Mallorca: November Sun at Hospes Maricel

posted on: Sunday, 4 December 2011

So Fashion Foie Gras is on the hunt this winter for one thing and one thing only...sun! 

If you've ever lived through a winter in London you'll know that the sun pretty much retires for the season. This year we've been very lucky so far in that we've had a very mild winter. However, I wanted to get my research in on finding winter sun escapes should things turn nasty come December/January/February. So first on our list of hot spots to visit was Mallorca in Spain. Mr. Fashion Foie Gras and I packed our bags and hopped on a sleazy jet on Saturday morning and arrived in Palma's airport around noon time. We grabbed ourselves a rental car, set the tunes on the radio to club Music and off we went!

Our first destination was Hospes Maricel, our hotel for the weekend, which was conveniently located only a ten minute drive from the airport. Everything is very easy to get to on this island if you have a car. So tip number one...rent a car! You will not regret it. We rented ours from the most random Spanish provider and were greeted with a brand new Ford Focus that would act as a our chariot for the weekend.

Our relaxation began the moment the door to Hospes Maricel opened. The gentleman at the door took the keys to our car and whisked away our vehicle while also passing our bags onto another individual who swiftly found a home for them in our suite! We, meanwhile, were led out onto a beautiful balcony that overlooked the sea. We melted into the gorgeous cushioned wicker furniture and closed our eyes as the waves hit the shore. For a moment (and this could have just been the Cava), I forgot I was a Londoner. The air had a scent that was so fresh, clean and utterly sweet that I was convinced there could be no other way of living on this earth. The whole weekend would be the same as this very moment. Nothing was rushed on this island. Even the way people walk and talk is at a slower pace than I'm used to.

Our room at Hospes Maricel was fabulously modern and full of wonderful conveniences. Of course one must speak of the marvellous seaside view first and foremost. And then of course the sounds of the ocean which sang us to sleep that night! But little unexpected things were found here and there around the room. For example, in room DVD player with a massive library available to every guest in the hotel was a nice touch and made for a nice return to the room later that evening.

We had every intention in going out that evening but found ourselves drawn to the bar downstairs in the hotel. We enjoyed cocktail after cocktail on the menu as we told ourselves we had to try a little of everything. Of course there was not one that disappointed. In fact, had we not had an entire weekend ahead of us of roaming the island I think we would have quite happily stayed in the hotel bar until closing time! Our stomachs were lined with gorgeous Spanish tapas as we drank and we had no trouble whatsoever polishing off a sizable amount of Iberico Ham within ten minutes of the plate hitting the table! Hey, when in Mallorca, right? When the bill came it wasn't as bad as expected and it actually seemed quite reasonable for the amount of alcohol and Spanish delicacies that had been consumed.

The next morning we partook of the buffet breakfast that the hotel supplied. There are actually two options for breakfast at Hospes Maricel. You are welcome to nibble as you wish or you can participate in a breakfast that has received outstanding praise from travellers the world over. This is the tasting breakfast and as we looked around us we wished we had booked in for this foodie event! Many visitors seemed to be there for hours enjoying plate after plate of wonderful food that was continuously showing up at their tables! That being said, we enjoyed our own buffet immensely and had a time schedule to keep to! So if you're clock watching we recommend hitting the buffet and jumping in your car. But if you're at the Hospes Maricel for a relaxing weekend and that's your final destination, it would be a shame not to indulge!

After our tanks were full and I'd had my eighth glass of coffee, we were off on our grand adventures around the island. We waved goodbye to Hospes Maricel and promised to visit again soon for a weekend that really did involve nothing more than enjoying the hotel as a whole. At this point I must mention that the spa activities along at the hotel could keep you busy for 72 hours! I'll freely admit that I wish we had planned our trip so that the hotel was THE destination for the entire weekend rather than a stop over in a grand adventure.

But off we went and onwards we drove! We must have hit nearly every small town on the island. We explored ports, climbed through ancient castles and dipped our feet in the cool ocean water as we walked the empty beaches. All the while we found time to stop and enjoy the people around us. We sat in cafes and people watched for hours. We got lost in our car and discovered fabulous old villages we would have never otherwise seen!

The island as a whole was deserted. This had pluses and minuses. It is winter in Mallorca and most places close up shop at the end of October. So driving through the streets was like driving through a ghost town in most places. But it was a wonderful opportunity to see the beauty of the island without the overflow of tourists at every port. There was a parking space available everywhere we wanted to go. There were plenty of restaurants open to keep our bellies full. There were even friendly locals happy to chat to Mr. FFG as he practised his Spanish. Really the bottom line was that we felt more like local people than tourists and this was a wonderful change of events for us both.

So my final verdict on Mallorca in November! It's a go! The weather was warm enough for t-shirts and there were many people swimming, paddle boarding and kite surfing on the beaches despite the dip in the temperature. Honestly, only the tourists were missing and who has ever complained about that?

The trip itself is as easy as it gets for international travel. You'll be greeted with sunshine, friendly faces and beautiful scenery. I can't think of any reason you shouldn't visit. And do book into the Hospes Maricel. The locals say it's the best on the island and we certainly have to agree based on what we saw!

Speaking of "seeing"...here's a look at what we discovered on our adventures from the hotel to the open road!