I absolutely love going on holiday, who doesn’t?! However, being a quadriplegic there are a lot more things I have to consider when I travel abroad. In this blog post I will talk about the hotel I stayed at, The ME Mallorca, and the area in general (which will be useful for any of you) and with regards to accessibility for my fellow wheelchair friends. I will section them off into different headings so you can read what interests you. I went on holiday from the 8th – 15th August and it went far too quickly of course.
When I was booking my trip I decided to see where ME hotels were located as I had stayed in the one in London and it was the best hotel I had stayed in with regards to accessibility and luxury. On the websites were various countries but I decided to go with Mallorca as it was the least expensive. All I wanted was some sunshine and to get away from it all so the location didn’t bother me too much.
On arrival, we were greeted by welcoming staff in a beautiful setting. The hotel lobby was clean, modern and stylish. Checking in was very quick and we were offered some lovely ‘champagne’ (I think it was cava but it was yummy!) – I cheekily had two glasses because it was free and tasted so good after a weak cup of tea on the plane. Once we had checked in we were shown to our room and someone brought our luggage to us straight away. We stayed in the Chic Garden Suite which is big enough for four adults. It had two double beds, one of which was slightly smaller as I think it was more of a pull down bed for if there were only two guests who didn’t need the extra bed. The room also had a sofa, a TV (which had great channels for us Brits to watch – BBC, ITV,ITV2 etc) and the other side of the ‘spinning’ TV was a large mirror which came in handy. The other side of the room had a small round table, which had complimentary strawberries dipped in chocolate for us, mini bar and full length mirror. Next to my double bed was a bath…yep a bath, which I thought was very swish! The bathroom had a walk-in-shower with two ceiling heads and one hand-held shower head. There was obviously a sink and toilet. To be honest, the bathroom was pretty basic but it did the job. I squealed like a little geek when I saw a Lady Gaga quote had been written on the mirror – how did they know?! Obviously coincidence but I like to pretend they done their research 😉
With our room we had a wonderful terrace with two sun loungers, two chairs and a small table over looking the pool area. This was so handy because we could sunbathe there with a bit more privacy. We were on the ground floor so if needed you could get to the pool area straight from there (unless you’re in a chair because there were three steps). However, the sun disappeared from the terrace at about 3pm so we would then go chill on the cosy chairs near the pool/bar area. Next door to our hotel was Nikki Beach which you could see to the left of the terrace, you could also get to it via the hotel which was cool.
With this hotel the only board option was bed and breakfast which I didn’t mind as I usually like going out for an evening meal to change up the scenery. I would fill up on breakfast so I wouldn’t need to have lunch to save a bit of cash. The breakfast was pretty epic, there was so much choice. My fiancé, Mike, is currently prepping for a physique competition so he was extremely worried there wouldn’t be any good options for him to eat. However, the chef happily made him egg white omelettes for breakfast with a his choice of fillings and he had lots of salad with it. I wasn’t so healthy and opted for beans on toast, freshly made pancakes with nutella, and even a donut (sometimes all in one morning…oh Jordan, you pig). The staff offered you morning coffee and there was a thirst quenching choice of fresh juices. It was probably the best breakfast I’d had from a hotel abroad.
The hotel also had a restaurant called Pez Playa, which you could book a table to eat at but we didn’t opt to eat there. It looked quite nice though and sold mainly sea food/paella. The hotel’s bar sold food throughout the day but there wasn’t many vegetarian options. There was a good cocktail menu but each cocktail cost between €14-€16 so I didn’t have too many and you must know by now how much I adore a cocktail or two.
I really liked that this hotel had two pool areas, one for adults and one for families. The adult pool had normal sun loungers surrounding it and also a few Bali beds which look lovely but were €125 a day – I’m not tight fisted by the way I just thought knowing the cost of things may be useful. You also got given towels so there is no need to pack a beach towel which was handy. The pool had steps which gradually went into it which made it easy for Mike to carry me in (it didn’t have just the old school metal steps if you know what I mean). It was clean and tidy but didn’t have an overpowering smell of chorine. If you’re looking for a peaceful sunbathe you probably will need some headphones and relaxing music as the hotel plays loud lively music all day.
The hotel didn’t have evening entertainment (if you’re into that kinda thing!) but on the Saturday night it had a party. However, this annoyingly meant the adult pool area was closed all day and to my surprise the pool area wasn’t even used at the party except the Bali beds had been turned around. They had a DJ, people bizarrely dressed up as aliens, girls on stilts, a virtual reality game and glitter tattoos which was all ok, not great but better than nothing. When entering the party we had to be given wrist bands which I thought meant maybe we would receive a free drink or something but it didn’t. We luckily met a couple who invited us for drinks at their Bali bed so that was fun and made the night a bit more interesting instead of us just sitting there awkwardly.
For those who are interested the hotel also has a gym and a Skin Inc Spa which offers facials and massages. One thing I will mention about this hotel is that everyone looks great. You know when you usually book your holiday and you are on mission ‘bikini body’ then get to your destination and wonder what you were worried about?! Well this isn’t one of those hotels, everyone looked like bloody models! I had a lot of ab, boob and bum envy as I tucked into another pancake covered in nutella 😉 haha. Being in a wheelchair can sometimes make you feel insecure because my body will never be banging so I was a little worried when lifted into the pool that everyone could see me. Its all good though, it worried me for like a second! Embrace what you’ve got girls and boys!
Personally, I feel the location doesn’t match the style of the hotel. The hotel screams luxury and class as does Nikki Beach which is next door to the hotel. However, there is a stark contrast as you leave the hotel as it is a few minutes away from the infamous Magaluf strip. On our first evening we wandered out of the hotel and five minutes into our walk we sat at a bar which looked the best of a bad bunch when a drunk guy walk past with his trousers falling down, glad I just saw the back of him and not the front – yuck! However, we literally walked round the corner to the beach area and it had so many nicer bars and restaurants so a massive tip, from me to you, would be to head there if you don’t want to venture too far from the hotel. None of the restaurants seemed to have many vegetarian options but I managed. We went to Bondi Beach, Kalima Beach and Pirates for food on the beach front. Pirates was our favourite and probably the least expensive!
On a Sunday afternoon, Mike & I decided to treat ourselves to lunch at Nikki Beach. I must say I chose a cocktail which tasted pretty rank and like it didn’t have much alcohol in, just very limey, considering it was €14. The barman offered to change my drink but you could tell he was pretty annoyed so I awkwardly said it was fine. When we were seated to our table I decided I didn’t fancy drinking something which tasted like a cleaning product so asked the waitress if I could actually swap it in which I was simply told NO. I reluctantly drank it as I didn’t want to waste it. For my lunch I had a prawn salad, I hadn’t eaten seafood since around March but there were no other options for me. However, I must say it was very tasty. I like the concept of Nikki Beach – drinks, food, a pool, a beach and music but I must say I found the staff on that day to be rude and pretty pretentious. However, we went back on Monday, just before we left for the airport, and the service, and cocktail,was a lot better (minus the hair in my food).
On one of the days it was cloudy and the temperature wasn’t great which has to be one of the most annoying things to happen when you go away as you just want some sunshine. That day we were bored so decided to head to a nearby shopping mall. I can’t remember the name of it but we got a taxi which cost us around €20 each way. The shopping mall was quite good with a Bershka, Zara, Pull & Bear etc. Then one evening we ventured to Puerto Portals which is described as a mini Monte Carlo, not sure I would go that far, although it did look lovely with amazing yachts, a few nice restaurants and designer shops. This cost us about €15 each way. We opted to eat at a restaurant called Wellies which was pretty good (you know its going to be good when they bring out warm bread! ha!). In fact this location would’ve matched the ME hotel more. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go to Palma which is supposed to be beautiful.
I’ve decided to talk about the accessibility of the hotel and area as I think this could be so useful for other people who use a wheelchair. I know when I’m researching to go away it is always a pain in the arse finding out if the hotel is accessible – if the area is accessible too thats more of a bonus as we usually just manage with whatever life throws us in that aspect.
The transfer from the airport was pretty easy. Before we went away I simply googled ‘wheelchair accessible transfers Mallorca’ so we didn’t have to find a taxi once we arrived. I pre booked for both to the hotel and the airport and this cost me £105 in total. It was definitely worth it as we got a very large taxi – it was more like a mini bus.
All in all the hotel was wonderful for a wheelchair user. As I mentioned earlier, we were on the ground floor in the Chic Garden Suite (room number 008). The room was pretty spacious, except there wasn’t space to get beside the bed where the bath was but this wasn’t an issue for me. My main concern when going away is that there is a suitable shower. Luckily, the shower was large and had a hand held microphone and although the pressure was pretty poor it worked for me. We simply placed one of the terrace chairs in the shower for me to sit on. I found the bed extremely comfortable and I slept so much better than I did at home, perhaps I should move! Haha!
The pool area was pretty decent as it had a little ramp for me to go up and, as I mentioned earlier, one side of the pool was all stepped so it was easy for Mike to carry me in. If you wanted to use a chair lift you could do so in the family pool.
Mallorca was actually more accessible than I imagined. There were a lot of wheel-in-taxis and bricked ramps into shops/restaurants. I didn’t struggle too much to find accessible toilets as I fit in their regular ones apart from one at the Kalima Beach restaurant. There were also public toilets which were accessible and were 50 cents to go into if I remember correctly.
Now, I want to be honest with you. The hotel’s pool area was such a sun trap and even on days when it said 28 degrees it felt much hotter. If you are a quadriplegic like me you will know we can’t regulate our body temperatures. This basically means we can’t sweat when we are hot and when its cold can’t warm ourselves up – I know, so annoying! On this holiday, in the day time, I felt extremely hot so had to keep popping inside. Luckily, I had Mike to lift me into the pool which cooled me down tremendously. Its so frustrating because if I could sweat when I’m hot/get myself in and out of the pool I would’ve had an awesome tan but I had to be sensible and cool off in our room now and again. The realities of a spinal cord injury are very frustrating. I’d say I’m best when it is about 25 degrees so I’m just comfortable. Then for a bit of irony I was quite nippy in the evenings. Once it got to the evenings it was warmish but it wasn’t very humid and as weird as it sounds I can sit comfortably in a sauna for ages, its when the pure sun is on me that I get too hot. I know, its strange! Anyway, it wasn’t cold, just a couple of evenings I could’ve done with a cardigan.
I had a lovely holiday, I just need another one already…still dreaming of the day I get to go to California.
I truly hope this blog post was helpful and if you have any questions then please do leave them below. I hope I can travel more places and share my experience with you #LawofAttraction.