What do the Spanish Royal family, Michael Douglas and Rafa Nadal have in common? They all have homes in Mallorca. If you fancy getting in touch with your inner princess, why not follow their example and check into Mallorca’s majestic Castell Son Claret. A crenellated castle just half an hour from the Spanish island’s sophisticated capital Palma, the family owned Castell Son Claret rolls out the red carpet for all its guests.
Set within 326 acres of unspoiled countryside, hearty hikers, walkers and cyclists will head straight for the surrounding UNESCO protected Tramuntana Mountains - you can book a cycling tour through the mountains, tailored by resident coach and former pro Guido Eickelbeck. But you won’t need walking boots or Lycra to discover the glorious Arabian gardens, the jewel in the Castell Son Claret's crown.
I am welcomed to the hotel with a glass of zesty lemonade made with lemons harvested straight from the Castell’s garden. In my room, a sprig of fragrant rosemary is tucked in the belt of my bath robe. A wicker pannier basket containing beach towels and straw hats will come in handy since the French windows in my room overlook the outdoor swimming pool. Such thoughtful touches -- along with complimentary cava, fruit bowl and a carefully packaged home-made ensaïmada, a Mallorcan pastry -- make me feel like royalty.
While oak beams and flooring with soft furnishings in shades of mocha and chocolate reflect traditional Mallorcan style, there are plenty of modern touches including a Nespresso machine, underfloor heating and Ren products in the bathroom.
My room is in the main building, a sturdy stone-built castle dating from 1450 and converted into a luxury hotel in 2013. All 38 suites and rooms overlook, or are set within, Arabian style gardens. Stately palms, billowy almond blossom and fragrant shrubs exuding exotic scents thrive around an elegant water feature. Such Zen-like surroundings are perfect for outdoor yoga, personalised meditation, mindfulness classes and Tai Chi Qigong classes.
A balm for all the senses, the garden is also the inspiration behind the intimate Bellesa de Claret Spa. I spent hours relaxing by the indoor pool and dipping in and out of the sauna, steam room and hammam. By the time Heidi, my therapist, calls me for my Spring Seasonal treatment, I’m chilled out and ready for inaction.
That morning Heidi has popped out to the gardens and snipped sprigs of almond blossom to decorate the therapy room. It’s a floral hint at the treatment I’ve chosen. All the spa’s seasonal signature treatments use fresh ingredients straight from the garden and, as it’s spring, I’m having the almond treatment. In summer the theme is olives, in autumn it’s fragrant lavender.
Heidi begins with an exfoliation using finely crushed almonds mixed with almond oil. It smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling seal smooth. During the massage Heidi expertly releases areas of tension and using pressure points, gently commands my muscles to take a holiday. After a skillful head massage, I’m heading straight for Nirvana. This treatment has long lasting positive effects: days later my skin still feels smooth.
Given the spa’s dedication to all things organic, I’m eager to try a signature seasonal facial. This time, Heidi uses Cle des Champs Organic products and begins by giving my skin a thorough clean using an almond milk cleanser. Having noted my skin needs serious rehydration, she recommended a moisture-boosting exfoliant mask made from pumpkin and cinnamon. This is followed by a delicate massage using a balm of beeswax and essential oil and a green tomato moisturiser.
You won’t be surprised to discover that the gardens also play a major role in the hotel’s gastronomy. The relaxed and intimate Olivera offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, showcasing the island’s cuisine. The two Michelin star Zaranda takes this to another wild and wacky level. Chef Fernando P. Arellano scours the island for produce, then he and his team create artistic masterpieces which redefine the island’s gastronomic traditions. Dining at Zaranda is a gourmet rollercoaster ride made even more of an event by the sommelier’s daring pairings.
Qigong in the Castell’s gardens: Qigong is a form of meditative movement, rather like Tai Chi. There’s nothing like stretching your limbs with the sun on your skin, listening to bird song and breathing in the scent of jasmine and orange blossom. The session is followed by a very slow meditative walk through the gardens -- every sound is distinct, every touch electric, every colour kaleidoscope rich.
Rooms at Castell Son Claret are priced from €305 (from GBP 262) per night and suites from €755 (from GBP 648) per room per night, including daily breakfast, WIFI, parking, tax and service.
3rd June 2019
Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.
Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.
Behind the scenes