The Boss and I recently celebrated our anniversary and marked the occasion with a stay at the rurally located Son Brull Hotel & Spa, near Pollensa in the north of Mallorca. It was the third time we had stayed here, and each stay has been off-season. One day we will get to swim in their large outdoor pool and relax afterwards on the surrounding terraces with a long cold drink, wearing one of the Son Brull straw hats they thoughtfully provide for guests . . .
Before I mention some of the things we love about this place, here’s a quick history lesson. Yes, this may be a 5-star hotel with every mod-con for the discerning traveller, but it’s also a place with an interesting backstory.
Once upon a time . . .
In the 15th century, a man by the name of Francesc Desbrull bought pieces of land around the area of Pollensa, after having married a woman from the village. On one of his land purchases he built a house, which became known as Son Brull. In 1686 the estate fell into the hands of the Jesuits and, in 1745, they began the construction of the building that still exists and today is the hotel. They didn’t get to enjoy the estate for too long: in 1767 King Carlos III drove the Jesuits out of Spain and Son Brull became the property of the State. By 1865 it was in the hands of the Conde de Sant Simón.
At the end of the 19th century and through the 20th century, the Son Brull estate was mainly agricultural, producing olive oil, cereals, almonds, and carobs, and with sheep and pigs grazing on the land. Until the end of the 20th century, the building retained its monastery-like interior, with small cells and wide corridors.
21st-century Son Brull
In July 2003, Son Brull opened as a luxury boutique hotel, with 23 guest rooms. Today, there’s not a small cell to be seen (or stayed in), but the Son Brull estate still has an olive oil press, flour mill, and a well – all of which would have been powered by mules back in the day – to remind guests that this 5-star hotel has a heritage.
Son Brull highlights
- The hotel modernised its multimedia devices over the winter, but retained the upmarket B&O brand. All guest rooms now have a BeoPlay V1 40-inch TV set, offering channels in various languages, and the ability to connect to the Internet, watch Blu-Ray, Apple TV, connect a portable hard drive, or games console.
- There’s a choice of pillows and even sheets. Their bedding is 100 per cent Egyptian cotton but, pay a supplement and you can sleep on 100 per cent linen instead. A luxury that is sadly beyond our own budget.
- Bathroom amenities are excellent. They even provide a hairbrush and make-up remover wipes, along with the more customary aids for the forgetful packer (or the space-challenged cabin-baggage-only guest who flies to the island by budget airline). Toiletries are from Think Cosmetics, based in nearby Pollensa. (If you like the products, be sure to visit the Think Cosmetics shop (C/ Calvari, 1).
- If you’re lucky enough to have space in your luggage, a browse of their ‘store’ area in reception could help you fill it, and provide a reminder of your Son Brull stay.
- This year the hotel has added a gym, with views of citrus groves as you work out on the Technogym equipment.
- The hotel is decorated with contemporary works – many by local Mallorcan artists.
- Son Brull has its own-branded wine, gin, and limoncello. It would be rude not to try at least one, don’t you think?
- The staff. The people who work here are hospitable, friendly, and professional. Example: we arrived for (an excellent) dinner in the hotel’s 3/65 Restaurant to be greeted by name by the maître d’ Joan. We were sure he couldn’t have remembered us from our last visit (more than a year ago): the management had obviously communicated with him that we were on a return stay. Details like that earn brownie points from me. Well done, Son Brull.
Of course, you don’t have to be celebrating a special occasion to stay at Son Brull Hotel & Spa. But even the romantically challenged will find something here to make the heart quicken. And I’m not talking about the gym equipment . . .
©Jan Edwards 2015