Mallorca has always had a sweet spot in my heart, with happy memories of my first ever girls’ holiday, at the tender age of 18, to Magaluf – a major milestone, having survived A-Levels and my first independent holiday. Freedom!
Needless to say, that particular trip was packed with more sunburn, alcohol, wardrobe angst and nightlife than should be humanly possible, but very happy memories nonetheless.
So, as I returned to this magical place, I was excited to discover the other side of the island, both literally and philosophically.
We were headed north-west to Port de Soller, an area noted for its outstanding natural beauty, to stay at the recently-opened Jumeirah Port de Soller, the first footprint in Europe for this highly-respected, Middle Eastern luxury brand.
The short flight and equally-short transfer instantly connected me to the natural beauty of this lush island, as we drove through beautiful orange and olive groves, into the magnificent mountain range and through a carved pass that takes you to Port de Soller.
The first sign that we were near was the church, an eclectic mix of baroque, art deco and byzantine styles. We arrived at the resort to a gentle flurry of activity, as bags were whisked away and we were guided to the elegant yet understated entrance. As we stepped into the lobby, a calm, cavernous space opened up, with the most stunning reflecting pool that seemed to wash us clean of all the stresses and tedium of travelling at peak season.
Only then did the hotel reveal its true beauty: it’s actually built into the cliff-side, so as you walk towards the check-in area, you are met with the most spectacular panoramic view of the entrance to Port de Soller and the expanse of the Mediterranean that reaches out in front of you as far as the eye can see.
I was reminded of the quote “Life is not about how many breaths you take, it’s about how many moments that take your breath away”. This was one of those moments.
After a much-needed glass of orange juice, and cold towels to wash away the last remnants of travelling, we checked in and were shown to our room.
The hotel reminded me of a Bond film, with the resort discreetly carved into the ragged cliff across a number of levels. The hotel offers a choice of 121 spacious rooms and suites, two indulgent restaurants, two swimming pools, including an infinity pool, and the magnificent Talise Spa (another treat for the senses).
Our deluxe sea-view room offered memorable sights, with floor-to-ceiling glass that extended from the bedroom to the bathroom, with sliding doors opening onto a broad balcony that physically connects you with the stunning landscape.
The location of this resort, combined with the everything-is-taken-care-of attitude, offers a level of hospitality that truly raises the bar.
After just a few days of relaxing into the local pace, soaking up the scenery (including a dramatic electric storm), connecting with the local area and its people, and enjoying the sumptuous food at the hotel’s two restaurants, I started to realise what was so refreshing and different about this resort: the hotel team have immersed themselves into the surroundings, finding a way to marry Jumeirah’s style of six-star hospitality with the local culture and people – a rare and precious thing in the world of homogenised hotel brands.
The infinity pool embodied the experience for me: whilst a staggering architectural feat in its own right, its true beauty is that it marries a man-made feature with a natural horizon, which come together in effortless perfection.
In my view, Jumeirah have balanced international hospitality standards with lashings of local authenticity, at a gorgeous resort that is both literally and culturally part of the landscape. A shining example of how to blend the best of two worlds and create a wonderful experience.