Deià was loved by both Frederic Chopin and Robert Graves, who believed the village possessed spiritually uplifting qualities. Many have been drawn to its magnetic beauty, from artists, musicians, writers and intellectuals to those who love to live in luxury—because here lies five-star La Residencia, a Belmond hotel. Famous as one of the island’s most renowned hideaways—and one of the finest hotels in all Spain—it is aptly named; it’s like the impeccable Mallorcan home of a wealthy, art-loving, flawlessly refined friend—and one with a virtuoso chef, full service spa, tennis courts and swimming pools at your service.
La Residencia nestles peacefully between the sea and the slopes of the 4,000ft Tramuntana Mountains, within sunlit groves of lemons and olives, linked by labyrinths of stone pathways and steps which invite guests to saunter through the 35 acres of lush, mature gardens—including one of Spain’s largest permanent sculpture gardens. At its heart are two creeper-covered 16th and 17th century manor houses, which over years have been added to in unimpeachable relaxed Mallorcan style so that now there are 72 individual rooms, suites and a private villa, all with beautiful panoramic views of the mountains, the tiled rooftops of Deià, or the cyprus-shaded gardens. All are exquisite, tastefully decorated with antiques, works of art and textiles, and elegant, spacious bathrooms offering every facility. Many have private terraces or patios, some have private pools to add to the two landscaped pools in the gardens.
Low-key despite its fame as one of Spain’s best restaurants, the hotel’s El Olivo is a delightfully stylish place which once was a working olive press. Exceptional Mediterranean cuisine is served here in a candlelit, romantic setting and in warm weather, diners move outside to a palm- and bougainvillea-scaped terrace with views of the mountains and the twinkling lights of Deià village. In dishes such as sauteed turbot with local rice from Sa Pobla, stir-fried “’amallet’ tomato sauce and crayfish wrapped in cured pork jowl, Chef Guillermo Méndez’s menus reflect the freshest local produce. Meanwhile the Café Miró with its mountain-facing terrace, has 33 original Joan Miró paintings hanging inside. The all-day café is open for hot and cold drinks and cocktails, afternoon teas, tapas and other delicious local dishes, with live music each evening.
There is much to do here for those with the inclination to do more than while away the hours and revel in the beauty of the sunsets over the mountains. Take a tour of the olive groves followed by a picnic in a stone shepherd’s hut, with or without the hotel’s donkeys. Or take the Poet’s Walk. Or make a three-kilometre expedition through the cicada-filled groves to charming Sóller, with its vintage train, market square, museums and botanical gardens. Book a complimentary two-hour boat ride along the coast. Or perfect your tennis, petange, painting and ceramics skills with an expert coach, on hand for just such a purpose.
Or take the five-minute stroll to Deià village, where with sheer mountains looming behind, one can descend steep steps in the rock face leading down to secluded Mediterranean coves, to snorkel, kayak and picnic in peace. In the village above are the chic boutiques, artists’ studios and galleries, vibrant cafés and restaurants, and Graves’ house, now a museum. Beyond Deià are pretty Cala Deià, with its pebbled beach and renowned Cas Patro March restaurant, reached in 10 minutes by car. The nearby monastery of Valldemossa, made famous by Chopin, is six miles away. It takes about 20 minutes by taxi to reach Sóller, or the sandy beaches of Puerta Sóller. The capital, Palma, is 17 miles (the airport is some 22 miles).
Graves wrote of Deià, ‘I found everything I wanted as a writer: sun, sea, mountains, spring water, shady trees, no politics and a few civilised luxuries such as electric light and a bus service to Palma.’ La Residencia is a tranquil haven for all these and more. Despite its luxury, this is a hotel with a homely, inviting and warm ambience. It’s no surprise that its devotees return again and again.
¶ CountryClubuk Members receive special rates and amenities all season, including currently currently starting at approximately £450 per night for an entry-level double room including breakfast, complimentary room upgrade, early check-in and late check-out if available on arrival. The hotel opens for the season on March 19 and closes on October 28.PLEASE READ: CountryClubuk Club Rules and Terms and Conditions