Thought all-inclusive couldn’t be exclusive? Think again: Inside Tui’s chic new resort in Mallorca
I’m not going to downplay it – when I walk into my room for the first time and see a cerulean swim-up pool winking at me from the room’s private terrace, I gasp.
Later, bundled in a white bathrobe, I dunk my toes in the pool and watch the Mallorcan sun bounce off the water.
I feel like an absolute A-lister, but this is no boutique hideaway or trip-of-a-lifetime top-dollar establishment. Rather, it’s a new all-inclusive Tui hotel.
Ailbhe MacMahon checks in to Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar, a new all-inclusive Tui hotel in Sa Coma, Mallorca. Above is the rooftop pool of the adults-only building, which offers charming views of Sa Coma and beyond
Ailbhe stays in a swim-up room similar to the one above at the resort, which is part of the brand’s ‘five-star’ Tui Blue Sensatori offering
The hotel sits along the coast of Sa Coma (pictured above), a resort town that was created in the 1980s
Tui offers seven nights at the Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar on an all-inclusive basis, from £1,165 per person
The Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar is part of the brand’s ‘five-star’ Tui Blue Sensatori offering, a series of hotels ‘designed for indulgent experiences’.
It sits along the coast of Sa Coma, a resort town that was created in the 1980s, about a 90-minute drive to the east from the Mallorcan capital of Palma.
The hotel, formerly known as Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa, became a Tui resort in April, reopening with a new adults-only area. The adults’ zone is a short stroll from the family-friendly zone of the original Protur hotel, which received a ‘light touch-up’ as part of the hotel renovation. While the entire resort is now a Tui hotel, it’s owned and operated by the Protur hotel group.
The facade of the new adults-only building looks like a giant spaceship.
Inside, the lobby interior is embellished with Scandi-style sofas and armchairs in soothing shades of coffee and cream, with an enormous modern chandelier suspended over the space. The ground floor holds a bar and a buffet restaurant, with the same tasteful decor carried throughout. Beautiful blue-tiled water features divide up the woven outdoor seats on the terrace.
Moving up a level, the highlight of my first-floor room is obviously the river-shaped swim-up pool, which is shared between guests – though thankfully, I never see a fellow guest swimming past my sliding doors. If this poses a problem, you can upgrade to a suite with a private pool or whirlpool.
The swim-up suites at the resort have sleek wooden panels lining the walls
Tui describes the new hotel as ‘designed for indulgent experiences’. Above is the bathroom in one of the swim-up suites
AMAZING MALLORCA DAY TRIPS, FROM WINE TOURS TO TRAM RIDES
Head on a tour of Bodega Ramanya, a family-run winery in the town of Santa Maria del Cami, and pair wines with local cheeses, meats and almonds that have been grown on the land. A highlight of the tour is a walk around the vineyard’s museum, which holds a fascinating array of Mallorcan artefacts, from traditional horse carriages to peculiar tools that were once used by local dentists. Toni has a vast knowledge of the history behind each item. From £46 per person. For more information, visit www.tui.co.uk.
Tour of the island
Above is beautiful Porte de Soller, which Tui guests can visit during a full-day tour of Mallorca
Tui’s full-day tour of Mallorca includes a ride on a pre-war tram (above) from Porte de Soller to Soller
A full-day tour of Mallorca, taking a beautiful scenic boat trip from the port of Sa Calobra to Porte de Soller, then having a ride on a pre-war tram to Soller (six kilometres/3.7 miles inland) and a vintage train from Soller to Palma. The train, which has been in operation since 1912, winds its way through olive trees and 13 tunnels on its route through the Unesco-listed Tramuntana Mountains. From £65 per person. For more information, visit www.tui.co.uk.
See Palma, Mallorca’s picturesque capital, from land and sea on a guided tour around the city. If you have time, head inside Palma Cathedral, an awe-inspiring space that’s speckled with multicoloured light from its stained-glass windows. The tour finishes with a boat cruise around the bay, offering the chance to see the statuesque cathedral from a whole new perspective. From £34 per person. For more information, visit www.tui.co.uk.
Echoing the minimal colour palette of the lobby, everything inside is furnished in natural materials, from the sleek wooden panels that line the walls to the woven ecru throw that folds over the bed. The overall effect is airy and exceedingly elegant.
There’s a fantastic rainfall shower in the bathroom, and the fridge is filled with bottles of soft drinks and water. A handy touchscreen panel on the wall activates lighting of different intensities, and the air conditioning is easy to pump up or down.
Flicking on the flat screen telly, it’s like being back in London – BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are the first channels to appear on the screen, followed by German TV networks, in a nod to the hotel’s predominantly British and German clientele.
The private terrace of a swim-up suite. ‘Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar is built for relaxation, I quickly learn,’ Ailbhe writes
The lobby interior is embellished with Scandi-style sofas and armchairs in soothing shades of coffee and cream
But who has time to watch television when there are so many pools to float in? One lies on the rooftop of the adults-only building, offering charming views of Sa Coma and beyond.
There’s another large pool in the family area, where you’ll also find brand new childcare facilities, meaning parents can drop their little ones off at the kids’ club and escape to the sanctuary of the adults’ area for a few hours’ peace.
For those who prefer a sheltered swim, there’s an indoor pool in the spa area, as well as a hot tub, sauna, treatment rooms and a large, well-stocked gym.
But the new adults-only pool is my favourite. I spend most of my time in the shallow area that’s designed to carry sun loungers, trailing a hand in the water as I read my book and sip on drinks from the swim-up pool bar, where bartenders prepare cocktails, glasses of cava, coffees and more.
Full disclosure here – I have never stayed at an all-inclusive resort before, and above all else, it’s the prospect of unlimited food and drink that excites me the most about my time at Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar.
The new adults-only pool, pictured, is Ailbhe’s favourite. ‘I spend most of my time in the shallow area that’s designed to carry sun loungers,’ she writes
Pictured is the large pool in the family area, where you’ll also find brand-new childcare facilities
Bartenders prepare cocktails, glasses of cava, coffees and more at the swim-up bar
On the food front, let’s start with the knockout breakfast buffet. The cherry on top is the omelette station, where chefs, complete with pillowy white chefs’ hats, whip up omelettes from a medley of fresh ingredients.
I love the fruit bar, complete with trays of sliced melon, pineapple, mango and fresh strawberries. There are platters of cheeses, meats, piles of fresh pastries, churros, waffles, and a pancake station, as well as all the makings of a classic English breakfast. And for those who fancy some early-morning bubbles, silver buckets hold bottles of cava for making mimosas.
The buffet lunch is another indulgent affair, with chefs preparing fresh fish, pizzas and pasta. There’s a substantial salad bar and trays of dinky little desserts – my bitesize cherry cheesecake is delicious. For guests who get peckish between meals, the resort’s Thea’s Coffee Shop serves up snacks, pastries, and sandwiches throughout the day.
Beautiful blue-tiled water features divide up the woven outdoor seats on the terrace of the adults-only dining area
Ailbhe is impressed by the ‘knockout’ buffet that’s included in the price of a stay, pictured left. On the right (stock image) are cocktails by the poolside. ‘It’s an ideal retreat for those who crave a week spent unwinding in style,’ says Ailbhe
The family dining area. Parents staying in the family zone can drop their little ones off at the kids’ club and escape to the sanctuary of the adults’ area for a few hours’ peace
Things get slightly wobbly when it comes to the a la carte restaurants. Guests are entitled to one dinner at one of the three ‘themed’ restaurants during their stay – La Toscana, which serves Italian food, Azafran, specialising in Spanish cuisine, and Green and Grill, serving ‘a variety of meat, seafood and salads’. Guests can also pay £30 (€35) for a three-course meal at the rather vaguely titled ‘Asian Restaurant’ where the food seems to have predominantly Japanese and Thai influences.
The decor in these spaces, which all lack a little character, is at odds with the stylishness of the adults’ hotel. My pizza parmigiana in La Toscana is great, but my fish dish at Azafran comes with a peculiar cloying tomato jelly which doesn’t quite work. However, Azafran’s tapas dishes are brilliant, featuring traditional offerings such as spicy gambas al ajillo (prawns with garlic) and croquetas served in terracotta dishes.
When I’m not feasting or lazing on a sun lounger, I try out some of the resort’s activities, starting with a yoga class in the pavilion by the poolside. I’m reluctant to get out of bed for the session’s 7am start time, but it’s utterly worth it. It seems as though the rest of the resort is asleep as we do the Downward Facing Dog under the instructions of the resort’s cheerful yoga teacher.
Ailbhe goes on a ‘forest adventure hike’ in the Natural Reserve Sa Punta de n’Amer. Above is the stretch of the reserve that hugs the coast
The hilltop ‘Es Castell’, a 17th-century fortification in the Sa Punta de n’Amer reserve that was built to fend off Moorish pirates. This is one of the stops on the forest adventure hike Ailbhe takes
The last leg of Ailbhe’s hike takes her to beautiful Sa Coma beach, pictured, ‘where the water is an unreal shade of blue’
Tui offers seven nights at the Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar on an all-inclusive basis, from £1,165 per person. The price is based on two adults sharing a double room with a balcony, departing from London Gatwick in July 2022, including transfers. Upgraded premium seats with additional benefits are available. For more information, visit tui.co.uk.
PROS: Chic, stylish rooms, heavenly pools, a top-class all-inclusive buffet offering, and plenty of fantastic activities and day trips to choose from.
CONS: Food in the a la carte restaurants can be hit and miss.
Another highlight is a ‘forest adventure hike’ in the Natural Reserve Sa Punta de n’Amer. The hotel was built on the fringe of this reserve, which became a protected area in 1985. Our guide leads us through the trees, occasionally stopping to make way for little tortoises to slowly march across the sandy path.
We eventually reach a clearing, where we’re met by a truly stunning view of the coast.
The next stop is the hilltop ‘Es Castell’, a 17th-century fortification that was built to fend off Moorish pirates. Inside is a miniature museum and a shadowy stairwell that leads to the roof, offering more sublime views. At the adjoining cafe, I grab an icy cold can of Coca-Cola, which always seems to taste better on holidays.
The last leg of the hike takes us to beautiful Sa Coma beach, where the water is an unreal shade of blue. It’s a Blue Flag beach and is undeniably the best feature of the town, which is perfectly pleasant but predominantly occupied by holiday apartments, restaurants and shops that sell inflatable doughnuts and lilos.
Day trips can also be arranged to other parts of the island, while evenings are spent enjoying the resort’s entertainment.
I’m told one of the hotel’s big acts, Julia, was a major hit on ‘La Voz’, the Spanish version of the reality singing competition The Voice. The hotel’s charismatic manager Toni Puigserver tells me: ‘She’s Spanish. She has to be good!’
But most of the time, once dinner is over and evening has fallen, I’m so exhausted by the blissful barrage of cocktails and sunshine that I’ve enjoyed that I’m more than happy to retire to my supremely comfy king-sized bed.
Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar is built for relaxation, I quickly learn. It’s an ideal retreat for those who crave a week spent unwinding in style – the hotel offers everything that travellers love about all-inclusive holidays, but with a sophisticated twist.
Before I leave for the airport, I take one final dip in the adults-only pool. Wading over to the swim-up bar, I order an Aperol Spritz for my last hurrah. The sun warms my shoulders as I sip, and I think to myself: This is all-inclusive luxury of the exclusive kind.
The hotel is about a 90-minute drive from the beautiful Mallorcan capital of Palma, pictured