Friday, 23 August 2013

CATHY MATOS SAYS..............................Its July and MALLORCA.!!!

It must appear to anyone who reads these Blogs that I seem to be forever travelling!  But it is actually untrue…

I only visit MEXICO and MALLORCA, save for the blessed trip to HERM I made in April!  I have no Travel Bug!
Just like to be in my special places…

I first came to this island of Mallorca when I was 16...People often ask me "Where is the most beautiful place I have ever been?"...Nothing can ever compare with arriving by air to a mass of twinkling lights over the sea.

I thought I was in paradise. Bearing in mind this was the first time I had ever flown, also bearing in mind there were few Hotels.

We arrived at night...I was on a package holiday organized by the famous Harry Goodman who ran the company Intersun.  Who would have believed that all those years later I would be arranging a holiday to Mexico for the great and glorious Harry Goodman. Not to mention the fact that he is a regular visitor to Mallorca.....

I stayed in a Hotel called THE CAPITOL situated in a tiny, leafy, shaded square in the centre of the city.  Needless to say I immediately fell madly in love with the receptionist who was called Cisco Rossello. Not the least bit interested in me and my innocent state!  Even in those days there were a lot of pretty female tourists who were a bit further forward than me.  However Cisco and I remained friends from then to this day.  The tiny square is still there but sadly the hotel is an office block…. But I still shop and walk in this central City area and sit in that square and REMEMBER…

I returned to the U.K. and stayed very briefly, returning to Mallorca .. so began my Love Affair with this island.!!   

 What do I do when I spend time here…?

 I visit my secret Beaches, my favourite restaurants, (I will list below a selection of these).

I have many Mallorcan and Spanish friends.  I am very privileged to include Gabriel Escarrer in this group.  Gabriel is the CEO and Founder of  MELIA HOTELS.  We work extensively with Melia throughout Mexico.  There are also two of my most favoured Melia properties in Mallorca.  The MELIA DEL MAR situated near Illetas’ superb sea front; upmarket hotel, excellent restaurants.

The Victoria, this grand old lady my adored hotel.  I can still remember dancing on the terrace under the stars.  Situated in the City of Palma, simply divine.  The General Manager here as indeed the General Manager of the Melia  Del Mar are both good friends. Miguel Bermudez

Both these gentlemen have been part of Gabriel Escarrer’s team for over 25 years.

I also spend time at La Residencia (Orient Express).  Anyone who knows me or reads my blog will know that it was me that discovered beautiful Maroma on the Riviera Maya in Mexico all those years ago when it was a private home, now belonging to Orient Express.  As of course Sierra Nevada in San Miguel Allende in Mexico.

Another favourite is a hotel in Paguera which will take you back  to a beautiful 1960 era with elegant tourism, the beautiful breaches of Paguera and the wonderful old English villas still there. How different life was then!

I also take off on my own to all sorts of “secret beaches”. There is a campaign at the moment run by the local newspaper “Daily Bulletin” to find and list all the small unknown beaches and coves on the island.

 I spend a lot of time up at the Monastery at Lluc.

It is such a pity so many people associate Mallorca with the quick weekend or stag night visit never knowing of the joys and beauty that Mallorca really offers. In fact how many people know what an upmarket destination this really is?  Barbara Streisand was here, also J.K.Rowling was spotted in Puerto Andratx. The King and Queen of Spain holiday here.

In fact only last week the Queen of Spain visited the area of Andratx where devastating hill fires have taken out acres of woodland.  All started would you believe by someone with a BBQ. 

Now we come to the main reason I am writing this particular blog.  I feel the time has come for me to denounce the person that shattered my dream of making somewhere on the Island my own.  I have a good friend who is an excellent builder, Gaspar Parredes, but I was “persuaded” to take on a Scottish builder.  The details of what happened are still extremely painful so it is still hard for me to talk about it.  It did however inspire me to begin to make a portfolio for Mallorca.  I would like to tell people of the pitfalls that are involved when restoring, building or even renting a property.  There are many excellent British builders, one in particular who will be firmly listed in my new project (see below).

My brochure for Mexico is called “My Private Collection” so I intend to produce a similar product to be called “My Private Collection of Mallorca”.  The person I referred to above formed a new construction company and is still building on the island!  BEWARE.  Anyone who wants the full story of this episode will be able to find it in my new portfolio.  I hope that all the information I have gathered therein will be of use to someone.  Please watch this space for the launch.

Now on to a more pleasant subject.


Top of the list has to be Es Guix – This beautiful and very private place is located next to Lluc the Monastery.
It has a fabulous menu of Mountain dishes all its own.  The word Guix means Grotto and this is exactly that.  A splendid wooded spot with amazing home cooked food.  The owner is also a great wine connoisseur.   His recommendations of local vineyards should never be ignored.  He has a website dedicated to this (Please find in my new portfolio).

I hope some of you remember in a past blog when I referred to “wine tours” that are available to take? This is such a special thing to do and so out of the ordinary.  (Details in the portfolio).

I escape whenever I can to spend two nights at the Monastery thereby being able to have two lunches at Es Guix (Closed Tuesdays).

CALA CONILLS – a dream place located in San Telmo – this is a glorious fish restaurant, wonderful terrace, excellent fresh food.  A perfect day for us is to take all the Sunday papers to the beach at the Cala, sit down for lunch at 2.00 p.m. then back to the beach to fall asleep for the rest of the afternoon!

BARLOVENTO – Your host is Carlos a great bon viveur.  Sit by the edge of the water where the little boats are moored.  You can feed the fish from your table.  An extremely romantic venue.  Again, a fresh fish establishment.  More details in my portfolio.

PIZZERIA LA PIAZETTA–  In the centre of Puerto Andratx.  Economical, very buzzy.  I am very fond of the staff here. 

GALLICIA – Make sure you head for the one next to the church.  Wonderful fresh fish, your host is Toni.  I write more of this in the Portfolio.

LA PLACA – I have many little City restaurants and this happens to be one of them.  All good taverns and reputable places offer what is called “Menu Del Dia” This means menu of the day at normally a very, low cost.  La Placa has wonderful Mallorcan dishes.

Palma is a City which offers a huge array of galleries, museums, gothic churches and tiny roman streets to wander through.  In July it is a hot City but the evenings are divinely cool. Spanish people love to be out, therefore the City restaurants are always buzzing and lots of fun for example LA BOVEDA RESTAURANT.

My last night in Palma was spent at the Es Baluard Museum.  This is housed in the old medieval La Lonja which was the old main trading/customs house for fish in the late 16th/17th century.  

Believe it or not I remember when these were official offices for the Navy.  I had a wonderful friendship at the very innocent age of 17 with an Admiral who had a glorious, high ceilinged, old palace (this is another story to tell another day)!


Well, being in the Airline industry I have my favourites:

Flybe – Out of Exeter – sheer joy. 

Thompson – out of Exeter or Gatwick – Fabulous flights

Monarch – From Luton

Car parking – We recently made a great discovery.  (See Portfolio).

I hope that this has been of some interest to you.  Please do call me if you want to ask any questions. 0208 492 0000.

AND GUESS WHAT?  Off for a long weekend to celebrate Peter’s birthday and guess where???? Es Guix and the Monastery! (longing to take Charlie to the Monastery – he loves Churches!)