Owned by the Xamena Family since it was built 69 years ago, Hotel BonSol Resort & Spa in Mallorca is a hotel which guests flock to year after year. Full of antiques and trinkets from the families’ travels, packed with activities and facilities and built upon the most wonderful location overlooking the Mediterranean sea, I spent two nights in a sea view villa to find out why the guests just keep on coming back.
Whilst we were seamlessly checked in by Isabella and our bags were whisked off to our room, we were given a tour of the property by Alejandro Xemena, son of Martin, the owner of BonSol. What was immediately obvious was the great pride he had for his family and the legacy they had built, but he was equally as passionate about the ways in which the hotel offsets its CO2 emissions for each hotel guest. He tells us that they have planted 220,000 trees in Costa Rica and dedicate €3 per guest per day for the upkeep of the project. It’s so impressive to see such an old hotel make an effort to be sustainable.
The tour of the property was definitely needed because this place is huge. Connected by lifts and long corridors, the property spans 4 levels that interconnect the pools, dining areas and beach and surrounding rooms. Thankfully after a few trips to and from reception we seemed to have our bearings and were eager to explore what the hotel had to offer, which to be honest was a bit too much for someone like me who just wants to lie by the pool or beach all day with a cocktail!
The hotel boasts a mini golf course, billiards pitch, boules, tennis court, squash court, table tennis, water sports, a spa, evening entertainment, three swimming pools, a library, beach, gym and even a yoga studio overlooking the ocean. You will most definitely never be short of something to do here but if you’re like me and are simply on holiday to eat, drink and get a tan then read on…
The choice of dining at BonSol is wonderful and on our first lunch at the hotel we encountered its owner Martin, carving a leg of lamb for the guests and answering questions about the food and hotel, not to impress us journalists, no, he was there at every meal. Many of the guests he knew by name and when showing us to our room he had to stop several times to greet people and make sure they were enjoying their stay. Martin is a lovely man, adamant that everything was perfect during our stay: dietary requirements known to staff, late check out taken care of, a cold bottle of cava for our night of arrival etc. He didn’t just instruct a member of staff to take care of things, he saw to things personally. You just do not get that type of service any more. An absolute treasure.
The main dining restaurant ‘Las Antochas’ has full waiter service and a gourmet menu each evening. I enjoyed clear soup with vermicelli pasta followed by braised pork fillet with cabbage and a selection of sorbets for dessert. The pork dish was served with some very basic boiled potatoes and frozen vegetables, which I wasn’t expecting on a ‘gourmet’ menu, but I have to argue the case of the clientele here…
The guests who frequent the hotel are certainly of an older generation and many come back each year because they like it the way it is. No doubt enough of them have requested food that is easier to eat, less spicy or unseasoned and of course staff would be foolish to ignore the requests that so many of their regular guests make. Did this spoil the food for me? No, not at all. I enjoyed everything I ate and the service was just lovely, and most importantly every guest looked to be having a wonderful time and enjoying the food.
Down by the Beach Restaurant the atmosphere is a little different. We enjoyed a gorgeous sea view in the warm evening whilst a classical guitarist played for the guests. On offer is a choice of buffet featuring fresh seafood, meats, salads, vegetables and selections of hot and cold foods that cater to every taste.
There is also a menu so you can choose a salad buffet starter and a main off the menu or vice versa. I opted for steak and chips but I should have gone for the buffet. Let’s just leave it at that. This is also where we enjoyed our lunch each day and the buffet selection is also alongside a lunch menu. The pizza and club sandwich were particularly good (and better than the 5* hotel we’d stayed in previously!) but the buffet option each day was just superb. We were always well looked after by restaurant manager Vincent who knew the exact bottle of rosé we wanted each time we sat down.
There was no shortage of drinks consumed whilst we sat in the sun provided by Adrian and Frank, who always gave us wonderful service as well as cocktails that hit the spot. They were more than happy to bring our drinks down to us by the beach or by the pool which was a lovely touch. We had a wonderful couple of hours in the spa. Offering a range of treatments from rain shower to hot stone massages and beauty treatments, guests can also use the sauna, steam room, Turkish bath and plunge pool. We really enjoyed having the spa all to ourselves, enjoying the silence and relaxing without feeling self conscious or vulnerable. Just lovely.
On our last morning by the pool, which by the way is very deep, very cold (but lovely once you’re in!) and surrounded by lush greenery and flowers, we reflected on our stay as a whole. At the age of 33 I was by far the youngest person there apart from a couple of children we saw, but if I’m being honest it was more of a good thing. The atmosphere was calm and friendly, everyone said hello as you passed, there was never noise late at night and you never had to fight for a sunbed. Maybe I’m old before my time, but this was my kind of hotel. Sure it could do with a bit of updating, but the service, location and sheer amount of facilities here is enough to ensure a visit to Mallorca is well spent at BonSol Resort & Spa.
BonSol Resort & Spa
Paseo de Illetas
30 E-07181 Illetas