How much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster? How many bathrooms does his palace have, his Majesty? Naturally, these are the kind of questions that nobody usually asks, but it is worth wondering about the paradises where to stay in the wonderful Mallorca and be much, much better than in Marivent. And of course there are.
Judging by the caliber of the characters who have disputed his property, The Residence, in Deiá, occupies the pole position in terms of the best hotels on the island. And not only for this reason. The hotel has that magical atmosphere of those hotels that make us dream, located in an extraordinary location, with a wonderful karma, it is surely one of the hotel jewels of Spain and the entire Mediterranean, little known in the homeland for a reason. Its clientele is mainly British and Spaniards with the economic capacity to pay its high prices. (about 1,500 euros a night, the cheapest room in August this year. Don’t bother booking. Only suites left from 3,500 euros) they probably have their own house somewhere on the island, they’re on board the Charcot in the North Pole, searching for the perfect wave in Sumba or planning your next space trip.
For 15 years, the Residence was one of the most prized possessions of the most jovial galactic entrepreneur and youngest septuagenarian on planet Earth, that is, Sir Richard Branson. He acquired it in 1987 and incorporated it into his exclusive collection of hotels. She was also faithful to his date on the island. With all the pain in her heart, she was forced to sell it in 2002. The attacks on the Twin Towers seriously damaged her empire, especially her airlines, Virgin, and Branson needed liquidity, so she got rid of many possessions in different countries. .
She was acquired by another character with a fascinating biography in the world of travel, American businessman James Sherwood (died 2020), the man who in 1977 bought two original Orient Express carriages at an auction in Monte Carlo and brought the mythical train back to life. Sherwood incorporated La Residencia into its hotel chain that began years ago with the purchase of the legendary Cipriani in Venice. Due to a conflict with the registration of the name, Sherwood’s company was forced to stop being called Orient Express and became Belmond. But his jewels remained as is: La Residencia, Villa San Michele, Splendido… until things began to go wrong for that precious empire with so many paradises. In December 2018 is acquired by Bernad Arnaultthus gaining an extraordinary position in the hotel sector that had begun a few years earlier with its Cheval Blanc chain. So today, “La Resi”, for friends, is in the hands of the czar of luxury, LVMH boss and Europe’s first fortune. And the news could not be better because Belmond has real gems, but in some aspects (especially in decoration and interior design) it will come in handy, but a touch of style and the super financial injection of Arnault is very good.
When Branson got his fortune back, he wanted to get The Residence back, but he couldn’t. He is no longer back as the owner, but as a regular customer. Next year will open a hotel not far from therein his beloved Tramuntana, Son Bunyola. Will it have the magic of La Residencia? Wait and see. For now, we are left with the magic of its gardens, its stone steps, its swimming pools with infinity palm trees, its terraces of red geraniums, its mixture of the rustic and that refined Mediterranean atmosphere. You don’t have to be staying to have an unforgettable coffee on one of its terraces. The good thing about “la Resi,” Mr. Branson, is that you don’t have to own it to enjoy it. You don’t have to be the King of Spain or the czar of luxury to feel in Mallorca like in paradise.
When King Juan Carlos I landed at the Son San Juan Air Base and the military chiefs of the Air Force appeared, as is mandatory, to give him the news, a scene similar to this one always took place. «Colonel X. Head of the Pollença Base, Sir». To which the emeritus replied, displaying his famous “bourboneo”: “How lucky you are, bastard. Me in Zarzuela and you all year in Pollença». The Northeast area of the island is surely the one with the most paradisiacal corners. Adjacent to the seaplane base is another of the island’s grand hotel ladies, the mythical Hotel Formentorclosed for a couple of years, but with the works of the future Four Seasons Formentor proceeding at a very good pace. Yes, it will be to take off the hat to little well that they do it. The wickers cannot be better.
Between the two points is Strengtha really extraordinary house that if you have enough economic power to rent it all (only possibility) will be your best option on the island without a doubt. Rafael Nadal celebrated his wedding there. During the presidency of Felipe González, the possibility of acquiring it and donating it to the then Prince of Asturias was considered, to guarantee the heir to the Crown his own residence on the island, but the idea was largely discarded due to the difficult access and distance from Palma. . In that same area there is another hotel gem that is worth knowing, Son Brull, another really charming little hotel of whim.