Puerto Pollensa in the north of Mallorca has been a magnet for British visitors for decades. It was where I had my first ever holiday on the island, as a teenager. The hotel I stayed in is still there and looks unchanged from the outside. I’ve not ventured in – not that anyone would remember the embarrassing incident in the hotel dining room, when the piece of melon I was trying to spear with my fork shot off the plate and onto the rather-too-close neighbouring table. It put me off eating melon for ages, but didn’t put me off Puerto Pollensa: here began my love affair with the island.
Agatha Christie holidayed in Puerto Pollensa too. It inspired her short story Problem at Pollensa Bay, featuring the detective Parker Pyne. Some say that Christie stayed at the Hotel Illa d’Or in the resort; others say that the Sis Pins Hotel was where she lodged during her visit here. Wherever she was, she would have enjoyed the sweeping views of this expansive bay, which takes on a special beauty during the winter months. On a calm, sunny day like today, the Mediterranean laps gently at the shore but otherwise looks almost like a lake. Boats are still anchored in the bay, and this morning we even saw a water-skier in action. But it’s the clarity of the light that most impresses on a winter’s day when the sun shines from a clear blue sky.
Open for business
We love to visit Puerto Pollensa at this time of year, for its natural beauty and to stride out along the Pine Walk, passing waterfront houses and apartment buildings and daydreaming about living so close to the sea. Every long walk should end with a good coffee or, in winter, perhaps a gloopy hot chocolate, although many cafés and bars here are closed over the winter months.
This year Cappuccino Grand Café – a Mallorcan chain of smart cafés – is open, having been boarded shut for the past two winters (it first opened in spring 2011). The café is located in the premises of the Sis Pins Hotel which, unusually, is also open this winter. The hotel opened its doors in 1952, and is packed with traditional Mallorcan character – although today it’s British-owned.
We ended our walk this morning with a coffee and a calorific double chocolate muffin on the terrace of the stylishly designed Cappuccino, where blankets had been placed on the chairs to ward off any winter chill. They certainly weren’t needed this morning and it was a pleasure to linger in the warm sunshine, enjoying the tranquillity and gazing out to sea. Sadly, we were the only people there; the locals clearly baulk at paying 2,35 euros for an espresso (and 4,70 euros for a cappuccino), and there just aren’t that many visitors flashing their cash at the moment. Perhaps we chose a quiet day . . .
We’ll certainly be back in Puerto Pollensa a few times this winter and it’s good to know that we can have a coffee (and generous portions of food) at Cappuccino, while listening to some funky background music, a delicious meal or tasty tapas at the waterfront Restaurante Stay (also open through the winter), and a place to stay overnight if the mood takes us.
Between now and March 28th, 2014, you can stay at the Sis Pins Hotel in a sea-view room from as little as 42 euros (per person, per night, breakfast and VAT included). Sounds like a good deal to me . . .