Perfect small hotels away from the main tourist areas
I'm planning a holiday in Mallorca and I'm getting quite excited about the prospect. I like to think that not living on the island helps me to write about its attractions with the controlled enthusiasm of someone who hasn't become tired by familiarity of its undoubted charms. So, to experience first hand some of the things I've written about, I'm poring over the metaphorical holiday brochures............
Cas Papa, Valldemosa
It's too easy to think of Mallorca as just its resorts which, whilst they do an excellent job of giving their clients just what they want, certainly don't attract me as an independent traveller. I want to enjoy the island's 'hidden' corners, taste its food, revel in its customs and traditions, drink lots of its wine, and stay amongst its people in accommodation with some style, charm, and great location – oh, and at a reasonable price too!
So browsing through our accommodation website I picked out three smashing places which mix traditional with modern, are individually stylish and uncluttered, small enough to have attentive, personal service when I need it, close to excellent culinary offers and with a relaxing, calm atmosphere.
In Alaro, the Casa Rural C'an Beia, is a sympathetically converted olive oil mill dating back to the 19th century. It has that wonderful juxtaposition of exposed stone walls, arches, and wooden beams alongside contemporary furnishings that give a feeling of warmth – in addition to the Scandinavian log burners - comfort and space. The picturesque town itself has a vegetarian restaurant, a typical Mallorcan cellar (Sa Fonda) and the famous Es Verger country restaurant, high up a stony path and featured on British foodie programmes.
In Consell, close to Mallorca's wine country near Binissalem, the Sa Cabana Hotel & Spa is a 16th Century country house – so think more beams and stone walls – nicely furnished in modern style. It's adults only, includes free Spa access, and has its own Mediterranean restaurant using products grown in its orchard with views of the Tramuntana Mountains.
Finally, Valldemossa, a fairytale village if ever there was one, and Mallorca's highest, is home to the architect designed Cas Papa. A world away in style from Chopin's cell at the nearby monastery, Cas Papa has benefited from Lluisa Llull's design touches -Hessian, linen, straw and wool accessories giving a comforting rural theme - and is centrally located with views over the valley and pine clad hills to the church. It's also just round the corner from Valldemossa's Cappuccino cafe and a good choice of restaurants.
I'm spoiled for choice! Which one would you choose?