There aren’t many places in the world that feel as much like home as Hotel Llenaire does. Although it’s obvious from the landscape, the luxury and the alluring beach below that you are not at home, the warm welcome and impeccable service during a stay makes guests feel like they belong. Located only a mile from Port Pollensa Beach — one of the most family-friendly beaches on Mallorca — Hotel Llenaire sits on 370 acres of countryside where the Tramuntana mountain range meets the sea. A 400-year-old hunting lodge turned manor home and, now, boutique hotel, the property specializes in luxury, comfort and privacy mixed with a professional yet family-friendly attitude.
When checking out, nearly half of the hotel’s guests make reservations for the following year, sometimes requesting “their” specific room for the return visit — the property’s most frequent guest has stayed 30 times! Cyclists, of which there are many on Mallorca, leave their bike helmets and clothes at the hotel in preparation for a return stay. The draw of repeat visitors to the Hotel Llenaire really is something, and after having stayed there with my family, I can tell you why.
What makes this boutique hotel so special is that the staff go out of their way to make guests feel comfortable and well cared for. Alex, a personable, easygoing and perpetually kind owner and manager, makes visits truly exquisite. When asked, he offers guests a glimpse into the history of the hotel, its interior design and the extensive grounds, which include sheep, donkeys, chickens and pigs; almond, fig, lemon, orange and olive trees; and a vegetable garden. He’ll share tips about the local area — where to go and what to do; the best beaches; the best restaurants — and tell you where on the island you must visit before departing. In essence, the best thing about Hotel Llenaire is what you rarely get at a big hotel: a very personal visit coupled with first-class service and amenities.
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It’s difficult to top the aesthetic of Hotel Llenaire. The reception area and inner courtyard date back 400 years; in 1890, the house was purchased by relatives of the current owners and turned into a manor home. Less than 20 years ago, the hotel’s current owners left their professional careers on the Spanish mainland to move to the home, restore it and transform it into a luxury boutique hotel.
The hotel’s exterior is made from traditional Mallorquian pink stone. Just past reception sits an open-air courtyard with a fountain, which leads to a beautiful terrace overlooking the countryside below with views of the dramatic coastline and the sea. The hotel interior has some significant pieces, including old family portraits, an antique piano, clocks, chandeliers and rugs, all interspersed with modern artwork in different areas.
With a total of just 13 rooms, the Llenaire has created spaces with kids in mind. Two sets of rooms can interconnect for the purpose of hosting families. The premier room, located in a more secluded area of the property, is an apartment that includes a sitting room and bathroom on the first floor, two bedrooms on the second floor and a private backyard. According to Alex, many families with teenagers opt for two separate rooms — the parents choose a room on the back side of the hotel with a view of the sea, while their children prefer a room with more privacy (away from the parents, naturally) closer to the front of the premises.
We stayed in a family room with two twin beds, a large sofa bed, and a baby crib (provided upon request). The room was large, light and airy, yet easy to darken when we needed to convince the kids that 8p was indeed bedtime, despite the sun still featuring prominently in the summer sky. Our amenities included a free minibar, direct telephone, satellite TV, DVD player with a selection of children’s DVDs, robe, slippers and more.
Given that this is an agrotourism hotel, the Llenaire shines in the culinary department. The buffet breakfast (included in the room rate) is healthy, fresh and extremely local, and includes a selection of eggs, fruit, bread with homemade jams, yogurt, meats and cheeses, cereal and a particular favorite of kids: an assortment of sugared and chocolate donuts. A number of homemade items make the culinary experience adventurous and fun. There is Spanish sponge cake, or bizcocho, made with eggs from the hotel’s chickens; amber marmalade made with oranges and lemons from the onsite fruit trees; and Mallorcan sausage, or sobrasada, made from the Llenaire’s own pork supply, just to name a few.
The afternoon and evening menu, inspired by Alex’s wife’s brilliant culinary vision, is fancy without being pretentious. While the homemade paella is a must (this is Spain, after all), the hotel’s most authentic dish is estate-grown, wood oven-roasted lamb cooked in the traditional Mediterranean style with onions, rosemary and tomatoes.
There is no children’s menu, but there are a number of options that kids will enjoy, including pasta with homemade tomato sauce, hamburgers, club sandwiches and more. The quality of these dishes is far superior to what most people are used to receiving in the way of children’s fare (read: my husband and I dug into their plates as much as ours!).
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on a beautiful stone terrace with stunning views toward the bay of Pollensa. The atmosphere is relaxing, private and stylish.
While the hotel is not large enough to offer amenities such as a kids’ club, it certainly has enough to keep kids busy. With lots of property to wander, bikes to rent for exploring the area, an infinity pool that overlooks the sea, a fabulously maintained tennis court and a shaded outdoor terrace that serves ice cream, cake and tea from 10a-4p every day, the Llenaire has fun activities for the whole family when it’s time for a respite from the beach. Babysitting is available upon request.
Hotel Llenaire is in the ideal spot from which to visit a number of the island’s best beaches and charming old towns. A mile from the hotel is Port Pollensa Beach, without a doubt one of the most relaxed and kid-friendly beaches on Mallorca. In Pollensa Bay, you can sail, scuba dive, swim, windsurf, kite surf, kayak, hire a boat or take part in an organized boat tour. The hotel staff can help set up these activities and others, including golf and horseback riding.
Other fantastic beaches in the area include Formentor (with ferry service from Port Pollensa or via a stunning and dramatic drive over the Tramuntana mountain range), Playa Muro and Cala San Vicente. The old towns of Pollensa and Alcudia are only a short drive from hotel. In charming Pollensa, you can view the stunning stone architecture of old churches and the town square, indulge in late-afternoon tapas and/or ice cream, and shop the boutiques. In Alcudia, walk the town’s medieval walls (a favorite with kids), explore the cozy stone alleyways and get a bite to eat.
The hotel is also close to S’Albufera, a nature reserve popular for bird migration. Oh, and did I mention that the country road along which the hotel is located is on the Mallorcan tourist cycling route? Pro cycling teams practice in the Pollensa region of Mallorca, which is just one more reason to take advantage of the hotel’s bike rental program and go for a spin down some of the island’s most beautiful cycling routes.
There are many ways to do Mallorca, but staying at the Hotel Llenaire has to be one of the best. A stay at Llenaire combines unparalleled customer service with luxury, comfort and an ideal location on this Mediterranean island mecca — it should absolutely be on your family travel bucket list.
Editor’s Note: Loren was hosted by Hotel Llenaire in order to review the property. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Loren Braunohler.
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