Formerly an 18th-century Jesuit monastery, this striking golden building nestled in the lush foothills of Serra de Tramuntana has been transformed into a magnificent
23-room boutique hotel and spa.
Son Brull combines old and new to create a contemporary setting that has skilfully held on to its origins. Ultra-modern, polished concrete flooring is set alongside pebbled walkways — the same ones the Jesuits would have walked on. Soft-pink and white walls are striking against gold-leaf ceilings, and rooms with surviving raw wood beams feature smart devices and slick interiors.
The size and architecture of the place makes it appear grand from the outside, but inside the atmosphere is more relaxed than ostentatious — the family-run business embodies the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle. The retreat is also a delight for the senses, with the rich aroma of orange groves permeating the air, birdsong overhead and the gentle tinkling of bells from nearby grazing sheep.
An all-natural spa offers treatments that go beyond the standard massage. Visit in spring and enjoy a “blooming ritual” to recover energy and vitality with a scrub, body mask, facial and intense, almost yogic, massage. The oils and balsams are all made on site using plants — including lavender, rosemary and prickly pear (which has grown on the island for centuries) — foraged from the grounds.
There’s also morning yoga on the decking, outdoor and indoor pools and the hotel’s Ubar and Restaurant 365, where traditional Mallorcan cuisine is elevated to gourmet heights using local, seasonal produce.
At the foot of a mountain and surrounded by vineyards and groves, Son Brull is immersed in outstanding natural beauty. The town of Pollença, which offers colourful markets and exceptional views if you choose to climb the 365 ancient stone steps, is a 10-minute bike ride away.
The rural location is a huge plus for tranquillity but, for some, it could also be a drawback. Non-drivers will need to check the options for exploring the area or getting to the beach, but those who are happy to cycle can borrow electric or mountain bikes to explore.
In a nutshell
Restoration sits firmly at the heart of Son Brull’s identity. Beyond the historic monastery’s own remarkable makeover guests come away with a sense of new beginnings after a rejuvenating break in this sanctuary for the mind, the body and the soul.
Doubles from £215, B&B.sonbrull.com