And so to the final two hotels on Mallorca we had the pleasure of staying in during 2014.
Fontsanta Hotel, Campos
For my birthday we booked dinner and an overnight stay in Fontsanta Hotel – a 5-star property near Campos in the south of Mallorca. It’s the sister property to Hotel Can Simoneta (Canyamel) and Hotel Convent de la Missió (home of the Michelin-starred Marc Fosh restaurant) in Palma. Like Es Revellar Art Hotel, Fontsanta Hotel has something unique to offer: it’s home to the only natural thermal spring water in the Balearic Islands, making its spa very special.
There are several stories about how the water was discovered. Some say the Ancient Romans discovered it during their occupation of Mallorca. Another says that in ancient times an epidemic was decimating the population of the island – but that wild animals in the vicinity of the springs were thriving. People came to the area from all over the island because of the water’s apparent healing powers. Basic lodgings were built in the 16th century to accommodate pilgrims who came for the therapeutic waters. In 1845 a building to house the thermal baths was opened.
So what’s so special about this water, which emerges from the ground at 38 degrees Celius? As it comes up from underground it acquires a high level of minerals – predominantly chlorine and sodium, in the form of salts, along with smaller concentrations of magnesium, calcium, sulphur, potassium, and fluorine. Found to be beneficial for the skin, and blood and lymphatic circulation, the waters were declared suitable for public use in 1869.
Unique views too
In 2012, after an extensive renovation of the estate, today’s 25-room Fontsanta Hotel opened. It’s spacious, stylish, luxurious, and has exceptional views out to the salt flats for which this area is renowned. White salt mountains and pink flamingos add to the scenic interest.
During our stay we spent some time in the spa, swimming in the indoor pool (there are two outdoor pools and several outdoor Jacuzzi pools too), and soaking in one of the several individually-roomed thermal baths. We both noted how soft our skin felt afterwards.
I could write lots more about this hotel, and we intend to return to use more of its spa facilities. Personal highlights included: Bulgari toiletries in the room; the option of the special wellness breakfast items (including gluten-free crêpes, tofu sausages, and large choice of teas), and something that I’d never experienced before on Mallorca. When we were presented with the menus in the restaurant, they each came with a zipped case containing a magnifying glass with inbuilt light. I could read the menu without having to scrabble around in my handbag for my specs. A brilliant idea!
Fontsanta closes for a period of the winter.
Can Furiós, Binibona
Located in the centre of a tiny hamlet near Selva, Binibona is home to no fewer than seven places to stay. The charming Can Furiós Petit Hotel looks small from the outside, but is a bit like Dr Who’s Tardis. There’s plenty of space for some quiet relaxation, and it has a very homely ambience. The seven individually named and decorated rooms each have a spacious bathroom, and welcome touches such as tea- and coffee-making facilities. Visiting on a cool damp day in December meant that we didn’t use the pool, garden, or our room’s balcony – all of which would be lovely in summer.
The place is immaculate – managed and run in a very hands-on fashion by British man Adrian Bertorelli (whose family founded the Bertorelli restaurant chain in London at the start of the 20th century) and his Galician wife Susy. They’re an incredibly hospitable couple and I wasn’t surprised to learn that many of their guests return regularly, and become friends. Engage Adrian in conversation and he has some great stories about the hospitality industry. We were the only guests staying in the hotel on that particular December night, but the place was cosy and comfortable.
Highlights here included: Neal’s Yard Remedies’ toiletries in the bathroom; freshly prepared breakfast brought to the table (no buffet here), and an honesty bar (help yourself if Adrian isn’t around to serve you). We also enjoyed Susy’s delicious dinner; her food has gained a reputation locally, so we were not the only diners in the restaurant that night. One of the great benefits of Can Furiós is that it remains open all year, whereas many hotels on Mallorca close their doors for most of the winter. Blissful Binibona is peaceful and perfectly placed for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site mountain range, the Serra de Tramuntana.
Read more about Adrian and Susy here.
©Jan Edwards 2015