If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful retreat in Mallorca, the boutique hotel Sa Franquesa Nova might be exactly what you are searching for. We stayed in this charming hotel for a weekend and absolutely fell in love with it.

Peace and luxury surrounded by Mallorca’s countryside

Sa Franquesa Nova is a luxurious finca boutique hotel located near Vilafranca de Bonany in the countryside of Mallorca. It takes around 25 mins by car to get to Palma de Mallorca and around 30 to 45 mins to get to the beautiful beaches in the east and south of Mallorca.

The benefit that comes with the hotel’s remote location is the approximately 4,000 sqm large outdoor space which ensures a peaceful and quiet stay. The finca hotel itself is surrounded by a large garden with plenty of majestic palm trees, a beautiful pond and lots of remote little spots to enjoy the tranquility of the hotel.

The pool is located near the alfresco dining area and has comfy sun loungers with a stunning view of the pretty landscape around the hotel.

Wonderful welcome and lovely staff

We arrived very late on Friday night and had such a lovely welcome. The check-in was super quick and within 10 mins we found ourselves relaxing on our balcony with a glass of cava in our hand. Overall the staff was great and very eager to help and make the stay perfect for the hotel’s guests.

Cava and night sky sparkle

… and that’s what sold me on this hotel. I live in London which means that having a sky full of stars is just something I never experience at home. When I read about the magical night sky in some of the hotel’s reviews, I couldn’t wait for our weekend trip to start! So it didn’t take long for us to move over from the chairs on our balcony to the sun loungers for a session of star gazing. And what did we hear while enjoying our cava and the beautiful night sky? Ha! Nada! Sweet nothingness except the tranquil and calming nocturnal sounds that come with a night in the countryside. Exactly what I wanted :)

The perfect spot for yoga during sunrise

In the morning, just after sunrise, I went for a little walk to explore the hotel’s garden. I was greeted by a few chickens and then continued my walk along the breakfast and pool area further towards the immense countryside that surrounds the finca. Soon I arrived at a gorgeous spot with an amazing view. At that moment I wished I had my yoga mat with me! It would have been such a peaceful and calm place for yoga or meditation.

Making new friends

Near my new perfect yoga spot I came across this little striped fellow below. In fact, except my new friend here and the few chickens earlier I didn’t come across anyone. So much for overcrowded Mallorca… it turns out you just need to know where to go :)

Breakfast by the pool

When I came back from my morning walk I went to our room and picked up Michael for breakfast. We had a really relaxing breakfast and then hopped into the pool before heading out to explore some beaches.

Dinner during the most beautiful sunset

We arrived back in the hotel around 7 pm and then got ready for dinner. I hadn’t had paella for such a long time so I was excited to find it on the dinner menu. We started with an amuse-bouche and then had a large fresh salad before we were served very yummy paella. After a panna cotta dessert and another glass of cava we enjoyed the picture-perfect sunset right from our dinner table.

Sa Franquesa Nova Mallorca

Jacuzzi time

After dinner we decided to finish our bottle of cava in the jacuzzi. As you can see we managed to get the perfect bubble bath :) After the little SPA session I slipped into my bath robe and curled up in bed with a book :)

How to book your stay at Sa Franquesa Nova

Convinced yet? :) Sa Franquesa Nova can be booked via all major hotel booking websites and via the hotel’s website directly. Click here to get to the website.

I have partnered with Sa Franquesa Nova for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Alice Adventures Underground London

Last week I went to see Alice Adventures Underground. After a successful sell-out run in 2015, the show is on again at The Vaults  in London. As a big fan of Alice in Wonderland, immersive theatres, and all things surreal, I obviously HAD to watch this one :)

If you are wondering what an immersive theatre is, it’s a show where the audience takes an active role in the story line! Yes, you!

Alice Adventures Underground London

After being led into a room full of dusty old books, antique-style furniture and lots of mirrors (of course!), we see Alice for the first time. She speaks to us through the mirror, seemingly a bit lost and unable to remember her name. Also she doesn’t really look like the Disney version of Alice. She much rather looks like an Alice after a zombie apocalypse. At that moment, if not earlier, you realise that you are not in for the cute Alice in Wonderland story but instead for some sort of strange and bizarre adventure.

Soon after that, we meet the bunny. I understand that also he is supposed to look like the ‘zombiefied’ version of the traditional bunny in Alice in Wonderland but I, personally, thought he was super cute. Yes, that’s probably just me.

 

Alice Adventures Underground London

Eat Me… or Drink me….?

‘Eat Me’ or ‘Drink Me’ is the decision you have to make upon entering Alice’s underground world through the rabbit hole. We opt for ‘Drink Me’ and seal our fate.

Next we are issued our entry / ID cards (called SUITs) for this surreal world that we are about to enter. We all receive Spades and thereby, unknowingly, join the movement against the Queen of Hearts. That said, there are lots of parallel stories happening at the same time. So even if you come to watch the show twice, each experience will be a bit different for you.

Alice Adventures Underground London

If you are a fan of immersive theatres you will LOVE Alice Adventures Underground!

And that’s it. I won’t tell you more because one of the most exciting parts of this show, and in general of immersive theatres, is not knowing what happens next. The only thing I say is, that the Alice Underground world is bizarre, sometimes a bit creepy, but absolutely magical and intoxicating.

Alice Adventures Underground London

Alice Adventures Underground London

Be there or be square..

Alice Adventures Underground runs several times a day from Tuesdays to Sundays. The play takes around 90 min, so make sure to arrive a bit in advance to sit down, have a drink and use the toilet before you dive into Alice’s Wonderland.

 

Enter the rabbit hole here: WONDERLAND TICKET

 

Alice Adventures Underground London

I have partnered with Alice Adventures Underground for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Isla Mujeres Day Trip Cancun

From Cancun to Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful little island just 13 km off the coast of Cancun. The island is super easy to reach: There is a ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres that just takes 15 min and runs each 30 min (from 5 am to 9 pm). The ferry leaves from Puerto Juarez, just a few minutes away from downtown Cancun. Once you arrive on the island it is just a 20 min walk from the Ferry Terminal of Isla Mujeres to the Playa Norte – the part of the island with the most beautiful beaches.

Isla Mujeres Trip

Isla Mujeres Day Trip Cancun

White sand and crystal clear water

The two photos above show the beach area around 5 min away from the ferry terminal. These beaches already look super beautiful and you can get massages on the beach (yeyy!). However, when we arrived the beaches were quite crowded that close to the terminal, so we just grabbed a coffee and continued walking north to Playa del Norte.
Isla Mujeres Day Trip Cancun

Isla Mujeres Day Trip Cancun

And ta-dah, the beaches in Playa del Norte are less crowded, the water is crystal blue and the sand is white. EXACTLY my type of beach! There are a number of beach bars that range from less fancy to fancy. They usually charge you for a sun bed and if you are not Mexican, they will charge you more. So negotiate anyway.  We opted for a rather relaxed and laid back bar and got the sun beds in return for a few drinks which we were planning to order anyway, of course :)

I didn’t see a massage / SPA place on that part of Isla Mujeres but there was a lovely lady who wrapped my hair with lots of pretty colours. Finally I was turning into a little hippie :) I look a bit bored in the photo but hellooo, the wrapping session took like 25 min.. Oh and yes, it’s not the best idea if you plan to go on a surfing trip afterwards. After Cancun we headed to Sayulita for almost 3 weeks. Because of the wrap I almost had dreadlocks at the end of that :)

Isla Mujeres Tarzan Bar

Isla Mujeres Day Trip Cancun

By the way, you can also bring your own food and drinks and have a little picnic like the guys are doing in the photo below.  So also for savy backpackers, Isla Mujeres is a fun trip to do! And even if you are not a beach bum, there is much more to see and do in Isla Mujeres. There are maya ruins in the south and lots of underwater activities.  We just stayed on the beach until the evening and enjoyed the amazing water and the margaritas, of course :)

Isla Mujeres Island Palm Trees White Sand

Isla Mujeres Palm Trees

The most beautiful sunsets..

Sunset Isla Mujeres Cancun Beach

If you are not planning to spend the night in Isla Mujeres, try to get the penultimate ferry rather than rushing to make the last one. I recall we had to wait in a queue to get the last one so it seems that on some days the last ferry is quite crowded and potentially will leave some people stranded on the island. Which, then again, would not be the worst thing in the world haha.

Sunset Isla Mujeres Cancun Beach Ferry

For more travel hacks and ideas in Mexico read this one and for a one-month-long-itinerary, read this one. Oh, and for the most perfect honeymoon hotel, check out this one :)

Have you been to Isla Mujeres?

 

 

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