S´Arenal is divided between the municipalities of Llucmajor and Palma de Mallorca, known as well as Platja de Palma, and it lies next to the town of Can Pastilla; it is near Palma Airport, enjoys good road communications, and has regular public transport links to the city of Palma de Mallorca and the airport. The area has the greatest concentration of hotels on Mallorca and the entire Mediterranean. This tourist resort, which has a vast number of hotel rooms, spreads along the 4,600 metre-long S´Arenal Beach, at the eastern end of the Bay of Palma de Mallorca. Everything in s´Arenal revolves around tourism and leisure, with a wide range of bars, restaurants, a water park, nightclubs, shops, rental outlets (cars, motorbikes and bicycles), travel agencies, and sporting activities such as tennis, diving centres, water-skiing, windsurfing, golf, etc. Of note amongst the sporting facilities is the sailing school at Club Nàutic de S´Arenal, which has given a real boost to dinghy sailing on Mallorca.
In El Arenal there are hotels which remain open throughout the year, but it is during the months of summer when thousands of visitors flock here, many of whom are German, to enjoy the beach during the day and to take advantage of the lively nightlife after sunset. There is a wide promenade which runs along the entire stretch of coastline, which is the nerve centre of S´Arenal, and this is where the popular balnearios – a series of outdoor bars numbered from 1 to 15 – are located, serving both the beach and the promenade. Amongst these, number 6 is very popular with Germans and is known as Ballermann 6. This is the starting point for S´Arenal´s nightlife, and there are many open-air biergartens in this area.
Whilst it is true that S´Arenal is one of the liveliest points on Mallorca during the months of July and August, many hotels organise entertainment programmes and facilities for families with children, and there are also children´s play areas, such as the one on the beach at Can Pastilla, at the western end of S´Arenal.
The first residents to settle in this area came to the Llucmajor end of S´Arenal at the end of the nineteenth century, where they worked in the extraction of sandstone, which was used for construction. There was a small dock for fishing boats, and it was from here that the sandstone was transported to Palma de Mallorca by sea. During the same period, at the Palma de Mallorca end of S´Arenal, the first summer houses for city-dwellers were built; this small settlement, which has now disappeared, was known as Les Casetes dels Republicans. In 1914 S´Arenal´s first hotel, the Hotel Términus, was inaugurated, and two years later the train arrived, though this no longer exists. In 1950 tourist activity was vigorously reinitiated, with many immigrants, especially from southern Spain, coming to the area to work in construction and in hotels. The resort´s current form was established in this period, with disorganised growth taking place all along the coast. To counter the negative consequences of this expansion, a lot of urban renovation work has taken place so as to improve the area and make it more attractive, with works being carried out both on public spaces and on hotels and other establishments. Density-reduction works are also being carried out, with hotels and other obsolete buildings being demolished in order to create more open public spaces.
The beach of S´Arenal or Platja de Palma is spread between the municipalities of Palma and Llucmajor; it is 4,600m long and 50m wide. Prior to the construction of the tourist resort of S´Arenal, the area possessed one of the largest dune systems on Mallorca, of which some remains are still visible. The destruction of the dune system has caused serious problems in the natural regeneration of sand, as is the case with many other beaches on the island, and to replace sand whipped away by storms new sands are extracted from the sea bed. In summer the beach gets very busy, as many tourists flock here, especially from Germany, to enjoy their holidays at the resort´s hotels. There is a promenade which runs the entire length of the beach and this is where the popular balnearis (open-air bars) are located, the most popular of which is Number 6.
Services: bars and restaurants; shops; showers; sun loungers, parasols, pedal boats and sailboards for hire; water-skiing; volleyball nets, etc.