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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)

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  • Gordon says:

    “Kimpton Aysla Mallorca is not cheap” you’re not kidding Rob, Property prices in Europe are getting ridiculous. I know it’s a longer flight and it’s not an option for a short stay but I’ve regularly obtained a 5* AI property in the Caribbean for £350pn.

    • Rizz says:

      The Caribbean is getting even more absurdly expensive (as is Mexico and the US), so not sure this holds.

      • Gordon says:

        It does hold as far as Mexico/Cancun is concerned as I was there last month and our Hyatt 5* AI was £320 pn but I agree on costs regarding the US as I also traveled to the US west coast last month for a few weeks, I am actually in dominion republic at Secrets cap Cana resort and spa next Thursday at a very reasonable cost so it does hold as far as I’m concerned.

  • Sue says:

    We stayed here for 4 nights at the start of May on points, and our experience was similar to Rob’s.

    Our upgraded ground floor room experience was similar, although my husband loved the shower with the door to our private garden open.

    Social Hour was hit and miss. On 2 nights it hadn’t been set up by 5.15pm and we had to ask! Yes, the wines were great and they didn’t mind how many times we went back for more.

    We enjoyed evening meals both on the terrace and in the restaurant, all very good. The restaurant manager was great and aware of various things he still needs to address. We mentioned to him the delays with Social Hour.

    Breakfast is indeed a fantastic selection but many of the staff are not properly trained. We were only shown the actual breakfast menu of cooked to order things on the 4th morning. Prior to that we were ordering basics such as omelettes. We often were waiting a long time for our food orders and coffees.

    Our turndown experience was similar. It happened 2 nights out of 4, despite our room being vacant from 5pm onwards until late.

    We enjoyed the pools and also played Padel Tennis at the club nearby. Highly recommended.

    For a quick jaunt from the UK it’s great. We used Avios (Club Europe) and IHG Rewards so our basic stay without food cost £2. Great value!

    Again, like Rob the points on our hotel spend were not awarded. I emailed the hotel, got ann immediate response and they appeared in our account within 24 hours.

    Taking all of the above into account, it was still a good place to stay to relax and reset. An easy long weekend if you need to escape the UK.

  • David says:

    If you didn’t like the room, why didn’t you complain and ask to be moved to a more suitable room instead of putting up with what you got allocated? I would have done just that…

    • meta says:

      Also it requires one phone call to the reception to get extra coffee pods and milk and obtain information about which pod is decaf. Yes, it would be nice that they did replenish and had the information, but review should really mention how it was resolved.

      It would have been good to know how a hotel deals with the service recovery.

      • Dubious says:

        To be fair – you don’t always notice or know that refreshments have not be replenished until it is too late.

        I’ve had it had I get back to my room late and just want to sleep, or first thing in the morning when I come to make the drinks – at that point you don’t want to incur an indefinite period of time for something that you expect you be on hand.

        As an anecdote:
        I was recently stated at a hotel and needed to iron a shirt before my business meeting the next morning. Came back from dinner to discover no iron or ironing board in the room. Called for one…then waited and waited until it got so late that I gave up and went to bed. I got disturbed by knock on the door at midnight from a member of staff delivering the iron! No ironing board though…

        • meta says:

          It’s never too late. You can request coffee pods to be brought at 3am in the morning if you want. A quick call to reception and they’ll be brought to your room. Granted some hotels will take longer to bring it, but good hotels will be quite quick.

          • meta says:

            And regarding the iron – why didn’t you call again and state how urgent it is rather than just wait for it to turn up?

          • Rob says:

            Took Hyatt Nice 30 minutes to deliver some milk when I was there recently, after I made a coffee and realised no milk was provided. Fat lot of use that was.

          • Dubious says:

            RE: The iron
            In short – language barriers. They indicated it was on the way, and I was concerned that if I called again I’d have complicated the situation further.

    • Crafty says:

      Rob has form for this, his reviews show up an odd reticence to actually engage with the staff. Which is a pity given that this is highly relevant to generate more content for the review – did they move him, how quickly, were they gracious about it, did they help him with his luggage, and so on.

      • meta says:

        @Rob You simply waited too long and should have called again after 10 minutes tops. That’s really on you.

        • Rob says:

          For review purposes it makes more sense to sit and wait.

          I’m touched by your willingness to indulge second rate behaviour at £500 per night but that’s not what these reviews are about.

          Note that Tom, of Necker review fame, sends a long checklist of demands to the hotel ahead of each stay. I could do the same but what’s the point of turning up to have exactly what I want there when it’s not what the typical reader would get?

          That said, we moved into a rented London place once and apologetically asked for two things from the landlord. The agent said that his average HNW tenant submitted a list of 30 demands to the landlord before they would move in and we shouldn’t be so soft.

          • NorthernLass says:

            I’ve given up trying to get sufficient milk for brews out of hotels. It seems to be so difficult and makes me so bad-tempered that I now carry my own in varying sizes and formulas depending on length and location of stay. If a UK city break, pop to Tesco Express or similar while out sight-seeing. It’s more important to have a fridge in the room, but of course you can ascertain that prior to booking!

          • Rob says:

            I actually took a spare milk sachet from my BA flight yesterday just in case this happened last night!

          • meta says:

            Again you are assuming. I don’t indulge it hence I would call after 10 minutes max and this is would involve me having a strong word with whomever was on duty and would also mention it again during checkout. This would probably also entail some sort of service recovery which would make £500 night more in line with the service received.

            I want to hear about whether hotel did something to rectify this as the hotels who don’t do anything are actually the ones to avoid. Just think about why your initial experience at Kimpton Paris was poor and then the next time it was better (hint: they received feedback and took it on board, probably they also had a lot of service recovery).

          • Rob says:

            Emyr went to Paris 2 months later on a FAM trip. Apparently our review led to a mini hotel crisis, internal meetings and IHG intervention. That’s how you g

          • Rob says:

            You don’t want to know what happened after my Paris review was published 🙂 Emyr was there a few weeks later and they told him what the fall out was.

          • meta says:

            @Rob That’s good to hear. You do have the power as a journalist, but most of us don’t have so have to fight it out and the more people feedback the better in my opinion.

          • @thirdpassport says:

            Agreed, for the review it makes more sense to wait and see what happens.

            Regarding list of demands, sorry, I mean “requests”, I always do this for my clients, as a travel advisor. They tell me hotels appreciate the opportunity to make every guest’s stay special.

  • GeoffreyB says:

    “ 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.”

    Sounds more like it’s either “right hotel, wrong place” or “wrong hotel, right place”

  • Erico1875 says:

    Other than cyclists or hill walkers, who would be out all day anyway, who would want to go to Mallorca and stay here with no facilities, no beach, not even a village nearby?
    Buildings look horrific

  • paul says:

    £450/night – no thanks

  • Andy says:

    Room keys work the swimming pool lockers at Center Parcs!

    • tony says:

      And I’m reliably informed that the price point is about the same….

  • Greenpen says:

    Interesting comments about grades of room. If you don’t know a hotel already it is extremely difficult to work out diffferences in rooms from sites like hotels.com or from a hotel’s own website. The size, photos and amenity list looks the same yet the prices are distinctly different.

    You are relying on the hotel’s own judgment. If you’re not a regular visitor you never know exactly what you’re getting or not getting for your cash. And very few people see other rooms during their stay.

    • JDB says:

      I always talk to the people at the hotel when booking and they are usually very open about the rooms, location, aspect etc. and they will often send plans. Fire escape plans often useful as well! We don’t like bad room surprises.

      • meta says:

        Exactly. It seems there is a certain fear in this community to engage with staff prior to and during the stay.

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