First things first: Mallorca or Majorca? Given every Spaniard under the sun pronounces it "Mallorca", we're going to have to with the former. As for the latter, you can thank the Brits, who can't roll their R's or pronounce their AYs. You're welcome.
Now, getting down to business: Memorial Day Weekend is one of our favorite times to travel. Not only is it the unofficial start of summer, but it's also our wedding anniversary. What better excuse to get away?
With ticket prices the lowest we've seen them, we scooped up two seats on an Iberia BOS to MAD flight Wednesday after work. The flight itself was super short, but Mallorca requires a connection. Pro tip: give yourself at least two hours for the connection. We did not and regretted it. Not only did Customs not show up for 25 minutes, but we ended up sprinting barefoot through the terminals only to be the last to board. We also had to cut some people in line. Not our finest hour but I digress.
Although mildly more chill than Ibiza, Mallorca is still a party island. Especially in and around Palma. When we arrived at the airport, we were welcomed by the smell of salt water and a slew of hen parties in matching t-shirts. Nothing against bachelorettes, but we were in the market for a more relaxed weekend.
Fortunately, we booked the Park Hyatt Mallorca, which is located a little under an hour away from Palma de Mallorca, on the east side of the island. It was everything we had hoped for and more. The property is immaculate and the service is the epitome of Park Hyatt. More to come on that later.
Although we had every intention of going back into town to explore Palma, we never got around to it. And to be honest, we didn't miss it one bit. Instead, we explored some of the smaller towns and enjoyed every minute.
Where my beaches at?
Our first day was spent lounging by the pool, warding off jetlag.
On day two, we were ready for some adventure. We drove south to the town of Santanyí to explore. Luckily, we stumbled upon Cala Santanyí, from which we hiked over to the Es Pontas arch. The town of Santanyí is also very cute. We explored a bit before ducking in for some lunch. Our waiter recommended the beach at the Mondragó Natural Park, which is where we spent the rest of the lazy afternoon. Surprisingly, neither of us took a picture, but trust us when we say it was one of the prettiest beaches we’ve ever seen. Think inlets surrounded by cliffs, with the most pristine water you’ve ever seen.
The next day, we drove into town to see Capdepera, starting at the Castle of Capdepera. Dating back to the Romans with a violent history of its own, this fortress was impressive. There was even an archaeological dig happening while we were visiting, making things even more exciting. I mean who doesn’t dream of being an anthropologist when they’re a little kid? And no, I don’t mean the retail variety.
After a leisurely breakfast in town, we drove 20 minutes north to Artá. Every Saturday, the town welcomes artists, bakers and farmers. This is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs or sample the local fare. After browsing through various stalls, we decided to hike up to Santuari de Sant Salvador, another medieval fortress. The views from Sant Salvador were spectacular and well worth the trek up the hill.
Once we had a chance to take in all the views, we headed back down Carrer de Ciutat, ducking into shops along the way. We also enjoyed a leisurely lunch, which you can read about below.
For our last day, we tried mightily to rent a boat for the day. Unfortunately, Sundays book up far in advance. TIP: Don’t wait til the last minute to do this! It’s the best way to see some of the hidden beaches.
Instead, our concierge recommended her favorite beach, Son Serra de Marina. The beach was lovely, with surrounding views of the mountains and full of families enjoying their Sunday together. We were the only Americans, something we generally take pride in. There are a few little restaurants in Es Fondo de na Borges by the beach if you’re in need of lunch. We tried some fried anchovies and paella at Lago – muy bien.
Comida por favore
Porxada de Sa Torre was one of our favorite dinners of the trip. It’s a great value, especially when compared to Park Hyatt prices. Located at the Torre de Canyamel, this restaurant is famous for its traditional Majorcan cuisine and historic view. Tim ordered their most famous dish, the suckling pig, while I had the local bass. Both were outstanding, despite us over ordering on the first course. Did someone say chorizo? TIP: This is just outside of walking distance from the hotel (down a dark, windy road). We ordered a taxi as we wanted to enjoy some wine and it was €30. Although we were being responsible, we really wish we had just driven in lieu of wine.
Restaurant Es Taronger in Artà was another good find. We came here for lunch and enjoyed a few cervezas and tapas, along with some respite from the heat. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit!
The dining options at the Park Hyatt were excellent. In fact, we ate at the Tapas Bar twice. It was worth it. The farm egg and pork neck were two of the most notable dishes.
Honorable mention: Cap Vermell. Although a bit dated, this place overlooks the Mediterranean. Mix in the Spanish guitars softly strumming softly while you sip Majorcan wine doesn’t hurt either. Truth be told, I found this place a bit average, but Tim seemed to like it. I think it was all the wine talking. If you do go, ask for a table by the water and get there on the earlier side (by Spanish standards). We ordered the fixed menu, which was happily accommodated to Tim’s shellfish allergy. However, the veal was served well done. THE HORROR!!!!!
If you’re heading to the Park Hyatt, make sure you rent a car. As I mentioned, it’s about an hour from the Palma Airport. It’s also great for getting around to the lesser known towns and beaches.
We rented an automatic from Enterprise for about €55 a day, including GPS. Although we had to wait an hour for our car to be ready, it was smooth sailing from there. The GPS came in handy many times and the Euro cross-over met our needs.
When connecting in Madrid, make sure to give yourself ample time to get to the terminal. Keep in mind you’ll need to not only go through customs, but also through security. Plus, the airport is massive. We made the mistake of giving ourselves an hour. It was the most stressful connection we’ve ever had, but luckily it worked out. I did lose a bracelet in the process, which was super sad.
We ended up doing four nights in Mallorca, which may seem insane. However, it was surprisingly relaxing! Plus, we used the points and cash rate at the Park Hyatt to score a great room deal. That, with the cheap rates to Spain made for a worthwhile getaway!