Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

Belmond La Residencia


Mallorca magic and alfresco dining in the beautiful village of Deià

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Belmond La Residencia


Deià, Mallorca

Travel Information

45 minutes from Palma airport

Top Tips

Sail along the dramatic north-eastern Mallorcan coast, dine on the pretty terrace at Michelin-starred El Olivo

5-Star X-Factors

Breathtaking poolside views over the village of Deia to the surrounding mountains

The Balearic jewel

There is something so special about Mallorca and while we love it year-round, 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 inspires an urge to start painting. So, this is exactly what many 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 mellow ochre-coloured houses and green shutters all basking under Mediterranean sun and sheltering snugly in the late afternoon shadow of the Tramuntana mountains.

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 artists and the rich and famous, including Michael Douglas who has long had a house just outside the village. 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 several fincas from the 14th to 17th centuries with wonderful views from all the rooms and suites. The hotel has a mellow sophistication, like Deià itself, unpretentious but aesthetically fine-tuned. 

Rooms, junior suites and suites are tranquility personified, with tiled floors, whitewashed walls and furnished with Mallorcan antiques and artworks. Beds are sublime, some of them four-posters and many rooms have terraces. Bathrooms are cool, tiled and marbled. The Tower Junior Suite is a romantic gem, located at the top of the 14th century tower and since we last visited Matthew Williamson has designed one of the suites in brighter shades. Four of these larger suites have private terraces with their own pools overlooking the valley. There is also a 3-bedroom family villa with its own pool.

The main swimming pool is situated beneath the hotel with magnificent views over the village to the  stepped terraces and mountains beyond, which will be draped in colour from April. There is a lovely poolside restaurant, Son Fony, and a top-notch bar.

For the real meal, El Olivo, La Residencia's Michelin-starred restaurant, is superb. It is housed in a medieval olive mill with beautiful terraces for dining alfresco. We always stick with the seasonal dishes: lamb with rosemary is the signature dish in spring time. The atmosphere at night is really magical, with hundreds of candles adorning the terrace and the olive trees illuminated against a starlit sky. Being Mallorca, it's usually warm enough to eat on this terrace overlooking Deia and the sea; otherwise the galleried restaurant with a central ancient 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

When you fancy a swim in the sea, its a short scramble down to the Cala de Deià beach, but 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 the lovely rustic restaurant on the rocks.

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. In our most recent visit in May 2023, we stayed at Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in the old town, which was wonderful, so watch out for that review which is coming soon.

A day in Palma 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 between Deià and Palma, 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, 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.

Mallorca is a perfect year-round escape, and La Residencia remains our favourite Balearic gem.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant

Luxury Explorer