As my wife and I started to plan our vacations last year, we realized that three important milestones were looming. The first was our daughter Evy’s second birthday, a big day in her life but also the end of her infant-in-arms privileges and a significant jump in our travel costs (both in cash and points/miles). The second was the end of my Hyatt Diamond (now Globalist) status, thanks to a drop in my work travel during the year. The third was the impending AAdvantage devaluation. How could we plan a trip before the clocks ran out on all these deadlines?
Fortunately for us, in early 2016, TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen wrote a terrific piece on 16 Exciting Hotels Opening in 2016, and the Park Hyatt Mallorca was included. It looked fantastic and was scheduled to open in June, just few months prior to our trip window in mid-November. It was also a one-stop flight from Miami International (MIA) via Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) on American and/or Iberia, which allowed us to build in our first-ever visit to Madrid. We managed to find business-class award availability (with only minor fuel surcharges) and set about confirming our stay.
The Park Hyatt Mallorca is a Category 5 property requiring 20,000 World of Hyatt points for a free night. Paid rates for our four-night stay were 320 euros per night (or roughly $ 364 based on exchange rates at the time of booking). This gave me a redemption value of roughly 1.82 cents per point, right around TPG’s valuation of 1.8 cents apiece. While not an astronomically high value, I was flush with Hyatt points at the time, so it was a solid redemption for me. Hyatt is also a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you could opt to transfer points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card directly to World of Hyatt.
It’s worth noting that there were two other possible redemptions that would’ve allowed me to use a Diamond Suite Upgrade for a 1,000-square-foot suite. Since I have the Citi Prestige Card and was staying for four nights, I could’ve taken advantage of the card’s nifty fourth-night-free benefit to book a paid stay outright, but that still would’ve set me back almost $ 1,100. I also noticed that Points + Cash availability opened up for my travel dates a few months before departure, but I felt like the $ 130 or so per night could be better spent on incidentals during the trip. (Part of me also hoped that we’d score an upgrade to a suite anyway, since November isn’t exactly high season in Mallorca. Sadly, that didn’t come to fruition though.)
I did choose to pay my incidentals with The Hyatt Credit Card, which let me earn 3x points per dollar and had no foreign transaction fees, making it a great option for international Hyatt stays. I could’ve also used my wife’s Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (I’m still unable to get that one, thanks to Chase’s unofficial 5/24 rule) to earn 3x points on travel, but since I frequently transfer those points to Hyatt anyway, I decided to cut out the middleman.
We landed at Palma de Mallorca (PMI) without any delays and quickly picked up our rental car. While Palma (and the airport) sit on the western part of the island, the Park Hyatt is situated on the eastern edge near the small town of Canyamel, roughly an hour’s drive from the airport. The secluded property is built into a hillside overlooking the rest of the valley.
We pulled straight through the gate — though there is a small security office, we were never stopped as we came or went — and up to the main covered entrance, which would prove to be helpful with the weather during our stay.
We were promptly helped by a bellman, who gave us a warm welcome and informed us of the property’s complimentary valet parking services, a lovely surprise after two long days of travel. He directed us to the main check-in area, located just to the right of the arrival area, and I caught a tantalizing view of the grounds as we entered.
A friendly associate processed our check-in and let us know that we had been placed in a quiet room with a terrific view of the property and surrounding area. I chose not to press him about a possible upgrade to a suite, as I knew the standard rooms were still a healthy 50 square meters (more than 500 square feet) and was honestly looking forward to simply settling in. Before I knew it, we were whisked away on a golf cart to our room near the very top of the property.
Our room was in the Almendro building (which means “almond” in Spanish) on the top floor. The golf cart ride to it took about five minutes and drove us past the Serenitas Spa and several other buildings. The property was a essentially a collection of sprawling Mediterranean villas cut into the rocky hillside, which looked beautiful as the sun rose the next day. In no time, our driver pulled into a small turn off just steps from our room.
My immediate reaction upon entering the room was how spacious it felt thanks to the high ceilings, open floor plan and efficient use of space. I quickly came to recognize that it was perfect for traveling with a toddler. The door swung open into a small entryway, with a coat rack on the right and a well-stocked coffee and tea station and mini-bar immediately to the left.
Straight ahead was a wide walkthrough closet that led into the bathroom. Evy immediately began investigating the full-length mirror to make sure it was working properly.
Opposite the mirror was a roomy area for our luggage and clothing, including a wide top shelf that was ideal for keeping things out of the way.
Continuing through, the closet led to the spacious and luxurious marble bathroom, complete with his-and-her sinks and a separate room for the toilet.
Directly across from the sink to the right of the toilet was another separate room with a translucent glass door. Upon opening, we discovered a square area that was divided roughly in half, with one section boasting a full-size bathtub and the other serving as a large shower area with a rainforest shower head.
The design was perfect, as it allowed us to easily bathe Evy without sloshing water all over the regular bathroom floor. We were also delighted to see that there was a rubber ducky and bathing sponge waiting on the edge of the tub for her enjoyment.
The bathroom amenities were Bottega Veneta-branded and were replenished frequently throughout our stay.
We loved that there were doors to the toilet and bathtub but no door to the bathroom itself, as it allowed some privacy without impacting the open floor plan and spacious feeling of the room.
To the right of the closet was the rest of the room, starting with an unassuming desk in the far corner.
The desk was home to a nice feature that I’ve seen in more hotel rooms as of late, a tablet that allowed us to check the weather, listen to music or order room service, along with other guest services. This came in handy on our first night, as we were very tired and didn’t feel like dragging ourselves down to the restaurant. Instead, we ordered room service right from the tablet (more on this later).
The focal point of the main room was the king-size bed, which we found to be exquisitely comfortable, even on subsequent nights where we weren’t as jet lagged.
A large crib for Evy had been set down at the foot of the bed, complete with a separate set of linens and a cute blanket.
We wound up moving it to the other side of the wall in the closet area, however, so my wife and I could have some privacy and read, work or watch TV after Evy went to sleep. Of course, Evy did her best to worm her way into our bed anyway.
In the other corner of the room opposite the desk was an ill-conceived sitting area that attempted to combine the furniture of a dining room and living room and wound up missing the mark on both.
When we arrived, the hotel had set up a nice welcome package consisting of a bowl of fruit, bottle of water and two glasses with a note letting us know that we should call reception when we wanted to enjoy our complimentary bottle of cava. Naturally, we dialed 0 right away.
Possibly my favorite feature of the room was through the doors just off the sitting area, as they swung open to reveal a large and well-furnished balcony. Unlike most hotel balconies I’ve seen, this one was closed in on two sides and covered, protecting it from the elements and making it much easier to enjoy on the couple of rainy days we encountered. It was also staggered from the other rooms in the building, ensuring privacy when our neighbors were also enjoying the fresh air.
Even at night, the view of the property was spectacular, with La Torre de Canyamel lit up in the distance.
Of course, the evening vista was nothing compared to the beauty of the view during the light of day.
No sooner had we put Evy in her Minnie Mouse pajamas did she find a pair of the provided slippers and come out to investigate the balcony on her own — we rested easy knowing that the set-up (complete with iron fencing) made it virtually impossible for her to climb or fall.
The room also provided two large, sturdy umbrellas for use during the stay, a small touch that was greatly appreciated during the two rainy days we experienced there.
Food and Beverage
The Park Hyatt Mallorca has five distinct restaurants, though sadly only three of them were open during our stay because we were there during the low season. The main restaurant, Balearic, serves breakfast daily and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. It’s worth noting that, at the time of our stay, breakfast was included for all registered guests, and this language still appears when booking a paid rate (though it has since been removed from the details for awards stays). Despite the fact that everyone received breakfast, we never found the restaurant to be crowded in the morning. Breakfast was a two-part experience, with an extensive spread of meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, fruits, cereals and assorted hot items from which to choose.
Drink options were also plentiful and included; I especially appreciated the freshly squeezed juice that was actually freshly squeezed — being from citrus country in Florida, we’re a bit particular when a hotel claims its juice is freshly squeezed and then pours Tropicana. In addition to the full buffet, which would satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, we were also able to select a made-to-order item from the menu.
My wife was obsessed with the egg dish, while I opted for the pancakes with berry compote each morning.
Balearic is also the room service provider and, as I mentioned above, we took advantage of this on our first night. My wife thoroughly enjoyed her grilled squid with black-ink aioli and my first foray into suckling pig was divine. Even Evy’s discerning taste buds approved of the squid.
We also gave the Tapas Bar a try on our final night in town and had a fantastic meal, starting (naturally) with a glass of cava and an extensive charcuterie board loaded with fresh local cheeses and meats.
The only other dining option open during our stay was the more casual Café Sa Plaça, which was situated just a stone’s throw from the lobby area and served your typical coffee shop fare like drinks and pastries, packaged items like olive oil and various spreads and a decent lunch menu. Neither Asia nor the Poolside Bar were open during our stay.
As part of a luxury brand, the hotel lived up to the Park Hyatt’s expectations when it came to amenities. The spectacular grounds themselves served as an all-encompassing amenity of sorts: We truly felt like we were walking through a hillside village as opposed to a resort, and the designer struck an effective balance between the colors of the buildings and integrated vegetation and landscaping to create an oasis of understated elegance.
When it wasn’t raining, we enjoyed just strolling around the property, allowing Evy to investigate features like the intricate stonework and bubbling fountains.
Complimentary Wi-Fi for all guests was available across the entire property, and while the speeds weren’t lightning-fast, they were perfectly serviceable for checking email or surfing the web. While this wasn’t brought to our attention at check-in, we did find out later in our stay that the hotel offers complimentary cava in the gorgeously appointed library each evening, located directly across from the lobby.
Since the hotel is build into a hillside, guests with upper-slope accommodations (like us) will find their rooms to be a bit of a hike from the main areas of the resort. I counted 142 steps from the plaza to our floor and the rainy days made the trek a bit treacherous, especially with a toddler. Fortunately, the hotel does offer golf cart rides on demand, taking you either up or down, and we rarely had to wait more than a few minutes to catch one.
Because of the cold weather, we opted not to utilize the pool area during our stay, though it looked quite inviting, especially when the sun was setting.
That view, however, paled in comparison to the show of colors in the other direction over the valley as the sun descended.
One amenity we did use frequently was the kids club, located in the same building as the 24-hour fitness center on the main plaza level. This large play area was equipped with an array of toys and plenty of other items to keep Evy busy.
My understanding is that during the regular season, the kids club is actually staffed, and the website indicates that guests can take advantage of three complimentary hours per day for children ages four to 12. However, the club was empty throughout our stay, which made it feel like an expansive private playroom for Evy.
My wife checked out the Serenitas Spa on the final evening of our trip and had a wonderful treatment. She did find it a bit challenging to arrange an appointment — being there during the off season meant the hotel didn’t have a host of extra staff members at its beck and call — but Gonzalo at the front desk worked his magic while we were off sightseeing and managed to fit her in for a promotional treatment they were offering during our stay. The seven treatment rooms were spacious and elegantly furnished, though the prices were a bit on the high side, as can be expected at a luxury resort.
The Park Hyatt Mallorca had only been open for five and a half months when we visited, and we were concerned that the property would still be ironing out the kinks. While we did encounter a few very minor hiccups — a long delay on room-service delivery, a minor miscommunication about luggage pick-up on our day of departure — the resort is absolutely stunning and represents a great way to escape the craziness of daily life. While I imagine the property has a distinctly different vibe during the summer, we found it to be a tranquil, luxurious retreat in mid-November.
I also can’t say enough about the staff we encountered. Gonzalo became our go-to guy at the front desk, always willing to help with a restaurant recommendation (Restaurante Binicanella and Sa Punta were our favorites) or to arrange a collect phone call to Bank of America for refusing to let me withdraw money from an ATM despite there being a travel notice on my account. The staff in both Balearic and the Tapas Bar were wonderful as well, and they loved interacting with Evy, even allowing her to pick the bread for our meat and cheese platter.
A few additional items of note:
- Given the location, a rental car is truly necessary. It’s a relatively easy drive on well-maintained roads to get to the property and we wound up using the car every day.
- The property is not on the beach, though Canyamel Beach is a short ride away, with complimentary transportation provided by the hotel. This wasn’t a big deal for us given the cold weather, but is something for summertime guests to keep in mind.
- If you’re looking for things to do, be sure to check out the caves in the local area. The lesser-known Cuevas d’Arta are just five minutes from the property, while the larger (and more touristy) Cuevas del Drach in Porto Cristo are approximately 25 to 30 minutes away.
- In addition, for a truly unique experience, we highly recommend Artestruz, a working ostrich farm located just south of Campos and just under an hour from the Park Hyatt. It was fascinating to see (and feed) the birds up close, and the owners welcome you like members of their family. Just be sure to contact them ahead of time, especially if you want to enjoy a meal like we did.
All in all, the Park Hyatt Mallorca represents a fantastic addition to the brand in Europe and is a great option if you want to get away from it all. We also found the property (and Mallorca in general) to be incredibly welcoming to Evy, a nice change of pace from the usual looks we get when we board a plane or arrive at a restaurant with her in tow. If you’re seeking a luxurious resort in a secluded yet beautiful Mediterranean locale with genuine hospitality and fantastic food and amenities — easily bookable with points, no less! — look no further than the Park Hyatt Mallorca.
Have you ever stayed at the Park Hyatt Mallorca? Tell us about your experience, below.
All images by the author.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thepointsguy/~3/lR09ajbalfQ/The Points Guy