Hotel Son Ametler

Moscari, Soller & Mountains, Spain Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
A rustic-chic hideaway at the foot of the Tramuntana mountains with fantastic food and a warm welcome
You'll remember the ambiance of this place long after you've stayed. Unpretensious and relaxed, with no pressure to do anything other than laze by the pool and read a book, or wander through olive groves when the mood takes you, it is utterly restorative. Owners James and Paola honed their hosting skills at nearby Finca es Castell before opening their own hotel, and are brilliant at creating a laid-back house party atmosphere that appeals to adults and children alike. We're yet to visit Son Ametler in person, but all who've stayed simply rave about it.

Italian-Kenyan by birth, Paola is a trained cook, and her homegrown dinners are a main draw of the hotel, enjoyed on the candlelit terrace 6 evenings a week. There is also a clutch of excellent local restaurants within walking distance; this isn't a place to diet. But spend some time hiking and cycling in the glorious Tramuntana mountains (James will show you routes, or guide you if he's free), and you'll more than need the reward of good food and wine come sunset.

Highs

  • A beautiful, remote setting, surrounded by fields with the rugged Tramuntana mountains as a backdrop; views are incredible
  • Great rates include a superb breakfast
  • Only 11 rooms (a mix of doubles, twins and family rooms), which maintains the peace and personal service
  • Stunning hikes on your doorstep plus a cycle track - Son Ametler has mountain bikes to hire
  • Just 40 minutes from Palma airport, and well placed for day trips to Lluc, Pollensa and beaches

Lows

  • The pool is 1.5-2m throughout (too deep for most kids to stand), and takes a while to warm up in the sun
  • A 3-night minimum stay, but you'll want to stay a week anyway
  • Reached via a very bumpy track, and you'll need a hire car
  • Some may find the room decor a little old-fashioned
  • The delicious dinners are a set menu, and not available on Sundays (but other restaurants are just 2km away)

Best time to go

Spring (March-April) and autumn (Sept-Oct) are ideal for walking. Summer (June-Sept) is good for swimming at Pollensa and Alcudia, though it can get very busy in August. Pollensa has a music and cultural festival in July-August. The hotel closes for a few weeks from mid November to February.

Our top tips

4-5 days would be perfect for a relaxing break, with time for a couple of hikes, a visit to Lluc, a swim in the sea and maybe a game of tennis or golf. You might want to tack on a couple of days in Palma at the end.

Walkers should bring sturdy footwear, a sunhat, a big water bottle and, for offbeat exploration, tough trousers to protect against the tall, sharp-edged pampas grass.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 11
  • Breakfast + other meals on request (Mon-Sat)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 8 Dec 2016 - 31 Jan 2017
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The 11 rooms are spread between the atmospheric old farmhouse and a newer extension. Though simply styled, all are spacious and characterful, with whitewashed walls, beamed ceilings and terracotta-tiled floors. Beds are said to be super-comfortable, with memory-foam mattresses; add the perfect peace of the countryside and you'll sleep deeply - especially if you close the shutters. Smart ensuite bathrooms are lovely, some with Jacuzzi jets in their bathtubs or double sinks. Towelling robes and toiletries add homely comfort.

There are various categories of room to choose from; best are those with a balcony, which allow you to sit and gaze over golden fields and up to the craggy Tramuntana mountains. All you'll hear is the tinkling of goat bells.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Paola's mantra is 'everything is fresh, most of it is local and nothing is frozen.' 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.'

Four-course dinners are served Monday-Saturday during high season, and the menu changes daily. Highlights are tortelloni filled with pumpkin and sage, sea bass with mango and avocado, and a slow-roast lamb shoulder. Puddings are deliciously indulgent (tiramisu, lemon tart, that sort of thing) and James keeps the Mallorcan wines flowing.

Breakfast is a superb buffet of local meats, several cheeses, homemade breads, fresh fruit and a homemade cake. Eggs and bacon can be cooked to order. For a change of scene or light lunch, there are a clutch of excellent local restaurants or you can pre-order filled baguettes at breakfast.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Hike marked trails into the pine-shaded valleys and limestone foothills nearby. One leads up to the cool springs and fir forests of Binifaldo; another winds up to Lluc monastery, where the blue-robed choristers of Es Blauets sing mass every morning. James can drive you to or from the trailhead for a small charge, and will often guide you for free, if he's not busy. A 20-min drive brings you to Alaro, whose mountaintop castle can be scaled via a beautifully engineered mulepath winding up the cliffsides

  • Swimming: aside from the big square pool, there are long sandy beaches in the bays of Pollensa and Alcudia (20 mins’ drive), and smaller coves at San Vicente (30 mins) and Formentor (40 mins). All of these can get crowded in midsummer

  • Sports: there are mountain bikes to hire at the hotel, a riding school nearby, a tennis court (with free access for Ametler guests) less than 1km away, and several golf courses within a short drive. Paola has a friend with a boat in Alcudia for fishing trips

  • Touring: there are some lovely market towns nearby, including local Caimari (the best olives and oil on the island), pretty Campanet (which also has caves and a Vauclusian spring), vibrant Pollensa (art & textile shops, cafés & restaurants, and a summer music festival), and industrial Inca (the centre of Mallorca’s leather industry)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis

Kids

Families are welcome at this relaxed and simple hotel, and kids will enjoy the pool and gardens. Best for active outdoorsy kids who will enjoy mountain biking and walking.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Double Rooms can fit a baby cot or rollaway bed; Junior and Master Suites can fit 2 baby cots or rollaway beds; the Family Suite has 2 bedrooms (kingsize and twin) plus space for a baby cot; the Double Double Suite has 2 double/twin bedrooms, a double sofabed and 2 single foldaway beds (max occupancy 8 but this would be a squeeze!)

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement.

Baby listening:

Most baby monitors stretch from the rooms to the dining terrace

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and highchairs.

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

Children's meals:

Kids' menu (homemade burgers, pasta, homemade pizza, aubergine parmigiano, chicken escallopes etc). Meals can either be served at 6:30pm or at 8pm with the parents

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Children's DVDs
  • Shady gardens to play hide and seek

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Beaches (20 minutes' drive)
  • Mountain bikes to hire, trails to follow
  • Horse riding
  • Tennis courts
  • Fishing trips from Alcudia

Families Should Know:

The unheated pool is 1.5-2m deep throughout and not fenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 minutes
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes' drive (Moscari)
Kid Friendly:

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