Hotel Bon Sol
Paseo de Illetas, 30, Palma, Spain, 07181
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, First-time travellers, Mature travellers, Great views / scenery, History, Relaxation, Romance
Expert review of Hotel Bon Sol
This smart if somewhat old-fashioned seaside hotel on the West bay of Palma has been run by the Xamena family since 1953 in the true spirit of family-run hotels. Magnanimous service and an old-school atmosphere make it feel homey rather than hoteley, and I rank it among my favourite places for a good-value getaway.
OK, so it's technically the wrong side of the road on the Illetas coves, but you'll barely notice this since a tunnel connects the two sections of the hotel meaning you can access the private beach without crossing the road. Views are magnificent and its only a 15-minute drive from the centre of Palma (though a hire car is useful for zipping around in).
These are some of the most generously proportioned bedrooms on the island (you can tell the place was custom-built to be a hotel) and they were given a bit of a facelift about three years ago so are reasonably spruce. Like the rest of the hotel they mix modern pleasures with old world atmosphere. Rooms in the newer part of the hotel have been done up in rosy hues and are spacious and light, some with private terraces, all with fantastic views of the sea. They are great summer rooms. In the original house the ‘villa suites’ are a little more old-fashioned with chintzier décor, wood panelled walls and in some cases open fireplaces though unfortunately these are never lit. A shame, because if they were, these would be a perfect place to hole up for a winter weekend.
Lets see: a knight in shining armour greets you in reception, along with red carpets, huge floral arrangements and lots of typically heavy, dark Spanish wood interspersed with armchairs and sofas. On first appraisal it's a little kitsch it has to be said, but not without charms and there is something refreshingly old-fashioned and different about it compared to the uniform boutiques sprouting up everywhere. From reception a lift and tunnel connect you to the outdoor terraces which are thickly planted with shrubs and flowers. These lead to two swimming pools and eventually a small, private beach.
The bar is where hotel guests congregate in the evening for an aperitif before dinner and it has the sturdy, old-fashioned grace of a place that’s been around a long time. Comfy armchairs, soft lighting, more dark wood and liveried waiters give it the air of a slightly other era. The Restaurante los Antorchas with its stone walls, plush red curtains and acres of linen is equally old-school with a gutsy menu to match. From April to October lighter meals are served on the terraces around the pool, as is breakfast. The rest of the year breakfast is served in a pleasant conservatory on one of the upper terraces. What I like about the food is that it’s freshly cooked, and so while it fails to attract much of an outside market, it's nearly always lively with guests who have chosen to eat in.
Since the property is arranged almost like a staircase tumbling down the cliff-side surprise spaces seem to crop up where you least expect them. There are three pools for example, a vast yoga studio (classes are included in the room rate), a small but well equipped gym and a plush spa with a handful of treatments and massage options (the wet areas are also included in the price of the room). The private beach is an added bonus too, though you need to get there early to snag a spot in high season.
The personal touch really makes it. People remember your name, ask you how your day was, and are ready and willing with tips for making the most of your time on the island.
It’s popular with families and older couples, though the last time I stayed I was alone and felt perfectly comfortable. Indeed I had a lovely old time hanging out on the private beach, doing a couple of yoga classes and indulging in the odd G&T on my terrace.
It's unlikely to make it into the pages of Wallpaper*, but so what? It’s supremely comfortable, ever accommodating, filled with added extras and unlikely to cost must more than €150 even for a suite in high season. Considering what you get I’d say it's comparable if not better value than most five-star hotels.
More information on Hotel Bon Sol:
- Paseo de Illetas, 30, Palma, Spain, 07181
- Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool