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Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca – wrong hotel, wrong place

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This is our review of IHG’s Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel, which opened last year.

Having experienced a few luxury Mallorca hotels in recent years (those we reviewed include St Regis Mardavall Mallorca review by Rhys here, although I’ve also been, and Jumeirah Port Soller reviewed here), I was interested to give this a go.

I should note upfront that Kimpton and I have form.

I was one of the first to review Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam and declared it a shambles (Anika was later invited back and declared it much improved). I was one of the first to review Kimpton St Honore Paris in 2021 and declared it a shambles (I went back last year with my family, on our own money, and it was much improved – in fact, if InterContinental Le Grand ever closed the Kimpton may become my new Paris favourite.)

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

This hotel is, absolutely, NOT a shambles. The staff are, in general, fantastic despite a couple of service fails. The food is really good. I just don’t see the point of the hotel given its size and location.

I stayed here for two nights. One night was free as compensation for the hotel cancelling a booking I made last year due to its delayed opening. I paid €445 for the second night.

The Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel website is here.

Introducing Kimpton Aysla Mallorca

The key thing to know about Kimpton Aysla Mallorca is that it is relatively remote. On a map it is worryingly close to Magalluf although of course that makes no difference in reality. Santa Ponsa seems to be the nearest main point of interest.

It is built on the edge of a golf course in an area which appears to have been developed primarily for wealthy overseas homebuyers. It feels a bit like St George’s Hill or the Wentworth Estate.

There is nothing of note walkable from the hotel. Whilst the hotel will lend you a bike, in reality you need a car unless you intend to remain 24/7 in the hotel. For a weekend break you don’t need a car – simply take a taxi to/from Palma airport and stay on site.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

So it’s a remote paradise? Sounds great!

Er, no. This is the problem.

I’ve stayed in remote resorts in Mallorca and elsewhere. The things they have in common are size (you expect lots of open space, multiple tennis courts, outdoor activities, huge pools etc) and good views of the surrounding area. You don’t get that here.

Fact 1 – Kimpton Aysla is weirdly small. You can literally walk from one end of the grounds to the other in a minute. This impacts everything else, such as the small pools.

Fact 2 – the rooms could be bigger. We’re not in London, we’re (theoretically) in a remote part of a Spanish island, so why are the rooms 33 sq m? That’s not tiny, admittedly, but not great for a long stay. Reader comments below suggest that many overlook the car park and mini roundabout outside the hotel but I can’t verify this.

Fact 3 – there is a road running directly behind the hotel and a house overlooking the ‘adults only’ pool. It’s not a remote sanctuary. You never feel you’ve left normal life behind.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

Getting there

The good news is that Kimpton Aysla Mallorca is close to Palma. You don’t need a car if you’re only here for a couple of days and its easy to get to/from the airport.

I took the €5 airport bus into Palma, spent a pleasant couple of hours there and then took a taxi out to the hotel for €27. A direct taxi from the hotel to the airport on my return cost €47.

You could head into Palma via taxi relatively quickly for a day of shopping or sightseeing if you were here for longer than I was. Remember that Mallorca has banned Uber and all other ridesharing apps.

Check-in

I was pleasantly surprised to see a doorman outside the hotel when I arrived. Check-in was a bit complex because of my ‘one night free, one night paid’ situation but the staff were great.

They forget to mention the ‘social hour’ (the hour of free wine that all Kimpton hotels host each night) – when I called at 5.30pm to ask when it was, I was told it was already happening because it ran 5pm to 6pm.

(Do go, by the way. They serve excellent Mallorcan wines – white, red and rose – which are sat out for self pour, along with some lovely glasses. See below.)

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

What rooms are available?

Let me explain how the resort works. The rooms are contained in two square modern blocks, four stories high. They are connected by covered pathways to the reception / bar / restaurant / spa building which has a more traditional design, as it dates from an earlier incarnation as a country club.

One snag is that, because the accommodation blocks are square, rooms face in all directions. Some get the sun, some do not. Whilst my room had an outside terrace, it was so dark that I had to put the terrace lights on during the day.

I was given a ‘King With Private Garden’. This is technically a double upgrade, but was a mistake. I was stuck on the ground floor with little light, surrounded by high plants to give me privacy from the nearby pool area.

Had I got a worse upgrade, to ‘King With Double Balcony’, I might have been happier. This would presumably be a high floor corner room.

I’m not sure what a ‘King Premium’ room is – this is pricier than the other categories but sounds worse (12 sqm balcony vs 2 x 39 sqm balconies for a ‘Double Balcony’ room).

My room at Kimpton Aysla Mallorca

Let’s take a look at my room.

The standard of decor here is very high. I have nothing bad to say about the room, and if you got a 33 sq m room like this in London you’d be delighted. It just felt a little cramped given that:

  • it is not in a city centre
  • people who come here are likely to stick around the resort 24/7 on most days and
  • guests here are likely to stay for 5-7 days and have quite a bit of luggage

Here’s the bed, which was pleasantly large. The area under it is open which gives storage for suitcases.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

The clock radio by the bed provides a wireless charging station for the person on that side. The person sleeping on the other side only gets a single European plug socket – no USB – which is odd for a hotel which opened in 2022.

Above is some attractive artwork, but nothing compared to the ceramics and sculpture:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

…. which separate the bed from the wardrobe and refreshment centre. This was very classy, although it serves to make the room feel smaller.

As well as a well curated minibar, the room came with a Nespresso machine, tea and kettle and hot chocolate. The Nespresso capsules were not original ones and there was no information on what each different colour represented. Half the coffee I drank was probably decaf but I have no idea which half!

On the other side is a sofa / day bed (see the first room photo above), a decent sized table and one (only one) slightly weird chair. Person 2 would need to sit on the end of the sofa.

I was impressed by this in the wardrobe – it’s actually wallpaper, not tiling, but looks great:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

The bathroom

Again, it looks good. Only a single sink (and the countertop isn’t real marble) but it is light and bright and you get a bathtub and a very large shower.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

Toiletries are by Maison Codage, the brand behind the hotel spa, in pump dispensers.

What is intriguing is that there is a door in the back of the shower which opens out onto your garden terrace. I’m not sure what the point of this is – it would be useful if rooms had private pools and you wanted to head back inside via a shower, but they don’t.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

The garden terrace

The main entrance to the terrace is via the bedroom. There were two sun loungers (no mattresses were provided) and two wicker chairs with footrests. There was a back cushion on each of the chairs.

Weirdly there was a path leading from my little garden area to the main footpath so anyone could walk into it – and into my room if the garden door was open.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

There was no view – at all – from the garden because high plants had been placed to give privacy from the rest of the hotel.

This was a mistake. I think most people would rather be able to see something from their terrace – and have more light in their room – than have privacy on their terrace, hemmed in by huge plants. You don’t really have privacy anyway as anyone walking into my block would have seen me through the gaps in the planting.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

Before I arrived I had a vision of sitting on a balcony all day (working, obviously), looking out to the Mallorcan hills. Instead I saw literally nothing out of my window for two days except huge plants.

If you get a room off the ground floor then you won’t have these issues – and you’ll pay less.

Two more things ….

Talking of privacy, I should add that the corridors are tiled, not carpeted, and echo. My room was the first one you came to on my level so lots of people walked past, generally making a lot of noise in the process.

On my second night, turndown never came. No idea why. I had used up my (meagre) coffee and milk supply in the expectation of replacements which never came, leaving me with nothing for my final day. This was the only staff fail during my two days.

Leisure facilities

The resort has a very small footprint which means there isn’t a lot of space for leisure facilities. You don’t even get one tennis court, yet alone the 3-4 you might expect.

(Tennis and golf can be arranged off site, if you want it, but not at the hotel itself.)

There is another issue. The hotel faces due north. This has an impact on the sun you get by the pools.

There are three swimming pools. The adults only pool:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

…. feels too small, with three rows of sun loungers lined up around the top end. The pool is overlooked by a private house as you can see.

The family pool is the best option:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

…. being a good shape with lots of loungers directly around the edge. My photo makes it look a bit smaller than it really is. There is also a small toddler pool attached to this.

The family pool is the only place in the resort where you get any sort of view with mountains visible from certain spots:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

There is also an indoor pool. This looks fabulous:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

…. but doesn’t quite live up to it. The main indoor pool was chilly and the large ‘hot tub / water jets’ area was only mildly warm. Instead of loungers, there are Fatboy-style bean bag beds around one side and – oddly – nothing down the other side.

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

There is one smart thing about the indoor pool. Your room key locks and unlocks the lockers in the changing room. Despite being blingingly obvious as a concept I had never seen this done before. The changing rooms are beautifully done.

I should also point out the huge gym which looked very impressive:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

Kimpton Mallorca has a high-end spa at high-end prices. It looked smart but not the sort of place I would visit when travelling alone. The typical price tag is €170 per treatment.

There is also a cool sauna and steam room complex, including a salt cave:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

Food and drink at Kimpton Aysla Mallorca

There are three F&B options at the resort:

  • Saba restaurant, where breakfast and dinner is served
  • Saba bar, a half indoor / half outdoor bar with light snacks:
Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel
  • and Zayt, an outdoor restaurant which sits between the two pools (PR photo below):
Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

I didn’t have a full three course meal during my two days – I wasn’t exactly burning many calories in such a small resort – so I can’t tell you what Saba is like in the evening.

I was, however, impressed by the breakfast spread in Saba:

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

….. which includes ‘cooked to order’ items (no extra charge):

Review: Kimpton Aysla Mallorca hotel

…. and a quality buffet, including many local specialities. Breakfast is €29 if it is not included in your rate or you do not have Diamond Elite status in IHG One Rewards.

I was also impressed by the lunch and two light evening meals I had in Zayt and the Saba bar.

Whilst not planned, on both nights I ended up going to the ‘Social Hour’, getting a decent helping of the (impressive) Mallorcan wine and then sitting outside at Saba bar with my drink and one of their good quality light meals. Life could have been worse.

Check-out

I feel obliged to mention a couple of things about checking out.

For the 2nd IHG stay in a row, a charge for breakfast was added to my bill despite my IHG One Rewards Diamond status. Hotel staff really should have adapted to the new benefits structure by now. It wouldn’t be hard to have an override in the system which queried any attempt to add a breakfast charge to a Diamond’s bill.

Secondly, the hotel marked my entire stay as ‘non qualifying’ – meaning that I earned no IHG One Rewards points – even though the first night was paid in cash at the full Best Flexible Rate. I will get this fixed but it will waste my time to do it.

Conclusion

Sometimes, like Andaz Prague (review here), I go on a review trip without any real expectations and get blown away.

Sometimes, like Kimpton Mallorca, I get excited about an idea …. and then it doesn’t deliver. The St Regis Venice had the same effect on me last year.

Fundamentally, the boxes are all ticked at Kimpton Aysla Mallorca. Beautifully designed rooms and public areas, lovely staff, good quality food.

For me …. and this could be a personal thing …. it doesn’t override the fact that the resort is simply too small. Everything needs to be bigger or better – bigger rooms, bigger pools, more leisure facilities – and further away from roads and houses.

It’s the wrong hotel in the wrong place. Put it in central Palma, or even on the coast like The St Regis and walkable to a town, and I’d love it. Keep the location but double (or triple) the footprint of the resort, scaling everything up, and I’d love it.

It can’t get any bigger, however, so we can only hope that people find their way here and love it for what it is. The saving grace is its proximity to Palma which makes it a good option for anyone flying down for the weekend and who doesn’t need much in the way of outdoor resort facilities. For a spa weekend I think it would work well.

Kimpton Aysla Mallorca is not cheap. For late May, you won’t get a room for under €400. In July, you will be paying nearer €600. With Mandarin Oriental opening next year, the pressure in the Mallorca upscale hotel market will only continue to rise.

That said, it is still a good rung below the grand dames of Mallorca and should perhaps be judged in that light. For 19th July as an example, the Kimpton costs €572 vs The St Regis at €1,279 vs Jumeirah at €875. La Residencia, if we move away from the big brands, is €2,800 for a junior suite which seems to be their cheapest option.

The St Regis is a better bet if you want ‘grounds’. Jumeirah is a better bet if you want funky modernism. Both are better bets if you want to be walkable to shops and restaurants and want a sea view, but of course you’re paying a premium for it.

You can find out more about Kimpton Aysla Mallorca, and book (for cash or IHG One Rewards points), on the IHG website here.

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Comments (96)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Christian says:

    If you want somewhere far better and bigger to stay in Majorca then I’m happy to offer my place at mates rates to HFP’ers. https://airbnb.com/h/cangrande

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Looks like a great place to escape for some sun. What’s the local town like ?

      Hopefully some HFPr’s take you up on your offer.

    • James says:

      That’s a fantastic property.
      Well done !!

  • Ben says:

    I have had a full tour of the property when it opened (late) as that is where a family casita is down the road (not quite as €€€ as Rob suggests!).

    Rob’s comments are by and large correct about the property. I had pretty much the same view. However one of the main attractions is the golf course nearby, which is well respected, so caters to that market. There is also a tennis club literally across the road with excellent grass courts which the hotel will fix up for you.

    But worse than no view rooms imo is that 1/3rd of the rooms look onto a carpark and a mini roundabout.

    The spa is also one that locals can join, so it will start to get busier than just hotel guests.

    The reason it is located there is there used to be the “country club” and so the developer has (thoughtfully) incorporated the buildings with the new rooms blocks.

    I think it’s a slightly odd location and, to the untrained eye, there appears to be little to do, but, in fact, there are many many superb restaurants, small ports and towns to visit, but you do need a car for sure and if you have a car then of course there is even more to do 30mins+ drive from the area.

    The nearest beach is Santa Ponca which is vastly improved from a decade ago and you do not get the Magaluf crowd there (they don’t leave Magaluf they get bussed in and out).

    One of the other things is that Mallorca is now basically a German island. When the casita was bough 15-20 years ago it was almost half Brits half German (a few Scandinavians thrown in) but it is now 80%+ German in the area/community and, well, the Mallorca feel is perhaps being lost. The Germans with money are looking for places to park their cash right now and Mallorca is getting its fair share. Possible more than fair share.

    Oh, on my tour, I said to the manager(ess) that I imagined there would be a lot of redemption stays….which she confirmed was already the case with forward bookings.

    • Tom says:

      I visited Palma 3-4 times last summer and had a similar observation re. nationalities. It’s a beautiful town with a great restaurant scene but my God, it felt like being in a small Bavarian town rather than Spain at points!

      I have been umming and ahing about staying at the Kimpton since it opened but Rob’s review basically confirms what I already suspected. Kimpton was at least quite cheap when it opened last year but the prices have gone up a lot this year and I have no idea why you would pay 550 EUR a night to stay here when you can stay at many fabulous small luxury hotels in Palma with a better location, similar room sizes and way more character than this for almost the same price (Hotel Singular, Can Bordoy, etc.)

  • Ian says:

    As a Mallorca resident and HFP lurker I can happily address some of the wrongs here in the comments.

    Mallorca has some fabulous beaches Playa de muro (north), cala mesquida and cala Aguilla (north east) and Cala llombards & es trenc in south /south east. Closer to Palma Illetas is lovely (but busy) and cala mago is a hidden gem.

    Palma and soller are both fabulous towns which get very busy with cruise visitors, but there are so many beautiful villages dotted around the island that you are missing out if you don’t hire a car and explore (campos/sineu/santa Maria/Valldemossa)

    Smoking is banned almost everywhere now including on restaurant terraces and many beaches.

    I often work very close to the Kimpton and agree with the idea of wrong place for this type of hotel. It’s next to an golf urbanisation of 200 or so mostly second homes and a big Tennis centre where they host a championship just before Wimbledon each year. 15 minute walk will take you to Santa ponsa where there are decent restaurants and a large beach. Portals has higher end (+price!) restaurants just 10-15 mins in a cab. Personally I’d choose to stay in Palma itself or get an agro-turismo outside for solitude/views etc.

    Winter weather is generally fabulous (18-20deg and sunny) – May weather has been shockingly bad.

  • jek says:

    We just have been there, too. At check in we were registered only at Platinum – some problem with the IT. The staff were brilliant in updating and sorting the breakfast, plus an upgrade from Essential to King Premium. We were on the top floor, facing the gardens, the driving range, and the other building – probably one of the better views (I think the balcony we on IHG’s website is the balcony of our room – 1304). Interestingly, the staff suggested the other side facing the “social” building having the better views, but that would have meant facing the humming installations on the top of the building).

    When we saw the garden rooms, we were very happy not to be in them as they are overlooked by everybody and have no view.

    The ensemble of rooms is strange. The King Premium rooms are larger, but some of the smaller rooms have larger balconies.

    They still have issues, for example, we had no hot water, but that was immediately fixed.

    We enjoyed the pools very much and everything was empty despite the hotel being almost full. (There was a large group probably on a Team-building event which was rarely in the hotel.)

    The food was excellent and the Okamase highly recommended. However, it’s Korean, so don’t expect any authentic Mallorcas food.

    We were alone at the Social Hour, but talked to the lovely staff.

    The architecture is weird – the social building changes style in the middle and you have to go to the 1st floor and down to ground floor again to reach the indoor pool.

    The undefined coffee capsules is my issue with most hotels – how am I supposed to know what the colours mean? Put a card next to the pods!

    I have to praise the staff, everybody was very friendly and helpful. Every issue was immediately addressed.

    In the end, we very much enjoyed our stay despite the rain and for 45,000 points per night a bargain!

    • meta says:

      Re:coffee pods. Just ask the staff if there is no card. A 1-minute call to the reception would resolve it!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Would probably solve half of the issues here

        • Rob says:

          I think you’re missing the point. I could have fixed everything by emailing the GM in advance and telling him that I was coming to review his hotel – would have guaranteed me the best available suite and staff constantly walking six feet behind me whenever I left my room. You can change duvet / pillows / view / toiletries / iron / coffee / mini bar contents / breakfast choices if you choose to make enough fuss. Most people, however, would prefer not to and indeed are paying not to do so.

          I am in Gleaneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh at the moment, for eg. Not only are there 10 coffee pods (vs 4 at Kimpton, not enough for a couple given 2 were decaf) and a menu card but there is a carton of fresh milk in the minibar for me. This is the sign of a well run hotel.

          • JDB says:

            @Rob in addition to what you mention being the sign of a good hotel, doing things properly and being generous spirited is, in my experience, a good investment for them. It makes it much more likely I will spend money on their other facilities/services confident they too will be good. I’m also much more likely to return and mention the hotel to others. The trouble is too many chains are trying to play 5* hotels (and prices) when this and some other reviewed Kimptons look very much 4* with a lot of make up applied. The adult pool in particular looks dire. They also don’t employ particularly high calibre GM’s with the right experience.

          • Rob says:

            Totally agree. There are hotels where I have mentally switched off from spending more money with them because they have annoyed me over something else.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            While I don’t disagree unless you make them aware they won’t improve.

            You could always tell us about the service failures AND how they recovered after a call etc it’s not all or nothing

      • Jek says:

        There has been no card in every single hotel with pods we stayed in the past years! The worst are Melia where during a longer stay we usually encounter all colours of a rainbow…

        • meta says:

          Sing of a good hotel mangement is also how they go on about service recovery. If you don’t tell them then things won’t improve not just in a particular hotel, but across the board. The lack
          of standards is also down to the customers who are not providing feedback. I always provide feedback whether they ask for it or not and whether it’s positive or not.
          Some things they can’t improve on such as location, but on other points they can. It’s simple as that.

          @Rob You’re wrong to assume that I as a areader am simply interested in what was wrong. I also want to know how did the hotel resolve the issue, where they rude about it or apologetic and genuinely cared to resolve it. These kind of interactions are invaluable and we don’t get this in this particular review.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            100% agree

          • Brian says:

            Although I agree with Rob that sometimes it’s not worth the hassle and time trying to sort out minor service issues that don’t have a huge impact on your stay, I also that, if you’re writing a review for publication, you should take the time to contact reception, since service recovery is something we readers want to know about. Unfortunately, it seems that the general brief for HfP reviews, by Rhys as well, is to point out problems but not actually to bother trying to sort them out, so we rarely get an idea of how the hotels being reviewed would respond. Which is a shame.

  • James says:

    I do like that wardrobe wallpaper. Have a wardrobe in France which would look great with that. Anyone know who makes / sells it ?! Or very similar ?

    Sounds like they did you a favour giving you a view of some plants rather than the more likely higher floor with a view over a car park and roundabout !

    €445 sounds a bit steep.

    • JDB says:

      @James – try Création Neue Bude 2.0 for the wallpaper; it’s remarkably cheap. If you like nice wallpapers, you should look at the Fornasetti or Ardmore both of which are expensive (as are all top quality wallpapers of which there are many) but they are totally transformative, particularly if you have a small or boring room/bathroom and you quite probably don’t want/need to paper all the walls – one roll goes a long way.

  • camille55 says:

    Very interesting to read opposing views on Mallorca, from so many who seem to know the island well. Seems a bit like marmite!

    Am staying at Hacienda Son Antem over half-term for 5 nights. Marriott points stay @ >45k per night (after factoring in their usual 5 for 4). Inland hotel approx 20 mins from Palma. Would really appreciate any suggestions for beaches, restaurants, etc and any insights from those that may know this property.

  • MattB says:

    We are going to Palma next week over HT, my first visit to the island in 25 years since I went to Magaluf as an 18 year old!

    Staying in the marina which i’ve just realised has major roadworks and the forecast doesn’t look great either. Would appreciate some food recommendations, nothing fancy, just good local food.

    • StanTheMan says:

      FORN de Sant Joan in the old town – very very good and well known.

      • StanTheMan says:

        Plenty of good places in Puerto Portals too – Flanigans worth a visit.

    • camille55 says:

      @ MattB – I too am visiting for the 2nd time, the last trip being spookily similar to yours! 🙂

    • camille55 says:

      iPhone app say sunny most of next week. BBC says rain!

    • Sloth says:

      Casa Julio for decent tapas and well cooked local food

    • Ian says:

      Roadworks on the paseo which runs in front of Meliá Marina are a pain. They aren’t that noisy but it’s very ugly and makes traffic a nightmare at rush hour. Weather this month has been very changeable but it’s sunny today 😎.

      For excellent reasonably priced local food in Palma try Sa Premsa or Can Toni. For inventive Spanish look at El Camino, El Bandarra or splash out at Vandal (fusion – €€€). Enjoy!

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