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  • Michael Portillo’s journey from Barcelona to Mallorca


    Grand Hotel Central

    Grand Hotel Central

    Grand Hotel Central

    Manzana de la Discòrdia

    Hotel Mas la Boella

    Hotel Mas la Boella

    Hospes Palau de la Mar

    Hospes Palau de la Mar

    Hospes Palau de la Mar

    Convent de la Missio

    Convent de la Missio

    Convent de la Missio

    Can Simoneta

    Can Simoneta

    Can Simoneta

    La Residencia

    La Residencia

    La Residencia

    La Residencia

    Michael Portillo’s journey from Barcelona to Mallorca.

    10 nights and 11 days
    Following in Michael Portillo’s footsteps, travel the east coast of Spain from Barcelona to Mallorca, on a luxury tour that combines spectacular landscapes with captivating culture and history. Trace the outline of the Mediterranean Coast by train; explore the fascinating Spanish cities of Barcelona, Tarragona and Valencia; and finally embrace the Mallorcan lifestyle.

    Start your holiday by flying from London to Barcelona, the Catalonian capital, where you spend two nights at the Grand Hotel Central. Wile away the day exploring the city’s eclectic delights, from the work of Gaudi to old Catalan military fortresses. After two days, board the Euromed service and travel the beautiful coastal railroad that takes you south to Tarragona. Spend two nights at the Mas la Boella, from where you can explore the Roman ruins that punctuate Tarragona. From here - onwards to Valencia. Your one night in the incredible city of Valencia is at the Hospes Palau de la Mar. Explore the combination of modern and traditional architecture that defines the city, appreciating the astounding views across the waterside. Then, catch a late flight across the Mediterranean to the island of Mallorca. Stay one night at the chic and modern Convent de la Missio in Palma, and take the time to acquaint yourself with the treasures of Mallorca, across their impressively varied scale. Collect your hire car and drive over to the eastern coast of the island, near Manacor. The next two nights of this luxury touring holiday will be at the Can Simoneta in Canyamel, a peaceful seaside resort with crystal-clear turquoise waters and a verdant shore. The next two nights bring you to the small village of Deia, near Port Soller, built onto the side of a small mountain and comprised of quaint stone houses. Your touring holiday ends with a flight home from Palma to London Heathrow.
    Click here to download a pdf about this touring holiday.

    This itinerary is merely a suggestion and can be altered to your personal holiday plans – please contact one of our Spanish specialists for more advice.

    From £2,240 per person in low season.
    From £2,730 per person in high season.
    Prices based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

    What’s included in this touring holiday?
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Central King room at the Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Suite at the Mas la Boella, Tarragona
    • 1 night bed and breakfast in a Dreamer Double room at the Hospes Palau de la Mar, Valencia
    • 1 night bed and breakfast in a Classic Double room at the Convent de la Missio, Palma de Mallorca
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Classic Double room at the Can Simoneta, Canyamel, Mallorca
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Classic Double at the Belmond La Residencia, Deia, Mallorca
    • Flights from London Heathrow to Barcelona with British Airways in Euro Traveller
    • Flights from Valencia to Palma Mallorca with Vueling
    • Flights from Palma Mallorca to London Heathrow with British Airways in Euro Traveller
    • First class travel on all trains (as above)
    • 5 days Group A hire car in Mallorca

    This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.

    Michael Portillo's Journey from Barcelona to Mallorca

    Day-by-day Itinerary

    DAY ONE: Arrive in Barcelona, where you will spend two nights
    Catch a late afternoon flight from London Heathrow to Barcelona and take a taxi into the city centre. Check into the Grand Hotel Central, a luxury five-star property located in the Gothic quarter.

    DAY TWO: Barcelona
    After breakfast the next day, begin to explore the many diverse and intriguing quarters and districts that make up the famous Catalan city. Begin your tour of these districts in La Ribera, in which your hotel is situated. The palaces of these streets were once owned by successful merchants, and many have now been converted into museums, such as the Museu Picasso. Explore the cavernous insides of the Santa Maria del Mar, with its high arched ceiling and thin pillars, all built from an ochre stone that bears the rustic marks of its age. The Modernist Palau de la Música Catalana, should you get the opportunity to go inside, is fantastically mesmerising, steeped in rich colour. From the outside, its charms are not diminished, plainly evident in the outreaching statues and high curved walls. Next, move on to Barri Gòtic, the gothic quarter, now rediscovered as the shopping and dining capital of Barcelona. The maze-like medieval streets will draw you past the many palaces, churches, ancient city walls, the austere cathedral, and into its many squares. Stop off at La Boqueria market to try the locally-sourced oysters. Next, head south to the seaside, a favourite spot because of its six Blue Flag beaches and unbeatable seafood. From here, wander up Las Ramblas, past the singing buskers, the living statues, the stalls, shops, cafes, and all the other entertainment that really makes this the bustling centre of the city. Continue west into El Raval, once one of the most prolific red light districts in the Mediterranean. Now, its main attractions are the Romanesque Sant Pau Monastery and Gaudi’s dynamic and brooding Palau Güell. If time permits, take a quick tour of the glassy modern structure that is the Museu d’Art Contemporani. Now, on to Montjuic with its extensive landscaped gardens, the minimalist Fundació Joan Miró, the fascinating buildings of Poble Espanyol, and its recently established Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, housing much of Barcelona’s Romanesque and Gothic art. Visit Montjuic Castle, the tallest building in Barcelona. Finally, head back northeast to the crowning glory of Barcelona’s eclectic heritage: the Eixample. Its streets are rendered in a Modernist fashion almost unique to Barcelona and epitomised by the work of Gaudi. See this embodied in the Manzana de la Discòrdia on the Passeig de Gràcia. Of course, spend time admiring landmarks such as Le Pedrera and the world-famous Sagrada Familia. The work of Antoni Gaudi is at its best in this temple, its style harking back to gothic origins, built in the shape of the traditional Latin cross, but with a dramatic and artistic impact on the skyline that serves to enhance its ambience of religious reverence. If time permits, head outside the city centre into the Zona Alta to see the colourful, surreal Parc Güell, also bearing the mark of Gaudi’s genius, and Horta’s Labyrinth. After a busy day of exploration, retire to the Grand Hotel Central for some thermal spa treatments, dinner in the delicious City Restaurant, or to simply relax in the chic and quirky atmosphere.

    DAY THREE: Travel east by rail to Tarragona, where you will stay for two nights
    Remain in Barcelona for a large part of the morning, in case there are any spectacular sights you may have missed on your second day. Then, board the Euromed service from Barcelona Sants Station. This short rail journey takes you east along the Costa Dorada, until you reach Tarragona in just under an hour. Your hotel, Mas la Boella, is an intimate building rich in character; many of the bedrooms are graced with beamed ceilings while the public areas have that distinct boutique feel.

    DAY FOUR: Tarragona
    During the day, first get a sense of the town by wandering up the Rambla Nova until you reach the Balcó de Europa, from which you can oversee the Amfiteatre Romà and the 12th century Santa Maria del Miracle. These monuments are some of Tarragona’s finest, and make an excellent place to begin your exploration. Then, seek out the Praetorium, once a Roman tower which was then converted into a Medieval Palace. It now houses the Museu de la Romanitat with its vast collection of Roman and Medieval archaeological finds, and the entrance to the passageways of the excavated Roman Circus, dating back to the 1st century AD. However, the Museu Nacional Arqueològic houses the most important collection of Roman artefacts in Catalonia, including a mosaic of the Head of Medusa. Continue your archaeological exploration of Tarragona by taking the walk that runs alongside the remains of the Roman wall. As you trace the outline of the town, you will come across its three wall towers – the most typically Roman of which is the Minerva tower, the other two having been adapted more recently, or as long ago as medieval times. Behind this wall sits the 12th century Cathedral, originally built on the site of an ancient Roman temple. One of the prime attractions of this cathedral, aside from its beautifully light cloister, is the alabaster altarpiece of Sant Tecla. If transport can be arranged, we highly recommend exploring the area surrounding Tarragona. Heading out, one of the first things you will see is the double-layered Aqüeduct de les Ferreres, stretching across the rocky green countryside. The nearby town of Reus, birthplace of Gaudi, is the perfect place to see some of his earlier work, and perhaps compare the style to that which you have seen on your visit to Barcelona. In the evenings, relax with an aperitif in the hotel’s library-lounge, before heading into the La Boella restaurant, lit with lights designed by the inventor of modern theatrical lighting. The exquisite seasonal menu has become incredibly well-known and well-respected due to the quality of the food, mostly produced on the La Boella estate, and the hospitality.

    DAY FIVE: Travel south by rail to Valencia, where you spend one night
    Leave Tarragona in the late morning and re-board the Euromed service. This train will take you out of Catalonia, along the Mediterranean Coast, until you reach Valencia in the south of Spain. Check into the Hospes Palau de la Mar, and spend the rest of the day experiencing Spain’s third largest city. One afternoon is plenty of time to visit Valencia’s three main landmarks, the Torres de Serranos, La Lonja, and the Cathedral. The Torres de Serranos is one of the only sections of the city’s original defences that remains, yet is spectacular as a monument in its own right. This imposing light-stone gateway towers above the city when seen from the front; from behind, its massive walls are opened by more than six archways. Its stone steps can be climbed to reach the battlements on the top. La Lonja is a beautiful Late Gothic hall. The outside is adorned with ornately carved grotesques and gargoyles, while the inside is characterised by high spiralling columns and a uniquely star-shaped vaulted ceiling. Valencia’s cathedral is an amalgamation of Valencia’s vast and diverse history. Just by looking at its three main doors, a distinct path through history can be traced: one being built in the Romanesque style, one in the Baroque style, and the last in the Gothic style. Its cavernous, atmospheric interior is divided into chapels, one of which houses an agate cup claimed to be the Holy Grail. The octagonal tower rising above the cathedral is recognised to be Valencia’s main landmark and iconic image. If time permits on your fifth or sixth day of this touring holiday, pay a visit to the Museo Nacional de Cerámica Gonzales Marti. The building itself is a work of art, decorated as it is with intricate plasterwork of all colours. The elaborate carving around the doorway was designed and created by Ignacio Vergara. Inside, the museum is dedicated to Valencia’s famous ceramics, but includes Greek and Roman specimens, as well as works by Picasso, and a fully-tiled Valencia kitchen. For another quirky point of interest, visit the Colegio del Patriarca. Its ceiling is covered with beautifully painted frescoes, and, during the regular religious service, its painting of the Last Supper is lowered to reveal a painting of the Crucifixion painted by an unknown German artist. Far from the ornate architecture and abundant historical artefacts of Valencia, your hotel is very modern, decorated primarily in light colours with a few signature dark shades on the furnishings to offset the décor. The exterior façade, however, along with the shape of the public rooms subtly harks back to Valencia’s rich history.

    DAY SIX: Fly across to Mallorca, and spend one night in Palma

    Before catching your flight from Valencia to Mallorca, head to the Mercado Central, a huge Art Nouveau building made of iron, glass, and Valencia tiles. One of the largest markets in Europe, with thousands of stalls, the Mercado Central is a must-visit for those looking to sample the produce of the area – from agricultural produce and culinary delicacies to Valencia wine. Your flight across to Mallorca leaves in the late evening, and so, upon arrival, head straight to your hotel, the Convent de la Missio. Another elegant chic hotel, the Convent de la Missio has luxury inscribed on its every surface. Situated in the old quarter of Palma, this former 17th century convent merges Palma’s attractive historical details with the comforts of easy modern living. Dine in Simply Fosh, the hotel’s restaurant, named after its Chef and characterised by its wall of cascading water and the creative and original food.

    DAYS SEVEN: Visit Palma and Travel by hire car to Canyamel, where you spend two nights

    Have breakfast at your hotel before beginning to explore Palma de Mallorca. The refined Gothic Basílica de Sant Francesc might be your first port of call. It is worth taking the time to walk around its beautiful cloister, as well as witness its Baroque altarpiece and distinctive rose window, a design popular in Palma. Next, visit Palma’s main religious centre, the cathedral. Built out of golden limestone quarried in Santanyi, this building is also in the Gothic style. Its location on the waterfront serves to add to its romantic appeal. Inside, and perhaps its main attraction, is a bejewelled version of the ‘True Cross’ held in the Chapterhouse. Also pay attention to the seven rose windows, the largest of which is fitted in the highest point of the interior arch and measures 11 metres in diameter. If you have time, visit the Banys Àrabs. An example of very well-preserved 10th century Baths, these Baths also exemplify the Moorish influence on the Balearic Islands. Before leaving Palma, be sure to take the tram journey to the beach, passing along the beautiful streets until you are greeted with the sight of the Mediterranean Sea. By the sea is the Palau de l’Almudaina, a vast palace which captures, in its low arches and complex architecture, more of the Arabian influence on the city. As a reward for your avid morning exploring, pop into the Forn des Teatre bakery and pick up an ‘ensaimada,’ a typically Mallorcan pastry formed into a spiral and topped with a sprinkling of icing sugar. After spending the morning in Palma, pick up your hire car in the afternoon and drive west across the island, past Manacor, all the way to the western coast. Stay for two nights at the Can Simoneta, overlooking the enchanting rocky coastline of Canyamel and the deep azure of the sea.

    DAY EIGHT: Canyamel 

    The position of the Can Simoneta hotel, at the top of a set of steps cut into the rock of the cliff, means it is ideal for a day’s relaxing on the beach. The name ‘Canyamel’ is derived from the Catalan word for ‘sugar cane,’ which truly epitomises the sense of appeal that this resort holds. Bordered on one side by flourishing natural pine forests, olive groves, and low-rising mountains, with wide sandy beaches on the other, Canyamel gets the best of both extremes. The Torrente de Canyamel, a freshwater torrent owned by the people of Canyamel, can be traced back to the lovely small lake of s’Estany de Sa Torre. A popular holiday destination for people living in mainland Spain, Canyamel itself has over 100 tennis courts as well as the major Canyamel, Capdepera, Pula, and Son Servera golf courses, all within 15 minutes away. As well as being a perfect getaway for those who enjoy sport, Canyamel has a lot in the way of artistic and historical heritage, which these two days at the Can Simoneta situate you for perfectly. The Torre de Canyamel is a medieval fortified tower that has now been converted into a thriving artisan centre, though it retains its original imposing exterior, standing at 23 metres high. Originally built to protect the people of the Valley of Canyamel from pirate attacks, the building’s history is as eclectic as it is interesting. Trace the civilisations of the first Mallorcan inhabitants at the many prehistoric Talayot sites, dating back to over 3000 years ago. Visit the nearby village of Arta, and its Sanctuary of Sant Salvador. The Sanctuary contains an effigy of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus that is one of the oldest figures in Mallorca still used for religious worship. The sight of the Sanctuary perched on the top of a small hill, and the views from the hill’s peak, are considered to be some of the best on the island. On the way to Arta, or on the way back, stop off at the Capdepera medieval castle, recognised to be one of the largest castles in the world, and sprawled across another hilltop. Visitors to the castle are able to walk around the battlements at the top, as well as access the Casa del Gobernador and the Church of San Juan, two of the only interior buildings to remain after the inner town was dismantled and rebuilt where we see it today. Consider other excursions to Manacor or Porto Cristo, two fishing villages situated near to the fascinating Caves of Drac. The caves run 25 metres underground and have a remarkable underground lake which is available for boat rides. Return to your hotel in the evenings to make the most of the hotel’s romantic location, watching as the sun sets beyond the horizon. 

    DAY NINE: Drive northeast to Deia, where you will spend two nights

    Depart the lovely Can Simoneta after breakfast and begin the drive to the pretty village of Deia, just north of Palma. We suggest that you take the scenic route, heading north along the coast from Arta to Alcudia, before following the main road towards Palma and Deia. This small mountain village is nestled in the rugged countryside of the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountain Range, on the west coast of Mallorca. Your hotel, the Belmond la Residencia, is an elegant hotel that continues the traditional ambience of the village.

    DAY TEN: Deia
     Begin your stay in Deia by tracing some of the footpaths that vein the mountainsides, uncovering the hundreds of spectacular viewpoints and truly experiencing this brilliant landscape. Back in the village, you will really get a flavour of traditional Mallorca as it once was. The Archaeological Museum and Research Centre in the centre of town was founded by the American painter, Dr William H Waldren, and is housed in an old converted mill. The Monastery of Miramar is a picturesque building encircled in rich, lush vegetation, and with breath-taking views across the ocean. The monastery once trained the resident monks in Arabic, and has now been converted into a topical museum. The Manor House of Son Marroig, sitting gracefully atop a mountain, is the former home of Archduke Ludwig Salvator. A small circular neo-classical temple sits at the end of the garden on the very edge of the cliff, and offers magnificent views across the coast. One of the highlights of any stay in Deia, though notoriously difficult to access due to the irregular landscape, is the Cala de Deia. A small secluded cove with space for only a few moored fishing boats, the Cala de Deia is the perfect spot to wile away the afternoon relaxing. Recline on the shingle beach, or dip your toes in the exquisitely clear water. A small restaurant and bar on the beach serves the freshest fish, caught that very same day in the cove. Your hotel is well located to visit the nearby fishing village of Soller and its port. Why not use the day to ride the Orange Train, as Michael Portillo did, from Soller to Palma and back again? The port at Soller can be reached by a quaint little tram that adds a special flavour to this multi-transport holiday. Retire on your two nights in Deia to the Belmond la Residencia and dine on the shaded terrace at one of the fine wrought iron tables and chairs of the Michelin-starred El Olivo restaurant.

    Return to the UK from Palma

    Return to Palma around lunchtime after perhaps indulging in a spa treatment at the Belmond la Residencia. Leave your hire car at the airport and catch an afternoon flight back to Heathrow.

    Travelling times for this touring holiday (approximate):

    Barcelona to Tarragona by train: 55 minutes
    Tarragona to Valencia by train: 2 hours 20 minutes
    Valencia to Palma de Mallorca by aeroplane: 50 minutes
    Palma de Mallorca to Canyamel by car: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Canyamel to Deia by car: 2 hours 30 minutes
    Deia to Palma de Mallorca by car: 45 minutes

    Michael Portillo Barcelona to Mallorca

    Hotel Information

    Below is some information regarding each of the hotels featured in this touring itinerary. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Grand Hotel Central

    Perfect for a stylish city break to the artistic city of Barcelona, the five-star Grand Hotel Central embodies a sophisticated aura that harks back to the building’s 1920s beginning. Having been sympathetically renovated to complement the building’s original style, Grand Hotel Central now strikes a compromise between old and new. Grand doorways open to reveal spaces that blend chic modern décor with original features. Bold blocks of colour, contemporary lighting and a minimalist scattering of statement features contrast high, coffered ceilings and soaring columns. Each of the 147 guestrooms is minimal and comfortable, decked with fine linen, top quality fittings and soothing colour schemes to create a relaxing space in which to unwind after a day travelling this most vibrant Spanish city. Situated beside Barcelona Cathedral, the Grand Hotel Central occupies a prime location for exploring the city. Stroll out the hotel’s doors and find yourself on Via Laietana, which runs from the seafront to the old town. When you get tired of exploring by foot, guests at the Grand Hotel Central can retreat to a rooftop terrace to gain an aerial perspective of Barcelona. A chic and sophisticated space, it is without a doubt the statement piece of the entire hotel. Here, a slick infinity pool stretches to a spine-tingling drop at the building’s edge, providing vast, one-of-a-kind views over the city. Skybar is a marvellous addition that reflects the sleepless city’s cosmopolitan appeal, with its stylish and contemporary atmosphere. Angular wooden benches are angled towards each other to create intimate booths that are lit by candlelight and mood lighting. Neon blue lighting can be seen to mirror the city lights that surround this rooftop spot. Avalon Restaurant and Café is another location in which to indulge at the Grand Hotel Central. Overseen by the two-Michelin starred chef Ramon Friexa, divine cuisine is served in a fashionable and sleek space decorated in a deep colour palette. The hotel’s Wellness Suite offers an altogether different menu of sensory and indulgent experiences. Enter this aromatic space and be pampered after a tiring day of exploration.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Mas la Boella
    Hotel Mas La Boella lives among 110 hectares of immaculate gardens, orderly vines and twisting olive groves outside the Catalan port city of Tarragona. Just an hour’s drive from Barcelona, this is the destination for gastronomic indulgence and countryside tranquillity. Built around a 12th century country house, time-worn and contemporary structures have a rugged charm and refuse pretention. The atmosphere is quite endearing and rustic interiors brim with original features and antique furniture. Of the 13 suites, half are found in the main building and half in an attractive modern building; each includes a spacious lounge, some have a terrace or balcony and two boast access to a private garden. The La Boella estate is a working winery and home to an olive oil mill, which provides the staple ingredient for the Mediterranean menu at Restaurant a la Carte La Boella. The warmth and low lighting of the dining room prepares guests for heady indulgence, while the Summer Terrace surrounds guests with gentle evening breezes and the scent of orange trees, magnolia, lavender and rosemary. Thanks to the estate’s production of wine and olive oil, Hotel Mas La Boella is able to offer a number of special activities, from tastings to cookery workshops. Guided tours take you through the production process from farm to table and you even get the chance to participate in the harvest. During the warmer months there is a small outdoor pool and solarium to enjoy, while bicycles allow you the freedom to roam the countryside.
    Find out more here.

    Hospes Palau de la Mar
    The five-star Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar is a luxurious property In the Eixample Noble of district of Valencia, poised between the city’s historic centre, modern area and the Turia Gardens. In this excellent location, the hotel occupies a terraced building that was once a 19th century palace – as is seen in the Romantic architecture. Step off the bustling streets and into a serene environment which has been totally revamped and revived with a contemporary design template, where fresh whites are complemented by coloured mood lighting. You can still taste the original grandeur of the building in the lobby thanks to the lofty ceilings, richly-embellished arched window frames and marble staircases. Into the guestrooms, the style continues in a similar vein, though the minimalist ambience is more comfortable than stark, with pristine white walls and bed linens offset by warmer tones in the wooden floor boards and mood lighting. Choose between spacious rooms and suites in the main building and around the interior garden, while family rooms benefit from extra living space. Some rooms have a small terrace, either within an internal atrium or looking out over the gardens. To satisfy your cravings after a day’s exploration, you can seek Ampar Restaurant for traditional recipes that exploit local produce and seafood, as well as a gourmet sampling menu of Mediterranean and Valencian flavours. The cosmopolitan Ampar Lounge and Cocktail Bar might be more suitable for light daytime bites and alcoholic beverages. For a final touch of indulgence, Bodyna Spa has two zones: the ground floor wellness area with a small gym, hot tub, sauna and a divine Turkish bath, and a separate treatment area. Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar is a stylish and contemporary centre from which to base your exploration of Valencia, perfectly located for a luxury short break and only ten minutes’ drive from Joaquin Sorolla train station.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Convent de la Missio
    Palma de Mallorca
    Convent de la Missio is a four star boutique hotel in the centre of Palma’s old town and is about ten minutes’ walk southwards to the stunning Le Seu Cathedral. The building itself is a former 17th Century monastery which was once used to educate missionaries, but the hotel now displays stunning modern art and offers excellent gastronomy in its Michelin starred restaurant. There is a simplicity to the hotel’s decoration which befits its monastic history, yet luxury and comfort are never compromised. The 14 bedrooms and suites have a relaxed feel and a defined, romantic style with exposed cream limestone, neutral linens and flowing drapes. The vaulted ceilings and intricate stonework of The Art Bar are contrasted against the contemporary sculptures and bold paintings on display. Above the bar floats a constellation of delicately coloured glass lights shining on the plush velvet furniture and colourful cocktails. Hotel Convent de la Missio’s Michelin-starred restaurant uses local produce in innovative ways and under the guidance of British chef Mark Fosh, there is a sense of nonchalant elegance to his Mediterranean menu. An indoor pool, sauna and fitness room can be found in the Wellness Centre where beauty treatments are designed to leave guests with a heightened sense of well-being and serenity. The roof has been transformed into a solarium with hammocks and a jacuzzi, making Hotel Convent de la Missio perfect for peaceful relaxation high above the hustle and bustle of Palma’s streets.
    Find out more here.

    Hotel Can Simoneta
    Canyamel, Mallorca
    A haven of tranquillity, Hotel Can Simoneta is a cliff-side retreat on the east coast of Mallorca, offering five-star luxury and sublime natural beauty to adults only. Cut adrift from the nearby resort of Canyamel, the hotel balances exclusivity and charm with ease, split across two buildings that are more than 140 years old. Large gardens feature pristine lawns dotted with hardy pine trees, while a chic swimming pool takes in spectacular views from the cliff’s edge. Touching additions include a small staircase carved into the cliff and leading directly into the crystal clear sea waters, while guests also benefit from private access to Canyamel Beach. Hotel buildings themselves are of a rustic farmhouse style from the outside – remaining true to the original architecture – while interiors have been recently refurbished. Here, the design is the image of freshness, with an elegant neutral colour scheme and natural materials giving an organic feel, while big windows filter in lots of natural light. This is true of each of the guestrooms and suites, which offer a serene environment in which to rest. If your room faces the sea, the sunrise will wake you gradually each morning, while rooms to the rear of the property have lovely views over the hills. Some rooms have a private terrace. Gran Suite Neptuno is the most indulgent accommodation option at Hotel Can Simoneta, set apart from the hotel in a private cottage with its own terrace, private garden and swimming pool. Either way, Hotel Can Simoneta prepares guests for indulgence. The dining experience at Hotel Can Simoneta involves a menu of culinary specialities prepared with careful thought and using home-grown ingredients and produce. There is also a wellness centre that offers relaxing rituals, massages, and beauty treatments, meanwhile keen golfers have four courses to choose from in the vicinity, some with reduced green fees to take advantage of as part of your stay.
    Find out more here.

    Belmond La Residencia
    Deia, Mallorca
    Belmond la Residencia nestles into a hillside right in the picturesque artists’ village of Deià, home for many years to the historian, poet and author Robert Graves, (whose house is open to the public within walking distance of La Residencia), situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the dramatic Tramuntana mountain range. This five-star hotel, with just 67 rooms and suites plus one villa, consists of two manor houses that date from the 16th and 17th Centuries, restored to offer charming and luxurious accommodation and public rooms, furnished with local antiques and fabrics, and with rich, dark wooden doors, shutters and beamed ceilings. An outstanding feature of La Residencia is its art collection. Colourful and thought-provoking works of art are placed throughout the hotel, in bedrooms, corridors, the spa, restaurant, and reception, with magnificent sculptures placed in the hotel gardens. In fact, regular walks around the hotel and in the village itself can be taken with the curator of the hotel’s art collection. The hotel’s bedrooms and suites are located in the original manor houses (the main building and the Son Fony building) and new suites have been built into the hillside in terraces above the hotel. Some have a terrace and the newer junior suites (deluxe and executive) have panoramic views over the village, the mountains and to the sea with a garden terrace equipped with table and chairs and two sun beds. These also feature an open fireplace. All rooms, however, boast elegant, antique Mallorcan furniture and of course striking paintings. Some rooms inter-connect. As you approach la Residencia from the village, along its short drive way, you are struck by the beauty and serenity of the place, enhanced by meticulously maintained gardens, bursting with trees, shrubs and flowers, which, depending on the season, may be lemon trees heavy with fruit, palms and olives, beds of lavender, marguerites and hydrangeas, roses, oleander, bougainvillaea and rosemary. The hotel boasts acres of land and, in addition to that occupied by the immediate hotel buildings including spa and tennis courts, much of the land in terraces behind the hotel is given over to olive trees, with the hotel producing its own olive oil (bottled for use in the restaurant, and served with your bread basket). These terraces are home to the hotel’s donkeys, named by local school-children, and who will accompany guests on excursions through the olive groves to a stone shepherd’s hut where picnic lunches are held. Dining is an important feature of a stay here at La Residencia, with its two main restuarants, El Olivo, with a Michelin star, and the Café Miróa Son Moragues, open every day for lunch and dinner, with lighter fare including mouthwatering tapas and fish of the day. In the summer months from May to September the pool restaurant serves salads and Mediterranean specialities for lunch alfresco. Breakfast is an veritable feast of a buffet served in the Son Fony building and outside on its terrace overlooking the pool in fine weather. Mallorcan specialities of sausage, smoked cheese, tomatoes and olive bread compete with eggs freshly cooked to order alongside all manner of fruit, breads, cake, cheeses and cold meats. The food is superb and the menu varied enough to cater for a long stay if you chose to eat in every day, but as La Residencia is literally on the door step of the village, within a short stroll of up to 10 minutes at most, you can find an array of local restaurants, from Michelin-starred Es Racó d’es Teix to a trattoria and local specialities. Days can be spent relaxing at the hotel, perhaps playing tennis with the tennis coach, table-tennis, using the hotel bikes, hiring a Vespa, taking art classes with resident artists or taking a ride on the hotel’s boat. There is also a tranquil spa, where you can enjoy a range of treatments and products using local ingredients and an indoor pool, sauna and steam room. In addition to the main pool, the Residencia also has a smaller pool for adult use only. Nearby you can reach a host of places for walking, swimming in the sea, culture, dramatic scenery, eating out and shopping. La Residencia is a beautifully run hotel in an enchanting location and above all, where you will receive impeccable yet heartfelt service by a team of regular staff who truly enjoy making you feel welcome.
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