Monthly Archives: October 2013

Christmas in Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is famous for its exclusive summer nights and long days of sun and beach in one of its incredible hidden coves along the coast. However, very little is known of its pleasant winter months, where the mild climate welcomes a wide range  of new possibilities in this capital of the Mediterranean.

November and December are perfect months to enjoy the open air in Palma and its surrounding.  A walk along the sea side promenade of the Paseo Maritimo, starting at the neighbourhood of El Molinar until Playa de Palma, have a rest in Cala Estancia, next to the Marina Luz Hotel, and have something to drink while the sun illuminates the bay.

In the centre, the city recovers its routine and the cultural and working life fill the streets and squares with people, busy at all times of day. The majority of the terraces of the old part of town all working to full capacity at this time of year, and it is very pleasant to sit in one of them, any time of day, including the night time, with coats, heaters and soft blankets.

Marina Luz Hotel in Cala Estancia

Marina Luz Hotel in Cala Estancia

The terraces in Palma are a classic in winter, even more than in summer, as the weather is much milder in these months that under the heat of the August sun. Eating a llonguet (a sandwich made with a special bread, typical of Majorca), some tapas or a hot chocolate is possible in almost any area of the city, although the liveliest are always the ones along the Paseo del Borne, Plaza del Mercat, Drassanas and Plaza d’en Coll

Christmas is also a special time too on Majorca, Palma being the capital and the centre of the major cultural events that include classical music cycles, theatre, musicals or even the opera.

Marina Luz hotel in Palma

Marina Luz hotel in Palma

One of the essential winter classics in Majorca, is the New Year’s Concert in Palma that, every year, concentrates the best pieces of composers from all times, in a unique celebration, with famous attendees like a couple of years ago with Woody Allen, that interpreted several jazz pieces on a memorable winter night.

But, Christmas is not only celebrates on a stage, in hotels or in houses, Palma, due to its excellent weather, celebrates Christmas with multiple open air activities, ideal to enjoy with your partner or with your children. Christmas markets, craft fairs, food fairs, fashion shows, sports competitions of all types, children’s play areas in the Parc del Mar, a wide range of options for all those that want to enjoy a different Christmas in the Mediterranean.

Design rooms only for adults

Adults only hotels are characterised, among other things, by having an exquisite taste for design and landscaping. Well aware of the segment they address, design is another element of the decision making process, these hotels have been specifically designed for people over 16 years old, with spaces that are very hard to find in traditional sun and beach hotels or family hotels.

The image is essential in these cases, as a hotel for couples or adults only have to conquer a more demanding public with its spaces: they do not only travel seeking comfort (the take it  for granted) but they are searching for exclusivity, different atmospheres, attention to details…

Adults only hotel Marina Luz

Adults only hotel Marina Luz

There are hotels that have worked hard over the past two seasons to provide clients with spaces that they want to “photograph and share”. In destinations that are particularly touristic, like Ibiza or Majorca, you can find many examples worth mentioning, as is the case of the Don Carlos hotel in Ibiza, that offers only Suites in Ibiza, divided in living rooms and bedrooms, with a modern decoration, simple lines and bright colours, that make the difference.

Another example of adult rooms only can be found in Palma’s Marina Luz hotel, with Junior Suites that represent a comfortable space, not too large, but cozy and with a tasteful classic elegance. The rooms facing the bay of Palma have been designed thinking of the business travellers that usually stay at the hotel, but they are also perfect for a weekend with your partner.

Also in Majorca, hotel rooms for couples of the Iberostar Royal Cupido hotel have been recently renovated, according to this design hotel concept for adults. From budget rooms to their Junior Suite in Playa de Palma, they all have a fresh décor, fun and elegant, where practical furniture, white colour and small details predominates.

Design hotels for all

The importance of design in hotels has not only been centred on this segment of exclusive adults only travellers, but has been extended to others:  There is an increase in family hotels in Spain that offer refurbished spaces with changing decoration each year, modern furniture and details with the latest technology.

The boutique hotels of the hotel chain FERGUS Hotels is an interesting example in this sense, regarding both its hotels in Majorca as those available on the coast of Barcelona. And, if we look at the major cities in the country, we can not forget to mention a few pioneers of hotel and resort design: Petit Palace and Confortel Hotels. Here are some examples of the work they have done in their city hotels.

Petit Palace's design hotels

Petit Palace’s design hotels

Gastronomic hotel in Tenerife

The island of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a popular holiday destination for millions of people, that visit the island in search of sun and beach, and end up discovering an island with many different possibilities including cultural, sports, nature and gastronomic proposals. The Canary Islands enjoy a wonderful climate all year round and is one the favourite destinations during the autumn and winter, but maybe the vast majority of people are not aware of all the possibilities the island has to offer.

Restaurant Los Menceyes

Restaurant Los Menceyes

The hotel chain Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is determined to promote the culinary offer of those destinations in which it has a presence, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife is no exception. The companies hotel on the island, the Iberostar Grand Mencey hotel has 3 restaurants and 3 bars, as well as its renown Mencey Cookery Classroom. The Grand Mencey is a perfect example of a gastronomic hotel in Tenerife.

The chef Juan Carlos Clemente is responsible for the gastronomic offer of the hotel, as well as organising numerous cooking courses, show cooking, team-building, private dinners and cooking cycles such as the present “Women with a Star”. This cooking cycle congregates, once a month a spanish women chef that has a restaurant with Michelin star, and offers a real Master Class with a presentation of their most famous signature dishes, and of course, have the possibility to enjoy a degustation menu from a fine dinning restaurant.

Fine dinning restaurant in Tenerife

Fine dinning restaurant in Tenerife

The Los Menceyes restaurant offers an authentic gourmet cuisine, based on the traditional gastronomy of the Canary Islands and the most delicious products of the islands, such as the majorero cheese, gofio, fish and seafood from the Atlantic, bananas, wine, etc.

The base for all good cuisine are the raw materials, but without the creativity and the will to offer clients the best possible dish, the objective of all gourmet restaurants is far from possible. At the restaurants of the Grand Mencey and its Cookery Classroom you feel the desire to transmit to the guest a unique and unforgettable experience.

 

The Plaza Restaurant enters the guide of the best restaurants in Budapest

The exclusive dining space of Spanish cuisine in Budapest, La Plaza Restaurant, has been included in the prestigious Gault & Millau guide in its 2014 edition, a milestone that sets the mark in the culinary history of the Hungarian capital, as it is a restaurant specialising in traditional Spanish gastronomy.

The Gault & Millau guide, of French origin but with a special edition for Hungary since a couple of years, recognises the best restaurants in the country with “hats” – the equivalent of the famous stars of the Michelin guide -, who value both quality and innovation, the menus, presentation and service of the best restaurants in the city.

Restaurant La Plaza, Budapest

Restaurant La Plaza, Budapest

In the case of the restaurant La Plaza , Iberostar Hotel, this year has made it into the category of 14 hats, a recognition it shares with other important restaurants such as NOBU, Mák Bisztró, Gusteau Mád, Bock Pest Bisztró and Fausto ‘s Ristorante.

Spanish flavour Budapest

The Plaza Restaurant was born with the clear intention of providing all residents and visitors of Budapest a bite of the delicious Mediterranean cuisine that can be found in the different areas of Spain: from the exquisite Iberian ham to the typical croquettes, “patatas bravas” or “callos a la madrileña. A culinary space bursting with elegance, authenticity and good taste in the heart of the 5 star Iberostar Grand Budapest hotel.

Chef Sergio Montaño

Chef Sergio Montaño

The restaurant opened in 2011, led by Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez, an advanced student of El Bulli restaurant and a reference of innovation, authentic tastes and traditional products of Spanish cuisine. His influence, developed during the early years of the restaurant, has left an everlasting presence in the restaurants kitchen, which is now managed and coordinated the chef Sergio Montaño, a perfectionist’s and lover of natural flavours, who has learned in some of the best kitchens in the world, in 5 star hotels of hotel chains like Marriott, Sheraton and Le Meridien.

The creativity and skill of both have resulted in one of the most succulent menus of the culinary landscape of Budapest, and the most complete proposal of Spanish gastronomy in Budapest. Just a few months ago, the restaurant completely renovated its daily menus, in which one can find from traditional Iberian “croquetas” to onion soups, Andalusian gazpacho, Pedro Ximenez escalope and desserts as typical as pears in red wine, fried milk with toffee or the delicious Valencian “horchata”.

Travelling with the family

Travelling as a family may be a really interesting activity if it is planned in advance, and also it allows children to discover new places and get to know cultures and traditions different to their own. There are different types of tourism available with activities for all tastes and interests and for all type of families: active tourism, sports and ecologic tourism, rural tourism… But if you want to enjoy ideal holidays in which everything turns out fine, you need to take into account different aspects.

Actividades para niños

Actividades para niños

First of all, it is vital to choose a hotel for families with services which make the stay comfortable for adults and children: miniclub service, children’s menus, entertainment team and children’s activities, swimming pool for adults and children… There are a lot of destinations where we will find these type of services and rooms with independent areas for the whole family, but the real challenge is to get all these amenities at a competitive price and in a destination with good communications or with a car or bike rental service to visit the city.

Animacion para niños

Animacion para niños

If we are travelling with babies, the previous organisation will be an essential step for our holidays to be a success, as the child needs a lot of attentions. If you are travelling to a sun & beach destination, it is essential that you bring sun block and that you protect the baby during the hottest hours. If you have chosen a cold destination, remember to take enough warm clothing for the child. Finally, you need to contact the accommodation to check the family services at your disposal and to request all you need during your stay: cots in the room, food for babies -you need to request formula milk in advance- or even primary health care in case of emergency.