For me, the world Belmond instantly conjures up images of luxurious hideaways that embrace local traditions and cuisine. So, when I was invited to visit the Belmond La Residencia, my expectations were sky high. Arriving at this mesmerising hotel nestled within the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca (I’d advise leaving the high heels at home!) they were instantly met and exceeded. After a warm welcome, I was shown to one of the hotel's new Exclusive Suites, complete with a private plunge pool and beautiful views. Due to the mountainside logistics of the property, the six stunning suites took over three years to build, making it an absolute honour to be invited to stay in one...
The Mountains and the Mediterranean
Alongside the hotel's laid-back luxury and a focus on all things Mallorcan, the mountain location is truly breathtaking. What's more, with the collection of historic, local-stone buildings surrounded by lemon trees, ancient olive groves and herb gardens, the smells are amazing too! As well as the super serene mountain setting, a stay here offers the best of both worlds, just a stone’s throw from delightful Deià, a village that is renowned for its artistry, beauty and sophisticated informality. It is also a quick drive from the picturesque fishing village (turned ultra-stylish holiday destination) of Port de Soller. It is from here that the hotel offers their wonderful complimentary daily sailing excursion between June and September. Visiting in April, however, we were lucky enough to enjoy the scenic cruise along Mallorca’s Mediterranean coastline, enjoying cold drinks and fabulous views. Although it was a bit too nippy when we were there, I can imagine that during summer, there is nothing better than stopping to swim in the amazingly clear water.
An Abundance of Art
This gem of a hotel is pure paradise for art lovers. We were told that across the gallery, rooms and public areas, there are over 750 works of art by 80 artists, as well as 46 sculptures! In the gallery, the works change monthly to fit a specific theme and to continue the support of local artists. Speaking of local artists, the hotel offers the Walk and Talk Art Tour which we were lucky enough to go on. Cecile, the curator of the amazing art collection, took us through delightful Deià where we met three artists at their homes, each with a wonderfully individual artistic style. One of these was named David, a friendly and free-spirited man whose home was built with local stone back in 1818! Perfectly matching the quirkiness of his charming home, a selection of his unique paintings were on display outside. If all the art around Deià inspires you to get your own creative juices flowing, the hotel also hosts art classes – from painting to pottery - with resident experts.
During my time at Belmond La Residencia, I was able to sample all three restaurants. With a focus on using ingredients from the local area, I was genuinely blown away by everything I ate in each. Café Miro was a stylish eatery which celebrated art – with unique paintings hanging on the walls and a live band playing each evening - and the produce of the Tramuntana range... the mountain cheeses here were amazing! More local delights awaited at El Olivo where, as the name suggests, the region’s olives are the star of the show. In fact, there are around 1500 olive trees surrounding the hotel that are up to 500 years old. A press in Soller takes the fruit and produces the restaurant’s very own olive oil (also named El Olivo). This is used in all the hotel’s restaurants and I’m not lying when I say it was the best olive oil I’ve ever tasted!
Another unique dining experience involved walking with our guide Tony alongside the lovely resort donkeys - named Pancho and Luna – through the groves and up the hill to a charming shepherd’s hut. We were joined by a family with young children and it was just wonderful to see their faces when meeting and leading the friendly animals. Reaching the hut, we were served a traditional leisurely, laid-back tapas lunch. A constant stream of incredible food was enjoyed along with great wine and glorious views – perfect! My top tip for this great experience would be to take your sturdy shoes, as the terrain was uneven at times.
While the dining options at the hotel are wonderful, you can also enjoy gourmet cuisine down in Deià. Much more than just a sleepy village, Deià is home to Michelin star-awarded restaurant Es Racó d’es Teixm, run by a former chef from Belmond La Residencia, as well as several other great quality establishments.
Mindfulness and Meditation
While I’ve already raved about the hotel’s location, it also wonderfully welcomes wellness due to its quietness and natural beauty. As soon as I arrived, I forgot all the stresses of home and simply couldn’t help but relax. Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi classes are held regularly, as well as bespoke stress management workshops and wonderful holistic therapies. Remember that local olive oil I mentioned earlier? It is also used in several treatments at the award-winning spa, as are indigenous plants and herbs grown around the area.
It’s safe to say that if you’re seeking relaxation and restoration (as well as gorgeous surroundings, the freshest locally-sourced cuisine, Mediterranean sunshine and a wealth of art) Belmond La Residencia is the place for you.
If you want to experience all that this mesmerising property has to offer for yourself, give a Luxury Travel Specialist on the Europe team a call today.