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Menorcan Memories

Posted by briandh on October 15, 2006

Menorcan Memories

We are just back from a two-week holiday in Cala Galdana, Menorca. At this point it is normal to say things like – ‘you really need to go to Menorca and see X, Y and Z’. Unfortunately, for you, we rarely got ourselves out of the hotel on this trip. This is not usual for us. We normally do all the tourist things, see all the sites, visit all the famous places – especially when it is somewhere we have never been before. So why the change? Two main reasons:

  • we were both knackered and highly stressed out, and
  • the hotel facilities were excellent.

Trundling round all the sites was just not what we wanted this time.

However, I can pass on some useful info and pictures.

Cala Galdana

Cala Galdana
The Cala Galdana resort is just that – a resort. There is little more than the bars, restaurants, hotels and apartments plus some housing for the locals that work in them.It is a lovely resort – it has a beautiful crescent beach with cliffs down one edge. Everything is kept in mint condition, they’ve limited to about three beach-side cafe’s spaced out round the beach. Just off the beach are some excellent restaurants.

There is plenty of [sometimes a little cheesy] hotel entertainment. It is not a party all night resort (at least not when we were there) – the noise stops at around about a respectable 11pm. We don’t go in much for evening entertainment so can’t really comment on it. We were half-board so can only comment on lunchtime restaurant meals – which were all excellent.

There are plenty of walks from the resort around the coast to other picturesque coves (we walked to two of these) or interesting walks inland (which we didn’t try).

Ciutadella

Ciutadella
Apart from the other coves mentioned above, we only got out of Cala Galdana once – to visit Ciutadella, the old capital of Menorca. This is a lovely city with narrow shady streets, good architecture. This is where I took most of my photos. We followed a walk in our guidebook that took you around most of the important spots in the city and I basically documented this walk with the camera. We had lunch in an OK bar above the harbour, the bar was adequate but the views of the harbour were excellent – more photo’s.

That is about the extent of my description of Menorca – except for the hotel.

Hotel Audax

Hotel Audax
We stayed in a sea view room in the Hotel Audax a 4 star Spa hotel. Rule 1 for this hotel – if you possibly can afford it pay for the sea view, seriously – the non-sea view rooms are very small and are in a goldfish bowl facing the pool with practically no light.

We really, really liked this hotel, so lets talk a little more about it.

First the food. We went half board because we didn’t know the area so had no idea if there would be enough local eating for two weeks and because the extra cost of half board was very little. This was a good choice, for the following reasons:

  • Whilst there were lots of local restaurants and all that we tried were very good, the menus were all very similar, not a lot of variety.
  • The food at the Audax was excellent – worth far more than we paid for it.
  • Unlike other holidays we’ve been on, we did not get bored or run out of choices eating in the same hotel for two weeks. This includes my wife who does not like fish and we were on a small island.

The Audax has two restaurants – both buffet style and both serving much the same food. However, the fourth floor restaurant had a chef doing “display cooking” at both breakfast and dinner. This meant fresh cooked eggs, bacon and omelettes in the mornings and fresh grilled fish and meat with fresh pasta at night. The fifth floor restaurant had more of a cafeteria feel to it – much less comfortable. The downside was that you had to get to the fourth floor early or be prepared to queue for a table.
An aside: I said my wife doesn’t like fish – she didn’t have any fish for two weeks on a Mediterranean island. We went out for a family meal the day after we got home and she ordered – SCAMPI!

Moving on to the room, we lucked out in one respect – the shape of the hotel is such that the corner above the entrance forces a wedge shaped room – wider than normal and with a huge balcony. We got one of these rooms. The only downside was that we were on the top floor right under an air conditioning/water heating motor that ran from 7am until 10/11pm.
Pools
There are two pools on split-levels with a waterfall running between them and a Jacuzzi in the top one. Around the pools is ample sun bathing with loads of fairly comfortable loungers in both sunny and shady areas. Our favourite was in the shade of some pine trees – the smell of pine and the sound of the waterfall. As usual there were the early towel brigade – claiming their loungers before breakfast – and, no, they were not all German – many of them were British. We did love it the morning all the towels and books and bags were out before breakfast and we sit in breakfast watching as the rain starts to pour down – justice!

And finally we come to the three little letters that clinched it for us staying in the hotel – “Spa”.

The Spa facilities in this hotel were fantastic. For 20 Euro you could do the Hydro-therapy Circuit – this consisted of 4 different types of Jacuzzi, 6 different types of shower, hydro-therapy massage beds, high pressure massage hoses, three types of Sauna (getting hotter and steamier), a cold water plunge pool, and hot stone beds plus a “chill-out” area. Around two hours of heaven, it is in three main sections, the first section you can swim around the massage hoses, three of the Jacuzzi’s and the massage beds; the second section is the plunge pool, hot Jacuzzi and showers; the third section is the Saunas and hot stone beds.

They also did personal treatments – uncountable types of massages including “wine” and “chocolate”, beauty treatments, etc.

Photographs

As we didn’t leave the hotel much I didn’t take my usual huge numbers of photos, I have put the 100+ highlights on Zooomr in the following six main groups:

Hotel Audax

Hotel Audax – views of and from our hotel

Cala Galdana

Cala Galdana – views of and around the resort

Macarella

Macarella – on of the bays we walked to just round the coast

Ciutadella

Ciutadella – the old capital and where I took most of my photos

Mitjana

Mitjana – another small bay we walked to

Menorcan Skies

Menorcan Skies – some night-time shots I took from the balcony

[I am going to try and tidy up the night time shots, they look good from a distance but are very grainy close up – I’ll let you know how I get on.]

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3 Responses to “Menorcan Memories”

  1. Hey, really good stuff. Thanks for hosting your images on Zooomr!

  2. briandh said

    Thanks Thomas,

    Zooomr’s fun – if you keep adding features I wont have any time for anything else!

    Brian H

  3. […] Menorcan Memories […]

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