We simultaneously gasped ‘wow’ as we pulled through the gates of Castell Son Claret and into the long driveway leading up to it. Our eyes were led through symmetrical manicured gardens and up to the restored castle nestled behind a mix of palm, olive and fruit trees. This place feels like it belongs here and, after 500 years, it should. From the moment we switched off the engine, we were struck by the peacefulness. Only the sound of birds and the occasional insect could be heard. London, just a couple of hours’ flight away, faded into distant memory.
This is the kind of hotel where you just can’t help but switch off. In a few minutes, we were checked in, unpacked and lounging by the beautiful minimalist pool situated between a lemon grove and a subtropical garden, cool glasses of fresh homemade lemonade in our hands. Our room was tastefully yet conservatively decorated with touches of luxury throughout – high ceilings, leather-clad feature walls – but the crowning glory was the extensive roof terrace overlooking the gardens. If it hadn’t been for the lure of tasting the food of the two-Michelin-starred chef Fernando P Arellano at Zaranda, we might never have left.
But let’s talk about the food. It is second to none – beyond doubt, the best oysters we’ve ever tasted, followed by a beautifully prepared, delicately seasoned sea bass, washed down with the kind of wine that makes you re-evaluate all your usual go-to choices – matched perhaps by the service of the property’s friendly staff.
Make what you want of Castell Son Claret – it is both a destination and a retreat. For those who want to see more of the island, the hotel offers everything from road biking to art tours and even has a great collection of its own.