Palma de Mallorca is a year-round destination for holiday makers and yachtsmen alike. If, however, you are feeling somewhat jaded by beach culture at the height of summer, head away from the coast and towards the mountains.
Just outside the village of Es Capdellá is a restored 19th century castle owned by the Kühne family (who also own the eponymous Kühne & Nagel shipping company).
The 320 acre property at the foot of the UNESCO protected ”La Tramuntana” mountains offers seclusion, perfect serenity, breathtaking scenery and the 5 star+++ luxury associated with the ‘Leading Hotel of the World’ badge of honour.
The meticulously renovated main building and outbuildings house two restaurants, one of which is a 2 Michelin star establishment (the only one to be so awarded on the Balearics), a spa, gym, meeting rooms and of course, guest accommodation.
We stayed in one of the private pool suites. A hotel suite is often a misnomer, especially when space is at a premium. Not so at Castell Son Claret…
These are vast, vast apartments with super high pitched roof ceilings and stone floors, entertaining space, and beautiful scented gardens with their own pools as the name indicates.
Keeping within the spirit of seclusion, the hotel offers the option of having a paella party en-suite or simply ordering a meal to be enjoyed pool-side.
We chose to have dinner alongside the international clientele at the garden restaurant looking towards the main outdoor pool. The Michelin star Zaranda restaurant was closed on our first night and fully booked on the second. We thought that our dinner was excellent in any event.
Starter was a platter of oysters with a selection of fixings including, along with the standard ones, a variation of a soy sauce dressing, creamed horseradish, pickled seaweed and onion vinaigrette. Very highly recommended for oyster lovers…
Mains were a whole baked sole for me and a veal chop with a truffled sauce for my companion. Having feasted on the deliciously coated almonds and estate olives earlier, we had no room for dessert on either night.
The wine list has a story of its own, but we didn’t partake as both of us were on an alcohol-free sabbatical. The hotel stocks alcohol-free beer which was a bonus.
Nor did we try out the spa, a destination in its own right…
The main thing about Castell Son Claret is recapturing the serenity of being in the middle of nature at its best. The gardens are manicured to be sure, but the open countryside is thoughtfully left to blossom in every direction and blossom it does: the scented greenery is everywhere – trailing on stone walls, providing shade here and there and delighting all senses with its glorious abundance as far as the eye can see.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the ubiquitous works of art dotted around the main building and inside the suites. These are not pastiche landscapes – we are talking large canvasses by important contemporary Spanish artists.
The estate is a very special haven for visitors of refined taste and the means to indulge it.
BBeyond does not, as a rule, profile budget destinations and Castell Son Claret is certainly in the top range as luxury resorts go, but it is worth it without any doubt if relaxation, discretion and privacy are what you are looking for.
Service is outstanding and, given the international clientele, staff is wonderfully multilingual also. Transfers from and to Palma airport take 30-40 minutes and are arranged by the hotel in super comfortable cars.