About Luke Durden

Travel and gastronomy are my passions. Love discovering new destinations, hotels, restaurants, wines...Living on the magical island of Majorca and enjoying it!

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The perfect anniversary gift: a Cancun vacation

40 years of marriage, now that needs to be celebrated!


I’m not even 40 years old, so the thought of 40 years of anything is foreign to me. However, my parents will be coming up on their 40th wedding anniversary this fall, and an amazing gift is in store. But what exactly? After rattling my brain of typical anniversary gifts, I finally landed on a once in a lifetime trip to one of their favorite countries: Mexico! But where in Mexico?


After some research, I landed on Cancun as the perfect destination due to its beauty, accessibility by plane and myriad of day trips to nearby heritage sites. But is Cancun safe? After recent headlines depicting both Mexico and Cancun as wargrounds for drug cartels, I had my doubts. However, I did my research and found that Cancun is not only safe, but a thriving tourist destination for Americans!

how safe is it to travel to cancun

While I have never actually been to Cancun (and neither have my parents), I was able to get great insight into what the current situation is like in the area from travel expert Mark Murphy and his TravelPulse video on Cancun and the Rivera Maya. He holds nothing back when exploring the true nature of the situation, what authorities are saying, what tourists themselves are saying and his own personal opinions.


After further researching the situation, reading countless forums and talking with some of my own friends who recently traveled to Cancun, I am happy to announce that my parents will be going to Cancun for a special anniversary vacation! While there is crime in the region, it happens well outside the Zona Hotelera and central tourism district of Cancun. Crime is almost exclusively between cartel members as well, and unless you venture off into the outskirts of the city you will be just as safe as you would be in your hometown. The American government has also issued a mere Level 2 travel advisory, which is also the same advisory for countries like Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK. I concluded that if one uses common sense, just as they would in their hometown, there is no reason to worry when traveling to Cancun.


Have a wonderful trip Mom and Dad, you deserve it!

Tips for sheltering from the summer heat

Ready for your holiday in Mallorca? The island of relaxation is a destination full of charm that will amaze you. Not only will you be amazed by its incredible beaches and its breathtaking landscapes but also for its delicious gastronomy and the fun village parties. Although summer is one of the best seasons for many to visit the island, the truth is that it is also one of the hottest times. The sun and high temperatures combine and if you are not prepared for it, it can affect your health. Here at Sol Hotels we want you to enjoy your summer in Mallorca to the fullest. Therefore, we have prepared a list of tips in order to take shelter from the heat during your trip to the island.

Drink a lot of water

Don’t wait to be thirsty. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water daily (approximately two litres) to stay hydrated in high temperatures throughout the day. It is important to drink a sufficient amount of water, since in the summer it is easier to dehydrate and suffer heat stroke. In addition, it is also advisable to consume isotonic drinks to recover the mineral salts that we lose with sweat.

Sun protection

To avoid serious skin burns. If you have not been exposed to the sun for a long time and you are going to visit the beaches of Mallorca, you will need to have a minimum protection of 30. Be careful if you sunbathe in the peak hours of the day, since it is the time in which the sun is at its strongest and there is a greater risk of burns and heat stroke.

Fruits and vegetables

Consume them daily and avoid big meals. If you consume light foods, it will facilitate digestion and mitigate the effects of heat. A very healthy option that, in addition to helping us to escape the high temperatures, is very beneficial for our body.

Avoid doing sports in the middle of the day

Between 12 noon and 6 o’clock in the afternoon. If you do intense physical activity when the sun is at its strongest, there is a risk that you will suffer from sunstroke, so it is recommended to do outdoor sports at sunset.

Keep refreshed

For example, take a dip in the pool at one of our hotels in Calvià, Sol Beach House and Sol Kathmandu Park, while you enjoy a relaxing holiday with the family, your partner and friends.

Enjoy an unforgettable summer in Mallorca and explore every corner of the island. Remember to protect yourself from the sun!

Which are the best sunsets in Mallorca?

Mallorca is a destination full of incredible landscapes, mountains, beaches, cliffs and magical villages and with the arrival of spring and the beginning of good weather you can lose yourself in the island’s beautiful colours that leave their mark on your soul like the stunning sunsets that can be seen from almost anywhere in Mallorca. And if you want to know which are the best, here In Sol Hotels we have made this list to include the 7 sunsets that you can’t miss during your holidays in Mallorca. You will love them!

This is a classic if ever there was one. Enjoy the sunset in a beautiful seaside setting with music and the relaxing atmosphere of one of the most famous beach bars ‘chiringuitos’ in Mallorca. This unique spot can be found just at the entrance to the picturesque village of Deia and it’s a viewpoint that typifies the beauty of Mallorca.


This is a Majorcan gem. After spending a full day on one of the beautiful beaches of Ses Covetes and Es Trenc. Why not experience an incredible sunset, in this ‘chiringuito’ (beach bar), which shows and concerts practically every day of the week throughout the summer.

Sa Creueta Viewpoint

Situated in the Cabo de Formentor, on clear days from this viewpoint you can see the island of Menorca. This beautiful natural setting can be reached by car or by taking a short trip from the Port of Pollença.

Sa Torre de Llucmajor

This is a beautiful natural “balcony” from where you can see not only the sunset but also the imposing cliffs and the Bay of Palma.

Port d’Andratx

One of the most exclusive villages in Mallorca, Port d’Andratx combines the beauty of the start of the Sierra de Tramuntana with the Mediterranean. You can enjoy the sunset from its beautiful promenade or from one of its terraces on the seafront.

Sa Calobra

This is a magical place that is an absolute ’must see’ during your trip to Mallorca. Sa Calobra beach, snuggled in a fascinating mountain setting, is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and its viewpoint is the perfect way to finish off a relaxing day.

Ses Puntes Viewpoint

To make a small excursion through the Valldemossa area. This hour-long trip through the Valldemossa area, leads to one of the most magical viewpoints in Mallorca from which you can enjoy incredible panoramic views of the Sierra de Tramuntana.

Fall in love with the picture postcard beauty of Mallorca and stay at the exclusive Sol House, in Calvià and Sol Beach House in the beautiful spot of Cala Blanca. Book now on the Sol Hotels’ official website and benefit from exclusive prices.


Mallorca, a destination for hikers

Do you know that best thing about the winter months is that they are an excellent opportunity to get to know the island’s incredible natural environment? At Sol Hotels, not only  do we love the wonderful Mallorcan beaches, but we are also passionate about its green trails and the magic of its mountains.

For some years, Mallorca has been a perfect destination for hikers due to the large number of hiking and cycling routes that you can experience across the island. Winter and spring are seasons in which a large number of hikers from around the world get together, all eager to get to know the great beauty of Mallorca’s landscape. Are you ready to discover the very different side of Mallorca?

A walk through the Tramuntana

The impressive Sierra de Tramuntana hides beautiful roads and routes that are worth getting to know during your holidays in Mallorca. These are some of the most popular:

  •       Barranco de Biniaraix: probably one of the most typical trips to do near the picturesque town of Sóller. Of medium difficulty, this excursion consists of climbing a ravine via a paved road with approximately 2,000 steps.
  •       Puig de l’Ofre: A ‘must do’ for those who love to complete different routes. The “mysterious volcano of Mallorca” hides legends that you can get to know during the route of great natural beauty, to the ascent of this 1,090 metre high mountain.
  •       Massanella. The second highest mountain in Mallorca, and one of the most beautiful  excursions on the island. This 1,364 metre high peak is situated near the traditional town of Lluc.
  •       La Trapa is ideal to do with children. You will enjoy the incredible views of the island of Dragonera and discover the old monastery of La Trapa which is a ‘must do’ stop.
  •      Torrent de Pareis. One of the most famous trips on the island. It follows the route of a fast flowing stream that descends to the beautiful beach of Sa Calobra, one of Mallorca’s gems.
  •      The Tower of Cala en Basset. A very accessible route that circulates around Andratx, and one of the few that is not part of the Tramuntana. This excursion leads to the Tower of Cala en Basset, an old defense tower with special views and legendary tales of pirates and buccaneers.

Get to know the incredible natural paradise of Mallorca and book your early holidays at Sol Hotels. Have a great time at the Sol Kathmandu Park, relax and pamper yourself at our exclusive Sol House and enjoy partying Mallorcan-style at the vibrant Sol Beach House. Explore Mallorca your way!

Welcome 2018!

This year is yours. This year you will not miss the opportunity. You are clear that this year you will enjoy yourself like never before! Life is made up of good moments and unforgettable experiences, and you will enjoy them to the fullest! With the passing of a wonderful Christmas it gives way to a new year that must include the magic of a beautiful sunset on a paradisiacal beach. It’s time to fill yourself with good intentions and add new challenges to your list of dreams. Get ready for 2018!

From Sol Hotels we wish you a very happy start to the year. We want you to achieve all the goals you have set and enjoy a year full of great experiences and unforgettable moments. We are convinced that this new year will be the beginning of a magical season of prosperity and happiness for the ones we love.

We continue working to offer you the perfect holiday. Those that end with a broad smile and a mojito. Those that leave unforgettable memories in your mind. We want you to enjoy a 2018 full of surprises and magical experiences with your loved ones. Our aim is to offer you the luxury stay you deserve while enjoying exclusive rest and relaxation in our facilities. We know that happiness lies in the smallest of details.

Ready to have a great time? We want you to spend your holiday exactly how you want, that’s why we are happy to adapt to your needs. Whether you choose to travel with your family, your partner or with a group of friends, choose the experience that best suits your style of travel and start planning your dream holiday today.

Speed down the huge slides and enjoy complete family fun at the Sol Katmadú Park resort theme park. On the other hand you can destress and enjoy exclusive services at our and resorts, located just a few metres from the beach.

At Sol Resorts we know that unforgettable moments begin with the warmth and company of our loved ones. We want this year to be full of magical experiences and we want you to enjoy the dream holiday you deserve like never before. Because happiness is all about being exactly where you want at all times. Because this year is ours. Welcome 2018!


Planning an extravagant 2018 in Majorca

Holidays, the sun, beach, different places, non-stop heat, laughter, parties and relaxing sunsets in the best company, plus the best options to refresh and enjoy a luxury holiday in Majorca… In 2018 you’ll have everything you need to create unforgettable memories!

At Sol Hotels we are saying farewell until March 2018, when you should expect a number of surprises. We really appreciate having been the top choice for guests who chose to spend their relaxing stay at our hotels for another consecutive year. We are also very pleased to have met new customers whom we cannot wait to see again on their next holiday to this remarkable “Island of Calm”.

Although our doors are now shut, we are going to continue working towards offering you the best personalised service in all the services we provide. We are going to continue improving all our facilities to ensure that you enjoy an unforgettable experience in all of our hotels. These range from fun action-packed days at the themed Sol Katmandu Park resort, to complete relaxation and exclusive treatment at our Sol House in the centre of Magaluf and Sol Beach House on the seafront of Cala Blanca in Palmanova. All this and much more awaits you!

Every hotel offers a different experience suited to the type of holiday our customer seeks. Whether this means family escapes, friends trips or romantic getaways, we guarantee you an exclusive holiday in Majorca with all the services you deserve. It is exactly this which drives us in our search to offer you the best services.

For this reason, we cannot close the door to 2017 without thanking all our team for their impeccable work over the season. Thanks to the relentless efforts of our team, we have advanced towards becoming a leading hotel in Majorca for fun and relaxing stays with high-quality services.

We would of course also like to thank our customers, new and old, for putting their trust in all the services we provide. Thanks to all our guests, we are able to grow on a daily basis and continue improving with every passing year. We will miss you!

With 2018 comes an endless number of surprises. Discover all of Majorca with your loved ones and enjoy your stay with all the services we offer. Happiness begins with a great holiday.

Counting the days until Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week Madrid

No, September isn’t just about returning to school and autumn approaching. Apart from being the chosen time of year for a well-earned holiday for all those who have had to work hard during the hot summer months, September is also a month when you can enjoy a number of unique and long-awaited national events. The most prominent one? The Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week Madrid, the country’s most well known fashion event and one of the most important ones in the world.

 With the IFEMA (aka Feria de Madrid) as headquarters, the event will take place between the 15th and the 19th of September. During those days you will be able to enjoy the best of national fashion as represented by holy designers (such as the Mallorcan Pablo Erroz, or the hyper-well-known Juan Duyos) as well as young Spanish talent that can be seen in the Showroom of Samsung, Ego of Cyberspace.

 What will we see, and how can we see it?

More than just showing the creations of the best designers in the country, the Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week in Madrid is the perfect place and the ideal time to find out what trends you’ll find in your own wardrobe facing the upcoming spring-summer season 2018.

With this as a starting point, the event will offer various platforms and spaces where all fashion lovers (whether they are on the runways or not) can participate in everything on offer during this 66th edition.

This allows all those who love the world of fashion to follow every collection in detail through live webcasts available on social networks during the event, and they will even be able to speak with many of the creators themselves via Twitter and Facebook, thanks to their now-famous Lives and Periscopes.

A hotel that lives up to high fashion couture

Mercedes Benz – Fashion Week in Madrid brings the capital city a touch of unique glamour during the four-day catwalk.

Far from suggesting you stay in a hotel around the IFEMA area, the Trips & Hotel blog will instead recommend various hotels located in the true centre of Madrid this month – hotels where you can find everything you’re looking for and where you’ll feel like you’re one of the celebrities yourself. They are: hotel Petit Palace Embassy Serrano, hotel Petit Palace Art Gallery, hotel Petit Palace President Castellana.

Discovering the magic of Playa Jandía on Fuerteventura

Spain is a country filled with unique paradisical landscapes. They boast a presence and personality that places us at the forefront of world tourism. Even if it’s the peninsula that benefits the most, speaking in terms of visitors – with places like the Stone Monastery, Valencia’s Albufera, the Cádiz mountains and the Bilbao river – the islands (whether we’re talking about the Balearic or the Canary Islands) are definitely two of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world.

Our destination this month is Fuerteventura: a land of volcanoes where you’ll find unique spots that are a lot more special than those featured in the travel guides we all buy to get information on all the good stuff waiting for us at our chosen destination. Even if there are plenty of examples (such as the Corralejo Natural Park and the Islote de Lobos island), nothing compares to the beauty of the Jandía peninsula, topped by the beach Playa Jandía.

Much more than a beach

Even if many flock here to enjoy the sun and sea, Playa Jandía has its own personality that offers visitors a paused, quiet and one hundred per cent Canarian character. In this area of the island the way of life is completely different from that found in other parts of the region.

As you might expect, this makes Playa Jandía the Kingdom of Surfers, but it’s also a great choice for anyone who enjoys a diving session or a bit of light sailing.

Pure Atlantic

Playa Jandía is pure Atlantic. This is the place to come to discover the magic of the big blue that caresses the shorelines in this part of the world. The deep blue colour and the waves (occasionally frantic) combine to perfection with a yellow, soft blanket of sand that shines like the Sun.

Beyond the beaches, don’t miss out on the Jandía Natural Park. This vast natural desert landscape (characteristic to volcanic destinations like Fuerteventura) offers tours where you can learn more about the flora and fauna of this part of the island, and enjoy unique views with the sea as backdrop.

Hotels in Playa Jandía

Considered one of the most beautiful beach destinations in our country, Playa Jandía is also one of the ‘top’ destinations for the IBEROSTAR hotels and resorts chain, a brand that is known for hotels featuring the highest quality available, and a truly interesting price range.

The Majorcan chain offers three of the best hotels in the area. They are: IBEROSTAR Fuerteventura Palace, IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas and IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas Park

The hidden treasures of the neighbourhood La Latina

Land of traditions, history and legends that have lasted throughout the centuries; Madrid really is a place that owns its personality to its neighbourhoods. Authentic and unique corners that boast real, unique history or their own customs and hidden treasures that need discovering as they are not always obvious.

One of the neighbourhoods where this kind of magic always makes its presence known is the La Latina neighbourhood, a place where you can discover “the other Madrid” and where we take you on a tour during June to show you all the things you mustn’t miss next time you visit.

A very 19th-century neighbourhood

The historical events of the 19th century (which, as you know, were many and varied) marked the course of the La Latina neighbourhood like no other. In fact, it was during this historical time most of its squares, buildings, churches and bars were built.

Make a lot of stops along the way to enjoy the many wooden doors with latches, the windows with bars of wrought iron and the small squares; this can truly be a very rewarding experience, and you can be sure to encounter many photographic moments.

Discovering Las Cavas

Las Cavas are two essentials for every visit made to the neighbourhood La Latina. These two parallel streets are not only two of the best meeting points for lovers of good cuisine in the area, but also streets that can boast a history that dates back to the 17th century.

During that century Las Cavas was the place where the country’s first inns were located, in the form of lodges and taverns where you could eat and sleep for a few hours.

Where to stay in the centre of Madrid?

Of the many myths that abound in Madrid (especially with regards to the traveller who has opted for this destination), one of the most wide-spread one claims that “hotels in the centre of the capital are expensive”.

Apart from being a statement that has little or nothing to do with reality, the truth is that in Madrid there are many hotel establishments that have their base of operations right in the centre of the city. Some of the most prominent based on location and value for money? Our favourites are Petit Palace Alcalá, Petit Palace Art Gallery and Petit Palace Arturo Soria.

The Balearic Islands, a paradise bathed by the Mediterranean Sea

In the midst of all the hype surrounding travelling, travelling and then travelling some to see absolutely everything there is and more, very few people realise that they have seen so much of the world that they’ve forgotten to explore their own neighbourhood, the things nearest to them: their own country. One of those places, unknown to many (even if it’s well known by word of mouth) is the Balearic Archipelago.

Gently rocked by the intensely, beautifully coloured turquoise Mediterranean Sea, the Balearic Islands are the perfect destination for an unforgettable and unbeatable summer holiday. In this region the large island Mallorca rules. Those who choose Mallorca can not only enjoy the magic of beaches like Muro, Ses Covetes and Cala Mondragó, they can also discover the beauty of the Tramuntana mountains.

Mallorca is also a place where you can enjoy tourism in all its forms, whether you travel on your own, as a couple, with friends or with family since the island offers plenty of hotels that are designed for every kind of travel. Hotels that really do offer families everything they can possible ask for, and this at an excellent price to boot.

Smaller, but just as large where spirit is concerned, is the island Menorca. This island (much more natural and authentic than its neighbours) has a certain maritime touch and is ‘little exploited’, which means visitors surrender themselves to its magic at the very first visit. The most famous places to visit? Ciutadella, Mahón and other special places such as Fornells.

Known as the Pityusic Islands, Ibiza and Formentera are a totally different case. Two islands with a common language but a completely different accent and a more natural, unique way of life – more hippie-style. Ibiza might be the perfect place to enjoy an intense nightlife, but Formentera is an ideal destination if you want to fall in love with beaches and intensely blue waters.

Cala Agulla


Where to stay on the Balearic Islands?

As we stated previously, out of the four islands Mallorca is the island best suited to those who enjoy travelling as a family. It’s an island where you can enjoy long walks by the sea, dozens of attractions and – of course – guaranteed rest in perfect, family-friendly hotels. Our recommendation? That would be the Green Garden Aparthotel, a hotel surrounded by gardens located on the beautiful beach Cala Agulla.

Part of the innate magic that makes us all fall in love with the Balearic Islands is to be found on the white island, Ibiza, a destination where you can find hotels such as Tropic Garden Aparthotel where you can enjoy a really relaxing holiday.

For those who prefer the maritime spirit of Menorca there’s nothing better than heading towards the area Cala d’en Bosch to stay in a hotel like Marinda Garden Aparthotel. Apart from a perfect breakfast buffet, this family hotel also offers free wifi and mini golf.