By IAIN MILLER
On the northern coast of Mallorca, mountain slopes tumble to a rocky coastline of secluded bays fringing the Mediterranean Sea. Hillsides are covered with shady pines and ancient terraces of olive groves and fruit trees, with occasional small villages. This quintessentially Mediterranean landscape, combined with the abundant bright sunshine, has long made the village of Deià a popular place with artists. There is a now a rich artistic heritage in Deià, with many international artists having moved here to work over the last fifty years.
Close to the village is the luxury resort and spa, La Residencia. Built within the estate of two 16th and 17th century manor houses, the resort has been built in the style of the surrounding area to maintain the ambience of the area’s outstanding beauty. The artistic tradition of Deià is reflected and celebrated throughout the resort, which owns and displays a large collection of sculpture and paintings by artists who have had an association with the local area. The hotel has an artist in residence, hosts a calendar of exhibitions, and has a programme of events and master classes for guests.
La Residencia has sixty-seven guest rooms, decorated in neutral tones with white linen and traditional and antique Mallorquin furniture. Rooms and suites look out through shuttered windows over the herb, fruit and flower gardens that descend the hillside throughout the sprawl of the low-rise traditionally-styled resort buildings. Accommodation is offered in singles, doubles, and a range of suites: ‘Junior’, ‘Superior’, ‘Tramuntana’ and ‘Luxury’.
The ‘Tramuntana’ suites, named after the Tramuntana Mountains that dominate the view above the hillside of the resort, are the resort’s newest eight luxury suites, set into the mountainside in seclusion. All suites have traditional tiled garden areas for relaxing and entertaining with breathtaking views, and four have a private plunge pool. The suites each have a large bathroom with separate shower and toilet areas, spacious bedrooms with exceptionally high-quality Egyptian cotton linen, and lounge areas with luxurious furniture and fittings throughout.
The mountains and dramatic landscape around the resort can be enjoyed through a wide choice of activities offered by the resort’s Leisure Concierge service. Mountain bikes can be hired, hot air balloon and helicopter rides arranged, or one of the resort’s donkeys, Lluna, Panxo, Alba or Negret, can be taken on a short hill walk ending at the hotel’s mountain refuge, where a tasting of local Majorcan products is served.
Deià is home to a choice of fine restaurants, and a number of bars. Cafe Sa Fonda has long been a favourite with visiting artists and musicians, and occasional impromptu performances have been given on the terrace by internationally famous stars. The choice restaurant of an excellent selection is probably ‘Es Racó d’es Teix’, which has held a Michelin star since 2002.
Also acclaimed and highly regarded is La Residencia’s restaurant, El Olivo. The restaurant serves exquisite food and wine, with an emphasis on local produce, and is found in the old 16th century manor house’s former olive press. The resort’s other restaurants are Son Fony, where breakfast is served al fresco, Son Moragues Terrace for breakfast, afternoon tea and bar, and the Pool Bar with its mountain views and lunch menu specialising in fresh fish.
Spa facilities at La Residencia are superb, once again voted as one of the top four ‘Best Spas in Europe, Asia Minor and Russian Federation’ in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Awards. Within the indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and gym complex are six treatment rooms, three with outdoor massage areas. There are daily programmes, specific beauty packages available throughout the year, and bespoke treatment plans available from the resident beauty therapists.
For more athletic modes of recreation, La Residencia has a fully equipped modern gymnasium, and some of the best tennis facilities in Mallorca - two courts set in beautiful surroundings, with a pro-shop and a professional tennis coach available for coaching. Tennis packages are popular at the resort, with the Mallorcan climate giving excellent year-round playing conditions.
If you’re looking for a luxury holiday in Spain, Deià and the north coast of Mallorca boast stunning mountain scenery along an unspoilt coast of mountain and hillside villages. Deia took its shape during the Moorish era, with the present terraced landscape dating back to the 10th-13th Century. La Residencia offers a tranquil and rustically peaceful hideaway in total luxury, and with an array of activities to suit a wide variety of tastes.
Iain Miller is a finance and travel blogger with an unhealthy interest in poker and dreams of making it big in Vegas. He has been working in marketing for the past two years helping to promote Elegant Resorts.