I have come to know the Balearics very well, with a particular passion for Mallorca, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor). From the sophistication and vibrancy of its capital, Palma, the charm of the island’s rural interior, to the captivating coast, Mallorca can continue to surprise and delight, however many times you visit.
Coast and country – Mallorca style
Offering a fresh perspective of the island, Torre de Canyamel invited me to experience one of its city & coast luxury breaks, combining boutique bliss in Palma’s old town at Hotel Convent de la Missió, combined with mellow Mediterranean relaxation at Hotel Pleta de Mar, surrounded by unspoilt nature.
Many exciting new investments are made in the island each year creating new hotels, restaurants, and guest experiences. Yet few can claim to be as integral to the island’s culture and history as the Torre de Canyamel family. For generations, centuries even, the family has been farmers and land owners, custodians of some of the island’s most iconic landscapes and historical monuments.
Torre de Canyamel hospitality
In recent decades with the creation of the Torre de Canyamel hospitality business, some of these historical buildings and natural landscapes have been incorporated into Mallorca’s prestigious hotel and restaurant scene.
This creates a unique opportunity for discerning island visitors to experience the best of the Mallorca lifestyle from the perspective of the understated, personalised luxury that is the hallmark of this family hospitality group. The Torre de Canyamel group is said to be the only 100% Majorcan hotel group, now owning and operating four luxuries 5-star hotels in Mallorca, two of them in the grand luxury category, and all exclusively for adults.
Taking its name from the historic village and estate in the northeast of the island, Torre de Canyamel group can create a tailormade itinerary that allows guests to experience the vibrant sophistication of the capital Palma, and the privileged seclusion of the unspoilt coastline and interior of the island.
Boutique Bliss – Hotel Convent de la Missió
I started my Mallorca summer adventure in the splendour and charm of the island’s capital, Palma. The old town is a myriad of medieval architecture, including the gothic cathedral, known as the Cathedral of light, thanks to its spectacular stained-glass windows. The narrow streets are lined with noble mansions, palaces, and ancient convents.
The 17th-century Convent de la Missió, once dedicated to the training of missionaries, is now home to one of the city’s most elegant hotel destinations, and the first upscale boutique hotel in Palma. Convent de la Missió truly embodies the magic of Palma, where history, culture and tradition meet the latest contemporary trends in art and gastronomy. Here the Torre de Canyamel group has created the definitive small luxury hotel. Intimate spaces are decorated with curated art and brought to life by a dedicated and attentive team, many of whom have been with the hotel for years. General Manager, Maria Hernandez Guitierrez is charming and makes guests immediately feel at home, and this is reflected in the welcoming attitude of all her team.
The Art of Fine Gastronomy
Convent de la Missió is home to restaurant Marc Fosh, making it the only 5-star luxury boutique hotel in cosmopolitan Palma with a Michelin-star restaurant. Your gastronomic journey begins with a signature cocktail in the ArtBar, an elegant space in the former convent, where you will be surrounded by art, from ceramics to sculptures and paintings.
Marc Fosh, the first Brit to be awarded a Michelin star in Spain, has his restaurant here, where he is renowned for his tasting menus of local Balearic produce, offering a clean seasonal flavour served in a contemporary, light-filled restaurant.
The start to each day is a gastronomic occasion too, with fresh, local specialities forming part of a generous Mediteranean buffet with a la carte hot dishes available to order.
Wellness & Leisure
Each part of your stay is personalised, and this extends to the hotel’s intimate spa suite is available for exclusive use by guests, with a sauna, pool, and treatment area.
The hotel’s rooftop is evocative of Asian simplicity and minimalism. It offers the chance to capture some Mediterranean rays, with loungers on the sun terrace and an inviting plunge pool.
The essence of the convent has been retained, despite its conversion to a luxury hotel. The landings lead to the beautiful, historic wooden doors of the former private quarters, conveying a monastic minimalism that gives little indication of the luxe, dreamy spaces of muted tones, fine lines, and Mediterranean sunlight that are within.
There are 27 beautifully elegant, simple rooms with king beds, standalone bathtubs, and upscale touches.
The details set the tone for a special stay, like fresh flowers, bath towels wrapped in ribbon, and an attentive turndown service. Five room categories include Junior Suites and a spectacular Luxury Suite, covering 75 square metres. It includes all the expected amenities as well as a private Turkish bath and roof terrace.
Coastal calm – Hotel Pleta de Mar
Then my adventure continued. On a sunny morning, I exited the private parking of Hotel Convent de la Missió, negotiated the narrow streets of old town in my rental car, and before long I was on the open road, windows down, feeling the warm scented breeze of the Mallorca countryside. Heading to the quieter, less well-known northeast of the island means taking backroads that meander through rural communities that are evocative of a bygone age. Stone-built barns of ochre and amber stand amongst twisted carob trees. Shutters with peeling paint hide windows of charming townhouses, which line the streets, as I breeze through villages and hamlets. I pass the village of Canyamel, where this family business takes its name, and the ancient tower, now a restaurant and venue for seasonal art shows and events.
Then the view opens up to reveal pine-clad mountains and glimpses of the sea. I am arriving at Hotel Pleta de Mar, a 5-star ‘Grand luxury’ resort described simply as ‘luxury by nature’. The estate is surrounded on three sides by open countryside, and faces the sparkling sea.
Welcome To Luxury By Nature
Reception is reminiscent of an old farmhouse, with lofty ceilings and warm stone walls, yet has a contemporary interior with art by Mallorca painter and sculptor, Joan Bennàssar, whose emblematic works also punctuate the gardens of this chic retreat.
Following the bougainvillea-covered pergola I reach the bar, where I am welcomed by General Manager Javier Santos Tapia. He begins to share the story of this wonderful place; his enthusiasm and warmth is contagious. From here I can see the first of three saltwater pools, with views across the gardens to the Mediterranean.
To my right is the restaurant, Se Pleta, by Marc Fosh. An elegantly minimalist dining room opens to a shaded terrace with garden and sea views. Lunch is a relaxed Mediterranean affair, while dinner is a creative celebration of local Balearic produce cooked over fire.
This is uniquely an all-suite property, with accommodation in rural, rustic-style bungalows with private gardens, outdoor showers and hot tubs. The Grand Suite is the largest at some 90 square metres and has its own private courtyard, terrace and sea-view pool. The style is underattended, discreet, and sophisticated.
This all-suite property has 4 other categories of room, each in a self-contained cottage/bungalow.
Stroll through the gardens, and towering pines, and you reach the romantic coast of this part of the island. The rugged shoreline includes a small cove, which cannot be reached by road, so it feels private, as if only for guests. Here one also finds private sunbeds and beyond that another pool, an infinity lagoon that draws the eye to the sea beyond. It’s a magical place, and tranquil too, with just the sound of the gentle breeze through the canopy of the pines, the cicadas clicking in the heat, and the hushed conversations of other guests.
Close by is a sister hotel, Can Simoneta. Privileged guests can arrive by helicopter if they wish, landing amongst the green pastures that separate the two hotels. Guests have access to the facilities and dining of both hotels.
Gourmet Dining at Se Pleta
Se Pleta restaurant though is my draw, a temple to Balearic gastronomy. The head chef is Nacho Martigone, a charismatic, enthusiastic talent who inspires with creative dishes designed together with Executive Chef Marc Fosh.
Chef Nacho and his team, including sub-chef Juan Sevillano Viejo, make a stay at Hotel Pleta de Mar truly memorable.
Each dish is a homage to the bounty and beauty of this Mediterranean island, like the starter to the tasting menu, which this season is a caviar of local cheese, with smoked butter and homemade blini-style waffles. Dishes continue with a spectacular fois paté with seasonal fruit, exquisite sea bass with almond ‘spaghetti’ and creamy rice of lobster and saffron with a warm, flavoursome bouillabaisse on the side. There is no better way to be immersed in the wonder of Mallorca than at this restaurant.
Hotel Pleta de Mar is a place to make memories. It has all the expected facilities like spa and gym yet it so much more – it’s about experiencing Mallorca without the crowds, in a peaceful natural setting that allows you to connect with yourself and with the island.
I think that’s what this Torre de Canyamel itinerary is all about – the amazing opportunity to experience the authentic Mallorca in luxury and style.
Hotel Pleta de Mar
- Address: Via de les Cales, 23, 07589 Capdepera, Mallorca, Spain
- Website: www.pletademar.com
Hotel Convent de la Missio
- Address: Carrer de la Missi, 7A, 07003 Palma, Mallorca
- Website: www.conventdelamissio.com