When two friends email you this message: “How would you like to share a villa with us in Mallorca for a week?” what do you do? If you’re like us, you immediately look up a few particulars about the island of Mallorca and begin frantically figuring out how you can spend at least three weeks in the vicinity. After all, if you’re crossing six time zones, we figure it has to be for more than one week. So, a few months ago, when we received just such an email, we looked online at the villa our friends had discovered in Mallorca via VRBO, we said yes and started planning.
We decided to fly into Madrid and spend two weeks touring parts of Spain and Portugal we’d never visited before. (More to come about that wonderful part of the trip in upcoming blog posts.) From Madrid, it’s an easy hour-and-a-half flight to Palma de Mallorca, the capital of this extraordinary island.
The moment we started planning this trip, we discovered a Netflix series called The Mallorca Files, a British police procedural set in none other than Mallorca. The series had its endearing moments, but the most indispensable character in it was the island itself. After seeing the incredible scenery―beaches, mountain villages, dramatic caves, and the city of Palma―we were hooked. So we brushed up on our Spanish and were off to Mallorca.
The villa was located in a village called Cala Pi. A forty-minute drive from the Palma airport, the village consists of one hotel, a well-known beach, a few restaurants, several small convenience stores and a swath of fancy (and not so fancy) villas. This one fell into the fancy category.
Our companions for the week were arriving from a short trip to the south of England and planned to rent a car when they arrived. We arranged to be picked up at the airport and transported to the villa. Since Cala Pi is not close to anything of note (except the beach, as mentioned earlier), having a car at one’s disposal is essential unless you want to taxi everywhere. We would have been prepared to do that to avoid renting a car, which is not our preference unless we’re in North America. We see so much more when someone else is driving. (And our lovely friends did offer to drive us to various locations on the island throughout the week! 😊)
Whenever you rent something via a website, there’s always a bit of trepidation as you approach your first glimpse. It’s probably a bit like online dating―although we have no personal experience of that. We figure the question at top of mind would be this: will the real thing resemble the online photos? As we approached El Capitano―the villa’s name―we breathed a sigh of relief. From the roadside, it looked nice and was surrounded by other rather nice villas. But walking through to the ocean side of the villa, it became clear that it was more than nice. Its online profile didn’t do it justice. The view! That private pool! It was wonderful.
We settled into what was probably the principal bedroom on the main floor while our villa companions took the whole upstairs―two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Then we had to make some eating plans for the week.
Dining was the one thing we were most concerned about in a week of renting a villa, and one of the reasons we’ve avoided it up to now. When on vacation, we prefer to be served our meals and have the cleaning up done by someone else. After all, we’re on vacation. However, we were open to a new experience.
Together with our friends, we planned to barbeque for three nights. Then they had a recipe they wanted to do one evening, and we planned to eat out the other evenings. There were three or four restaurants in the village of Cala Pi, a fifteen-minute walk from the villa. We tried several of them and they were all just fine. We dined one night at the posh Cap Rocat, where we had the eight-course tasting menu. It was heavenly. Of course, we made breakfast and most lunches at the villa in its extremely well-equipped kitchen and ate all our meals on the covered porch overlooking the tranquil pool.
If there were any “issues” with the villa, here’s what they were. First, why in the world would a vacation villa offer only one tiny icecube tray that makes the tiniest icecubes known to humankind? We had to buy a second icecube tray, and, frankly, they still didn’t cut it.
Then, on the second morning of the trip, the uber-expensive, commercial-grade, barista-friendly coffee maker died. Later that day, the very responsive property manager arrived and opened a locked door that led to a storage space behind the house. He then set up a Delonghi coffee maker―expensive, but not quite as eye-wateringly expensive as the first one. We noted that both coffee machines indicated that they needed to be decalcified. This should be done regularly to avoid coffee hiccups. Anyway, we loved the second coffee maker so much that these discerning travellers promptly bought one when they arrived home.
The third thing was the bedside tables in the principal bedroom. They had shag-carpet-covered tops. They might have looked interesting as part of the décor, but it was impossible to put anything small on them for fear of it being eaten up, never to be seen again in the fur. They also didn’t scream cleanliness to us.
Some photos of the neighbourhood:
Overall, it was a wonderful way to travel. Will we do it again? It’s not a vehement yes, but never say never. We’ll share more about the island itself (wonderful) in our next post.
If you’d enjoy seeing more of the villa’s interior, the property and the views, join us as we walk through it in the video below. Then just close your eyes and pretend you’re there.