The imposing gates of the St. Regis Mardavall on the magical island of Palma de Mallorca illustrate more of a wealthy landowner’s hacienda than a luxury hotel, but that’s the beauty of this stunning hotel, writes Codelia Mantsebo
Framed by The Tramuntana Mountains, the luxurious marina of Puerto Portals and the Mediterranean Sea, The St. Regis Mardavall resort — which rebranded in 2009, retains the ethos of space, privacy and attention to detail of the prestigious St. Regis collection.
Although just ten minutes away from the bars and night life of Magaluf, this resort could not be farther from the madding crowds of the party capital, thanks to its tranquil and airy setting.
The elegant property is characterised by lush gardens facing the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, a regal driveway, sprawling grounds and lovely fountains. Four world-class golf courses lie close to the resort, totalling 63 holes.
The rooms, spacious and elegantly decorated, command spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea — so whichever of the 125 rooms or 89 suites you wake up in, the first sight as you look out over your private balcony will be the pristine blue sea.
During my visit, I stayed in the Junior Suite, which featured hand-made, tastefully arranged furniture and subtle pastel tones, fitting the delicate style of St. Regis properties. The heavenly king-sized bed was fitted with a seven-zone latex mattress. A real plus was the Lutron bedside switches, which controlled both the lighting and curtains.
The suite opened into a spacious terrace, which featured spectacular views of the sea and tropical gardens while the marble bathrooms were stocked with Laboratoire Remède toiletries – some of the very best in the hotel industry.
Guests of all rooms and suites have the famous St. Regis butler service. Our butler, Rico, was exceedingly helpful from the moment we arrived — we waited three hours for our room to be ready and he made the wait pleasant — providing drinks, snacks and everything we needed to use the spa facilities. We didn’t make full use of the butler service throughout our stay, however, the St. Regis butlers are attentive and happy to cater to your needs, whether it’s running your bath, unpacking your luggage or polishing your shoes.
The dining experience ranges from intimate indoor venues to dramatic sea view garden settings. Choices range from fine-dining Mediterranean cuisine at Es Fum, to informal dining at Aqua and poolside tapas at Pool Bar Sa Badia.
The star of the show is Es Fum, the hotel’s Michelin Star restaurant. Guests can sample the delights of Chef Miguel Navarro and his culinary art with combinations of flavour and premium quality products. Diners can choose an inside seat or savour the sundown and the endless open Mediterranean Sea on the restaurant’s terrace. We sat inside the restaurant, with a beautiful backdrop of the lush gardens and Mediterranean Sea behind us. We began our night with a glass of local Mallorcan wine; the wine list here includes some of the island’s finest vintages. The ‘Petit’ menu was exquisite — each course bursting with delightful flavours — featuring interesting local mushrooms and cheeses, Gillardeau oysters in Bloody Mary and roasted pigeon for meat. The delectable combination of the truffled egg yolks with bacon and green bean juice made a divine standout dish. We finished off with a dessert of Thai pineapple, followed by sweet delights — chocolates, pistachios and walnuts.
For less formal dining there’s Aqua, the elegant, Mediterranean style restaurant with extensive views of the hotel’s beautiful gardens. The menu focuses on Spanish and Italian dishes, and serves through breakfast and lunch to dinner. Further small bites are available by the pool at Sa Bidia. The bar sits directly by the large outdoor swimming pool in an easy, relaxed setting.
Spa lovers can pamper themselves at the hotel’s Arabella spa, one of Europe’s largest spa facilities. The spa has a Jacuzzi, Egyptian brine bath, saunas, ice cave and jet shower, as well as different indoor and outdoor pools. With an endless selection of treatments, I opted for the signature Mardavall Massage, received by the tender hands of China’s most respected therapists, Dr Jieren Tang. She prepared my bed with a warm mud mask to lay my back on which I initially found too hot. However, it wasn’t long before the mud felt beautifully warm and soothing — this was followed by a selection of tailored massage techniques that instantly relaxed my body drifting me into a short, light sleep.
While the hallways in the hotel are adorned with an unrivalled collection of Mallorcan contemporary art, the luxurious hotel has little local flourishes and tells you nothing about Mallorca. Nonetheless, the grand resort is one of the few hotels in Mallorca that enjoy the combined elements of luxury, elite hospitality and exquisite fine dining.
There is not much of a beach at the hotel; however a walk along the path gives the perfect opportunity for some great photographs.
Mallorca may not be on your list as a luxury traveller, but it should be. For a very tranquil and airy hotel that neatly avoids the hordes of tourists that descend on the island over the summer months, as well as the hustle and bustle of the most popular centre in Mallorca, the Mardavall is a real paradisiacal retreat.
Prices for a Junior Suite start at €540 (£450) per night in low season and €1,083 (£900) per night in high season.
00 34 971 629 629