Roger Wheeler and his husband Mike stay steer clear of the tourist hotspots and explore off the beaten track in Mallorca.
Millions of people, Brits included, visit Mallorca every year with most heading straight for the famous beach resorts of Cala Figuera, Illetas, Palma Nova, Can Pastilla, or Palma with its magnificent Gothic Cathedral, there are plenty to choose from.
If it’s gay Mallorca you seek and it can be very gay, then you need to concentrate on the major resorts, but you miss a lot by not seeing the interior of this beautiful island.
As usual we spent hours trolling though many internet sites looking for something a little different, there was plenty of choice but, purely by chance we found Hotel Es Lloquet – the Secret Place. It looked promising and after so many hours gazing at the computer screen we succumbed and booked.
It isn’t called the secret place for nothing, truly hidden in the heart of the countryside, close to Campos and not far from the famous Es Trenc beach. It is about an hour’s drive from the airport but, almost impossible to actually find, as there are few signs and of course the sat nav on our hire car was useless.
Eventually, after almost having given up the search, we drove up a small dirt track and there it was, our own secret place for a few days. A charming old, restored, farmhouse. There was nothing as formal as a reception desk and no one in sight in the huge stylish lounge until the rather charming Jorge appeared and then, all was well.
Hotel Es Lloquet – the Secret Place is the epitome of peace and quiet. Only 18 rooms, all of which – in the main building – have their own private terrace and jacuzzi, huge comfortable beds and vast bathrooms. It is in need of some TLC but that in no way detracts from the quiet beauty of the location and the hotel itself.
The few staff on duty – Jorge; Jaime and Cristina – could not have been more friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The hotel, although fully booked, was like a ghost town, we saw no other guests. There were vast lounges with extremely comfortable seating around the pool but, no one there. The two swimming pools were quite lovely, the main pool was beautiful and deserted, and all you could hear was birdsong – bliss.
Campos the nearest town is a sleepy, typically Mallorcan town with a few shops and restaurants, not exactly a destination but quite pleasant. The beach at Es Trenc when I last visited, way back, was very quiet, quite nudist and gay, not so anymore. Crowded, noisy, not exactly relaxing, although the beach itself, what you could see of it, was the same white sand and of course the azure blue sea was still quite lovely.
We selected a semi quiet spot and settled down for some serious sun worship. Within minutes several fully clothed ladies decided to sit right next to us and talk, loudly, on their phones. There was no escape, we left, sadly never to return, the thousands of tourists, which included us, make the whole experience one to be endured rather than enjoyed.
There are several nice villages in the area with some great restaurants but once again the hoards of tourist are there too, so nice quiet suppers in local tabernas were hard to find. However, on our way back from the beach we spotted Moli de Sal, it looked promising so we went back for dinner
It is set in a beautiful old mill; we ate some really lovely food in the stunning garden. The kitchen which is basically a barbecue, includes a full range of meat and very fresh fish. A great place to eat in an area not noted for its cuisine.
If you want to avoid the crowded beaches there are many places to see in the heart of rural Mallorca. We were told about Ermita de Sant Honorat, not far from Lluc Major. This is a monastery on top of a very large hill, Puig de Randa, which rises 550m out of the plain. It was founded in 1275 and today has a good restaurant, museum, a very beautiful church – Santuari de Cura – and tourists are few and far between. The 180 degree views over most of the island are stunning. It’s well worth the trip.
We were sorry to leave Es Lloquet behind us, heading off for a few days in Palma, which in hindsight was a mistake, hot busy city that it is, we should have stayed put. Should we ever choose to return there is no question of where we would stay.
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