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Miscellaneous Use this area ONLY if you can't find a suitable home for your topic. We'll create a new area if necessary and reserve the right to move topics to more suitable areas. Only post regarding the Pollensa area. This is not a forum for general discussion.

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  #1  
Old 21-09-2009, 18:23
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Hi Folks, Sorry if this goes on a bit but there is no quick way of saying this. I'm just back from my 3 weeks in pp.I've been going twice a year at the same time for almost 20 years.(june being the other ) and i have never seen it so quiet. Places i have frequented for years that if you did not get in by a certain time you would not get a seat have been empty. A family run restaurant of 40 years fearing he wont get through the winter. 3 restaurants in one road closed since last september. I have read on hear people say it's about 20 - 40% down but having spoken to local people i fear that is way off. The guy who runs the parachute& bannana boat, born in pp as was his father says that in the restaurants he works in the evenings it's 60%. Another bar owner says 50% and i'd have to agree.Having spoken to other folk on holiday there the problem is simple. In their words " It's too expensive" And you know what, If we all stop and take our rose tinted specs off for a second and look at it from the perspective of someone that has no emotional ties to pp ( unlike us) you have to say they are right. I could go on giving example after example but to keep it simple lets stick to 2 basics. The good old sirloin steak and wine. Having a couple of cloudy days to fill i thought i would go round and try to look at what the majority of folk are confronted with . The sirlon ranged from 9.50 to 24eu. and before someone mentions quality i made a point over the 3 weeks of having a cheap one and a dear one and there was no difference. Then you have the wine and here's where i get very wound up. Lets stick with 2 staple wines that most will know, Campo Viejo and Vina sol. There is a restaurant in the middle of pp that sells both for 11.50eu.(great value at any exchange rate). i then went around and found it in lots of places from 15- 23eus. I'm told bar owners read posts on here so here's a question for you. At what point did you decide to start charging folk 15 - 20eus for plates of food and 15-23eus for wine that can be bought in gb for far less?. My guess is you all got complacent and said "The british will come no matter what ". Well sorry guys not only have the brits not come they have deserted in their droves.To those folk who are about to post well what about the menu of the day, that is not the answer. Two adults with a couple of kids don't want 4 md's with stuff the kids wont eat they want to be able to choose a single dish for the young folk and at the exorbitant prices being asked it's not on. Quote " My husband and i went in to a local place for 2 sandwiches and 2 soft drinks, the bill was 16eus" No thats not tourist's but 2 folk who have lived in pp since 1972. In her words they are ripping folk off.The thing i find alarming is that folk i spoke to found it still too expensive even if you allow for the bad rate.So can i offer a solution to bar owners. When you have your local festival on the 15 of jan, gather all your menus and use them to light the bonfires. Then get you old book of golden rules for tourism out and re read the parts that say value for money and making the holidaymaker feel like a king. Then make up new menus with prices that have not come from the "planet janet". Can i just leave you with something a restaurant owner of places both past and present known to most of you said to me in times gone by." I pay around 30p for my house wine and i can sell it at 11eus all day long" well i fear there needs to be a serious rethink my friends.As for me i will do what ever it takes to get there, as will you folk no doubt but we have to realise our total financial contributions compared to the 99.99% who go there are but a mere drop in the ocean. Worrying times in pp indeed.
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  #2  
Old 21-09-2009, 18:33
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I'm not sure it's just the cost of food - I think perhaps the car hire situation and the general all-round malaise had a lot to do with it. Friends of mine who were out in the summer were eating at the villa not because the restaurants were so much more expensive than last year but because the price of the overall holiday had soared. But I agree: in the space of only a couple of years restaurants seem to have far outstripped the UK in terms of cost. To be honest we've found that food in supermarkets has also increased significantly in price during that time - so I guess restaurants are also having to pass price rises on to the consumer... I think we also all have a mindset, dating back to the 70s, that Mallorca is a cheap destination - of course it can't be any more, nowhere is nor will be again. But certainly some restaurants need to take a reality check. Naming no names - you know who you are!
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  #3  
Old 21-09-2009, 19:40
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I have found these posts very interesting. I think Pollensafan, that you have stated what many are thinking and I tend to agree with you.
We too have been going to Pollensa for many years and have been owners for the past 14. Having bought an apartment and more recently a villa which we did intend to move to permanently. This has been put on hold and as such we rent out our villa to help with the very high costs. What we have found is the expense of having anything done to do with the villa. It does seem that as soon as it is known we are English then prices rise greatly. The cost of our cleaning, as an example is 16 euros an hour. The change of washing a set of bedding is 20 euros. It would be cheaper for us to supply our guests with a brand new set of bedding from Asda and tell them to put into the bin at the end of their stay! I'm not sure the hourly rate of a cleaner is here in the UK as I don't have one but I would assume it is much less then 15.
Everything seems to be more expensive not just restaurants - Difficult one - a shame for all but as has been said, if restaurants become greedy then word will ensure that their tables are left empty.
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Old 21-09-2009, 19:47
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Speaking as one who has holidayed in PP on and off since 1996, I have to admit that we were spending around 30 euros less on our evening meal in France than in PP last year.

Typical spend on a meal for four of us last year was around 100 euros, sometimes more, depending on where we ate. This year we rarely went higher than 70 euros and that was a meal with wine.

We found wine significantly cheaper - we were paying around 12 euros for a good local wine but last year we were paying anything between 15 and 20 euros for a Mallorcan wine.

In PP's defence, the choice of restaurants was nowhere near as good in France, but with savings like that (and we did eat well) it certainly made us think.
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  #5  
Old 21-09-2009, 19:51
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Pollensafan,

First of all , an absolutely brilliant post and it highlights the pain that both the local business providers and equally the consumers ( the Brits here in the Port) are going through at the moment. Fraid to say , it ain't gonna change short term.

We are all going through a period of major economic upheaval . It is very unlikely that Sterling , given the state of the UK economy, will ever reach the dizzy heights in relation to the Euro that it did a couple of years ago. Fact, the days of 1.50 Euros to the pound sterling are over ( well at least til the Govt borrowing is reduced , probably many years from now !!!).

Let's turn to the providers. Easy to say that they have exploited folk for many years but the reality is that , as good business folk, have , as you and I would, played the market. The tourist pound will be fought over for a few years yet to come.

It's going to be very painful for all , certainly our expectations as tourists looking for relatively cheap living but equally painful for the providers who will have to conform to the market conditions.

I'm afraid we have to bite the bullet, pain all round for all. However the " Market " will rule as long as we live in social democratic conditions. So " value for money" will be the key. The place or the tourist industry won't die. We , both , the consumers and providers have a lot of pain to go through yet.

Fraid to be so depressing, but there ain't any quick fix or easy solution.

Please keep coming, you can still enjoy the sunshine on a pittance , if you need to.

BonysLad
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  #6  
Old 21-09-2009, 19:56
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Kate1, You say restaurants need to pass on costs, if a restaurant can sell wines at half the price of the others why cant they reduce their prices. I assume the cheaper one is also making money on them and we all know their duty and tax is a fraction of ours.i only gave two examples because i was trying to keep the post as short as possible. However the list is endless eg- 15-22eus for a plate of lamb chops, they have to be having a laugh and if they think it's going to get better when the euro picks up they are going to be in for a massive shock because in the meantime all the folk who have deserted will have found other places where it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Turkey to name but one. Not my cup of tea but as i said these folk have no emotional pull to pp whatsoever. A friend of mine has been going to pp for 7 years. This year he went to turkey and could not believe how cheap it was. 10 a head for drinks,wine and a meal. 3 for a taxi for a 10 mile trip to his villa.As i said i have a unhealthy obsession with pp but most don't and there is the problem.
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  #7  
Old 21-09-2009, 20:10
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Really enjoyed reading this, BonysLad. I think you are so right. Pollensa has a wonderful reputation with many people so I hope that many continue to visit. Agree too that you can have a wonderful time without spending the earth. Lots of wonderful supermarkets to buy really good food to bbq at home etc. Don't need to over spend on car hire as Hoppa excellent as is local public transport. A holiday in England wouldn't necessarily be cheaper. I heard from a friend who has recently returned, that there were many more German and even the occasional Russian accent in PP? If that is the case then perhaps the market is changing from being mostly British?
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Old 21-09-2009, 21:14
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I suppose the real point is that no one likes to be ripped off, and now we cant be sure when we are in order to avoid these places without spending the time researching before we spend our money!
It is a worrying time still and we all need to pull our belts in a bit, and would like to do so with the help of discerning business outlets of all types.
We find ourselves eating at better value restaurants rather than special ones more often, which makes eating at the special ones even more special!!
Lets hope we can all scratch each others backs during this time.
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  #9  
Old 21-09-2009, 21:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanor View Post
Really enjoyed reading this, BonysLad. I think you are so right. Pollensa has a wonderful reputation with many people so I hope that many continue to visit. Agree too that you can have a wonderful time without spending the earth. Lots of wonderful supermarkets to buy really good food to bbq at home etc. Don't need to over spend on car hire as Hoppa excellent as is local public transport. A holiday in England wouldn't necessarily be cheaper. I heard from a friend who has recently returned, that there were many more German and even the occasional Russian accent in PP? If that is the case then perhaps the market is changing from being mostly British?
Thank you, Eleanor.

Interesting observation because there are certainly a lot more German visitors around this year ( where they find it still quite good value being strong members of the Eurozone ) and having spent more time at the airport yesterday, considerably more East Europeans as their economies grow. Appreciate that PP has been seen as a typical British enclave but multi ethnicity and culture is no bad thing either ( despite my "tongue in cheek " xenophobic rantings on here sometimes ). The greatest cities on earth share this belief and value it accordingly a la London and New York. It's the submersion of any culture by others I get so heated about , particularly when the indigineous culture gets swamped.

BonysLad

p.s. If Starbucks move in , I'm off like a shot
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Old 21-09-2009, 21:34
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8 of us heading out 3rd October for 2 weeks.

We booked 12 months ago when the rate was significantly better. We really pushed the boat out and booked one of the best villas we could find and fully intend to enjoy our stay.

However, having been in PP twice yearly for the past 5 years the plans have changed from when we booked. We now fully intend to make full use of the villa's BBQ much more often than we would have normally. Short of a couple of places I want to visit I can see us dining in most nights.

The rate is similar to our last visit in April this year and this shone through majorly in the prices in the Eroski. 4.50 Euro's for a brown wholemeal loaf 13 Euros for the cheapest bottle of whisky. It was getting pretty silly. Lidl in Inca will be providing the basics a couple of times per week for this visit. Not ideal but needs must (and more money that should be spent in PP going elsewhere)

First visit to Mulligans in April.... 1 Pint lager plus 1 diet Pepsi.. 7 Euro's As a canny Scotsman you will only take so much of that. JK's provided much better value.

The talk of people deserting in droves is unsurprising. We have booked already for next year. Unfortunately for PP it's back to the Canaries for 2 weeks June / July all inclusive in a new hotel (rated 4 out of 5 based 75 reviews on trip advisor). Add to that Ryanair flights we have change out of 1000 for a family of three. To bring this into context we will be double that for 3 of us in PP in October. I would have been at least 3K for the same 2 weeks June / July in PP next year. OK the food wont be of the same standard and the surroundings maybe not as plush. But 2k plus of a saving made it the easiest decision I have made all year.

Lets hope this is not our last visit, we have grown to love the place but as the original poster says loyalty only goes so far. Time will tell.. it's up to the business's of the town to not only keep the current visitors but also attract more. To date I have seen nothing at all to tempt me back.
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Old 21-09-2009, 21:37
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Interesting stuff. I posted on here about this time last year regarding increasing prices in PP,yet I shall be back over there next week to give it another go.
I suspect that many visiting PP knowing that it is a bit more expensive than other resorts on the island, and are happy with that knowing it is a "cut above" many of those resorts.
However, there may become a time when it really does get too expensive and
people will stop coming.
I must admit that I was shocked at some of the prices last September - a mixture of lousy exchange rate and plain profiteering in my opinion - and we said that we would be giving it a miss this year (we always come late Sep/Oct) but our middle aged conservatism got the better of us so we are back again.
But,like any market,there is a tipping point.PP is very close to it now.
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  #12  
Old 21-09-2009, 21:43
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Interesting

Firstly prices .... we went to Portugal for a week this year ............ we stayed outside Lisbon - a portugese holiday resort frequented by a few foreigners but mainly portugese holiday makers ............. Prices were MUCH cheaper than PP both in the restaurants and in the shops ........ had good meals every night ( not great but above average ) .... 2 courses and a bottle of wine between 2 worked out at about 30euros ( yes - for 2 ) and that included lovelly sea bream or fillet steak most evenings. Generally food in the supermarkets was 30% cheaper.

BUT ........... it wasn't PP .......... it just wasn't the same ... the key thing I noticed was that the people were much poorer; there were many beggars and a LOT of aggressive buskers ....... so we won;t return ..... good cheap food and wine isn't everything

Now on to the numbers being down .......... thats bad for the local businesses and more worrying is what will replace any that close ..... you can only think in this climate it will be lower end pilem in and serve them rubbish establishments ........

HOWEVER ............ lets all remember about 3 years ago when times were booming; lots of new property was springing up in Boquer ............ " PP's getting too crowded " we all said ........... and it was ....... I will never forget July 2006 ( I think ) ......... PP was crowded beyond belief and there was a heat wave; getting a seat in any of the restaurants was impossible ......... getting a coffee on Market day was a nightmare ........ we had conversations along the lines of us not wanting to come in the summer anymore because we didn't like it being so full ....... 2007 and 2008 were less crowded and more pleasant ......

So looking on the bright side ....... we just need the prices to level off and the restaurants to be operated by people who want to serve good food at reasonable prices and then we want to find ways to extend the season which will help these establishments be profitable ......... lets get more people there in spring and autumn but not go back to the mahem of overful July's ...... or am I dreaming ?
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  #13  
Old 21-09-2009, 21:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del_RFC View Post

Time will tell.. it's up to the business's of the town to not only keep the current visitors but also attract more. To date I have seen nothing at all to tempt me back.
Del,Stephen

Fear not, they'll have to or they will not be here !!!!

BonysLad
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Old 21-09-2009, 21:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonysLad View Post
Del,Stephen

Fear not, they'll have to or they will not be here !!!!

BonysLad
I am certain they will respond and hopefully the rate will improve. As with many on here we are happy to pay for that little bit more quality and that feeling of the resort being a little more exclusive.

Unfortunately the resort feels more deserted than exclusive from recent reports. I fear it's a long and difficult road to attract frustrated visitors back again. From personal experience in all walks of life I very rarely afford a second chance and return to anywhere I feel I did not get value for money.
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Old 21-09-2009, 22:05
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Interesting post cd. You are so right Pollensa is Pollensa and it is special. It would be nice if the season was longer as each year it does seem to open later and close earlier. I know this suits some but for business it is a very short season. Especially so when that season has to carry them through the winter. There are so many reasons to visit during the autumn and winter months especially in January. Some holiday makers would prefer to go elsewhere during these months, where perhaps they may feel there is more life. It is of course a circle - the people are needed to make opening worthwhile whilst people won't go if places are closed.
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