Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Belmond La Residencia

Spain

Fine al fresco dining and soothing spa treatments in the beautiful Mallorcan village of Deià

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Belmond La Residencia
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Belmond La Residencia

Location

Deià, Mallorca

Travel Information

45 minutes from Palma airport

Top Tips

Sail along the dramatic north-eastern Mallorcan coast

5-Star X-Factors

Breathtaking poolside views of the surrounding rugged hillside

The Balearic jewel

There is something so special about Mallorca and there is no better time to experience this magic than in the spring. It's as though God takes out his palette in April and splatters the hinterland with reds, purples, pinks, yellows, whites, verdant greens, while using various shades of just one colour for the background: cyan blue.

Experiencing Mallorca in the spring inspires an urge to start painting. So, this is exactly what several artists do in the picturesque and charming town of Deià. This little village is the popular haunt of many aesthetes: poets, artists, writers, singers, and simply those who just love to be in the middle of a cultural melange surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The village is idyllic with stone-washed ochre-coloured houses and green shutters all basking under Mediterranean sun and sheltering snugly in the late afternoon shadow of the Teix mountain.

Deià was home to Robert Graves the poet laureate and novelist who moved here in 1932, and since then it has become a magnet for a number of the rich and famous, including Michael Douglas. Having lived on the island for over a year, Deià was always my favourite spot to just chill, dream and unwind.

Mellow sophistication

Above Deià, and set against a background of mountains with fir trees and olive groves, is the gorgeous Belmond La Residencia. This immaculately restored hotel is the combination of two fincas from the 16th and 17th centuries with wonderful views from all 67 rooms and suites. The hotel has a mellow sophistication, like Deià, unpretentious but aesthetically fine-tuned. The swimming pool is situated beneath the hotel with magnificent views of the mountain and stepped terraces, which will be draped in colour from April. There is also a poolside restaurant and top-notch bar. Four suites even have their own, very private, pools.

If, however, you fancy a scramble down to the Cala de Deià beach for a swim, then be sure to wear the right shoes. Down here on this little shingle beach you can picnic, swim, or have some excellent fresh fish in a rough and ready restaurant in the rocks.

For the real meal, El Olivo is superb. Stick with the seasonal dishes: lamb with rosemary is a signature dish so perfect at spring time. The atmosphere at night is really magical, with hundreds of dripping candles adorning the terrace and the olive trees illuminated against a starlit sky. If it's warm enough, eat on this terrace outside the restaurant by the wall overlooking Deia and the sea; otherwise the galleried restaurant with a central old olive press is spectacular too.

The spa is beautiful and has an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, gym and private outdoor massage area. You can also discuss a set of bespoke treatments for your individual requirements.

Out and about

Palma is a special city with a glorious cathedral. It is designed in a French Gothic style and the main body of the church is set in the middle of a mass of pillars and spires, behind which lies the strong buttress reinforced with a double row of flying arches. 

A day out here will be a very well spent. In the morning you can explore the cathedral, the old town and shop down Jaime III, followed by lunch at the famous tapas restaurant La Taberna de la Bóveda. Stroll around the harbour in the late afternoon before a leisurely drive back to Deia.

There is also Valldemossa, a small town in the mountains near Deia, which is home to the Cartoixa, or Carthusian Monastery. It is cold and ghost-like but, with a little imagination, you can see the monks sitting in the old library, their only human contact for an hour a week. As well as a fine art museum with works by Picasso, Miro and Juli Ramis, Valldemossa has a fabulous bar on the side of the little square with plane trees for a much needed cultural respite.

If you have hired a car, it is worth simply driving around in the spring, going inland and exploring the surprisingly lush interior. The landscape is peppered with olive groves, fruit orchards, poppies, daisies and buttercups and divided by pretty little towns, all individual and all surprisingly charming.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant


Luxury Explorer

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