Cases de Son Barbassa

Capdepera, Eastern Mallorca, Spain Book from Book from £128 per night

A chic upscale agroturismo set among olive groves, with stylish pool, spa, smart restaurant and beaches nearby
Up in the northeast tip of the island, looking over olive and almond groves to the castle of Capdepera and a sliver of blue sea, sits this stunningly chic little hideaway. It’s classified as an agroturismo, but the swanky infinity pool flanked by muslin-draped daybeds, the adults-only spa with lomi-lomi massages, and the stylish glass-walled restaurant make it feel much more. 20 suites and rooms are spread across 3 cases (houses): the 16th-century farmhouse, an attached wing and a more contemporary hilltop villa with its own pool. Expect cool white interiors with beamed ceilings, a smattering of art and sumptuous bathrooms.

Friendly staff will supply hiking and cycling maps (try the 75-minute trail over maquis hills to the lovely sandy sweep of Cala Torta), arrange watersports at the more developed beaches of Cala Ratjada or Mesquida, book tee times at any of 4 golf courses in the vicinity, or offer pool towels and gazpacho lunches if you prefer a lazy day in. Do factor in some of the latter: there are few better spots to do very little.

Highs

  • A real sanctuary from the crowds of Cala Ratjada and Mesquida: you’ll feel pampered, privileged and very peaceful here
  • We loved lounging by the sleek pool with lazy novels and cold drinks from the honesty bar
  • Lots of shady spots to sit and sunbathe: most rooms have terraces, the spa is a real suntrap
  • We loved dining al fresco under the inky evening sky, surrounded by colourful flowers and chirping crickets
  • Five beaches within 10 minutes’ drive, and some even lovelier ones within 30

Lows

  • You’ll need a car to reach beaches and villages, but it’s not far
  • We felt that the flavours of our dinner did not quite match the idyllic setting and presentation
  • While children are accepted (and welcomed), we reckon it’s more of a couples’ hideaway

Best time to go

April-May and Sept-Oct strike the loveliest balance between climate and crowds; in July-Aug the island is packed, but here you can withdraw somewhat. This is also a great off-season option, with spa, sauna, hot tub and firelit sitting rooms; plus cobweb-clearing trails and golf courses on your doorstep.

Our top tips

Take plenty of books to work through on the dreamy poolside daybeds; and when you've finished, swop them for more from the sitting room stack. Guests here, both English and German, seem to have excellent literary taste.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique agroturismo
  • 20
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Jacuzzi
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 20 rooms and suites are spread across 3 buildings: the original farmhouse with a mix of rustic-chic rooms and suites, an adjoining wing with spacious Junior Suites, and a separate house (Son Barbassa d'Alt) built in a more contemporary style on a hilltop 5 minutes' walk away.

We liked the Superior rooms here, with their gleaming chrome four-posters, generous bathrooms (walk-in shower and separate tub), and private terraces with views over maquis-covered hillsides to a strip of cobalt blue sea - something the main house lacks. Guests here get their own gorgeous 10-metre pool with futuristic loungers and parasols, as well as a smart indoor-outdoor sitting room and, if you take all 4 bedrooms, use of the kitchen and dining room. It would make a stunning villa rental, but you'd need to book early.

We also loved the spacious Junior Suites, with their airy double bedrooms and sliding doors onto shady terraces looking over orchards toward Capdepera. The large dressing room can be made up as a 'really comfy' single bedroom (our son's words), and the bathroom is if anything even more spoiling, with whirlpool jets in the tub.

The other rooms are more rustic, but still very chic; warmer in hue, cooler in temperature thanks to thick stone walls. We picked out Standard Double #2, whose sunroom and small terrace make it a great off-season option; lofty Superior #3 whose patio is graced by a carob tree and croaking frogs from the nearby irrigation pond; Superior #15 which makes up for its compactness with a vast terrace and supersize double sun lounger; and the 2 huge first-floor Suites, with their high sloping beams and double sofa beds for 1 or 2 kids. All have excellent toiletries, thick robes and towels galore, superb mattresses, and a touch of nature thanks to pretty seashells and bamboo canes.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Jacuzzi
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

Dinner here is done with style. Outdoor tables are dressed with white linen and flickering candles, black-waistcoated waiters hover with a smile, and you're surrounded by flowers and the chirp of crickets. In cooler weather the glass-walled dining room comes into its own. Dishes are mostly Mallorcan - some using their own fruit and veg - with the occasional cameo from a Thai soup or a foie gras salad.

It's beautifully presented, and the waiting staff are enthusiastic, but we found a couple of our dishes under-seasoned; perhaps the chef was having a blip, as other feedback has been good. You can rely on staples like calamar a la plancha and gazpacho, and their lemon sorbet laced with cava (and drunk through a straw) is a popular finale.

The breakfast spread is varied and inviting, with cheese-filled pastries, mini-pizza squares and strawberry smoothies alongside the familiar array of sobrassada, croissants, scrambled eggs and naughty Nutella packs.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • There are 5 beaches within 10 minutes' drive, including bustling Cala Ratjada, family-friendly Cala Mesquida, quieter Canyamel (good for water sports) and diminutive Cala Gat

  • But we'd go the extra 25 mins (or 75 by footpath) to reach the secluded sandy sweep of Cala Torta, where you can wade in warm shallows, and nearby Cala Mitjana where cormorants fish and nudists bask

  • You've four 18-hole golf courses within a short drive - Son Servera, Pula, Canyamel, Capdepera; ask staff to prebook tee times

  • Borrow the hotel's mountain bikes to explore the nearby villages and landscapes; Capdepera castle - more of a fortified medieval village - offers stunning views and falconry, and there are caves at Canyamel

  • But leave time to lounge on the screened daybeds around the glorious pool, or to wallow in the hot tub and sauna in cooler months; the bucolic setting - carob trees, dry stone walls, wild flowers - is idyllic

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Sailing
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting

Kids

The tranquil atmosphere and semi-smart dinners are probably better suited to couples, but families are still warmly welcomed: there are rooms for 3 or 4, child-friendly dishes and of course the lovely pool.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Junior Suites are perfect for a couple with 1 child. Most Superior rooms will fit a cot. Suites will accommodate a couple plus 2 kids assuming they're happy with a double sofa bed; ask for the one with separate sitting room. For more space, there are a few connecting rooms at Standard / Superior / Junior Suite level.

Baby equipment:

  • High chairs
  • Cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

  • A special kids' menu is available

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Swimming pool
    • Boules
    • Board games

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Beaches

    Families Should Know:

    This is a tranquil place and the spa is adults-only

  • Distances:

    • Airport: 1 hour
    • Hospital: 30 minutes
    • Shops: 5 minutes
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    8/10
    Food
    9/10
    Service
    9/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

    Absolutely gorgeous hotel - elegantly refurbished building done in minimal style - so relaxing and calm. Views of the surrounding countryside from all angles and the sound of birdsong. Amazing pool with lovely spa facilities. Can't rate it more highly - it was the most relaxing few days I have ever spent. The staff are very professional and helpful.

    10/10,

    Lovely. Beautifully located swimming pool, but WiFi was erratic.

    8/10,

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    Rates for Cases de Son Barbassa