled and if moving chairs etc in the lounge it would be difficult to avoid making noise. Beds a bit hard for our taste but that is a personal preference.
South West Mallorca
1. Excursion to Soller (independently booked away from the hotel with 'World S Services') ..we opted for the coach, tram and train (half day) tour that we booked through the tour operator stall in PalmaNova. The bus arrived at the pick up point just a 5 minutes walk from the hotel, unfortunately it was 20 minutes late arriving, this, added to the 20 minutes we had to wait for a pick up in Palma meant that we were allowed 15 minutes to 'see' Port Soller before being bundled onto the tram to Soller town. Here we were given around 30 minutes to wander round and return to the train station. We met the guide who bundled us onto the train. For some unknown reason, the train split and part stayed behind and the part that some of the group were on continued on to Palma town. When we got off the train in Palma we got to talking with some other people and all came to the conclusion that we had lost the rest of the group (including the guide). We gave up at that point and caught a bus back to the exact starting point at Son Caliu. If we wanted to do this trip again we would simply take the bus to Palma (less than €5 for two people, a very comfortable ride with less stops than we had on the coach!). The return trip to Soller and Soller Port using the train and the tram (28€ each person) giving a total cost per person that matched that of 'World S Services' of 30€ and more control over the journey. This would give enough time to properly explore the port of Soller as well as the city of Palma.
2. Walking - We like to walk for exercise. We got a local map from the tourist office in PalmaNova - very useful. It showed the walking trails that are alongside the main road. We used this as a starting point on a walk to Santa Ponca. Not much shade en route:( the 104 bus back from Santa Ponca goes along a more winding route than that from Palma to Son Caliu (same 104 bus) so not as pleasant.
Having now passed through PalmaNova and Magaluf we felt we had made the right choice of location at the quieter and more sedate Son Caliu.
There is a taxi rank 3 minutes walk from the hotel (by the bus stop into Palma) so if a prearranged taxi fails to turn up it is a useful fall back. Taxi prices are displayed on boards at taxi stands - useful:)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Son Caliu Spa Oasis, located between Puerto Portals and Palmanova, was inaugurated in 1964 and is one of the most emblematic hotels of the Son Caliu area; just 12 km from the city centre of Palma de Mallorca and 25 km from the airport. Our main virtue is the facilities, commodities and friendly service we all strive to offer our guests to ensure that they enjoy a pleasant, relaxed stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Son Caliu Hotel Oasis
- Son Caliu Palma Nova
- Hotel Son Caliu Spa Oasis Palmanova, Majorca