I’m among the first wave of guests for this summer’s opening, and staff are full of smiles, excited to finally have guests. Our car is valet parked and we’re shown to our room.
This is Park Hyatt’s first resort hotel in Europe, and they have deliberately selected a destination with a broad offering. Beach, countryside, golf, culture and lots of sporting activities are all on the doorstep. In small-island psychology, the north-east is a long way from the touristic south, but it’s only an hour from the airport on good roads. The medieval town of ArtÃ is a 15-minute drive away – it has an open-air theatre and a large weekly market selling food, clothes, jewellery and trinkets.
All 142 rooms have the same soothing beige-and-cream decor, plus covered balconies or terraces. Mod cons include a television screen set in the mirror in the bathroom. Given the bath and shower are behind a door, though, the TV is useful only for watching while brushing your teeth.
The resort is built in the style of a Mallorcan village – and it works. Each block has a maximum of 10 bedrooms and is painted in a different shade. The Plaza de la Torre, with its corner bistro and a clock tower, occupies the central area, and echoes the cafe in every town square in every village. The central olive trees are between 350 and 400 years old, and the high, spectacular communal table in the cafe took 180 hours to make. Regular transfers take guests to a dedicated beach club less than five minutes down the road. A country club, with sports fields open to outside guests, is scheduled to open on October 1.
After months of preparation for the opening, staff enthusiasm was at its peak. The Qatari owners, keen to employ staff from Mallorca, have been running a hospitality school for the last two years. They have also imported some of their own staff. The launch GM, John Beveridge, had previously been at the Park Hyatt in Dubai and has been with the company for 34 years. The young pool and buggy staff talk of their pleasure at landing a job in such a prestigious hotel; nothing is too much trouble for them and every single member of staff is cheerful, polite and efficient. This is during only the second week of operation, though, with only a small number of guests.
The hotel uses a chef from a Michelin-star restaurant for the self-explanatory Tapas Bar, rather than in the main restaurant. The five-course tasting menu offers lots of delicious, unusual, exotic dishes, but they’re small enough that you won’t feel overfull. Balearic serves traditional dishes – we eat paella for lunch and fresh barbecued fish for dinner (€99 [Dh406]). Asia restaurant, meanwhile, will be run on rotation by a series of different chefs from China, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
The gardens, with their 700 trees, 25,000 bushes and a beautiful sunken olive garden.
The downstairs toilets could do with being closer to the swimming pool.
Great location, great architecture, fabulous food and exemplary service. And unusually for Mallorca, it will stay open all year.
The bottom line
Rooms at the Park Hyatt Mallorca (www.mallorca.park.hyatt.com) cost from €500 (Dh2,049) per night, including breakfast and taxes.
Source: art & life