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Firstly, the Palladium Palace Ibiza is the only (Fiesta) Palladium standard hotel in Europe. Note that it is a Palladium, not a Grand Palladium. Why? The GP’s we’ve been to are effectively multi-hotel resorts. One large complex shared by a number of hotels, each with their own reception areas, restaurants, bars and pools. The PPI is a single hotel, comprising 5 accommodation blocks, reception area with lobby bar, main buffet restaurant, 2 pools, a pool bar, a beach bar, 2 a la carte restaurants, sports facilities including tennis courts and a gym, and children’s play and club facilities. So it may not be “Grand” but it has all the same facilities as one of the hotels in a GP complex.
Arrival - Having emailed ahead of time with our room requests (which were replied to very quickly) we arrived ahead of the advertised check in time of 1400 by a good couple of hours. Front desk staff were very polite and efficient, although no Caribbean style welcome drink. Our room wasn’t ready, so we did the formalities with passports, were given our AI bands and asked to come back at about 1300. We went to explore a bit and have a drink at the beach bar, which doubles as a snack bar in the daytime and a Mediterranean a la carte in the evenings. Having chilled for a while we went back to reception at 1300 to be told they’d given us “a nice room.” There was a credit card swipe for the deposit on the TV remote; we were given our pool towel cards, room card and electronic key; info on the hotels’ restaurants and booking procedures for the a la carte’s and then we were escorted to our room by the bell boy.
Accommodation – The 5 blocks are numbered 1000 to 5000. 1000 is in the main building over reception. 2000, 3000 and 4000 run parallel to each other and look out over the two pools, whilst block 5000 is located near the beach and Portofino beach bar/restaurant. We were allocated room 3235...so block 3000, floor 2 (top), room 35. There are stairs and a small lift (6 persons max) in each block. It was a standard room with large double bed, separate bathroom behind a wooden door, and a balcony overlooking the family pool with a partial sea view to the right. Yes...it was a nice room :-). In the entrance area was a 3 door wardrobe comprising 2 hanging units with plenty of clothes hangers and a shelving unit. Iron, board and electronic safe were also housed here. The bathroom comprised a standard bath with jet tub facilities and shower over, a basin with mirror and hairdryer, toilet and bidet. Soap, shampoo, bubble bath, shower caps and combs were also provided. The advertised bath robes were actually an extra charge, as was the pillow menu. We opted for neither. The bed was an over sized double, about 6 and a half feet square, with bedside cabinets and lights, a chair, dressing table with drawers and stool, and a flat screen TV on a cabinet housing a fridge and tea/coffee making facilities. There was a ceiling fan and guest controlled air conditioning. The 6’ by 12’ balcony had two chairs and a table. There were only 2 TV channels in English, both of which were UK based news channels. The fridge had two bottles of water on arrival, but was not restocked by the maid...nor was there any milk/whitener for the tea/coffee. These items we obtained for ourselves at the main lobby bar, where one could also get a bottle of Cava and glasses to take back to the room! The room was cleaned daily at about 1000, and fresh towels were always provided, but no towel art. Decor was bright and modern. Overall, we liked the room, though as is usual, the bed was on the firm side but didn’t stop us having good sleeps.
Public areas – inside, all non smoking and air conditioned – The Lobby Bar was opposite reception in the main block. A large bar usually attended by at least 4 staff with another couple collecting glasses and orders for those that wanted table service. Beers, spirits, cocktails (both pre-mixed and to order), wines and Cava, teas and coffees were all available 1000 to 2400. In the afternoons, cakes and sandwiches with tea and coffee were available. The fast, efficient and friendly service was often rewarded with a tip, which itself was rewarded by a ring of the bell...and smiles all round! You could sit at the bar on the provided stools, or at tall tables, or on sofas and chairs at tables throughout the room...the lower level which looked out over the games tables outside was the quieter area. There was a patio area outside with about 50 tables which was often frequented by smokers, but we were never troubled by smoke, choosing to sit “up wind” in the sun :-). The patio area also had the children’s performance area and lead through to the “tent” with nightly adult entertainment. This varied in quality from the entertaining and enjoyable Moulin Rouge to the Brazil night that seemed to consist of 4 dancers of varying abilities doing some “moves”...we did one of our own...back to the bar (where there is also live entertainment on some evenings)! Overall, the air is one of relaxed informality, very similar to the Caribbean.
Pools – of which there are two...one more family orientated with a shallow pool and wooden steamer type loungers that were a little tired and jaded, and a deeper more adult orientated pool with pool bar and modern sun loungers. The animation team worked hard but were not pushy. The music could become samey if one of the POP team made an announcement and then reset the CD...again! Plenty of 60’s stuff as well as more modern tunes. Bali beds were available around both pools. OK, it was October and nearly the end of the season, but we were told the hotel was full most of the time we were there...so surprised that there was very little “reserving” of loungers/Bali beds despite the “European” clientèle :-) We never had a problem getting a patch where we wanted at any time of day.
Language – and I don’t mean the foul variety! Guests were predominantly German, with Spanish, English, Italian and Dutch making up most of the rest. Pretty much all staff spoke most languages...even the guests made some effort <G>, but the staff were more than happy to converse in any language. No one was disadvantaged as far as we could see. Although Sharon doesn’t speak any Spanish, she never felt uncomfortable or worried about asking for what she wanted. The staff being predominately Spanish adore children, and this was never more obvious than when the ladies in the buffet made the little ones feel special.
Restaurants – now here I have to admit we didn’t try the a la carte’s...on a 3 night break, tying ourselves down to specific eating times (or specific anything for that matter!) was a no-no. There are 2 restaurants apart from the main buffet, serving Mediterranean and Tex-Mex menus. We will try those when we go back next time...oh yes, there will be a next time! The main buffet serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals. Breakfast was the usual affair of hot and cold selections, with plenty of Cava available. The hot choices included bacon, sausages, 3 types of eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, pancakes with syrup, and omelettes with various fillings. Cold meats and cheeses, cereals and fruits complemented the multitude of breads. Lunch was fairly standard and each evening followed a theme. For our three nights it was Italian, Asian and Brazilian. Obviously there are other themes on other nights. In the evenings meats can be cooked to order, and chefs are on hand to supervise. House wines are available by the glass, with a varied wine menu for those wanting something different...mostly fairly priced.
The beach – was just a short walk through the security gate and past Portofino bar and restaurant. The sea was a lovely clear blue and the sand a soft golden colour. Now I won’t claim it was a good as the beach at Punta Cana, but then again, not many beaches are! However, it was clean and well kept with loungers and palapas...the rub was that it was 14 Euros a day for 2 loungers and a shade :-( . As we’re looking to return next year for a week, we’re considering taking our own inflatable loungers to save the cost of hiring each day.
Location – The hotel is at the southern end of Playa d’en Bossa, about 6km from Ibiza Town, but only about 1km from the airport. As a result there is some noise from the arrivals and departures, but as the flight path is behind the hotel, not over it, it is not too intrusive. None of the planes coming or going managed to drown out the music or the conversation, so not a negative in our eyes. I doubt there were more than about 30 flights a day...may be 3 an hour. Next to the hotel and south of the airport was a small nature reserve with good walks and an interesting 16th century stone retreat with fantastic views over the southern part of the island.
Overall impressions – not as big and imposing as the GPs in PC and RM but smaller and more intimate. Well kept public areas, nice rooms, good food and drink. Friendly and attentive staff always ready to help. Nice location despite proximity to airport. Does it deserve the Palladium status? Obso-flipping-lutely!
It may not be “Grand”, but it’s a grand place to stay. It certainly gets a thumbs up from us! Have a look for yourself if you like... http://s550.photobucket.com/albums/ii41 ... er%202011/ and there are publicity photographs available here... http://www.fiestahotelgroup.com/en/hote ... za-resort/
Edit 9th February 2012. Fiesta have just released a virtual tour... http://www.fiestahotelgroup.com/es/hote ... r-virtual/
Well done Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort...we’ll be back :-)
Batch and Sharon.