"Danny, most of your colleagues have now been, so when are we going to get you out to experience an Iberostar property?”
An interesting question posed by Aishling, who heads up the UK sales team for the company, and one that could solicit several different responses whilst trying to ascertain if it was indeed a serious one or merely just pleasantries.
Having gambled upon the former, I managed to find one realistic opportunity for a weekend away, and it happened to be the week before my birthday.
“That’s settled then, as you are writing a feature on it shortly, we would like you to come and stay at Portals Nous.”
Julian found appropriate flights and my biggest concern was to not have any preconceived opinions or prejudices based on the feature we had produced to introduce the Hotel along with finding out first-hand if this was a short break that I would be willing to endorse to others.
We flew with RyanAir, where you now appear to be in the minority if you haven’t pre-assigned your seats or have priority boarding, arriving at the hotel for early evening after a 25 minute transfer by taxi for 35 euros.
The Grand Hotel Portals Nous is not where you expect to find it, located subtly in a quiet, pleasant residential area on a pretty sandy cove just a short distance from the Puerto Portals marina.
It is the cutting-edge Marcel Wanders design and detail that strike you as soon as you pull up to be greeted by staff collecting your luggage and leading you to reception and then on to the bar area for a welcoming check-in experience with a delicious champagne and chocolate combo.
The premium service that the hotel clearly prides itself on is made evident to us immediately.
We are introduced to our personal butler (endorsed by the British Butlers Guild) who shows us around the hotel and introduces its facilities including an impressive wellness and beauty centre.
I was aware the hotel had only 66 spacious rooms and 5 exclusive themed suites “to tempt the senses” but I certainly wasn’t expecting that we would be staying in one of them!
Jo and I couldn’t believe it when we were shown the Games suite and informed this would be our home for the next three nights. Modern, bright and spacious, we giggled as we sampled our very own pinball machine, foosball table, mini putting green and basketball hoop. The selection of games was impressive and featured a giant flat screen tv and our very own X-box console, which created much mirth and immediate facetime calls to the kids.
It is advisable to pre-book Lila’s highly recommended restaurant very close by. We didn’t but it did mean we took a short taxi ride into nearby Palma Nova and booked a table at My Tapas, another of Jo’s researched tips.
Carly had whet my appetite with a big thumbs up for the hotel’s outstanding breakfast selection, which we can wholeheartedly endorse. A magnificent outdoor setting is complemented by an impressive selection of delicious options, each guest presented with a stylish portfolio of bite-sized fresh pastries to accompany Spanish meats and cheeses and a cooked breakfast of choice. It was indeed a highlight of our stay.
We met with Iberostar’s senior personnel Geraldine and Nick to learn about the group’s exciting plans and the former treated us to an inspection of some of the hotel’s room options including viewing the “Naughty suite” and the stunning sea view from the top floor’s corner room.
We enjoyed strolling down the steep cliff overlooking the pretty beach below and the buzzing weekend atmosphere of Roxy’s Beach Bar, clearly a popular spot for a hangout with friends.
The lovely town of Portals Nous is less than ten minutes walk, though significantly more pleasant on the downward journey back and has plenty of good options for eateries. We enjoyed a tasty paella one evening and a healthy lunch at Coco’s deli.
This kind of luxury hotel may not be for everyone but for those looking for a relaxing short coastal Med break with outstanding service in an easily reachable and warm destination, then Iberostar have done a terrific job to create an option worth considering.
Thank you so much to Geraldine, Aishling, Alexandra and colleagues for making us feel so welcome.