A Mallorca hotel with the tagline ‘luxury is silence’? And so, of course I was expecting a monastic experience at boutique retreat Castell Son Claret. But with a Michelin-starred restaurant, a well-stocked wine cellar and on-site bakery, how on earth could one be expected to be abstemious?
A relative newcomer to Mallorca (the hotel opened in spring 2013), Castell Son Claret brings an elegance and simplicity not found elsewhere on the island. Occupying a 12th century castle with its original fortress walls, this is every inch the romantic fantasy. 38 rooms and suites are distributed around a secluded courtyard area, many with private terraces overlooking the mountains. A suite in the lovingly restored stable block, my room was a haven of calm with a view over almond and lemon trees. Throughout the hotel modern elegance is counter-balanced with natural touches: spa invitations are presented with fresh sprigs of lavender, flowers from the gardens decorate the bathrooms, and almonds and olives harvested on site are served in the bar.
While the surrounding landscape of rugged hills is barren, hotel guests are greeted by terraces of lush Mediterranean topiary cascading down to an ornamental pool, and if you’re lucky, you might even encounter a swan or two. The best way to appreciate them? Bellini in hand, if you please.
Throughout the Castell, standards are stratospherically high. Glasses are polished to gleaming perfection, napkins are straightened and the turndown service is second to none – yet guests are left completely in peace. No knocks at the door from housekeeping or phone calls about spa appointments. ‘Do not disturb signs’ aren’t even necessary – stylish leather tags emblazoned with ‘siesta’ do the job. Really I should have been hiking around the hotel’s 6km of walking trails working up an appetite for dinner but instead I spent my first day picking pomegranates (ripe to the point of splitting) and swimming lengths in a stunning saltwater pool.
Home to Zaranda: a Michelin-starred restaurant famous for its creative cuisine, Castell Son Claret pulls in a local foodie crowd in the evening. On my visit, chef Fernando Perez Arellano wheeled out all manner of surprises; one particular course involved a miniature wood-burner and a bundle of kindling… you get the idea. Stand-out dishes included a bream confit accompanied by pistachio-aubergine-caponata, and a glazed confit of ox-tongue with sweet-and-sour leek and potato.
For those with less adventurous palates, Olivera, the hotel’s informal restaurant serves mouth-watering pasta and simple homemade delicacies under the branches of an ancient olive tree. Olivera is the perfect counterpart for Zaranda – so book two nights if you can and try them both. Oh, and don’t take anyone too noisy with you, you’ll want to soak up every ounce of that ‘luxury of silence’.
In the Area…
One of the best things about Castell Son Claret is its splendid isolation but should you wish to venture beyond the gates of the hotel, the surrounding mountain range is great for hiking and cycling. Picturesque villages abound. Es Capdella is the closest (within ten minutes drive), and Deia and Valldemossa are popular for their museums and art galleries. Otherwise, the glamorous harbour of Puerto Portals is ten minutes away, and if you fancy tasting some local wine, there are plentyof wine cellars at Port D’andratz. For designer boutiques, Palma is 20 minutes away.
Doubles at Castell Son Claret start from £325 per night on a bed and breakfast basis. For more information and to book, see the hotel’s website.