“An ancient farmhouse at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains, with great food, excellent hiking and bags of rustic charm”
The 14 bedrooms are hidden among the labyrinthine stone-and-tile buildings of the farm. Some overlook the verdant plain of Caimari, others peek up at the limestone mountains above. Each room takes its name from an aspect of the building's history - ours was 'El Senor' after the farm's old master who could sneak upstairs via the separate stairway without being noticed.
All are full of rustic charm: sloping beamed ceilings, bumpy whitewashed walls, old wooden furniture. There’s nothing pretentious or styled about it, just homely comforts and bright simplicity: a gold-framed oil of a Mallorcan landscape, a vase of flowers, a ceiling fan (or air con if you prefer), a couple of straw runners on the quarry-tiled floor. You’ll find a red sofabed in some rooms, a decorative dual washbasin stand in others (rendered obsolete by smart ensuite shower rooms).
There are no bedroom TVs, but you'll find a flatscreen in the sitting room with 300 films for a rainy day, and no telephones, but mobile reception is good.
'Everything is fresh, most of it is local, nothing is frozen’, explains Paola, and you can certainly taste the difference. They make their own bread, lamb roasts, fish soups and fresh pasta. Veg and fish come from the local markets, and the style of cooking is ‘a bit of Italian, a bit of Mallorquin, but always Mediterranean’.
Most of the dishes are homemade tortelloni filled with pumpkin and sage, spicy bouillabaisse, swordfish in coriander pesto, and lamb slow-roasted in the clay oven outside. We dug into the deliciously indulgent cheesecake for dessert and topped it off with a shot of local shnapps. Wines are all from Mallorca and all excellent, so don’t ask for a Rioja: try a Binissalem, and you’ll wonder why it’s not available outside the island.
The 4-course set dinner is sensibly priced - on a level with a good midrange restaurant - and is available every day except Sunday. Otherwise there are no fewer than 4 restaurants in the tiny hamlet of Binibona (2 of them attached to hotels), just 1 km down the lane. The buffet breakfast is a hearty spread of cereal, fruit, cold meats and cheeses as well as cooked options and is included in the room price. Finca Es Castell also offers snack lunches, picnics, salads & baguettes every day except Sundays.
Children of all ages are welcome at this lovely relaxed and simple hotel in the hills. Don't be put off by the fact that it's a bit away from everything - that's part of its charm. There's plenty to do, whether your family likes the great outdoors or prefers lounging by the pool. Baby cots are free of charge and extra beds are available for 2-12 year olds, at half the adult price for an extra bed.
Standard rooms have space for a baby cot or rollaway bed; Superior rooms have space for a rollaway bed and a baby cot. Junior Suites have 2 single sofabeds. If you are a larger family, ask for a Family Suite - basically 2 connecting rooms, with 2 bathrooms and space for up 2 adults, 3 children and a baby. Rooms 8 and 9 can interconnect
Babysitting available by arrangement
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's no particular children's menu here but food should suit most kids and is fresh and tasty. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, there are 4 restaurants within walking distance.
The pool is unfenced and there are steps in the gardens so toddlers, as always, need a close eye