Codelia Mantsebo checks in at Jumeirah’s first leisure resort in Europe and discovers the natural beauty of the ‘Valley of Gold’
Mallorca, considered the nonpareil Mediterranean holiday destination for young partying folk and celebrities alike, has a softer, more decadent side to it that defies the festive façade so often perceived. The Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa provides an oasis of elegance, calm and natural beauty that will alter any prejudices about the Balearic Island.
Unparalleled Mediterranean views, stunning views of the Tramuntana Mountain Range, and possibly the best orange juice ever, the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa is miles away from the glitz and glamour of the brand’s iconic Burj al Arab in Dubai.
Built on a cliff overlooking the picturesque fishing village of Port Soller, renowned for its orange, lemon and olive orchards, the hotel embodies understated luxury with lashings of local authenticity.
Guests at the hotel are made to feel part of their local Mediterranean settings; with every detail created to move all your senses from the minute you step through the doors. Upon entrance, you’re greeted by the sounds of the calming waters from the lobby fountain, followed by a subtle, custom-made fragrance piped into the lobby. The scent, when I arrived, was of the oranges from the local valleys.
Straight ahead is the understated, airy reception area and, at the end, a spectacular panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea that reaches out as far as the eye can see. I was handed a cold flannel to cool down and a glass of the most refreshing orange juice from fruit picked in the valley followed.
Unlike the 60-storey skyscraper hotel in Dubai, the hotel here compromises eleven low-rise buildings, each with a maximum height of three storeys, which follow the natural gradient of the mountain. In fact, the architectural design of the hotel was specifically created to integrate effortlessly into the surrounding area.
Inside, Mallorcan pine, olive wood, and local stone give the contemporary interiors authenticity, while 400 original artworks are dotted around the resort — all by local artists.
Rooms are sophisticated and spacious, with a soft, earthy palette, and large bathrooms with soaking tubs. You'll have your own personalised "Suite-Pad" – a tablet that will enable you to read your paper, contact the concierge to organise your complimentary shoe-shine, or request a turndown service for your bed.
Mornings start with a touch of a button, where the curtains open to reveal one of the rooms’ incredible views of the sea, mountains, or both. Whether you opt for a mountain view or a sea view room, the scenery the hotel has to offer remains exquisite. The Sea View rooms are adorned with artworks inspired by the Mallorcan landscape, while the Mountain View rooms are decorated with artworks reflecting the Mediterranean Sea.
Although every room offers breathtaking views, getting around the hotel can be strenuous – the journey from reception to our room needed four separate lifts.
With three restaurants and two bars, the hotel provides a culinary experience that caters to all tastes, from Balearic, Mediterranean cuisine, to Asian nibbles, Tapas, and all-day dining of international cuisine. Whatever your choice, the fantastic views across the mountain range, port and sea are sure to add to your enjoyment at their restaurants and bars.
The main restaurant, Cap Roig, serves daily breakfast and fresh seafood in an outdoor space with stunning views of the surrounding area. Pile your plate high at breakfast with ensaimada cakes, eggs, and bacon from the breakfast buffet, or opt for orders whipped up by the chef. I went for the eggs Benedict while my friend divulged in syrup-soaked pancakes. Served on thick slices of lightly toasted muffins, this combination of salty, savoury salmon and perfectly poached eggs all richly smothered in Hollandaise sauce was a delight, so much so that I ordered this every morning throughout our stay.
Es Fanals restaurant, located on the highest point of the resort, is named after the lanterns that local fisherman would attach to their boats. The restaurant serves authentic Spanish and Mallorcan tapas that are as heavenly to look at as they are to taste. The backdrop is again magnificent as the restaurant enjoys stunning views of the sea. The menu includes everything from delicious mussels “a la marinera”, delectable sirloin steak and trampo sandwiches, to cannelloni filled with foie gras, boletus and chicken. The Iberain pork shoulder is a must-try; succulent with a deeply rich and exquisite taste. The meat is difficult to find anywhere other than Spain, another addition to your authentic experience in Mallorca.
The Sunset Sushi Lounge serves sushi and cocktails, and has the most stunning sunset views around.
With stylish decor, a relaxing atmosphere, and indoor and outdoor features, Talise Spa is the hotel’s masterpiece. Comprising over 2,200 sqm with stunning views from every corner, the spa is set over three floors, and was crowned ‘Spain's Best Hotel Spa’ in 2015 and 2016. The cliff-top retreat features a state-of-the-art gym and an extensive thermal area with an outdoor heated Hydropool overlooking the Tramuntana valley — recently declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. As is the case with all of the Jumeirah Hotels, the signature Talise massage is always readily available, but there are other more regionally focused natural treatments that give a nod to the citrus groves and pure essential oils that are native to the area. I recommend the Mediterranean Orange Wrap – a treatment that showcases the hotel's star fruit.
The hotel features two additional pools, including a stunning infinity adult-only pool with panoramic sea views.
And while it may be tempting to simply lounge by one of the hotel's two infinity pools all day, a quick 10-minute walk down the hill will lead you to the small harbour front town of Port de Soller, which is also home to the only beach of note along the entire north west coast of the island. The way back from town may be challenging, as the hotel is situated at the top of a long, steep hill, but Jumeirah Port Soller offers free shuttle service to Port Soller several times a day, allowing for easy access to the picturesque Soller and the beach.
Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa has balanced world-class service for which Jumeirah is renowned, with special touches of local authenticity – a rare feature in the world of homogenised hotel brands.
A stay at Jumeirah's Port Soller Hotel & Spa tells you all there is to know about Mallorca. The resort, both literally and culturally part of the landscape, will banish any preconceived notions you may have once had about the infamous Spanish island.
Prices for a Deluxe room €359 per night in low season and €549 per night in peak season.
Carrer de Bèlgica, 07108 Port de Sóller, Illes Balears, Spain
0034 971 63 78 88
Codelia Mantsebo is Online Writer at Spear's