Pollensa.—The Hotel Illa d'Or in the Port of Pollensa has paid tribute to its most loyal clients, the Menzies family who can lay claim to 50 years of holidays at the same hotel on Majorca.

It reads like a story from a romantic novel but it happens to be true. Roy and Diana Menzies came to know one another through chance when they both took shelter from a fierce storm at the entrance to the hotel in 1975.

Roy had already been coming to the area for 14 years and when the couple came on honeymoon to the Hotel Illa d'Or the following year, it was the continuation of a long association that the family had already enjoyed with the Port.

The Menzies, now with the addition of their daughter Fiona, come once or twice every year so it was with genuine warmth that the Hotel Illa d'Or yesterday paid tribute to the family to mark the occasion of Roy's first visit. Roy was just 15 at the time and he came accompanied by his parents who were established fans of the Illa d'Or.

A very different place “The Port of Pollensa, and Majorca in general is now a very different place from what it used to be in those early days,” reminisced Roy yesterday. “There were hardly any buildings on the seafront, only some small individual villas and goats were grazing behind the hotel!” Roy said that it was halfway through the 1980s when development started on building the properties two or three streets back from the shoreline which were to become the hub of the tourist industry in the Port.

Roy remembers leaving the Brisas bar to go straight down to the sea dodging the pine trees en route. He said that coming from the airport in those days, everything past Santa Maria was countryside.

The whole atmosphere of the Port, he recalled, was much more secluded and picturesque when he first came to the Port of Pollensa, but he added that although that is now gone, there is a much more lively atmosphere.

Roy paid his own tribute to the friendships he and his family had struck up in the hotel, and in the area of Pollensa over the years. He claimed that the Hotel Illa d'Or had become much more like a second home for him. It is one of the oldest and most emblematic in the Port of Pollensa. Built in 1929, it has had whole generations of tourists pass through its doors, most English, some of them famous.

It is rumoured that the hotel is the setting used by English novelist Agatha Christie in her story “Problem at Pollensa” which describes a mysterious disappearance from the hotel in the early part of the 20th century.

Other well-known visitors include actors Jane Seymour, Anthony Quayle, Fernando Ochoa, Lorenzo Quinn and Elvira Lindo.