Restaurant: Hotel Bon Sol Resort & Spa
Location: Paseo de Illetas, 30, 07181 Illetas, Balearic Islands, Spain
Date: June 25, 2016
Rating: Straight Outta 1975
When picking hotels by internet review I’m often tortured by the fact that most reviewers don’t share my taste. In addition, nearly every hotel, no matter how good, has its shares of negative reviews. Along these lines, Majorca turned out to be particularly problematic as I wanted a place near Palma with a beach — and the larger hotels were plagued by reviews lambasting customer service.
Not so with the Hotel BonSol, which has some really lovely on presence owners and a very loyal clientele. So loyal, I suspect many have been coming for decades and decades…
And they are British. And they eat in. There is some ridiculously cheap rate for full/half board at the hotel restaurant and it’s pretty much mobbed with the shall we say… senior… patrons. This is one of the strangest restaurants I’ve been too in years because it’s crowded, extremely “formal” (for a beach resort), with white tablecloths etc., yet sort of wham bang thank you ma’am.
The normal menu is one of those chose from the categories prix fix that used to be very common at European hotels in the 1970s and 1980s.
There is even this “fancier” version. And it doesn’t even cost more. The whole meal is always the same price (or included for most of the hotel guests). Notice the “gourmet” menu is in “French” (we are in Spain).
Frankly, looking at these menus, at the clientele, and at the food on the table I was terrified — sure I was in for an almost airplane level of food misery.
Even the Albarino was a bit different. Sweet. Still acidic, but with quite a bit more residual sugar than I was used to.
Gazpacho Andaluz (cold vegetable soup). Things didn’t start off well. This was the most boring Gazpacho I had on the trip. It wasn’t miserable, but it wasn’t great either.
Rice cubana (fried egg and banana). Huh? What’s this doing on the menu. Kinda odd.
Coquilles St Jacques en corbeille brick au whisky (scallops in brick pastry with whisky sauce). Looks a little fancier. Actually tasted pretty decent. Not amazing or anything, but surprising.
Filet of Hake a la Mallorquina. Hake in some sauce.
Carre d’agneau en croute d’olives sur gratin de pomes de terre et petits legumes (carre of lamb with olive crust. potato gratin and vegetables). Interesting. I haven’t had something exactly like this before, and it isn’t much of a looker, but it actually tasted pretty good. The sauce was very sweet, but I kinda liked it.
Stracciatella ice cream. Definitely from a very frozen tub.
Flan and hazelnut ice cream. A tolerable middle grade flan is still pretty good.
I was actually surprised that the food here actually tasted pretty good. It’s kinda weird, and there are so many English targeted menu items that don’t even belong in Spain – plus the whole 30+ year-old vibe and the fact that the kitchen CHURNS it out (the place is huge). Still, it was kinda decent taste wise if not much to look at.
I just wonder if it was actually “fancy” by the standards of the day in the 70s or 80s, and it’s just remained as a sort of odd throwback with an increasingly budget focused approach appealing to an increasingly aged population — or was it just always exactly like this?