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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.

  • Nick says:

    Timely review, we are planning to stay at the Kimpton Mallorca in a few weeks time. Staying for 4 nights and was a bit concerned once I saw the location of the hotel. We booked during an IHG sale so each night is only 45,000 points. Do you think it is still worth going at this level? Tempted to cancel and go somewhere else?

    • Rob says:

      You’re not going to find anything which offers comparable value to 45k points (£200 value). Stick with it.

      • tony says:

        I think people probably need to look beyond the big brands. I stayed here https://www.hotelsalvia.com/ a couple of times and I’m sure there are many more independent places like that on the island. Rooms start from EUR200 a night in August, it’s an old merchant’s house in a village, you can see mountains from the room & pool and all told was a very well run operation.

    • Damien says:

      Same here. Booked it during that big IHG points saving thing last year for what turned out to be the Coronation weekend. Unfortunately I had to cancel last minute for family reasons. Was very disappointed not to go, but kinda feel I might have also been lucky now. Have used to points to book nights in Japan instead now.

  • TimM says:

    I regard Majorca as a very 1970’s destination. I went back a couple of years ago for old time’s sake. The beaches are still beautiful but the vibe is very 1970’s and English tourist. The bars are actually split – roughly half English and almost half German, with a very few Spanish. Even in the quieter more remote parts, such as Pollensa, Soller or S’Illot, it is horribly touristy.

    Choosing a hotel should start with destination first, then location, then finally hotel. On those grounds I could never choose a hotel in Majorca again.

    I seem to spend most my time in Andalusia, the Peloponnese and the Turkish Riviera apart from a recent foray up the Brazilian coast – not recommended – as well as my beautiful native Yorkshire.

    I suppose if you live in London Majorca may appear attractive.

    • GeoffreyB says:

      “I suppose if you live in London Majorca may appear attractive.”

      Not really. It sounds rubbish.

      • Rob says:

        Palma itself has a lot to offer for a weekend city break. The island itself, less so. I’ve always felt this. It doesn’t even have decent beaches.

        • TimM says:

          The beaches of Cala Millor and the Bay of Alcudia are as good as any in the Caribbean – just over-developed (and Majorca has terrible winter weather).

          • Rob says:

            Isn’t overdevelopment the issue? Which also brings too many people.

          • Jek says:

            Cala Millor and Alcudia? Sorry, that are some of the worst areas on Mallorca!

        • Tom says:

          Agree with this entirely. Palma is a super weekend break from London. Quick flight out Friday, back Sunday evening – good restaurant choices, plenty of culture, almost guaranteed good weather.

          Tim – the Turkish Riviera? You lost all credibility with your ‘I’m better than you and avoid touristy places’ tone when you said this, that is surely a slightly further East version of the Balearics these days? Bodrum is pricier than Ibiza these days and attracts the same people.

          • Louie says:

            You do realise that there is more to the Turkish Riviera than Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye? If not, maybe you should try it.

          • TimM says:

            Bodrum and Marmaris are on the Aegean Coast of Turkey. The Turkish Riviera is the coast of Antalya Province roughly 10 hours away, with a different culture, cuisine, climate and ambience to the Aegean coast.

            Everything is compared to the size of Wales these days but Antalya Province is almost exactly the same size as Wales.

            I was last in Bodrum and Marmaris 33 years ago have never been back. Antalya Province, with the main resort areas of Kemer, Kaleici, Belek, Side and Alanya, roughly 5 hours direct drive from West to East, is a totally different kettle of fish. You won’t find many Brits there as a proportion (I believe the figures for international arrivals at Antalya Airports are around 5%) but it attracts visitors from all over the World.

            If you think of Turkey as Bodrum and similar resort areas, you have an awful lot to learn. I am up for my 90th hotel stay in Antalya Province in December and I have only just scratched the surface.

        • Patrick says:

          “It doesn’t even have decent beaches”. 😂 😂 😂

          • Rob says:

            It’s not exactly Barbados is it. Frankly, I’ve never seen one in Mallorca better than Filey and you can stay there for £30 per night.

        • will says:

          It has loads of small “calas” which are absolutely beautiful but usually off the beaten track and unfortunately very crowded in season.

          I like it, it’s very good if you like cycling and still a really nice place to stay if you can avoid the main season.

          It is far too crowded in season to be enjoyable though and in the 15 years since I’ve been visiting there is a noticeable increase in the rubbish washing up on certain beaches.

          I’ve even taken the family on holiday to the renovated Melia properties at the end of Magaluf (Melia Calvia beach and South Beach) and can thoroughly recommend them for a family holiday although you probably don’t want to wander down the beach too far.

    • jj says:

      Pollensa is hardly remote, and that stretch of coast is the preferred location for the hoards of cyclists who descend on the island each spring and autumn as it’s close to both the mountains and flatter rides to the south.

      Based on my own cycling visits, inland Majorca has some wonderful small towns that are perfect for a few hours of beer and tapas. The coast? Not so much – overdeveloped with too much bucket and spade tourism.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        Mallorca is a beautiful place. I love it. Palma is a nice city. Otherwise, stay away from the too touristed areas though.

    • novelty-socks says:

      “ I suppose if you live in London Majorca may appear attractive.”

      No, as is well-documented, us Londoners don’t know how to survive outside of the Oyster zones, especially if there’s no Uber availability.

    • Rob says:

      I’m up at Grantley Hall next week actually, on the most bizarre hotel trip for a while – a Moxy, a 3-star in Filey and then the ludicrousness of Grantley Hall (£2400 for 2 nights).

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There’s no way on Warren anywhere in Yorkshire is worth paying £1200 pn

        Assuming it’s a suite as std room rates are £600-700pn

        • Rob says:

          4 of us though ….

          I used to work with Lord Grantley (and indeed lived two doors down from him for a while) so it will be interesting to see the old seat.

      • NorthernLass says:

        My niece works there when she’s not at uni!

      • Ian Snowley says:

        Hi Rob, I hope you’re going to review both – GH looks amazing, but the cost is eye watering!

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        My curiosity and my inherent stinginess (been in Yorkshire too long, clearly) have been battling out ever since it opened for Grantley. Stinginess is winning so have never visited. Would love to read a future review. I mean it’s on hotels.com so it’s sort of reward related… 😀

    • Michael C says:

      You don’t like tourists, but you spend most of your time in Andalusia? Ok…(1)

      You’d rather be in Yorkshire than Brazil? Ok…(2)

      • TimM says:

        There is a time and place for everything. Yorkshire is priceless when the summer heat precludes sunnier climes.

        Andalusia, East of Malaga in the white pueblos villages and towns up in in the hills, and the Peloponnese twixt mountain and sea, both with Southern Mediterranean climates are best in Spring and Autumn.

        The five-star hotels of Antalya are best in the winter when other well-seasoned travellers meet up to relax and socialise.

        Simples.

  • SammyJ says:

    What’s the smoking situation in the outdoor bars and around the pool areas? It’s the main thing that generally puts me off any of the Spanish destinations, but I’d hope some headway has been made in more upscale brands?

    • Rob says:

      So cold last week that I never actually saw anyone outside, smoking or not!

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Never been to the island but did some quick Googling when I heard this was opening

    the hotel seems close enough to a few beach’s and towns. Isn’t protals nous and it’s port area the nicer town to visit that Palma itself? 15 mins taxi according to google?

  • aseftel says:

    Great review Rob. I really appreciate the thoughtful opinions running through every element of the stay. It provides a lot of value on top of what you might read in the ‘brochure’.

    Suggestion: it would be fairer to describe the lack of turndown as a ‘service fail’ than a ‘staff fail’ if you haven’t established the staff as the cause.

  • Roy Donaldson says:

    Interesting views on the hotel. Similar to yourself Rob we had our original stay there cancelled by the hotel as they did not open in time. At the time, we changed and stayed in Palma in the Mr&Mrs Sant Francesc. Stunning hotel, great restaurant and fabulous roof top pool / bar in the city centre.

    We are going back to the Kimpton tomorrow for 3 nights, so hopefully we’ll have a good room and enjoy the hotel. I’m Diamond Ambassador, so hopefully they’ll sort the breakfast out and get us in to a room with a balcony with a view.

  • JohnTh says:

    We are visiting at Melia Palma Marina at end Sept. Looked to be good Mr&Mrs Smith properties in the town centre but pricy, otherwise didn’t spot any other main chain ones we fancied in Palma.

  • NorthernLass says:

    Does anyone else think the building in the picture resembles a small multi-storey car park?!

    No doubt prices will remain ludicrously high because it’ll be designated as aspirational and receive rave reviews from people wanting to be seen there!

    There are plenty of other delightful spots in Mallorca, for much less money and with a beach, e.g. Cala Pi.

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