They are – if I were to exaggerate – glass boxes of emotion. From the smell of a familiar city through sliding doors, to holding your other half goodbye past beeping ones, airports do, for all that’s better and worse, see it all.
It’s why I’m always fascinated by the chauffeurs and private drivers, lined behind whiteboards inked in the names of those who I assume to be the rich and famous – or the overworked and in awe of pleasure travellers. Despite what may be better judgement then, one can’t often help but think or hope that ‘one day, it’ll be my name on that whiteboard’.
For me, it was a European summer Monday, 18th July.
We were flying to the beautiful Spanish island of Mallorca, tucked between Menorca to the East, and Ibiza to the West. Embarrassingly, after spotting my name in pen, I was unable to contain my excitement or keep my cool, and according to our driver, Sebastián, I was the first in his decorated back seat to ever have requested a photo.
And so began something special. My best mate and I were escorted to our car and driven to a stunning part of the island in the North East called Canyamel, where Park Hyatt has just opened their first resort in Europe.
Situated at the base of a shrub covered mountain, the Park Hyatt Mallorca is a breath of traditional Spain. And having only opened in June 2016, it’s not hard to see why it’s already so popular: the grounds are a smattering of beautiful and unique streams and water features; of the ever present sounds of nature; and of infectiously friendly staff with a genuine passion for the hotel and its surrounding area.
It’s big. Like, it’s really big. Think cartwheels.
The entrance leads you through a main area that is both long and flows perfectly onto a private balcony overlooking the rest of the hotel and Canyamel valley below. The bathroom is seriously special, with a built-in TV in the mirror (so you never miss a GOT moment while brushing your teeth) and gorgeous rainwater shower.
We chose to start each of our evenings the same way: sitting around the communal outdoor fireplace, surrounded by olive trees and enjoying a martini while watching the sun go down (that is quite possibly the greatest sentence I’ve ever written). The conversation would then turn to dinner, and we had to make the hard decision between:
Tapas Bar (Authentic Spanish tapas and wine)
This is the game changer. The food was so good we ended up ordering the entire menu over a number of hours. Do yourself a favour and let the staff take care of the ordering for you. Sit back, relax with a nice local red and contemplate how great life is.
Balearic (Fine dining using locally sourced ingredients)
A beautifully prepared à la carte menu focussed restaurant which sources only the best of local produce. And – as you can imagine – the local produce is good.
Asia (authentically prepared Pan-Asian dishes)
Nestled alongside a sunken firepit and with a view to the Mediterranean Sea, Asia was where we spent our early afternoons.
If ‘Laying by the pool at the Park Hyatt Mallorca’ was a full-time job then I’d be a Managing Director. But when you decide to pull yourself away from rosé soaked tanning sessions, there’re plenty of things to do in the resort and in the surrounding island.
- Golf – If you’re in any way interested in playing a couple of rounds, the staff at Park Hyatt will absolutely hook you up. They kindly sorted us out with 9 holes at a course next to the beach. Very special (the course, and inversely, our golfing ability).
- Vermell Beach – Just a 2-minute drive down the road is this gorgeous beach. We decided to go exploring around the cliffs and were rewarded with a secluded bay all to ourselves. It’s still some of the clearest water I’ve ever experienced.
- Capdepera Castle – Situated at the top of a very quaint little town is Capedpera Castle, which you can enter for a couple of euros. We spent about an hour walking around and taking in the 360-degree views of Mallorca. Once at the top, you can see across to Menorca. Go for an afternoon and finish it off with a cerveza in the local town.
- Wine tasting – Close to the hotel is the oldest vineyard on the island. Head there for a wine tour and learn about the old ways of Spainsh wine making.
- Mallorca has the first and oldest peace treaty in the world with the island of Menorca.
- Rafael Nadal is from Mallorca, and they’re proud of it. Rightfully so.
- The island enjoys a year round average temperature of 21°C, and an average of more than 300 days of sunshine throughout the year.
Full transparency: I was sceptical about spending 3 days in the same resort. The idea of not exploring and understanding the local way of life made me apprehensive.
But this is what’s so unique about Park Hyatt.
Think of it like having a really, really ridiculously fancy home to base yourself at, with access to the most amazing local chefs on hand to prepare traditional delicacy’s, and a passionate group of people helping plan out your day. That coupled with the ability to go out and explore the island at your own pace makes a seriously special experience. I can’t wait to get back there and revisit this slice of Spanish paradise.