There was a time, let’s say up to the 60’s, when it was customary and often expected that the proprietor of a quality hotel would greet new arrivals at the hotel personally and welcome them with the offer of a complimentary drink in the lounge bar. It was all part of what the hotel offered, a home away from home, an opportunity for the guests to wind down after a long trip, and time for the porters to take the luggage to the room. This is what you still get at the Hotel Bon Sol. For us, after having visited so many hotels in recent years, this experience at the Bonsol was not just a refreshing change but one which cemented our feeling of contentment. At most other hotels in this globalised age, you are unlikely to see the manager, let alone the owner of a hotel.
Just by sitting in the bar area we quickly got the feeling that many people knew each other, as if they were old friends, and we were mere passers through, which unfortunately we were. But the fact is the Bonsol has become such an established holiday destination for so many families it is quite common to meet couples who have stayed there literally dozens of times, or even their children, now grown up who have now become regular visitors with their own children. We were very much the newbies at this hotel which at times was more like a friendly open club than a hotel.
I was very comfortable with the friendly and not-too-formal nature of the staff, who were always helpful, who themselves have got to know guests as well as the Xamena family owners themselves. They are multilingual, with French, German, English and Russian spoken at the reception, putting me absolutely to shame.
The hotel was started by Senor Xamena senior as a small 14-room guesthouse which has now become a 142 luxury resort hotel and spa under the leadership of his son, Senor Martin Xamena, and his English wife of 35 years, Lorraine. Alejandro, their son, has just joined the team and looks set to take the hotel to new heights.
Much of the hotel straddles the road with a tunnel leading to the newer part of the hotel where you can find a selection of swimming pools and access to the private beach in a little cove below. The gardens which surround the hotel and its various fixtures are superb, offering plenty of shelter from the sun on a hot summer day, and providing colour and atmosphere to a complex which has clearly taken a few generations to develop to what it is today.
We stayed in room 206 in the main building where you have a grand panoramic view of the Bay of Palma, as it was on the corner, giving me an irresistible opportunity to video and photo the view at all times of day and night. A thunderstorm on both nights we were there was watched with a grandstand view.
We only stayed at the Hotel Bonsol for two nights, far too short for us to appreciate the facilities fully. We did however promise to return as a proper holiday rather than a work visit because there is simply so much to do at the hotel, in Illetas, and in the city of Palma, just 20 minutes away by No. 3 bus, which passes the front door of the hotel. Mrs. Phillips was especially keen to try out the spa facilities, while would be happy to lounge by the pool with a good book.
Please watch the video below to listen to Senor Xamena and to learn what this great hotel is all about, or book a room there. See also the photos in the gallery below, many which were taken from room 206 at the Bonsol.