Want to escape the weather for a while in Mallorca? Whether it’s a rare chilly wet day, or you’d like to escape the heat of the summer sunshine, a hotel spa could be the perfect refuge. Many of Mallorca’s 4- and 5-star hotels have a spa where visitors can pay a set fee to use the facilities for a few hours. It’s an opportunity to boost your sense of wellness with some serious relaxation and perhaps a few pampering spa treatments (although the latter are not usually obligatory).
My friend Sandra and I are fond of a spa day and our most recent was at the GPRO Valparaiso Palace & Spa in Palma. Although I’ve lived on the island for almost 14 years, this was my first visit to this 5-star hotel, which was acquired by the Chinese GPRO hotel group in autumn 2016.
The urban resort hotel was inaugurated in 1976 in a hilltop location on the outskirts of Palma. From the front, the building exterior looks rather dated in design, but the new owners are investing in the property and have already made some considerable improvements. To be honest, I expected to see more Chinese influences – lots of red and gold, for example – in the interior design but the Oriental ownership isn’t that obvious. There isn’t even an upmarket Chinese restaurant!
The Thermal Circuit experience
A weekday thermal circuit day (from 10:00-15:00h) at Valparaiso Palace’s spa costs 35€, entitling you to use all the wet facilities. The use of a robe, towels, slippers, and locker, and a bottle of water (unfortunately a plastic bottle) are included in this price. Spa facilities include a large indoor pool with various jets of water; you can also swim through to the outdoors from here. Despite the unappealing cold wet February weather, we did just that and the water outside felt bathwater-warm. Unlike the water falling from the sky…
Other thermal circuit facilities at the Valparaiso spa include Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, salt-inhalation sauna (beneficial for anyone with chest problems) with tiled ‘armchair’-style seating and a light show (!), herbal sauna, Hammam, ice fountain, Kneipp passage (invigorating alternate jets of hot and cold water target your legs as you walk through). We didn’t get around to using everything – a good reason to return some time – but did each have a half-hour facial treatment whilst there.
The huge spa is at basement level and offers plenty of areas for relaxation. I was surprised by the size and scope of the spa’s facilities. A good range of wellness and beauty/hairdressing treatments is offered and details are on the website.
The several treatment rooms include one for Ayurvedic treatments, and another especially for couples. Six different packages are available for couples alone – including the Honeymoon package (two hours for 360€), which includes a full-body massage with white chocolate! The mind boggles…
We had a quick lunch in the Valparaiso Palace hotel’s Mar Blau Mediterranean restaurant – a large light and attractive space overlooking the hotel’s main outdoor pool. Still feeling virtuous after a morning of splashing around, pampering, and relaxing, we chose healthy dishes from the lunch menu – which offers soups, salads, sandwiches (including pa amb oli – bread and oil), pizzas, pastas, and tortillas. Oh, and puds. We thought the lunch food was good value for a 5-star hotel restaurant.
- Ask on arrival if there are any special spa package deals available, as they didn’t offer us any as a matter of course. Sandra asked and one package combined the use of the thermal circuit with a blissful facial treatment (followed by our choice of tea and some Mallorcan almonds to nibble in the relaxation area).
- If you decide to have a treatment, it’s best to do it as late as possible, after you have finished using the other facilities.
- Mornings are the quietest time. When we were there, only a few other people were using the facilities. Expect the spa to become busier later in the afternoon and evenings as the spa has a membership deal for locals, who mainly come after work and, of course, hotel guests have use of the place too.
The Valparaiso Palace Hotel & Spa’s thermal circuit is also offered in the evenings and at weekends, for a higher price; expect it to be busier then.
Prices are correct at time of writing.
©Jan Edwards 2018