Playa de Palma is not known for its high-value hotels, although one could argue that on a 6-km long beach, you are bound to find one pearl. For example, if you stray too far west towards Can Pastilla, the nice, wide, pedestrian Carretera del Arenal loses its palm trees and atmosphere, and becomes narrow and ugly - plus you get to breathe in all that nice kerosene exhaust from the endless incoming flights to PMI. If you go too far east towards S'Arenal, the initially exciting décor of shops and bars becomes just too crowded, commercial and in-your-face to feel relaxing. But, if you select your spot exactly in between the two, say just opposite Balneario 9 - at the height of Hotel Acapulco Playa, you'll get exactly what you'd want from a beach holiday.
Acapulco Playa hotel has by far the best location (the name "Playa" hotel is actually true!), best size, and as far as we can tell from the constant envious looks up to our 4th floor sea-view balcony, best style in the whole of Playa de Palma. Bordered on one side by a park, the other side by a small apartment building, and a very reasonable 4 floors and stylish, semi-circle shape sets it apart from certain concrete monstrosities that populate the area.
Of course, you do pay extra, pp & pn for the "vista al mar" - but room 425 is one of the top 10 rooms in the entire hotel. Sure, the rooms in Acapulco are smallish, but they're super-clean, nicely decorated in a very light, summery style, have your usual fittings (A/C, fridge, hair drier, TV, safe), everything works fine, comfortable beds, bathroom and shower, linen and towels perfect, no complaints at all. The balcony is particularly nice, as not only do you get the view over the Bay (sunset and all ;), but due to the crescent shape of the building, you are relatively isolated from your balcony-neighbours despite the proximity. Walls are not that thin - despite other reviews, we heard nothing from our neighbours. Of course, most of these were middle-aged Germans and/or Swiss-Germans, who are possibly the most discreet people on Earth (when sober). But that's the point isn't it? Anyway, you *might* be disappointed by side-facing rooms, pool-facing rooms, or those on the 1st floor, but honestly, I believe these are fine also.
The beach outside of the hotel is fabulous. Sure there are better beaches *on the island* (Playa del Muro for instance, up north), but the area around Balneario 9 is way better than anything around Palma (that includes El Arenal and Palmanova), and IMO better than the overrated Es Trenc area as here you have conveniences all around (food, pharmacy, shops, etc.). And it's RIGHT IN FRONT of you all the time. Sombrillas cost 5 EUR a day (from the guy on the beach - the beach itself is not Hotel property). That's cheaper than cheap.
Back to the hotel: breakfast is ridiculously generous. You name it - you got it: Champagne? by the front door; 10 different types of bread? Check. Fruit bar? Check. Wurst, salami, Schinken, Käse? Jawohl. Waffles? Eggs, any style? Cereal? home-made butter? sandwiches? 8 different fruit juices? bacon? sausages? pancakes? All the above - check. And then some... OK. Just make sure of 2 things: 1) don't sit directly under the air-conditioning vents - you'll freeze; 2) Make sure you get there well before 10 AM. The buffet closes at 10:30, and for some reason the staff starts to close everything down at 10:15. That's all we can say about the food here, because although we heard good things about lunch/dinner here, we simply couldn't face sitting indoors.
Service is very good. As everywhere in Mallorca, speaking Spanish does ensure better (or at least friendlier) service. So give it a try ! Anyhow, the only two minor problems we encountered (a mix-up with the minibar and a loud cleaning lady a bit too early in the morning) were dealt with immediately and perfectly. Want to find out about a place to visit? A daytrip to make? A bicycle to rent? An early checkout? No problem - the 24 hrs front desk will take care of it all. Five stars for service.
Overall, the property is very well maintained, the lobby has a cool retro/modern art deco/Spanish style with plenty of mirrors, replicated also in the dining room. You can use 2 pay-as-you-go internet work-stations in the lobby if you like. We didn't use/need wi-fi. On holiday, who really does? Opposite the hotel there is small a convenience store selling the usual stuff (drinks, sandwiches, inflatable toys, sun screen...) so you can stock up instead of raiding the minibar all the time. There is a swimming pool, but whoever goes to the pool instead of the ocean in August with perfect weather is missing the point. Hence no comment on the pool since we didn't visit. It looks fine but a bit small.
Something worth noting also is that the typical El Arenal summer crowd (i.e. ridiculous drunk teenagers with Vodka buckets at all times of day and night) does not venture as far as Balneario (sorry, "Ballermann") 9 (which, it's worth noting, is not recommended for any kind of food), so what you get is a very normal population and a good atmosphere, day and night. You want wild? Just take a 15-minute walk.
A word of advice on parking, the hotel doesn't provide any, and you are not *supposed* to park your car on the sidewalk on the same side as the hotel. However, everyone does it, and it's perfectly fine. It's a dead end street so be careful manoeuvering, but by all means relax - the cops here will not fine you in summertime. I take this opportunity to state that having a car in Mallorca is most definitely an excellent thing - getting around is easy, cheap, you can find free parking if you look for it. Spanish drivers are really accommodating and chill - nothing like Italy or France - and best of all you get to do day trips or shopping trips or head out for dinner without counting your loose change and sweating with a bunch of oily tourists in a bus.
The above remark because, Acapulco Playa Hotel is not ideally located for good food (although the little terrace restaurant across from the McDonald's 2 streets down is real nice) - drinks you'll find without problems: the Bierstrasse and Schinkenstrasse, Riu Palace and Mega Park are only are "zehn minuten spazieren" away. But to be honest the good restaurants are in Palma proper, or perhaps in Santa Ponça or Alcudia (see other reviews), not along the Platja de Palma, unless you're into fried fat (with oil on the side). Also, shopping is limited to the usual junk (which is plenty of fun by the way), but you'll want to go into Palma for anything better than 13 Euro Dolce & Gabbana watches and giant inflatable lobsters.
I cannot stress enough the idealness of this hotel. Excellent service, nice staff, perfect location, more than adequate comfort, good breakfast. Deserves its stars and we shall be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated directly in front of the Playa de Palma beach, 10 km away from the city of Palma. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grupotel Acapulco Playa Hotel Playa De Palma
- Grupotel Acapulco Playa De Palma
- Grupotel Acapulco Playa Majorca/Playa De Palma