60th Anniversary of Mallorca’s Castillo Hotel Son Vida

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Castillo Hotel Son Vida, set in the wooded hills above Palma de Mallorca (photo courtesy of hotel)

We recently ate dinner at Es Vi, one of the two restaurants at the legendary Castillo Hotel Son Vida, in the hills behind Palma de Mallorca. More about our dinner later.

We’ve attended quite a few functions at the iconic property and have had day visits to the hotel’s spa. As we ate, we gazed out at the spectacular view over Palma and its bay, watching as the lights of the city and coastline twinkled into life. We decided we’d come and stay a night some time this year – never having stayed here before.

As we left the restaurant, we passed a display on the wall illustrating the history of the hotel and I noted that today, Wednesday, the twenty-third of June, is the anniversary of the hotel’s opening in 1961. Sixty years ago, the Castillo Hotel Son Vida’s launch was celebrated at what I’m told was one of the most elegant events ever seen in the Balearics. No, I wasn’t there!

A Guest Book of Note

Castell Hotel Son Vida’s privileged location in the exclusive wooded hills above Palma has made it the hotel choice for many famous people, including royalty, political leaders, famous performers, and sports people. Over the past six decades, guests who have enjoyed the location, ambience, and hospitality here have included Mikhail Gorbachev, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Steve McQueen, Brigitte Bardot, Anthony Quinn, Michael Caine, Gunther Sachs, John Lennon, Julio Iglesias, James Brown, and Maria Callas. I met Sir Cliff Richard there a few years ago when we were both attending a special lunch, at which the BBC’s former chief political correspondent John Sergeant was the entertaining guest speaker.

Es Vi Restaurant

Twinkling lights around the Bay of Palma in the distance

During the warm months, everyone wants to sit on the terrace, enjoying the cooler evening air and the panoramic views. Settled at our table, we had a glass of cava while we studied the menu and enjoyed a complimentary appetiser of a vegetable taco.

Es Vi has a good list of wines by the glass, including caves, champagnes, Mallorcan and Spanish wines, as well as wines by the bottle.

We started with home-made Iberian ham croquettes with a marmalade of cherries from the Jerte valley (14 euros for four pieces) and crunchy Mediterranean prawns with basil and avocado sauce (18 euros for four pieces). Both these choices were delicious.

Only four main-course dishes are on the menu – two fish, two meat. We each chose fish (John Dory and salmon respectively); meat dishes were veal-cheek mini burgers with home-made bread, Mallorcan cheese, and plum ketchup, and grilled lamb chops with green asparagus and potato-and-chorizo ‘lollipops’. The menu has four desserts, including a delicious and generous crème brûlée with Soller orange and a reduction of Palo liqueur and fresh raspberries (10 euros). We both enjoyed this one.

We made our dinner a three-course affair, but I’d recommend coming to Es Vi for drinks and a few tapas to share with your companion(s) because it’s very hard to choose just one each from the list of tapas/starters. Prices are a little higher than you’ll pay in a tapas bar in Palma, but you’ll be experiencing one of Mallorca’s legendary 5-star hotels and the awesome views from Castillo Hotel Son Vida’s terraces. Views that kings, queens, and other notables have chosen to enjoy over the past sixty years.

Happy anniversary, Castillo Hotel Son Vida.

NOTE: Balearic residents can take advantage of some special deals at this hotel.

Prices correct at time of writing.

Jan Edwards ©2021

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