Luxurious 5* Castell Son Claret, founded in 1450 and set amid 326 acres of pristine parkland, is the ideal place to escape the everyday, immerse in nature and truly relax. It is no wonder that the hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. #TeamCoco made the short pilgrimage to the hotel from Palma to the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
Straight away, the Castell is a treat for all the senses – some senses that we didn’t even know existed, after living in a sprawling city for so long. The palm-tree lined drive makes way for fountains and flowers in full bloom with bees and birds in nectar heaven. We were met by graciously warm staff and delicious home-made lemonade with ingredients from the lemon trees right outside the door. We could spot all the ingredients in many of the drinks served throughout the hotel’s Arabian gardens. We sampled the delicious creations in the cosy Castell Bar with atmospheric echoes and modern artwork.
Our room was located in one of the fairy-like turrets in the castell looking over the gardens and surrounding mountains. The rooms were tastefully decorated with hints of traditional Mallorquín style with large, gorgeously comfortable beds and REN products in the bathroom. A handwritten welcome note, complimentary bottle of locally produced cava, fruit and fresh ensaïmada was left for us. We enjoyed our treats with the rooms view and saw the misty mountains turn a bright shade of ochre as the sun set later in the evening.
Dinner at Olivera was a refined yet laid back affair, the perfect sister to the more dramatic and Michelin starred Zaranda where we had our finale dinner. All ingredients used in Olivera’s menu were fresh, seasonal and sensationally Spanish. We ate the homemade buratta with aubergine ‘Caponata’, the catch of the day (a beautifully prepared sea bass) and Castell’s lemon tarte with blueberries. Delicious. Drinks afterwards were prepared by the legendary Roberto whose love for the ingredients and the cocktails he was creating was truly infectious.
All aspects of the hotel, the staff, the food, make guests feel relaxed and this starts from breakfast. One of the waiters said to me that true luxury is feeling comfortable. I felt at home instantly in the castell and I now take this saying with me wherever I travel. We enjoyed traditional style eggs made with local ingredients as well as my all-time favourite, Mallorquín tortilla. Breakfast also included juices, cold cut meats and cheeses. We were lucky enough to have a tour of the bakery on-site where the ovens are fired up each morning as the sun rises to produce different types of bread and buttery pastries, made by talented artisans.
We did yoga in the breezy, immaculate grounds next to the beautiful fountains. We were completely at one with nature with scents of bergamot, vetiver, jasmine, coriander and roses floating around us. Our instructor Anna was very knowledgeable and encouraging. We stretched out within the natural environment and also had a meditation session in one of the larger suites at the front of the castell. Anna explained that the key to true relaxation is distracting your mind and truly ‘putting yourself in the moment’, your body will no doubt follow. We focused on breathing and my mind opened up to things I had put to the back for years.
After the session we had a tour of the grounds and saw some of the rooms outside of the main castell as well as the tennis court and new pool suites. The walking trails around the hotel are well sign posted and just waiting to be explored. The hotel staff were helpful in recommending which route was best and that can provide the best views. Seeing the castell nestled in the valley at the foot of the mountains from a distance, is not to be missed!
At the end of the day, it was time for Zaranda, the only two Michelin star restaurant on the Balearic Islands. It’s time to whip out the glad rags because you are in for a show. And quite literally, the restaurant offers a view into the kitchen, so guests can catch a glimpse of the chefs at work. Our meal, from the cocktails served at the beginning right up until the delicious sweet goat’s cheese buratta served with strawberries and fresh basil was just like a performance, a culinary flamenco or heightened opera with passion and drama in every pairing and every dish. Our bespoke pairing includes high-quality wines from the hotel’s private and well-stocked cellar that complemented the menu perfectly, with help from the sommelier. We were offered a tour of the energetic kitchen and met the man of the moment, the famed chef, Fernando P. Arellano who has truly built a culinary spectacle inspired by the gastronomic richness of the Balearic Islands and his past experiences, and then – curtains closed!
After the festivities at Zaranda the night before, needless to say we visited the spa, Bellesa de Claret. The spa is a retreat for relaxation, not tool big nor too small with everything you need to truly take a step back from the everyday. The steam room was infused with essential oils and sauna and plunge pool were the perfect components in order to relax. We saw out the afternoon on a bike ride from the property to nearby town Calvía. The bikes are available from the hotel whenever you wish, perfect for cycling enthusiasts. We heard Spanish families out on their balcony’s surrounded by flowers having their late Sunday lunch, children on their fathers’ laps, abuelas’ bringing out the tapas and aunties pouring the sangria…a scrumptious Mallorcan tableau.
Our final meal was enjoyed in the sun at Olivera before saying goodbye, all washed down with lavender infused lemonade overlooking the outside pool and ethereal mountains. Everything was connected and everything felt just so. At Castell Son Claret, relaxation is first and foremost on the menu, naturally.
Rooms at Castell Son Claret are priced from €305 (from GBP 262) per night and suites from €755 (from GBP 648) per room per night, including daily breakfast, WIFI, parking, tax and service. www.castellsonclaret.com