The beautiful SENTIDO Cala Vinas sits on the south-west coast of Majorca on the peaceful and quiet Cala Vinas bay, just 2 km from the lively resort of Magaluf. It was my first experience staying in a Thomas Cook SENTIDO hotel, and my choice didn’t disappoint! Simon Cowell allegedly has a mansion villa on the bay too, which you can see from the hotel, and if it’s good enough for Mr Cowell, then its good enough for us and here’s why…
1. The breathtaking view
Top of the list and rightly so – the first of many things I remember being blown away by during our stay at the SENTIDO Cala Vinas was the view from the hotel. Miles of stunning clear turquoise waters surround you whether you’re sunbathing by the pool – cocktail in hand, dining in the restaurant or chilling on your room balcony. A real treat for the eye and extremely memorable.
2. Perfect location… the best of both worlds
Cala Vinas is a small, peaceful village on the South-west coast of Majorca. One single road leads to a handful of hotels, quaint Spanish homes, two shops and a couple of tavernas. However, the islands party capital of Magaluf is only a 5 minute taxi ride away from the hotel, which costs about €10. If you’re feeling fit and fresh, it’s a lovely 20 minute walk in the morning before it warms up.
3. All Inclusive dining at its best
This was my first All Inclusive holiday, and as a fussy eater, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly apprehensive. However, I was pretty impressed with the variety on offer, whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner, there was something for all tastes and dietary requirements. Fresh salads and vegetables to pasta, pizza and freshly cooked fish and meat every day. The level of service from the dining staff was second to none; they really made you feel special and looked after. *Bonus alert – there’s also a late breakfast option each morning if you didn’t manage to rise early enough to catch the main breakfast seating.
4. Award-winning hotel
Achieving a Travelife award isn’t easy – it requires management and staff commitment, as well as a lot of time and money. All certified hotels must undertake independent audits to prove they meet the strict criteria and receive their gold certification. They are then audited every two years to ensure they are maintaining the high level of sustainability required to keep the award. The SENTIDO Cala Vinas demonstrated to me on numerous occasions during my stay why they are worthy of this award – from providing information on the local area, destination and the culture to health and safety and quality assurance of guests.
5. Adults-only: rest, relaxation and spa
The spa at the hotel was cosy, relaxing, and just perfect for a day swapping your sunbed out for a massage bed. Use of the pool was free of charge to guests staying at the hotel, and this included the Jacuzzi and relaxation beds. There was another area of the spa where for as little as €5 per person you could take your senses for a real treat and experience the different baths, pressure showers and massage chairs they had. I booked myself in for a full body massage one morning via the telephone in my room – well why not I was on holiday…
6. Second to none service
Everyone expects a high level of service on their holiday; however, the attention and commitment from staff I received at the SENTIDO Cala Vinas totally exceeded my expectations. We were welcomed into the hotel on the day of check-in with an arrival drink which was a nice, refreshing surprise. There was fresh fruit in the room, which we found once we had checked in, and there were daily top-ups on milk, coffee, tea and sugar. They changed the beds each morning, and if we didn’t want to be disturbed, we just needed to remember to hang the sign on the door so they wouldn’t wake us up. The hotel also offered a pillow menu. It sounds strange, doesn’t it? It really is a menu of the different pillows on offer to guests – who knew there were so many different varieties but again, a nice added touch to your stay and comfort.
7. Your own little slice of beach paradise
If you fancy a change of scenery one afternoon, just a short 5 minute walk away from the hotel is a small cove which has the most beautiful, quaint beach area. Lined with palm trees that give a nice, welcoming breeze. It was never too busy, and there was a mix of families, couples and singles enjoying the warm, clear waters and clean, soft sands. There were sunbeds for hire, but I was more than happy to just throw a towel down and lap up the sunshine and stunning views on offer. At the back of this beach, there were clean toilets and a beach shack bar serving fresh cocktails and authentic Spanish snacks. Heaven.
8. Only 15 minutes from the airport
If like me, you find nothing worse than getting off a flight and having to endure a long transfer to your hotel (although it is usually worth it), then the SENTIDO Cala Vinas is the perfect choice for you. The first question I asked the Thomas Cook rep once we’d collected our luggage was “How long is the transfer to the hotel” she flicked through her papers and replied “only 15 minutes”. It was great to see the sights along the way; driving through small, authentic Spanish villages, admiring the stunning houses and flowered gardens – it actually made for an exciting start to the holiday.
9. Your very own Holiday Concierge
I got to know our concierge very well over the duration of our stay. From the day we arrived, she welcomed us off the transport with a refreshing drink, handed us our wristbands, showed us around the hotel, and generally made sure we were happy and content. She booked our a la carte reservation for us and helped us with taxis and general queries and recommendations on the area/location. She was a real credit to the hotel and demonstrated that the customer was the top priority at all times.
10. Blue Bar cave of wonders
I found this little gem within 30 minutes of arriving at the hotel – A cliff-top bar with mesmerising sunset views over the bay. The Blue Bar had bags of personality with its décor of Aladdin style rugs, comfy antique armchairs and a friendly atmosphere was always on offer. Evenings were best spent here – a chance to relax and unwind – freshly prepared cocktail in hand with romantic lighting while looking out over the beautiful ocean. A fantastic retreat if you weren’t feeling up for the hotel karaoke and Abba night…
11. Huge selection of daily activities
Holidays to me are mainly for relaxing, but if you do find the energy to get off your sunbed, the hotel offers lots of different activities for adults of all ages and abilities. From table top games around the pool to archery, rifle shooting and even water polo, the reps did a fantastic job of entertaining guests and ensuring everyone joined in (those that wanted to!). The day’s activities were displayed clearly on the hotel noticeboard each morning, so you always knew what to expect which really helped us plan each day.