Four countryside escapes in Mallorca
The island boasts some of the most beautiful Mediterranean retreats.
It’s peaceful. The water is a perfect 38 degrees. I feel weightless, totally relaxed.
I’m lying on my back in the indoor pool at Fontsanta Hotel, Mallorca. The salty, mineral-rich water comes from an underground thermal spring – the only one on the Balearic Islands. The water is buoyant. It’s easy to just float and lose track of both time and space.
When I climb out of the water, the sun is setting behind the lavender bushes outside. In the distance, the salt lakes in the nearby Es Salobrar de Campos nature reserve are glistening. There are over 1,700 identified species of birds here, including pink flamingos.
Fontsanta Hotel is the perfect retreat for birdwatching, and for stressed city dwellers who want to change gear (and travel without children – the hotel is adults only). One or two nights here feels like a luxury that’s hard to beat– and a perfect compliment to a couple of nights in the capital, Palma.
The five-star spa hotel is in the Campos region in the south of Mallorca. Not far from here is Es Trenc, considered by many people to be the finest beach on the island.
But it’s hard to drag myself away from the hotel.
On day two I set up camp on a sunbed by one of the outdoor pools. I drink freshly squeezed juice, read and enjoy the pleasant spring sunshine. For lunch, I eat a delicate gazpacho and silky smooth olive oil ice cream.
The hotel restaurant serves gourmet meals on crisp, white linen in the evening. The menu includes freshly caught prawns from Soller on the north coast of Mallorca, barbecued suckling pig from a nearby farm and salt-crusted roast fish. The dishes are seasoned with salt from the neighboring Sal d’Es Trenc and herbs from the hotel kitchen garden. The pièce de résistance on the dessert menu is a basil cake with sweet Parmesan mousse and quince jelly.
If you are looking for a countryside retreat, Fontsanta Hotel is far from the only choice. There are countless fincas dotted around the island, former farms that have been converted into hotels. They offer the perfect base for exploring the island’s nature.
One such is Sa Rota d’en Palerm, a former stables that has been transformed into a modern off-the-beaten-track hotel. It’s situated right at the end of the road, a few kilometers south of the town of Sineu. Here I am greeted by a retired couple, the Palerms, whose family has owned the land for over 200 years. The stables are surrounded by pine forests and orange, lime and almond trees. The breakfast buffet features fruit harvested here, including as fig and apricot jams.
“My wife makes the jams, while I make the yogurt and bake the bread,” explains Carlos Palerm.
Four hidden gems on Mallorca
Grand country hotel dating from the 16th Century. Picturesque rooms and a gourmet restaurant, bar and spa. S’Olivaret boasts one of the most magnificent hotel pools on the island.
Carretera Alaró-Orient, 07349 Alaró
Book a stay at S'Olivaret
Sa Rota d’en Palerm
Cosy country hotel in a rural setting, a couple of kilometers south of Sineu. It’s a former stables that has been converted into double rooms with modern facilities. There’s a nice pool and a delightful home-made breakfast buffet.
Carretera de Lloret de Vistalegre a Montuiri, 07518 Lloret de Vistalegre, Illes Balears
Book a stay at Sa Rota d'en Palerm
Luxury country hotel on the outskirts of Soller. It offers a small pool area and a large buffet breakfast featuring several Majorcan specialties. The couple who run the hotel also organize hiking and sailing trips.
Camí de la Villalonga nº16, 07100 Sóller
Book a stay at Can Quatre
Belmond La Residencia
Five-star hotel in the artists’ village of Deia. The hotel is surrounded by olive and lemon groves Attractions include a spa, a Michelin-listed restaurant, tennis courts, art galleries, sculpture park and free boat trips for hotel guests.
Son Canals, 07179 Deià
Book a stay at Belmond La Residencia
Text by Annika Goldhammer