I enjoyed the hour drive to the Park Hyatt Mallorca from the international airport in Palma because it gave me time to enjoy the island’s landscape. On the two-lane blacktop we sailed past smalls towns and isolated houses surrounded by neat fencing. Goats and sheep grazed in open fields and there were orange groves, almond orchards and miles of olive trees planted in precise rows tracing the contour of the rolling hills.
With the coast in sight, the car turned off the main road. As we came over the top of the rise, I was struck by the beauty of the hotel.
In 2016 the Park Hyatt opened the 5-Star resort on the northeastern coast of the island. Set against the dark red Cap Vermell mountains, the hotel looks like a miniature village organized around a courtyard called Plaza de Torre.
Three story villa-style buildings line the terraced hill above the courtyard. One hundred and forty-two rooms and suites are grouped into neighborhoods, each named for the trees planted around the buildings—Lemon, Olive, Pomegranate, Pear, Orange, Almond, Cherry and Fig. When the trees bloom, the fragrance of their blossoms perfumes the hillside.
To reflect Mallorcan traditions, local materials were used in the construction of the hotel. The hotel’s pastel sandstone facade was quarried from nearby Santanyi. The landscaping utilized 70,000 native plants, some edible like the lavender and rosemary that line the walkways between the residential buildings.
Even though they are newly planted, the trees, flowers and perennial aromatics are thriving. I visited several months after the opening. The Spanish jasmine was already entwined on the metal fencing bordering the pathways. Colorful, vibrant flowers were in full bloom. Fruit was ripening on the olive, lemon and orange trees.
In a few years the grounds of the hotel will become a lush garden, delighting guests and supplying fruit and herbs to the restaurant kitchens.
My sunny room in the Limonero or Lemon complex was on the second floor. Like the other rooms on upper floors, mine had a large private terrace overlooking the grounds. Rooms on the ground level have an outdoor patio with a garden.
I had work to do, so I appreciated the Wi-Fi, an efficient desk and wall outlets that accepted many types of electrical plugs.
For the complimentary coffee and tea service, there was a set of Narumi Bone China. The Nespresso machine produced coffee with perfectly formed crema. My bathroom had a shower and a bathtub, a Duravit high-tech toilet, Grohe fixtures, marble tile and an imbedded television in the mirror.
Sun and Fitness
The property is very large, but the walk from my room to the restaurants and pool took only five minutes. I could have used one of the complimentary bicycles or gotten a ride on an electric cart shuttle, but I preferred walking around the resort for the exercise and to enjoy the grounds.
Since the hotel is some distance from the nearest town and a short drive to the beach, the Park Hyatt created not just a hotel but a year-round resort.
For exercise, there was a fully equipped gym with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall with a view of the grounds so that while I was exercycling, I could continue to enjoy the beauty of the landscaping.
On the poolside terrace there were three swimming pools, one dedicated for children, an adult-use cold-water Jacuzzi and a bar serving beverages and snacks.
The setting made the most of Mallorcan sunshine. Couples relaxed on chaise lounges. Attendants offered guests fresh towels. Young children played underneath the water jets in the decorative sandstone wall. A man swam laps. A mom and dad chatted while their baby slept in the stroller next to the table.
Supplementing the hotel’s recreational facilities, next door there is a new public park with a children’s playground. Just beyond the park, the Cap Vermell Country Club is available to guests for a fee. The facilities include indoor and outdoor pools, lounge areas and tennis and paddle courts.
The Serenitas Spa
Taking relaxation to the next level, the hotel offers amenities and treatments in the Serenitas Spa. The large complex has a sauna, relaxation room, outdoor cold water vitality pool, hairdresser, manicure and pedicure salons and seven treatment rooms, two of which are set up for couples with private steam rooms.
Creating a total experience, each treatment room has a bathroom, shower, free-standing Barcelona bathtub and a private patio.
Promoting wellness, the therapies include exfoliating scrubs using local herbs and oils, heated basalt stones, a crystal quartz sand bed, seaweed and clay wraps, facials and deep muscle massages. What I really needed was to relax and get a good night’s sleep, so I chose the aroma therapy massage.
Lying on my stomach, my face was positioned over an aromatic cupping of hot water, lavender and clove buds oil, rosemary sprigs and pine bark. The aromas enveloped me as the massage therapist, Valentina, worked on my arms, legs, shoulders and back. Very quickly I found myself in that wonderful massage-dream state. Half awake. Half asleep.
When the massage was over, Valentina led me to the beautifully appointed relaxation room with airy shears hung from the ceiling. For refreshment, she placed a porcelain tea pot and cup next to the daybed and offered me a snack of walnuts, black raisins and a deliciously tart green apple.
Eat. Drink. Relax.
Four restaurants surround Plaza de Torre.
The casual Café Sa Plaça features local products in the restaurant and marketplace. The high ceiling space has an outdoor patio, an ideal location to enjoy lunch. While Flamenco music played in the background, I was thoroughly happy with a late afternoon lunch of freshly baked bread, spiced Spanish olives and a bowl of Andalusian gazpacho.
That night I had dinner at Tapas across the courtyard from the Café. The small plates on the menu are not the hardboiled eggs with anchovies, Spanish omelets and fried cod cakes you would find in Spanish workingmen’s bars.
Chef David Garcia is the creative force behind Tapas. At his Michelin starred restaurant Álbora in Madrid, he serves gastronomic versions of traditional Basque dishes.
He created elegantly simple dishes like his fine dining version of salmorejo, a soup traditionally made with stale bread, ice water and fresh tomatoes. Garcia transformed the rustic favorite into an exquisitely silky, cold soup with hints of garlic, prawns, salmon roe, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers, a drizzle of Oli de Mallorca and a few flakes of Flor de Sal, two wonderful local products.
Balearic is next door to Tapas. In the morning, everyone descends on the large, relaxed space for the complimentary buffet set up in the open, airy main room. Besides fresh fruit, cereals, yogurt, jams, honey, dried and stewed fruit, nuts, breads and pastries, the large wooden buffet table has a selection of local olives, pickles, cheeses and meats including paper thin slices of Spanish ham as well as smoked salmon and fillets of pickled fish.
A chef prepares made-to-order pancakes, crepes and eggs anyway you enjoy, soft-boiled, fried, scrambled or poached.
Because the weather was so inviting, I sat outside on the sunny terrace overlooking the pool. A Spanish guitar played softly on the outdoor speakers as I ate my breakfast and sipped a café con leche.
The dinner menu at Balearic features Spanish grilled meats, chicken and seafood. Depending on what the chef finds at the port of Cala Ratjada, the catch of the day could be lobster, octopus or dorade. The appetizers feature local Iberian charcuterie and Spanish cheeses.
Providing variety to the hotel’s restaurant offerings, the popular restaurant Asia serves authentic dishes from China, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand.
Vietnamese chef Kim Pham delivers a balance of authenticity with a level of spiciness agreeable to the Western palate. I especially appreciated his finesse when I ordered the Thai Tom Yang Goong. I love the soup but in many restaurants the chef adds too much chili oil. Chef Pham used just right amount to heighten the flavor without overwhelming the delicate lemon grass broth.
Happy surprises exploring the area
Mallorca is not only naturally beautiful, there are wonderful hilltop towns and historical sites to explore.
The Park Hyatt provides shuttles to visit nearby attractions like the Tower of Canyamel. The 13th century stone tower reflects the stormy history of the island that was frequently under attack from forces as varied as the Romans, Christians and Moors.
Five minutes from the hotel on the coast, the Caves of Artá is a natural wonder. The forty-five minute guided tour of the caves took me deep underground to see a cathedral sized room with illuminated stalagmites and stalactites. The natural formations took my breath away.
For a day-trip, I booked a taxi for the twenty minute ride to Artá, a hillside Medieval town dominated by the church of Sant Salvador overlooking the city. The view alone was worth the walk up from the central square.
By the time I arrived at the top of the hill, I was hungry. Cafes at many tourist destinations aren’t usually known for their food. The Restaurant-Cafeteria Sant Salvador is a happy exception.
Many of the pastries are made with Mallorcan recipes. I had the puff pastry tart with pumpkin marmalade topped with walnuts, slivered almonds and powdered sugar. I watched with envy as a large party was served seafood paella from a massive pan four feet wide. The saffron crusted rice was studded with mussels, shrimp, clams and sausages. I was offered a taste and it was one of the best paellas I’ve eaten.
When you explore the small towns in the area, be open to happy surprises. You may stumble on a concert, an arts festival or, as I did, a festive 42 km race through the countryside that ended in the small town square. Music played. Crowds gathered. And, runners raced down the steep hills on narrow streets headed to the finish line.
The concierge suggested that when I visited Artá, I should stop at Café Parisien a few blocks from the main square. It was easy to find with its sign at the entrance that said, “We don’t have Pókemons But We Serve Great Coffee!”
I sat in the back garden patio shaded by a tangle of ancient grape vines. Families with small children ate lunch around long tables. Couples drank wine and lounged on the day beds. I had a butter-delicious flaky croissant, a brandy normal and an espresso and I was very happy.
Some destinations can be visited once and the experience is complete. Other destinations call to you to come back again and again. There is so much to enjoy at the resort and so much to explore on Mallorca, the Park Hyatt is a destination you will want to return to year after year.
When You Go
Park Hyatt Mallorca, Urbanización Atalaya de Canyamel, Vial A, 12, 07589 Capdepera, Canyamel, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, +34 871 81 12 34, https://mallorca.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
For more information, please contact the Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles, email@example.com. (323) 658 7195. www.spain.info