‘BRILLIANT BASICS. MAGIC TOUCHES’ All-inclusive at Melia Salinas

Nothing seems to split opinions on travel quite like the question of all-inclusive resorts. Some people swear by the convenience of an all-in package deal, while others would rather stay home than spend a week within the confines of a resort where a handful of fellow guests consider the term “buffet” an all-you-can-eat daily challenge. For me the “all-inclusive” option for a holiday will always be associated with mass-produced food for hundreds of people which not only is it often a far cry from 5-star cuisine but, you’ll be sick of eating it by the end of your vacation. The “all-inclusive paradise” is for me the idea of bars stocked with cheap alcohol, a place where even virtually non-drinkers find themselves all sorts of daytime drunk, and where basically, everyone parties university-style – even if they’re 60. And with the huge amount of towels placed on sunbeds early in the morning, seats in the restaurants reserved by one for an entire neighbourhood, suspicious cocktails creating long lasting hangovers and a bunfight buffet with leftovers from the previous meal, the only sense of culture you’ll get in abundance at an all-inclusive resort is the culture of western world overconsumption.

Melia Salinas reinvented this tarnished image, bringing together quality, variety, style and a touch of luxury, mixing in they approach to “all-inclusive” concept and fantastic infusion of international and local influences. Each moment of the day spent here was part of this unique concept, making the entire experience not only an excellent value for money but an unforgettable happening too.

BREAKFAST

There are two kinds of hotel guests: those who want to know what time the hotel starts serving breakfast, and those who want to know how long they can sleep in before the hotel stops serving breakfast. No matter which type of guest they are, however, they’re going to care about the quality of the breakfast and the variety of items served up.

As a LEVEL guest you have the option to start you day in “THE LEVEL” lounge where a fantastic breakfast is waiting for you every morning. The buffet is bringing an inspired mixture of traditional international breakfast food with a lot of traditional and local ideas.

Quality coffee and top-notch tea, crowd-pleasing options for carbo-loading from fluffy pancakes to flaky croissants, from buttery brioche to filling flatbreads, and from chewy bagels to crusty baguettes, sizzling bacon and scrambled eggs, cold-cuts and cheese, yogurt and fresh fruits, everything is available on the buffet.

The Spanish and Canarias touches are available option if you want to start your day in a different way with some “Pa amb tomàquet” (Pan con tomate) considered a staple of Catalan cuisine and identity, the delicious local goats cheese, the famous Uga smoked salmon (top-quality Norwegian and Scottish salmon smoked using sea salt from the Janubio salt flats) & selection of freshly squeezed juices

Due to the new restrictions imposed by the pandemic the hot dishes can be ordered in a very easy way, scanning the QR code on each table (even if you don’t have your smartphone with you, the charming waiters are always ready with a lot of suggestions) and choose between a Traditional English Breakfast, a Mediterranean one or you can create your own omelette. 

And of course, you can’t miss the delicious traditional chocolate with churros with its balanced contrast of flavours, mixing the bitter sweetness of chocolate with the salty aromas and oil from the crunchy churro.

Of course you can be healthy if you want to with the wide range of whole-grain rolls and bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat dairy (milk, plain or lower sugar yogurts, low-fat cheeses, such as cottage cheese and natural cheeses) and of course my favourite: the egg white omelette with chopped herbs

Talking about healthy start of the day, one morning I had breakfast with Ernesto Guerra, the General manager of Melia Salinas who introduced me to the best kept breakfast secret: on a bed of whole-grain toast and slices of fresh overripe avocado a poached egg (4 minutes for super soft, 4:30 for soft, 5 or more for semi-soft yolks) and a drop of olive oil. Pure health … if you don’t make my mistake to order 2 or 3!!!

Breakfast in THE LEVEL Lounge at Melia Salinas
A very healthy morning at Melia Salinas

It is easy to fall in love with the breakfast in THE LEVEL lounge, but I would suggest traying at least once or twice the breakfast in MOSAICO restaurant. But be aware that here you will need a little bit longer to decide what will land in your plate. An impressive breakfast with everything you dream of from Traditional English to Spanish style, from cold cuts to live cooking stations, all the difficult items are served here to perfection

In MOSAICO restaurant, getting right down to the basic, the chefs know how important is that the quality and the range of the products served at breakfast exceed guests’ expectation. And on top of the excellent cuisine the experience is rounded with a fantastic service: genuine and friendly the staff at Mosaic restaurant were always ready to guide & help the guests to choose the right things that will make them enjoy their breakfast in the best possible way.

As I said is hard to decide at Melia Salinas where to have breakfast: in THE LEVEL LOUNGE where you can enjoy the breath-taking view of the Ocean from the terrace or on the MOSAICO terrace where your eyes will be catch by the incredible pool created by Cesar Manrique. The indoor spaces are as special as the outdoors, especially when you have breakfast next to one of Manrique’s famous murals.

Breakfast in MOSAICO restaurant Melia Salinas

LUNCH

I try the lunch in MOSAICO restaurant only once during my stay at Melia Salinas and I blame the delicious snacks for that.

Served next to the impressive Manrique’s Mural the lunch was targeting both the hungry (if any) and the more weight-conscious guests.

An impressive salad bar with options for everybody, vegetarian or meet-lovers, made every guest’s trip to the buffet memorable, offering a bounty of fresh ingredients. From pasta salads to a classic Cesar with a twist, from comforting salad combinations like creamy macaroni and crisp bacon or sliced potatoes and boiled eggs to luxurious extras like thin-sliced beef tenderloin, lump crab meat or fresh peeled shrimp everything at Melia Salinas they know how to upgrade the salad options from traditional sides to enticing entrees

Once again scanning the QR code on the table opens the door to a fantastic culinary experience. My choice for lunch was

  • Timbale of avocado and seasonal vegetables with salmon de Uga and mango vinaigrette – a delicious mixture of flavours: rich, buttery and creamy from the ripe avocado, the smoky touch with a hint of the sea salt from the Janubio salt flats added to the fine texture of the salmon and the delicate zest of the vinaigrette
  • Confit of roast duck with red fruits – excellent texture, crispy skin, very moist meat and divine flavour balanced between the juicy meat and the sweet-sour addition of the red berries.

For dessert I hardly manage a trip to the “sweet temptation” section of the buffet being happy that I was strong enough to don’t jump of the amazing display. A photo will be more in line with my actual weight.

Lunch at MOSAICO restaurant at Melia Salinas

DINNER

Every night dinner is hosted in MOSAICO restaurant – the heart of the gastronomic experience at Melia Salinas and you can choose to enjoy the indoor understated elegance or the terrace overlooking the spectacular lagoon pool designed by Cesar Manrique.

I never liked a buffet for dinner with others jumping the queue and making a mess in the display, with dishes with odd looks or add-on which shows a lack of inspiration or fresh sources.

At Melia Salinas the dinner is another culinary celebration. Experimenting with the presentation by creating different heights the team in the restaurant managed every night to lift the buffet visually but also made it look inviting and exciting. Add to all, the cleanliness and the illusion that no one has touched the buffet to get the right picture of my dinner.

The culinary offer balanced every night international dishes with local options, classic with modern, self-service with show cooking stations, prioritize flavour and quality over quantity. Form fresh salads to seafood, from lamb and chicken to fresh fish and fabulous cuts of beef and pork cooked at order everything was the result of a tough competition between presentation and taste.

Every night, added to the expected dishes on the dinner buffet, a themed section was offering guests culinary travels in different corners of the world: Far East, Canarias, Mexico, Italy without ignoring those choosing a more traditional approach for their dinner. And no worries if you have any dietary request; the excellent staff in the restaurant is always there to assist you.

When MOSAICO had a canarian themed evening my favourites were:

Papas arrugadas – the island’s potatoes are nothing like those we eat at home. The volcanic earth and climate in which they are grown produces smaller potatoes with a unique texture and taste. ‘Arrugadas’ translates as ‘wrinkled’, and the traditional way to serve these potatoes is boiled in their skins, salted and dressed with a generous topping of mojo picón – a delicious spicy sauce made with garlic, olive oil, red or green pepper, cumin, salt and vinegar. On my next stay at Melia Salinas I planned to steal the delicious Mojo recipe.

Adobo de cerdo – shoulder of pork in a rich, piquant sauce. The sauce or ‘adobo’ is a tasty marinade and In Mosaico kitchen they found the perfect mixture of of paprika, oregano, garlic, salt and sherry vinegar. The slow cooked pork meat is so tender it falls off the bone

Pollo al salmorejo – a delightful garlicky marinated chicken dish, cooked perfectly at Melia Salinas in white wine and seasoned with cumin, oregano, paprika and thyme.

Canarian Dinner at Melia Salinas

SNACKS

I am blaming the snacks and the charming Delgado (responsible for the Pool bar in THE LEVEL) for missing lunch 7 from 8 days spent at Melia Salinas.

Ordering a drink by the pool or on the terrace will always bring on your table a little surprise. And don’t think of crisps or nuts. Melia Salinas pushed the standards of the concept “snack” to a different level bringing amazing flavours in every bite on the plate.

The “happy hours” by THE LEVEL pool looks more like a visit to an expensive Tapas restaurant mixing classic recipes with delicious experiments and the big genuine smile of the waiter (projected by behind the mask)  is a way to tell you: “Sorry you will miss the lunch again!”

Gin Experience at Melia Salinas

DRINKS

If you’re used to real cocktails and nice wine, you won’t likely find it at a typical all-inclusive resort, unless it’s available at an extra cost. This means that the drinks won’t go down as easy. And the hangover will probably be that much worse with cheap ingredients. But that’s not the way at Melia Salinas. Having an all-inclusive package will give you access to several indoor and outdoor bars where a Cosmo is a Cosmo and the Mojito is made in a traditional way.

When ordering a long drink (a gin and tonic or a Cuba Libre) the waiter will come with the entire bottle at your table giving you the chance to choose the measure. The wine list in restaurants is impressive and in general the dinks list is not full of signs and symbols reducing what you can get as “all-inclusive” to a minimalistic list of local and cheap alcohol purchased from the local supermarket.

At Melia Salinas quality is definitely taking over quantity and the guest satisfaction is the main rule.

ACTIVITIES

The day and night “activities” are another reason for which I try to avoid the “all-inclusive resorts”. I found very annoying to lay in the sun by the pool while someone is screaming invitations to aqua gym or to have a drink in the bar while a third hand flamenco group is massacring the idea of “local flavour”

Once again, at Melia Salinas the approach is different. Ramon, the Activity manager, organise during the day different events but he prefer to walk around the pool and invite guests in a very elegant and personalised manner or use the attracting participants during the activity, even if he started with one or two guests. Plus, the location of this activities, the fabulous pool for aqua gym or the beautiful terrace facing the ocean for spinning classes are themselves strong selling points.

Evening at Melia Salinas are extremely pleasant. You can enjoy a quality cocktail and a relaxing experience without watching a magician or an acrobat trying most of the time too hard. A hand full of very good musicians playing from rock-and-roll to evergreens and latino music are more part of the general ambiance than an act that you are forced to watch.

Normally there are few things that are locally authentic about a massive all-inclusive resort, and if you don’t venture off its property, you’ll experience little about the surrounding local way of life. And no, the creepy live entertainment barely counts as a “cultured” experience. But at Melia Salinas everybody is proud of the hotel – a real living museum with its architectural and historical value. And they don’t miss a chance to share this with you. Everybody knows the story of this magnificent building and if you want to find more just visit the Discovery Centre in the atrium or join the guided weekly tour of the hotel. You will be for sure surprised!

MAGIC TOUCHES

Didn’t take too long to understand that at Melia Salinas everybody understands the key behaviours and attributes which make the difference between a good experience and a great one for their guests. And each member of the team plays an active role in the business of creating ‘memories’ for their customers.

It’s like Christmas everyday when you discover after the morning service or after the evening turn -down a little surprise in your room: a plate with local cheese, a mix of nuts and dried berries, some sweets or fresh fruits. Everything presented in a spectacular way. And you know the old say: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!”

Surprise, surprise at Melia Salinas

Mixing the “brilliant basics” (quality of hard and soft product, impeccable cleanliness, great customer service, attention to details) with these magic touches transforms Melia Salinas from an all-inclusive resort in a DESTINATION!

~ by leonard69 on October 2, 2020.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: