Home TravelEurope Review of the magnificent Hotel Esplendido

Review of the magnificent Hotel Esplendido

by Lorna Oakley

Overlooking the beautiful Port of Soller, surrounded by the majestic Tramuntana Mountain, Hotel Esplendido is indeed the pride of Soller. Built-in 1954 in one of the most beautiful villages in Mallorca, it continues to be a favourite with people from all over. Offering views of the sea as well as the garden, this charming hotel has everything one could need.

Port de Soller was always on my radar, as you may have gathered; I have spent a lot of my life in the Med, with many Summers spent in Port Andratx on the west side of the island, whereas Soller is more northern. The area of Port de Soller is not only characterised by the Tramuntana mountains and the Mediterranean but also by agriculture and on the journey from Port de Soller to Soller, in particular, you will notice the orange and citrus groves which are so typical of the region. The taste of the Mallorcan citrus fruits is well known – it is said that Louis XIV of France ate only Mallorcan oranges because of their sweetness (the juices at breakfast time are not to be missed).

ES Exterior 9

One of the main unique highlights however is the Soller tram. Inaugurated in 1913, the tramway of Soller is not only a tourist attraction but also a means of public transport used for more than a century by the inhabitants of the small town to travel to its port and beaches and backwards. The tramway, besides transporting passengers, has also been used to transport boxes of fish from the docks to the market or oranges to the ships that sailed to the French ports in the past, to carry vegetables from the orchards to the town and even to carry coal and war materials to the naval base of the Navy located in the Port of Soller.

All this and more brought us to beautiful Soller. This historic bay has none of the high rises its more southern neighbours have, and the buildings are beautifully restored and frame the sandy beach that arcs across it. Halfway across, opposite the port is the Hotel Esplendido. As much as we wanted to take the tram here (it literally goes past the hotel’s front door – another lovely reason this place is relaxing, no cars are allowed on the seafront) the times didn’t match and we wanted to make the most of our stay. This was a decision we were so glad we made, so a forty-minute cab ride from Palma Airport later; we were stepping through the door of the Hotel Esplendido into the light and airy lobby to be greeted by the wonderful staff and a welcome drink.

esplendidohotel room
esplendidohotel lounge

We sipped our drinks overlooking the beach at the front of the hotel as the famous trams went past and the early season holidaymakers strolled by before we were shown to our room.

Our room at Hotel Esplendido when we walked in, literally was perfection; the botanical green wallpaper was the perfect frame for the focal point of the room; the large dark wood double doors that opened onto a large terrace overlooking the bay, with the light flooding the room. The seating was the perfect focal point for watching the boats, listening to the water and relaxing in the sun. There are 74 rooms and suites at Hotel Esplendido with either garden or sea views, many with terraces like ours the décor has a retro flavour with artefacts including vintage radios, edgy mirrors and period-style wall lamps and armchairs, the modern bathrooms include a bath with overhead shower and all the amenities you could wish for. Along with air conditioning, satellite television, a music system and a safety deposit box, complimentary soft drinks are offered in the minibar on the first day.

ES Exterior 6

As it was our first day at Hotel Esplendido, we wanted to make the most of what was left of the afternoon, so we made our way to the fifth floor; through the spa (I’ll return to this later!) and to the pools. These were perfectly situated behind the hotel on two levels, the first one was the larger of the two, which was more of a family pool. The second one was an infinity pool on another level up a set of stairs was smaller but had the most beautiful views.

We sat on loungers underneath olive trees, taking the occasional dip in the pool to cool off and gaze over the azure blue below us. The wonderful thing about the hotel is the way it is designed. There are so many areas and space; you will never feel like there are many other guests around you, it feels spacious and airy, full of light and the staff are super helpful, we truly felt like we were on our own by the pool apart from the occasional member of staff checking on us. That evening, we took a stroll to the older part of Soller Port for tapas and an early night watching the sunset from our terrace.

The following morning was a choice of eating in the Bistro or the Buffet. We chose the bistro option for the first day, and it was delicious. The Bistro restaurant with its open kitchen on the ground floor overlooks the port’s promenade and is a more peaceful option as it is adult-only. The service was great, the food was perfect; we both have very different tastes when it comes to breakfast. I love plant-based lighter dishes with a smoothie, Chris, on the other hand, is protein and a strong coffee, both were perfectly catered for, with an organic green omelette, smoothie and of course a glass of Mallorcan orange juice for me; smoked salmon and avocado on a bagel with a freshly brewed coffee for Chris.

The bistro at Hotel Esplendido also offers a diverse à la carte lunch and evening menu to suit all tastes from 1 PM -11 PM. Memorable dishes include fresh grilled Soller prawns which are of course essential when visiting the area and desserts such as hibiscus and rose daiquiri with raspberry sorbet.

ES Spa 2

We spent a leisurely few hours by the pool, and checked out the amazing library en route on the third floor; this also has an incredible vinyl collection that is displayed on the walls framed and available to play on the record player there.

Staying at the Hotel Esplendido gives you no excuse not to spend time outside, there are paddle boards directly outside, as well as the opportunity to hire bikes too. We decided however; a late lunch was in order consisting of shared truffle chips in the port with cold beers (we had walked quite a bit by this point, so decided we deserved it). The late lunch turned into early evening and it was impossible not to spend time sitting at the front of the hotel with a bottle of Mallorcan wine before an early night.

Breakfast the following day was the buffet; we decided we’d like to try both options and to be honest both were just as lovely in different ways. My delicious smoothies and juices were on the menu, but the buffet breakfast, that is served on the first floor, offers squeeze-your-own orange juice and a selection of cereals, yoghurts, pastries, bread and cold charcuterie and cheeses. Eggs are made to order from the open kitchen, and these were perfect on the homemade rye bread.

Making the most of our last morning we took a walk and had a coffee looking over the bay for the last time… Or is it? We have definitely found a new corner of Mallorca that we are going to return to!

Hotel Esplendido
Passeig Es Traves, 5
07108 Port de Sóller
Illes Balears

Related Posts