It was 2007 when her job first took the Rhineland native to Majorca – Ramona Kötting instantly fell in love with the island, and its west coast in particular. After her first stay, she spent years gathering international experience in the hotel and hospitality industry. Back in Germany, she started her career with the 25hours Hotel Company in Hamburg. Committed to the corporate idea and philosophy, she grew with the company. Her journey however has brought her back to her beloved island of Majorca. Today Ramona Kötting is the General Manager of the Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel in Port de Sóller.
Ms. Kötting, what makes the Bikini Island & Mountain Hotel in Port de Sóller so special?
It's not only the atmosphere of the hotel which picks up on the vibe of the colorful Californian hippie movement, but also that the little town of Port de Sóller is truly unique. Our guests appreciate the special hotel design – a successful mix of old and new – that fits perfectly into its surroundings. The Bikini is a place to relax, recharge and enjoy, where service and genuine dialogue with the guests are important. We have a very diverse international team. We're very proud of that because each member of our staff sees it as their personal vocation to offer the guests an unforgettable experience. Our friends and partners, such as the Israeli restaurateur Haya Molcho from the NENI Restaurant, bar legend Jörg Meyer with his two bars, or the Santaverde Spa also make a huge contribution. We have a lot of fun with what we do and how we do it, and I think that is what makes our hotel something very special.
What is it about Port de Sóller that you personally find so attractive?
For me, Port de Sóller is magical. I already lived on the west coast 11 years ago. In my opinion this is the most unspoiled and authentic part of the coast, far removed from Majorca's mass tourism. Port de Sóller is enormously diverse: it is surrounded by the Tramuntana Mountains, the bays glitter with crystal-clear water, and there is a beautiful little sandy beach that isn't crowded. At the same time, there is also vast culinary diversity: There are lots of very good little restaurants here where you can enjoy superb food.
What local specialties are a must for visitors?
Definitely the oranges: Sóller is the valley of oranges. They are unique. We have fresh-squeezed orange juice every day that our guests simply adore. To go with that, there is also orange marmalade which is made locally. The Sóller prawns are fantastic and they are caught fresh in a little bay. Prepared in the classic Majorcan style with garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil, they're absolutely delicious. I can also really recommend the olive oil from this region.
The Hotel-Restaurant NENI meanwhile has branches in a number of vibrant metropolises. How would you describe this restaurant's cuisine and what specifically defines the concept?
Passion, the enjoyment of eating and creativity. Contemporary, healthy cuisine. Lots of dietary trends can be taken into account – there are vegetarian and vegan dishes, but also plenty of choices for fish and meat lovers. Regional products play a major role in the dishes. For example, there is a lot of fresh fish, caught directly in the bay, as well as fruit and vegetables from local farmers. NENI serves its dishes "Balagan" style – all of the dishes are placed in the center of the table and shared. The local guests also love this way of eating – it encourages communication and it's vibrant – like their Spanish tapas, but with some completely new takes in terms of flavors. Tip: Try the Focaccia Sabich-style with Popcorn Falafel!
Diving or mountain biking: Which activity would you particularly recommend to your hotel guests?
That's an easy one: I'd suggest that they borrow one of our stand-up paddleboards and paddle out into the bay to enjoy the fabulous view. Another fantastic thing to do is to go for a cycle on one of our mountain or e-bikes, or drive an convertible along the picturesque coast road, savoring the fresh breeze, the sweeping view of the sea, and the beautiful scenery. That's also a great excursion for guests who want to enjoy a vacation in Port de Sóller outside the summer months. Hiking is another great activity, and particularly recommended for the springtime. You can walk through an ocean of blossoming almond trees and marvel at nature in all its glory. For the cooler months, I can recommend our old, restored fireplace, where guests can relax with a book in front of a crackling wood fire.