Rachel Oldfield.

28-01-2018Humphrey Carter

Rachel Oldfield grew up in Majorca. Her parents had a second home here and every holiday was spent on the island, but since she began working for award-winning British luxury villa, boutique hotel and concierge company, Mr and Mrs Smith, here on the island, she has realised just how much we take the beauty and attractions of Majorca for granted.

Having spent most of her professional life working in publishing, advertising, public relations and the media in London’s Soho, for personal reasons she decided to turn her back on the big city and move to Majorca. She arrived just in time so that her daughter could be born on the island she first came to as a baby. Full circle perhaps.

And now Rachel is the client service manager for the London-based global luxury travel club which has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Singapore and she is loving the opportunity to rediscover all her old haunts and, more importantly, hunt out and track down all the new and exciting attractions and locations the island boasts.

Having worked on luxury yachts for some time, Rachel has a wealth of experience in looking after VIP luxury clients and catering for their every need and all that she has channelled into her latest adventure. "There’s a very Balearic feel to the roots of the company, the owners spent a lot of time here before going into business and got married in Majorca so, apart from all the other glorious destinations in which we work across the world, there is a special bond with the Balearics and we are looking to expand on that. We’re well established in Ibiza, growing here in Majorca and moving into Minorca.

"We don’t consider ourselves a tour firm but more a travel club and will find and provide whatever our guests desire and here in Majorca there is so much variety. The island really is so much more than a sun and sea destination during the traditional summer months. Obviously for some families, they are restricted or rather guided by school holiday dates etc. and obviously business commitments. Our aim is ‘to inspire people to stay in amazing places with people that you love’.

"And what is great about the Balearics is that each island has something so different to offer and we are already taking bookings and sourcing new villas to meet certain requirements for this summer. Ibiza tends to sell itself to a certain market, although perhaps here in Majorca we could do with a few of the island’s super cool beach clubs, but I have a feeling, based on my feedback from our offices around the world, that this is going to be a great year for the luxury top end VIP market in Majorca.

"Obviously the new rentals rules and regulations, zoning and 60 day limits etc. are complicating matters. It’s hard to really understand because the private villa market generates a great deal of money for the local economy and creates jobs. Each of our villas, which are very carefully sourced and are part of a select collection, employ at least ten people. From the gardener and pool cleaner to house staff, cooks, chauffeurs and the like. Moreover, our clients eat out at the best restaurants, visit the island, they love going to the local markets and discovering little bays and quaint ports etc., charter yachts and helicopters, we will provide or organise whatever they want. Hiring top private chefs is extremely popular at the moment, it’s all good for local business, so curtailing or capping it does not make much sense.

"Yes, I do agree that at the peak of the summer the island is pretty hectic. The giant cruise ships coming in carrying thousands of tourists and the all-inclusive market but, instead of trying to squeeze it, these markets should be better controlled. As a leading global holiday destination, Majorca needs to have something for everyone, otherwise people will just go elsewhere to find what they want.

"I think there is a lack of someone looking at the overall, global picture of the tourist industry here. And what we want to do is promote Majorca all year round. I am always suggesting to my guests that they perhaps come back out of season, May or September or over the winter. Not only is the island quieter, there are so many things to do. Hiking, cycling, visiting the vineyards, local restaurants, the fiestas and of course Palma. Just look at Saint Sebastian, it was amazing and people would just love that.

"We specialise in amazing places and experiences that people will fall in love with and want to come back to and there are so many unique events and locations here in Majorca. Like I said, I think to a certain extent, those who live here, like me, take Majorca too much for granted and one thing I love about my job is taking people out and about and seeing their reactions.

"Be it Olivar or Santa Catalina markets, for example, with their stalls and food outlets, people are amazed and have a great time sampling the local produce and it serves to remind me just how lucky we are to live here surrounded by all these glorious things which can be enjoyed all year round. We just need to educate people more about what Majorca has to offer all through the year.

"We do get a lot of repeat clients and multigenerational family holidays - grandparents, parents, children - and they all have different needs to be catered for. And with the yacht charter business now booming again, there is so much choice for people wishing to hire a yacht and cruise the Balearics. Majorca’s coastline is magnificent. I’ve done St. Tropez and the South of France and it’s got nothing on Majorca.

"The message is getting out there, that’s why I am looking forward to this season. Last year we had clients from the States, they came all this way for a week! I advised them to come for a bit longer next time. We had guests from New Zealand, Australia and India. We even had a large group of foodies from Brazil.

"I guess 70 per cent of our guests are from the UK but we’re continually branching out to the global top end of the market and it’s working. The island has so much variety and we aim to offer as much of that as possible. If our clients just want to chill, fine, but if they want some action, there is no way of getting bored in Majorca."

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Robert Cowan / Hace 9 months

I would come over for sure but we cannot get flights from Glasgow in the winter many years ago it was no problem,Majorca is losing a fortune to Benidorm for instance due to lack of flights.

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Colin / Hace 10 months

There is a need to educate the restaurants to provide adequate heating and insulation in their restaurants throughout the winter. It is appalling conditions to eat in draughty cold damp restaurant whilst they serve luke warm food on "cold" plates.

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HRH The Lager Khan / Hace 10 months

Although it’s a bit like marking your own homework, I don’t disagree with Rachel-the-PR’s comments and vested interest. That said, maybe it’s time for the likes of Mr and Mrs Smith’s of this world to put their money where their mouth is and seize the initiative by actually chartering their own planes to bring over all the punters they think will flock to Palma/Mallorca luxury hotels and yachts. Whether it’s better - or wetter - in winter. Why should the airlines take all the risk at, finger in the air, of £25k a return flight to the U.K. just to wash their face profit wise.

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Richard Pearson / Hace 10 months

How come everybody is assuming that her company only deals with British clients ? Most of the high spenders are either German, Swiss, Swedish or from other small wealthy nations. There seems to be quite a lot of envy being shown as well. Wealth is all relative. People that can afford 10 days in a 3 star in Arenal are hugely more wealthy than someone who has to scrape a living to survive in some blighted sub Saharan country. I say the more people can afford these holidays the better for all of us. Even University Chancellors who are on £ 450.000 per year.

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Willky 23 / Hace 10 months

The article is a nice little advertisement for the company she works for .

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Richard Pearson / Hace 10 months

Would the previous correspondents please define the meaning of “rich”

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MelB / Hace 10 months

I suspect that expressions such as "charter yachts, helicopters and private chefs" puts these holidays outside the reach of the ordinary tourist. However, those very few able to afford such luxuries do not have to worry about the availability of flights as they probably fly in by private jet. Sorry must go have to try to book a private chef to do my afternoon sandwich!!

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Henry James / Hace 10 months

She has obviously never had much contact with the man or woman on the Clapham Omnibus,who still form the majority of tourists to Majorca.

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S. / Hace 10 months

Yes for the rich people. There will be a market. But in Winter, not for the normal Tourists. Also, the rich may not return, having been in the Winter. I accept RACHEL has to sell and promote the Island, in a very upbeat manner. Which will attract the big spenders .

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Mike / Hace 10 months

another one ! . how are they supposed to get to mallorca ,walk and swim , what part of step one GET THE AIRLINES TO FLY FIRST DONT YOU UNDERSTAND , from all regional airports is what people want and then maybe just maybe they will come ,but unless you do this first it’s just all a pipe dream .

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