Hoteliers on Mallorca: Adrian and Susy Bertorelli – Can Furi贸s Petit Hotel

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Hoteliers / Restaurants
Adrian and Susy Bertorelli

Adrian and Susy Bertorelli

The hospitality industry is in Adrian Bertorelli鈥檚 blood. The clue is in the name: Adrian鈥檚 grandfather was one of four Italian brothers who moved to London from Emilia-Romagna, as the 20th century dawned. They opened their first restaurant 鈥 Bertorelli鈥檚 鈥 in the city鈥檚 Charlotte Street in 1913, followed by others in Queensway, Shepherd鈥檚 Bush, Edgware Road and, later, Covent Garden. Adrian鈥檚 father founded Bertorelli鈥檚 ice cream (sold to Lyons Maid in the 1970s).

His mother鈥檚 family were hoteliers from Yorkshire and the young Adrian and his sister grew up helping out in their hotel in Whitby each summer. This sowed a seed in the Bertorelli siblings.

Adrian did his apprenticeship with Joe Lyons & Co 鈥 a huge British hospitality and food manufacturing enterprise for much of the 20th century 鈥 before going to work at Bertorelli鈥檚 in Queensway in 1975. There he met Susy, working as a waitress. Born in Galicia, she鈥檇 moved from Spain to London in 1968.

Adrian left Bertorelli鈥檚 in 1980 to work for Neville Abraham and Lawrence Isaacson at Le Caf茅 des Amis du Vin (coincidentally where The Boss and I had our first date) in Covent Garden. The trio went on to buy Bertorelli鈥檚 and create the highly successful Chez Gerard group of restaurants, which went public in 1995 with 20 establishments.

Going independent

Along with Susy, Adrian 鈥 who left Chez Gerard in 1998 鈥 opened a restaurant in Buckinghamshire. 鈥淥ur aim was to get a Michelin Bib Gourmand, and we did this in our first year,鈥 he says. 鈥淭hree years later we accepted an offer we could not refuse.鈥

The couple then decided to look for a small B&B in the sunshine. Adrian鈥檚 sister already had a six-bedroom B&B in Union Street, San Francisco, 鈥渟o we knew you can make a living with fewer than 10 rooms.鈥

The move to Mallorca

They first saw Can Furi贸s 鈥 their charming hotel in Binibona in Mallorca 鈥 in 2000. It took three years to agree a price to buy the place, which was being rebuilt as a hotel. In the meantime they鈥檇 looked at properties 鈥渆verywhere from Perpignan to Gerona and beyond.鈥 But the couple loved Mallorca and kept Can Furi贸s in their sights: 鈥淚t was extremely well built and offered the best owner鈥檚 accommodation we鈥檇 seen anywhere. We not only wanted a business, but somewhere nice to live,鈥 Adrian says.

They achieved both when they bought Can Furi贸s. Guests have a choice of seven beautifully appointed and air-conditioned rooms at this country house hotel, a sympathetic restoration of a 16th century villa with twin Moorish towers. The name of the place 鈥 which at first glance could be thought to mean 鈥榟ouse of the angry鈥 鈥 actually means 鈥榤ad dog鈥, but there鈥檚 no dog living at Can Furi贸s 鈥 mad or otherwise.

Adrian and Susy鈥檚 daughter Sophie helped at the hotel for five years but has now returned to London. Now the couple is assisted by a small team of three. 鈥淚f you look after your staff, they will look after your customers 鈥 it鈥檚 not rocket science,鈥 says Adrian.

Susy produces the food in the restaurant La Tafoneta 鈥 open to both hotel guests and non-residents. 鈥淪he was always a good cook but she鈥檚 become a great chef,鈥 says Adrian. 鈥淐ustomers love the food. When you don鈥檛 offer a choice, it is so important that the food is good.鈥

Sibling success

Adrian鈥檚 sister鈥檚 hotel in San Francisco (Union Street Inn) is number one on TripAdvisor in that city.聽Can Furi贸s has been in Mallorca鈥檚 top five hotels on the same travel review site for the past five years. 鈥淲e know how to look after people and the result is that we have one of the most successful small hotels on the island.鈥

Those childhood summers working in the family hotel in Whitby clearly taught the brother and sister a lot. But then,聽hospitality is in their blood . . .

Cana Joana - the premier/bridal suite at Can Furios. Photo courtesy of hotel.

Cana Joana – the premier/bridal suite at Can Furios. Photo courtesy of hotel.

The pool at Can Furios. Photo courtesy of hotel.

The pool at Can Furios. Photo courtesy of hotel.

Beautiful view from Can Furios. Photo courtesy of hotel.

Beautiful view from Can Furios. Photo courtesy of hotel.

2018 UPDATE: Adrian and Susy Bertorelli have returned to the UK and the hotel is under new ownership/management.

漏Jan Edwards 2014

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