There’s something special about Mallorca. Get up into the hills, and you can see why it’s been a draw for artists and creatives for years. If you’re up for a break, in a chic place that has it all, Son Brull in the north of Mallorca, at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains, is an excellent choice.
This is an 18th century Jesuit monastery that has been lovingly transformed into a boutique hotel. The building is listed, so remnants of the past, like the huge oil mill that now serves as the backdrop for a cosy restaurant/bar, are still very visible. The hotel has done an excellent job of merging old and new in a way that doesn’t feel contrived.
The Vibe/ Décor
Everything here feels breezy and fresh. Billowing whites against the stone backdrop by the pool. Airy rooms with windows (some with several; ours had three different windows) that open onto courtyards and vineyards. Fireplaces were a great addition – one in the spa, one in the restaurant, one in reception – that definitely encourage you to hang around. The honey-coloured farmhouse is truly picturesque and the branding is simplicity at its finest. Someone here has an extremely good eye; clean lines, crisp fabrics, buttery leather, draping….. The devil truly is in the detail, and we noticed it all!
This is a boutique hotel – 23 rooms and suites, with two new two bedroom villas (each with small pools), but the property is vast, giving guests ample space. Rooms have all the usual 5-star amenities including Nespresso, Bluetooth speakers, pillow menus and some come with standalone Jacuzzi tubs (UJloves), walk-in rainfall showers, sitting rooms and views. This is an extremely peaceful space; close your windows, and it’s virtually silent. Open them, and rise to the roosters. It’s that kind of place. Oranges from the garden are left in your rooms, and namesake gin, olive oil and wines are served. UJ loved the local style straw bags and hats provided in rooms and water that was refilled, gratis. A little generosity goes a long way.
Food and Drink
The restaurant here (365) is a local draw in itself. A stone room with formal yet laidback white tables with perfect lighting (essentially a spotlight on each table that somehow manages to be intimate, not blinding), with a couple of bling accents (chandeliers) to complement the minimal decor. Skip lunch and come here for the tasting menu, a gastronomic tour that utilises local produce. There’s also a bistro for a more casual offering that’s reasonable for what’s served (sometimes, at remote hotels, they hike the prices accordingly – but not here) and the outdoor tables, overlooking the vineyards, are perfect for a lazy, long afternoon lunch. Drinks are served by the pool, and fresh orange juice from their trees is served at breakfast on request. UJ loved dining on the sofa in the bistro; it’s refreshing to feel like you’re able to lounge while you dine.
The property. It doesn’t get much better than this. An Arab farmhouse that feels a bit Tuscan, with acres of vineyards and donkeys (with cowbells!) that surround the property. The staff here were amazing – the kind that stop to talk to you at breakfast – and the other guests seemed great too. This kind of place draws a special kind of person – most were there to hike, relax, connect. UJ loved that people proudly walked around in bathrobes, everywhere.
The spa. You must try the spa. Cold plunge pools, a pool with thermal circuit, steam and sauna, a great view, décor that feels more living room than spa (UJ loves), and treatments that use all-natural products, unique to Son Brull. They also have yoga and meditation classes daily and their gym – unlike most hotel gyms – is bright and encouraging rather than depressing! They have equipment like TRXes and if you prefer something that’s outside, they have mountain bikes to borrow, too.