Family-friendly all-inclusive hotel with three expansive outdoor pools
Within walking distance to three white sand beach coves
Well-maintained grounds with gardens and plentiful sun loungers
Buffet-style restaurant, snack bar, and pool bar open late
Sports options include tennis courts, volleyball, and bocce
Kids mini-disco, playground, and kiddy pool
Convenience store with beach items and snacks
Public bus stop just outside the hotel
Far from the airport and major family attractions
No fitness center
Rooms are very basic, with no air-conditioning
No lift at restaurants and pools for disabled guests
15-minute walk to the beaches, which are crowded
Hotel does not provide beach towels; chairs are for a fee
Many guests spend their entire stay on-site at this massive all-inclusive hotel. Between the three large and very clean pools, the plentiful sun loungers, the location within easy walking access of three different nearby beach coves, the in-house entertainment, and the variety of food and alcohol, there is enough to satisfy a non-demanding traveler who is content to get what she pays for. This budget hotel has 454 guest rooms and apartments, all with very basic decor and terraces; tube TVs are available to rent. The hotel is completely in line with the budget all-inclusive Mallorca experience, but the nearby ClubHotel Riu Tropicana is slightly more popular (and also slightly more expensive).
European travelers indulging on abundant sun, food, and alcohol
The hotel is spread over three basic beige buildings set amid tropical plants, palm trees, and purple bourgenvilla. The lobby is functional and vast, with beige tile floors, a few red armchairs, patterned sofas, and an internet corner. The grounds, however, are bustling and colorful, catering to European families looking for an inexpensive sunny holiday of average-quality excess. The three large pools offer plentiful sun loungers, but guests can expect long lines for drink refills -- and kiddies hopped up on unlimited ice-slushies. In-house entertainment is provided throughout the day by a team of activity facilitators -- whose enthusiasm is charming to some, and annoying to others. In the evenings, entertainment takes a step up with amateur cabaret and music performed in a room with pistachio walls so dated, they are almost oddly futuristic. In the dining halls, beer, as well as red and white wine are on tap; it's all about quantity over quality.
Walking distance to three crowded but beautiful beach coves
Calas de Mallorca is an area of the island that comes alive during tourist season, but is essentially a ghost town during the rest of the year. There are a few restaurants, shops, and bars in the vicinity. Guests need only walk about 15 minutes to reach three beach coves (Cala Domingos Gran, Cala Domingos Petit, and Cala Antena) with white sand and clear blue water. These are not secluded island paradises, however -- think tourists, tubes, and towels everywhere (the hotel does not provide beach towels, and beach chairs will cost a fee). For quieter, more traditionally Mallorcan beaches, the villages of Santanyí and Artá are about 30 to 40 minutes away by car. A public bus stops just outside the hotel, though the connections aren't the smoothest or most time-efficient. Perhaps the biggest inconvenience is that Palma de Mallorca Airport is far away -- up to two or three hours by public bus, or 45 minutes by private transfer. Other major family attractions, like Aqualand El Arenal and The Palma Aquarium, are nearly an hour away by car.
The Apartments at the Cala Romani hotel is very bright and spacious, but looks as though it hasn't been redecorated since the 1970s. While not unpleasant to look at, the floral curtains don't match the patchwork bedspreads, and the furniture is basic to the point of feeling institutional. Spotlessly clean and antiseptically white, the bathroom is large, stocked with mediocre toiletries, and has a shower/tub combo. There's a cheery little breakfast nook that leads out to a huge and airy balcony that is large enough for a family of four to dine on. Double Rooms at the hotel are decorated in a similar fashion, though they have smaller balconies. Tube TVs are available to rent at the front desk, and rooms have only ceiling fans -- no air-conditioning. Apartments have mini-fridges and two sofa beds.
Vast pools, arcade-style games, kids' activities, and pool bar
This hotel's most outstanding feature is its bounty of outdoor pools. Large, exceptionally clean, and accented with billowing palm trees and nicely manicured grounds, they are optimally located for lazy sunbathing and easy access to the bar and snack bar. There are also a lush grassy area with loungers under trees, impressive tennis courts, a lively arcade-style game area, and a kid's club -- plus a kiddy pool. Guests have access to various activities, like bocce, volleyball, and archery. The dining halls are the most tastefully decorated area of the hotel. Done up in a navy blue and white theme, they're an appetizing backdrop for the colorful buffet spreads of the all-inclusive. The pool bar is open until midnight, though guests note that staff can be a bit bristly. A mini-market with food, and an all-day snack bar ensure that no one goes hungry between meal times.