La Residencia – Deià, Mallorca, Spain
A Self-Contained Island Haven
Deià was beloved by both Frédéric Chopin and the English poet Robert Graves, who believed that the simple town possessed spiritually uplifting qualities. Artists and writers continue to be drawn to it’s quiet, unspoiled beauty, which has so far escaped the tour buses and overbuilding rampant elsewhere in the Balearic Islands. Sheer mountains loom behind, and Mediterranean coves lie below.
La Residencia, one of the islands’ finest hideaways, is surrounded by 30 acres of flowering gardens, set among terraced olive and citrus groves between sea and the slopes of a 4,000-foot mountain. Consisting of two creeper-covered 17th-century manor houses, La Residencia is aptly named. Luxurious but decidedly unglitzy, it’s like the impeccable Mallorcan home of a wealthy, art-loving, and flawlessly refined friend. Low-keyed despite its fame as one of Spain’s best, the hotel’s restaurant, El Olivo, is a cozy place that was once an olive oil press. Indoors, exceptional Mediterranean cuisine is served in a candlelit, romantic setting. In warm weather, dining moves outside to a palm – and bougainvillea-scaped terrace. An old mule track provides a delightful three-hour trek through mountainside lemon and olive groves to the nearby village of Soller, although most guests prefer to experience nature through the pampering indulgence of algae and herb treatments and massages at the hotel’s new beauty center.