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A stay under the stars

Observatory to become hotel?

There are rumours swirling and speculation rife that Mallorca's astronomical observatory which is up for sale at an asking price of €1.7 million, is to be converted into a hotel. In bankruptcy proceedings since 2016, the money from its sale would be used by the society which owns the observatory to pay off its creditors.

At the moment the reports of the interest shown in the observatory by a Catalan company are all very vague and hush hush with no actual mention of the company's name, only that it already has a hotel in Girona with a stargazing – though in a more romantic than scientific nature – theme.

It didn't take me very long to discover that the hotel in Catalonia is the Mil Estrelles (thousand stars) near Lake Banyoles in Girona where guests can choose to stay in transparent bubbles in the grounds of the Masia which forms the main part of the hotel.

The Mil Estrelles' isolated location with no light pollution makes it ideal for admiring the heavenly bodies, particularly from the comfort of a big soft double bed! Obviously, Mallorca's observatory in the remote Costitx area has similar breathtaking views of the night skies and would be ideal for this type of business.

The fly in the ointment at the moment is that the local council regulations stipulate that yes, the buildings can be used for touristic purpose but there must also be some scientific use as well. Whether this could be accomplished is a moot point, but a hotel based in the sci-fi like setting of the observatory would certainly has a unique selling point.

I've used some photos of the Mil Estrelles (click the link to book online) and the Observatory in my slide show, can you tell the difference?