A week in Camp de Mar - August 2002 by Bob Haskett
My wife Mary and I have just spent a fantastic week at the Hotel Playa in Camp de Mar and, for the benefit of anyone thinking of visiting it or for those already booked, I am writing this so that you will know what to expect and what to look forward to.
As our kids have now grown up and no longer holiday with us, we decided to book a Thomson Gold break as they are designed specifically for couples. We prefer Majorca as it is only just over a couple of hours flying time from Newcastle. Cost chose the Hotel Playa in Camp de Mar for us as it was the least expensive when compared to the other hotels in the Gold brochure.
Arriving at Palma airport, our first pleasant surprise was that Thomson had arranged a taxi transfer to the hotel (at no extra cost) so the usual forty minute plus coach journey was cut to twenty. Bearing this in mind it would be a good idea to make sure you have 5 Euro notes to tip the taxi driver - the smallest I had was a 10, so I had to give him a £6 tip! As a rough guide for converting Euros to Pounds, knock off one third. So 15 Euros is approximately £10.
On checking in, we were required to pay the new ecology tax of 1 Euro per person per day. However, the hotel had presented us with a gift of a bottle of local liqueur to make up for it. The hotel itself is well run and the staff is very friendly and helpful. The air conditioning in the rooms is easily adjusted to suit your personal requirements and it is fair to say we had the best sleep each night that we had had in any hotel.
There is a mini bar in each room with a good range of drinks and snacks and although the prices are not ridiculously high (like some hotels I have stayed at) it is much cheaper to buy from the local Spar shops.
Our room had satellite TV and I was happy to find that it showed both ITV and BBC; something to watch while waiting for my wife to get ready! Also worth mentioning for the ladies is that there is a hairdryer in every room. If you want to keep in touch with your e-mails and websites (sadly I did) there is an Internet access machine in the main lounge bar, which costs 1 Euro for about 12 minutes and, as there were no kids in the hotel (or many sad Internet freaks like me), I found it very easy to get access.
The meals in the hotel are really good and the tables are set for two. If you make friends with anyone while you are there (as we did) or go as a group they will put two or more together. As you enter the restaurant they tend to put you on a the first table you come to, but if you wish to sit further into the dining room (the far end is air-conditioned) they are more than happy to do so.
The quality and range of food is first class... there literally is something for everyone. I managed the full English breakfast nearly every morning and did not need anything else during the day until the evening meal, which was different every night. Make sure you try the roast pork when it is available... with very crispy "crackling"... as well as the extensive choice of international cuisine.
Every night there is an entertainment programme with different acts of varying quality. Many people made sure they had prime seats early on. We tended to go the local bars for a few drinks and then back to the hotel for "last orders". We also went into the nearby resorts of Paguera or Port d'Andratxof an evening. It is only about 8 Euros (including the tip) to get to either resort, which represents good value for money, particularly if there are four of you.
Paguera is a bigger resort than Camp de Mar, more typical of the small resorts in Majorca. My wife enjoyed looking in the shops there before going for a drink. Port d'Andratx is much more "up market" with some excellent bars to sit and people-watch while enjoying a jug or two of sangria. Pleasingly, the bar prices in Port d'Andratx are no more expensive than those back in Camp de Mar.
If you do visit Port d'Andratx you must go to the Andratx Bodega. Here you will find the most amazing ambiance while being served by the beautiful young Turkish girl Nazife. There is a drawback in that there is a "corkage" charge of 7 Euros. This is offset by the complementary snacks, olives and crusty bread as well as liqueurs.
"The views are stunning" - Photo by Bob Haskett
Speaking of Paguera and Port d'Andratx, we walked to both places while we were on holiday. It takes about 25 minutes to walk to Paguera through the woods (map available from the Rep) and about an hour to go to Port d'Andratx by following the road. The views are stunning. Make sure you wear sensible shoes for both walks and take water with you. Remember, too, you can taxi back easily and cheaply from both places.
Camp de Mar's beach is very private and is used mainly by people from the local hotels and apartments. Although the pool at the Playa is excellent, we prefer the beach and found it very easy to get almost the same spot every day even if we went down later. It costs 7.50 Euros (£5.00) to hire two sunbeds and a parasol for a day. The sea is quite safe and there are shops to buy drinks and snacks within throwing distance.
One of the best things about the beach is the small island and its restaurant reached by a wooden walkway. You do not have to have a meal there, you can buy just drinks and sit on the far side. We used to stay at this nice spot from about 5pm until it was time to go and get ready for the evening meal, soaking up the last rays of the evening sun and watching the sea all around... as I write this I feel that "I am there!"
There are several good bars around the hotel. We tended to use Bar Bagera round the corner mainly because we met a couple from Scotland who holiday in Camp de Mar every year. There are some local shops, the newsagent has the English papers very early indeed, but to be fair if you want to shop it is better to go to Paguera or even into Palma itself that costs about £16 for a taxi.
One final tip, if you worry about being at the back of the check-in queue at the airport on the way home, book a taxi from the rank outside to pick you up about 20 minutes before the coach is due to pick you up (inform the rep that you have done so of course) and you will be right at the front of the queue.
Obviously, this is better value if four of you can share it as we did with our Scottish friends, but it does give you a little more time if you want to buy anything at the airport.
I hope you have found this report useful as well as interesting and most of all, if you do go to Camp de Mar, I hope you have a good a holiday as we did... I know that we will certainly go back soon.
If anyone would like more information, use the Forum and I will help if I can.
Happy holidays - Bob Haskett
This page last updated on Sunday, May 8th 2016