Relaxing adults-only hotel still fresh from 2015 revamp
Three minutes' walk from sweeping sandy beach
All rooms open to furnished balconies or terraces
In-room mini-fridges and 32-inch TVs as standard
Quality buffet breakfast included in room rate
Terrace with pool, whirlpool tub, and loungers
Snack bar with two outdoor seating areas
Free Wi-Fi with good signal throughout
Guest rooms are small
Limited spa and health facilities
Some airplane noise inevitable
Pool terrace prone to morning shade
No proper restaurant
The BQ Amfora Beach Hotel is an upper-middle-range property set in a quiet street a few minutes' walk from Can Pastilla's beachfront promenade and sweeping sandy bay. It's also just 10 minutes' drive from the airport, overhead noise is inevitable though not a deal-breaker for most travelers. The 126 rooms are certainly smaller than most, though all well soundproofed with balconies or terraces, plus good free Wi-Fi connections. The pool area is pleasant, if a little shady in the morning, and breakfast is a real highlight. A lack of spa or fitness facilities, however, means this property doesn't quite reach upscale standards. The BQ Aguamarina a couple blocks away certainly trumps the Amfora with a spa and panoramic rooftop pool -- plus a beachfront setting.
Sleek and modern adults-only hotel with a grown-up, laid-back vibe
In 2014, the Amfora Beach Hotel joined the BQ chain and a year later a full, top-to-tail renovation was completed that still looks fresh today. Typical of the Majorca-based chain, this hotel has sleek and modern interiors with a finish in blond wood, polished stainless steel, and signature orange accents. As an adults-only hotel, the vibe is immediately relaxed, contemporary, and grown-up, and on our visit a younger contingent of European vacationers were the primary clientele. Large windows from the uncluttered reception areas add to a bright, airy atmosphere, giving views to the hotel's front pool terrace. Just off reception is a spotless and contemporary lounge area dotted with colorful modern artworks, while behind front desk is a small suntrap of a patio for those wanting alfresco drinks away from the pool. Across the road a three-story annex building contains 30 of the property's 126 guest rooms, while in the main building a pair of elevators whisk guests to one of six floors. Some may find it all a little too streamlined, while others enjoy its pristine 21st-century vibe that leans more towards laid-back urban than beachy resort.
Set in low-key Can Pastilla close to airport, a short walk to the water
This hotel is located on a largely residential street in the small and laid-back Majorcan resort of Can Pastilla and just a few minutes' walk from its marina and sweeping sandy bay. While this small seaside town has no shortage of tourist-oriented bars and restaurants -- including the uber-cool PuroBeach beach club under 10 minutes on foot -- those looking for nightlife should look elsewhere. The start of the long Playa de Palma beach is just over five minutes away on foot and stretches several miles to the livelier resort of El Arenal. In the other direction is the buzzing island's capital, Palma, 10 to 15 minutes away by car -- alternatively a beachfront cycle path connects there in under 30 minutes. Thanks to its location close to Palma de Mallorca Airport (transfers taking around 10 minutes) guest can expect frequent airplane noise overhead.
Small but stylish rooms with outdoor space and free Wi-Fi
There's no escaping the fact that guest rooms are smaller than most in Can Pastilla. Still they're immaculately and fashionably finished in a blend of wood-paneled flooring, streamlined contemporary furniture, and splashes of color against crisp white backdrops. They also open to furnished balconies or terraces, around a third of which overlook the pool area and the rest with views over the (mostly quiet) street or surrounding buildings. Some have a small glimpse of sea or mountain, but nothing to get excited about. The inevitable airplane noise is barely audible inside when balcony doors are closed. Frosted glass and sliding doors partition off clean and contemporary bathrooms, with walk-in showers, wall-mounted hairdryers, and colorful toiletries. Other standard amenities include 32-inch TVs (with a handful of U.K.-based channels), mini-fridges, and digital safes -- for a fee. Wi-Fi is free of charge and worked well during our visit. The three suites add separate lounges with second TVs and larger terraces, though they lack the expected extras like robes and drinks facilities.
Pretty pool and excellent free buffet breakfast with cooked-to-order options
The hotel's main focus is the swimming pool and surrounding decked terrace, which despite its street-front position feels sufficiently secluded. The pool itself is a long enough for a few strokes, plus there's a poolside whirlpool tub (for up to five bathers) and just about enough loungers. The main gripe, however, is that the terrace is prone to shade before noon which, as well as limiting sunbathing, means the water takes longer to warm up. Another shortcoming is a lack of any other spa or health facilities. While there's no proper restaurant, there's a large lower-ground dining room serving an excellent free-of-charge breakfast buffet that includes chilled Cava, local produce, and cooked-to-order eggs and pancakes. A lobby bar serves drinks and snacks throughout the day, including the likes of burgers, salads, pizza, and pasta, which can be enjoyed poolside or in a small sunny patio garden.
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