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Have you heard about the new Ma­galuf ? Wow!

Here in Mal­lorca, it’s just like a car­toon: there may be a cloud over your head, but the sun is never far away. It’s an amaz­ing mi­cro­cli­mate’, says Esper­anza, smil­ing from ear to ear. She’s one of the cheer­ful and good-na­tured staff mem­bers at the new Calviá Beach The Plaza, lo­cated just a few me­tres from the crys­tal-clear sea. It’s one of those rare ho­tels that prac­ti­cally hum with pos­i­tive en­ergy—and it’s in­fec­tious.

Sure enough, less than two min­utes later the clouds give way to ra­di­ant sun­shine. Light streams into the lobby, where stacks of de­sign books are just wait­ing to be pe­rused. A young, cool and at­trac­tive crowd—some alone, some with chil­dren—from all over the world stand in a small queue at re­cep­tion. It moves so quickly that, be­fore we know it, we’ve checked in and slipped on that fa­mous bracelet, renowned for its ver­sa­til­ity and ease.

With a quick touch of the bracelet, you can make pur­chases at some of the shops and din­ing op­tions in the square, and all of the Meliá ho­tels scat­tered across Ma­galuf. And on top of that, it’s also your room key. With this bracelet, there’s no need to carry cash; it’s great! In fact, this sum­mer when the ho­tel was opened and pho­tos of its spec­tac­u­lar pool flooded In­sta­gram, this in­no­va­tive bracelet was praised by the in­ter­na­tional press as a revolutionary pay­ment sys­tem that other ho­tels should also adopt. ‘It works like a real on­line bank ac­count, and through the down­load­able app you can even con­trol your chil­dren’s credit’, says Sofía Llam­bías, Deputy Direc­tor and one of the most fun and re­laxed peo­ple you’ll come across in the ho­tel.

THE POOL… WOW!

Words can’t de­scribe the feel­ing you get once you’ve un­packed your lug­gage and gone up to the hang­ing glass pool. Rooftop Nine is open all win­ter, and its heated in­fin­ity pool has be­come iconic—and rightly so. Fifty me­tres long and filled with half a mil­lion litres of wa­ter, this mar­vel­lous swim­ming pool is sus­pended be­tween the two main tow­ers of the ho­tel on the fifth floor. Guests who go out for a stroll in the square of the new Mo­men­tum Plaza shop­ping cen­tre can look up and see swim­mers slip through the wa­ter like mer­maids in a spec­tac­u­lar aquar­ium. There’s noth­ing else like it in all of Europe. With views over the sea and the Isla de sa Por­rassa, a morn­ing or evening swim be­comes an ex­pe­ri­ence that you’ll re­mem­ber long after you check out.

As the ho­tel’s motto goes, ‘ Rooftop Nine is all you need’—and it stays true to this mes­sage. The rooftop has seen some in­cred­i­ble par­ties this sum­mer, but it’s dur­ing au­tumn and win­ter when the place re­ally re­laxes, the pace slows down, and guests can fully en­joy the is­land’s mild cli­mate. Upon ar­rival, dive straight into the wa­ter and feel the stress of the city wash away—it’s an un­for­get­table way to kick off your trip. After a few laps, lie down on one of the Ba­li­nese beds and lazily flick through a good book... or do ab­so­lutely noth­ing. Then head over to the restau­rant for one of its sea­sonal dishes. Whet your ap­petite with the spicy mus­sels or the char­grilled oc­to­pus, so good you’ll de­vour it in no time at all. The Black An­gus burger with fresh and flavour­ful Mal­lor­can to­mato is al­ways a good choice, and an­other bon vi­vant plea­sure to add to your list. There’s also the nikkei tira­dito, a Ja­panese-Peru­vian fu­sion dish of raw fish, and the sea bass ce­viche; you’ll

need plenty of time to sam­ple them all. Don’t skip out on dessert, and make sure you have a mid­morn­ing smoothie at the bar, too.

MODER­NITY IN ITS DNA

‘It’s the re­sort of the fu­ture for trendy and well-trav­elled peo­ple’, says the ho­tel’s Gen­eral Man­ager, Rubén Llach, as I chat with him and sip on an in­sanely de­li­cious Mo­jito Café, made of cof­fee, white rum, mint, lime and crushed ice— an un­usual but tasty con­coc­tion whose flavours grad­u­ally meld to­gether as you drink it. He then pulls out his phone and plugs it into a de­vice that lets guests charge any kind of mo­bile on all of the rooftop ta­bles. ‘It's a power bank, which also has com­mer­cial in­for­ma­tion about the ho­tel and an­nounces up­com­ing events’, he ex­plains with that gen­uine cheer­ful­ness that seems to be de rigueur for all the staff, from the ho­tel man­ager to ev­ery last waiter. I’m start­ing to fan­ta­sise about stay­ing here for good and set­ting up my of­fice. You can see the at­ten­tion to de­tail ev­ery­where; from the straws we’re sip­ping this sweet nec­tar through (made of card­board, not plas­tic) to the soft beat of the mel­low back­ground mu­sic that makes ev­ery­thing seem so easy.

‘This ho­tel is the cherry on top of the Meliá group’s re­struc­tur­ing project in Ma­galuf ’, says Rubén Llach. I’ve just asked him about the im­pact of the ho­tel and its glossy square on lo­cal res­i­dents who, up un­til this point, didn’t have a place to meet, re­lax or take a stroll. ‘Calviá Beach The Plaza is the only newly con­structed ho­tel among the 11 in the area that have been ren­o­vated. It has an ur­ban style, but is just a street away from the sea. We’re open through­out au­tumn and win­ter, and it’s easy to see that we’ve re­vi­talised lo­cal busi­ness by adding new value’.

TO­DAY’S FAM­I­LIES IN THE SQUARE

In fact, the sur­round­ing area has been com­pletely re­ju­ve­nated. When the sun starts to set and I de­cide to leave my oa­sis, the first thing I spot is an Ital­ian ice cream par­lour and café in the square, where I can ad­mire the pool from be­low. I can’t re­sist a taste, and it turns out to be the best pis­ta­chio ice cream I’ve ever had: an­other hol­i­day plea­sure to add to my rapidly grow­ing list of bon vi­vant in­dul­gences, and one that I’ll re­turn to more than once.

As I en­joy my ice cream, I no­tice that no­body is able to walk through the square with­out stop­ping to take a photo of the pool up above. As they pass by, the space comes alive with fam­i­lies, chil­dren, tourists, groups of friends out shop­ping and happy cou­ples, who come to have a snack at the Ur­ban Food stands. There are games for kids in the mid­dle of the square, in­clud­ing giant board games, build­ing blocks, read­ing ar­eas, tipi tents, hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties and arts and crafts. ‘We or­gan­ise these games so that fam­i­lies can play to­gether here in the square’, one of the Món de Colorins lads tells me. The com­pany has set up a huge out­door play area by the Mo­men­tum Plaza shop­ping cen­tre as part of their backto-school cam­paign, which of­fers an ex­cit­ing pro­gramme of events through­out au­tumn and win­ter.

‘We’ll be hold­ing Zumba, yoga and spin­ning classes in the morn­ings and af­ter­noons, as well as cook­ing, theatre and crafts work­shops for kids’, says Pi­lar Bouza, head of pro­gram­ming at the new shop­ping cen­tre, as she checks that ev­ery­thing is in or­der. All kinds of events and spe­cial days will be cel­e­brated here in Oc­to­ber. After Hal­loween, it’s non-stop up un­til Christ­mas, when the whole square will be adorned with dec­o­ra­tions in­clud­ing a clas­sic Christ­mas tree. The Three Wise Men will even walk through the square to col­lect chil­dren’s let­ters.

CROSS-SELL­ING AND MA­GALUF'S HO­TELS

After a walk around the sur­round­ing area and a swim in the crys­tal-clear wa­ters at the beach just a few steps from the ho­tel, you start to ori­ent your­self... and quickly dis­cover that ev­ery­thing is close by. I take out my pocket map— kindly pro­vided by the staff at re­cep­tion—and look at all the high­lighted places. I start to cir­cle the ones that I fancy. If I had come with chil­dren, a day at Kat­mandu Park would have been oblig­a­tory. If it were sum­mer, I wouldn’t have missed the wave pool and surfer vibes at the Sol Wave House by the beach, or a trip to the ex­clu­sive Nikki Beach

‘IT’S THE RE­SORT OF THE FU­TURE FOR TRENDY AND WELL-TRAV­ELLED PEO­PLE’.

club, where you can ad­mire the yachts with a glass of Möet Chan­don in hand. See­ing as it’s au­tumn and I’m after cold-weather at­trac­tions, I take a long walk on the beach to breathe in the salty air and head over to the ho­tel’s YHI Spa, be­fore mak­ing my way to the Pez Playa restau­rant at the ME Mal­lorca, con­ve­niently lo­cated right next door. At the Meliá Calviá Beach com­plex in Ma­galuf, you can ‘stay at one ho­tel, and en­joy ev­ery­thing avail­able at all nine in the area’, or as its slo­gan says: ‘Stay in one, play in nine’.

So I don’t have to think about any­thing else. I can even for­get my mo­bile phone; the bracelet is all I need. Life avec plaisir is so much bet­ter. And I’ve fi­nally found a place where that phi­los­o­phy flows around you in the most nat­u­ral way.

THE FIN­ISH­ING TOUCH

The trans­for­ma­tion of Ma­galuf is a project that has been pro­moted by Meliá Ho­tels In­ter­na­tional since 2012, when the ho­tel and leisure fa­cil­i­ties ren­o­va­tion was named a ‘Project of Au­to­nomic In­ter­est’ and earned, among other recog­ni­tions, the ‘Tourism Merit Award for the Re­newal of Ma­ture Des­ti­na­tions’.

The group has in­vested around 250 mil­lion eu­ros over the last seven years, with the aim of mod­ernising and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of both its ho­tels and their com­ple­men­tary spa­ces, in­clud­ing shop­ping cen­tres, restau­rants, beach clubs and other leisure fa­cil­i­ties. The in­vest­ments have also gone to­wards ex­tend­ing the tourism sea­son to nine months; at­tract­ing more fam­i­lies and adult trav­ellers by broad­en­ing the va­ri­ety of its of­fer­ings; and fo­cus­ing on MICE and sports tourism in ad­di­tion to leisure.

The project also re­quired im­prove­ments to se­cu­rity, com­mu­nity re­la­tions and the over­all rep­u­ta­tion of the des­ti­na­tion, which had suf­fered a pro­gres­sive de­cline over the last few decades. These im­prove­ments were made

pos­si­ble thanks to the fan­tas­tic pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship that was es­tab­lished.

Dur­ing the sum­mer, the group opened the new ho­tel and Mo­men­tum Plaza shop­ping cen­tre with great suc­cess, thus com­plet­ing the fi­nal phase of its ex­ten­sive work in Ma­galuf. After ren­o­vat­ing and repo­si­tion­ing its 11 ho­tels in the area (of­fer­ing over 3,500 rooms) with the lat­est ho­tel brands and restau­rant con­cepts, the group’s com­ple­tion of the shop­ping cen­tre rep­re­sents a qual­i­ta­tive leap to­wards ex­tend­ing the sea­son and di­ver­si­fy­ing tourist ac­tiv­ity in the area, as well as mod­ernising the com­ple­men­tary of­fer­ings of the group and the im­age and rep­u­ta­tion of Ma­galuf.

Ac­cord­ing to Gabriel Es­car­rer, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Chair­man and CEO of Meliá Ho­tels In­ter­na­tional: ‘The open­ing of the new ho­tel and Mo­men­tum Plaza rep­re­sents the last ma­jor mile­stone of a bold project that’s closely linked to our fam­ily and our ori­gins. Of equal im­por­tance were our ef­forts to re­turn to Ma­galuf the pres­tige and qual­ity that it had lost. After seven years of im­prove­ments and ma­jor in­vest­ments, I can now say that we are ex­tremely proud of the changes the des­ti­na­tion has un­der­gone. It is once again sus­tain­able and prof­itable for the com­mu­nity, call­ing the at­ten­tion of both in­vestors and small and large busi­nesses, such as those we’ve at­tracted to the new shop­ping cen­tre—which would have been un­think­able only five or six years ago’.

THE OPEN­ING OF THE NEW HO­TEL AND MO­MEN­TUM PLAZA REP­RE­SENTS THE LAST MA­JOR MILE­STONE OF A BOLD PROJECT THAT’S CLOSELY LINKED TO OUR FAM­ILY AND OUR ORI­GINS.

The ho­tel’s in­fin­itypool (which is heated in win­ter) is an ar­chi­tec­turalwon­der. On the ad­join­ing rooftopter­race, you can en­joy Mediter­ranean cui­sine and sea­sonalin­gre­di­ents.

The square of the new Mo­men­tum Plaza shop­ping cen­tre has be­come a space to so­cialise, shop andsnack in a fam­i­lyfriendly en­vi­ron­ment. Be­low, the Fac­tor yrestau­rant.

One of the ho­tel's rooms with a sea view, where you can breathe in the Mediter­ranean breeze.

The ho­tel has an ur­ban style, but is just a streetaway from the sea.

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