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.