This is my review of the Jumeirah Port Soller hotel in Mallorca.
More accurately, it is a half-review. This hotel has the most amazing sea views that I have ever experienced and it would have been rude not to share a few images with you, especially on a wet October day. However, as I was there with my family and the hotel was not aware I planned to review it, I did not get a proper tour and did not try many of the facilities.
If you like the look of it, you’ll need to do some more digging yourself. Consider this an introduction.
This hotel had been on my radar for a number of years, mainly because we spend a lot of time at Jumeirah properties in the Middle East (my review of my recent stay at the iconic Burj Al Arab is here). It is also, as you can see from the photo above, not your normal hotel, being built into a cliff face.
I won’t go into the background of this hotel but you can find it online. The bottom line is that it took well over a decade from breaking ground to opening. The half-built hotel stood derelict for much of that period after the Spanish property market crashed.
We spent two weeks in Mallorca in August. Before we go on, let’s be clear on one thing. 5-star hotels in Mallorca, in August, are strictly into ‘if you need to ask the price you can’t afford it’ territory. Jumeirah Port Soller never drops below €500 per night and is closed from November to March, so there are no ‘off season’ deals.
We started off with a week at St Regis Mardavall, which Rhys had reviewed earlier this year. (I paid the standard cash rate.) Four nights at Jumeirah Port Soller was about all my credit card could cope with, and we then headed to an unbranded resort for a couple of nights because we had some friends staying there.
Soller and Port Soller
Soller is best known as the destination for the historic tourist train which runs from Palma. Once you arrive in Soller, which is a lovely town in its own right (photo above), you can take an equally historic tram to Port Soller, a few kilometres away.
Until a new road tunnel was blasted through the mountains a couple of decades ago, making access far easier, Port Soller was apparently a backwater despite its beach and marina. It doesn’t ooze luxury – no designer boutiques here – but it is more upmarket than 99% of British coastal towns. There are some surprisingly classy but unassuming restaurants which you would easily ignore if you hadn’t been tipped off.
Trips out in the local area include Deia and Valldemossa. Where we went wrong, if I’m honest, was booking a ludicrously expensive hotel and then spending a lot of time out and about. Our time at the St Regis the previous week was far more slothful.
Jumeirah Port Soller is, to put it mildly, eclectic. If you’re not into modernist architecture then don’t bother booking.
The massive delays during construction (I think the building work was paused for seven years when the money ran out) mean that the impact would have been slightly dimmed by the time it opened in 2012. It would have been a lot more radical had it opened on time.
This is the lobby, for example:
Here is one of the random views that opens up between the buildings as you are walking around:
If you’re not in good physical shape, don’t bother booking. The hotel is 1km from end to end, although you are unlikely to ever leave the central area. It consists of 11 separate buildings. As it runs along a cliff edge, we had to take three different lifts to get from our room to reception.
The walk up and down to the port is a killer if you’re not fit. Taxis are not easy to find in peak season and Uber, Cabify etc are all banned. The hotel has a shuttle bus but it isn’t ‘on demand’, although they did once come down to the port and pick us up after we just missed it.
This photo taken from a boat shows how it drops down the hillside:
This is a view of Port Soller taken during the walk down from the hotel:
Rooms at Jumeirah Port Soller
The reason you stay here is the astonishing view from the rooms – as long as you get one overlooking the sea.
We had Premium Mediterranean Sea View rooms. This is the level directly below a Junior Suite. Other sea view room types are available but may be without a terrace or have a slightly less clear view.
Here was our bathroom:
From the balcony, looking towards the port:
From the other direction:
It’s bonkers. The photos don’t really do the view justice, because you don’t see the sun glimmering on the water or feel the calmness as the water slowly moves.
The rooms themselves are also smart, but sensibly don’t try to overpower the view outside your window:
The furthest ‘down’ the building you are likely to go is the kids pool, which is a good size. The umbrellas you see are where breakfast is served and which becomes a fish-led restaurant in the evening.
On the top floor of the round building is the ‘sunset lounge’ which also has an excellent Japanese snack menu.
Even the kids pool has astonishing views across the sea:
You will see that it isn’t very busy. In many ways, this is what you are paying for.
Whilst many part of the Balearics are crowded beyond belief in August, you can pay a ludicrous sum of money to stay at Jumeirah Port Soller – or indeed St Regis Mardavall where we came from – and take it very easy. Nothing is ever full, and there is always a table available for you when you randomly turn up at one of the restaurants.
At the very top of the complex – a few hundred feet higher than the kids pool – is an ‘adults only’ infinity pool:
In truth, the only reason I think this is ‘adults only’ is because it is badly designed. Only about 40 sun loungers can fit around it, and even then they are packed rather too tightly for a 5-star resort. A family of four would take a big chunk of the capacity on its own.
There is also a fine dining restaurant here which we didn’t try:
The spa, adults only, also has its own mini infinity pool with water jets and beds. We didn’t have any treatments but Jumeirah has an excellent reputation for its spas.
This is, clearly, not an in-depth review despite staying here for four days.
If you want a deeper dig, look at this review, where Michelle did not stay but did get a proper tour. It gives you a better feel for the room options although it can’t convey the serenity of actually staying.
The best way to experience Jumeirah Port Soller is, I think, as a couple or on your own, and with no fixed agenda.
Don’t plans lots of trips out. Don’t bring the kids, who will want to be endlessly entertained. Go and take it easy. Spend hours on your balcony or by the infinity pool gazing out over the sea. Spend your day ambling between the spa and the restaurants.
For a longer holiday, I would do as we did – add a few days here as part of a longer tour of Mallorca, perhaps with a few busier days before and after.
The best thing to do whilst at Jumeirah Port Soller is nothing.
Booking Jumeirah Port Soller
If you are booking here, you should go via our luxury hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant. Jumeirah has a ‘Passport to Luxury’ programme which is exclusively available to luxury travel agents and gets you:
- Daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two
- Room upgrade on arrival, based on availability
- $100 food and beverage or spa credit, per room per stay
- Early check-in and 4pm late check-out, based on availability
You will pay the same rate as the fully flexible rate shown on jumeirah.com and you pay the hotel on departure as usual. You can contact Emry via this page of HfP.
Emyr is especially useful, at this hotel or any other, if you want connecting or adjacent rooms for a family or small group. He will liaise with the hotel to ensure that it can be delivered, and will call them before your arrival to ensure that the rooms are blocked out as you requested.
I can honestly say that my experience of successfully booking adjacent or connecting rooms has been transformed since I started using Emyr for my personal travel (and I had historically found Jumeirah one of the worst offenders for not delivering).
Collecting Jumeirah One loyalty benefits
I am not a big fan of the Jumeirah One loyalty programme which I reviewed here, as it has now gone revenue based. This means there are no longer any good value free night redemptions.
You’d be mad not to sign up before your stay, however, as you will get back around 4% of what you spend. If nothing else, you can use your points for a voucher valid on food and drink at the Jumeirah hotels in London or transfer them to airline miles – Emirates is the most useful partner they have.
You can find out more about Jumeirah Port Soller on the Jumeirah website here.