One of the best things about Mallorca is the island’s diversity. Travel from one side to the other and you’ll find completely different scenery. It feels as though you’re visiting another island…but without the travel hassle.
Another great thing about Mallorca is the huge choice of hotels. We usually try and have a handful of nights away across the course of a year, to compensate for the fact that – because rather a lot of cats depend on our ministrations – we don’t go away on holiday.
A stay in Selva
One of the hotels we tried in 2014 was Petit Hotel Son Arnau in Selva, which opened early that year. It’s run by young British couple Alex and Susan Terry, who left well-paid London careers to run their own boutique hotel in the sun. And, for the quality of the hotel, it is very well priced. Selva is in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains and ideally located for keen cyclists. The hotel website has a page dedicated to cycling guests.
Two houses became one hotel
Arriving at the hotel, The Boss and I immediately noticed the high quality of the property’s renovation.Two adjoining houses, dating back to the 18th century, have become one building. Original architectural features, such as arches and beams, are abundant, but the hotel décor is contemporary – with comfort. There are just six rooms (including two types of suite), so Son Arnau feels intimate and rather like staying in someone’s beautiful home. Our room for the night was the main suite, where we found the type of amenities you’d expect in a five-star hotel. Perhaps not surprising, given the multilingual Susan’s background . . .
All’s sweet in the suite
What’s unusual about the suite is that you enter through the huge bathroom (with his ‘n’ hers sinks, freestanding bath, separate shower and loo – often a traveller’s first port of call on arriving in a hotel room). There’s a rural view from the window and a door onto the suite’s private terrace (which itself has direct access to the infinity swimming pool). The main part of the suite has a huge (and very comfortable) bed, and there’s a sofa if you want to relax with a good book.
Amenities in all rooms include air conditioning/heating, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and DVD, complimentary in-room hot drink making facilities (with a Nespresso machine as extra in the suite), safe, hairdryer, slippers, robes, and full-length mirror. Oh, and there’s lots of original art around the place.
The hotel has a well-stocked separate library of books in several languages, and there are leaflets galore to help you make the most of the area’s attractions.
Outdoors, the hotel (on the edge of the village) is backed by almond orchards and there’s the pool, with long views across the island (and even a glimpse of the Mediterranean if the weather is better than it was during our stay).
From the hotel kitchen . . .
Alex dons his apron to cook dinner for guests four nights a week and we enjoyed a very tasty three-course home-cooked dinner for 25 euros – served by Susan, a charming host (who previously worked in a 5-star London hotel). Nothing seems to be too much trouble for them and they certainly try their best to accommodate their guests’ wishes.
If you’re there when Alex isn’t cooking, I can highly recommend Miceli restaurant in the village, where chef Marga Coll creates her own versions of Mallorcan dishes. They’re different each day and depend on what she has sourced at the market in Inca. Miceli is open for lunch and dinner and any stay in Selva really should include one meal at this lovely townhouse restaurant in the heart of the village (and just a short walk away from the hotel).
A tasty start to the day
Breakfast was served on the terrace, with a view of the village ahead of us. The breakfast menu at Son Arnau offers a good choice and we were both tempted by Alex and Susan’s home-made granola. I had mine with Greek yoghurt; The Boss had his with almond milk – both served with strawberries. Our breakfast juice had been freshly squeezed from a gift of oranges delivered by a neighbour the previous day. Alex and Susan have quickly become accepted in their local community, and that says a lot about them as people.
Having a car is useful here, because there is a lot to explore in the area. But, for a short stay of two or three days, if you just want to relax, you could manage without hiring a car, by catching the train from Palma to Inca (there’s a bus link from the airport into central Palma) and then getting a taxi for the couple of kilometres to Selva. Alex and Susan at Petit Hotel Son Arnau – and the village of Selva – will welcome you warmly.
Susan Terry was my guest on Mallorca Sunshine Radio in 2018, talking about some recent changes to the hotel – including two new suites. Hear the podcast here at Edition 10.
Any prices quoted were correct at time of writing.
©Jan Edwards 2014