Santanyi Townhouses

Santanyi, Eastern Mallorca, Spain Book from Book from £263 per night

German design meets Moroccan riad in a charming Mallorcan market town: 2 lovely houses (sleeping 6 & 8), with beaches nearby
Most visitors to Mallorca flock to the beach hotels, but there's a lot to be said for staying inland in one of its lovely, unpretentious, honey-coloured market towns. Especially when that town is Santanyi, tucked away in the island's southeast corner, but only 10 minutes' drive from some of its most idyllic turquoise coves. You feel far from the crowds, yet on your doorstep are trendy tapas bars, beautiful boutiques and a stunning stretch of coast.

By happy coincidence, it's also home to 2 beautifully restored and lovingly decorated townhouses, owned by German-born (but locally resident) architect-designer duo Maren and Peter Oehm. They poured their heart and soul into the project, and it shows. Moon House has gorgeous bespoke bathtubs made of smooth marmolina; Sea House has huge pastel artworks by Maren herself; both have airy beamed ceilings and witty chandeliers and box-sprung mattresses. Whichever you choose, you get 3 bedrooms, a high-spec kitchen, a cool indoor living-dining space, and - jewel in the crown - a secluded internal courtyard shaded by a palm or quince tree, with a gurgling plunge pool and plenty of outdoor furniture for lazy lounging. Chic, bohemian village life at its Mallorcan best.

Highs

  • We loved the stylish interiors of Moon House: linen-dressed beds and gorgeous Moroccan lamps under lime-washed beams
  • Sea House is more homely - perfect for a family with younger kids, plus a separate granny flat if you want to bring the grandparents
  • Both have lovely terraces for sunbathing, a plunge pool for cooling off in, and alfresco dining
  • Kitchens are, as you might expect, very high quality; and there are great restaurants along the road if you're feeling lazy
  • You're 5km from the family-friendly sands of Cala Santanyi, and the cliff-ringed turquoise waters of Cala s'Almunia

Lows

  • These are typical Mallorcan townhouses: quite dark, with no real garden, set on a (quiet) lane
  • The plunge pools are small: for dipping rather than swimming
  • If you're coming with friends, be aware that most bedrooms are doubles (not twins)
  • The nearby beaches can get extremely busy in summer; plans are afoot to restrict car access
  • There's a minimum 4-night stay (but arrival and departure days are flexible); and be aware that cleaning, bedlinen and towels are charged separately

Best time to go

The houses are open all year, and each season has its merits. Spring (April-May) and autumn (mid September-October) are our top tip, the perfect compromise between warmth and tranquility. In summer, the houses' plunge pools and thick stone walls will keep you cool (there are also fans but no A/C); beaches are crowded in July-August, so aim for June or early September if you can. Being in the heart of an active town, with good heating and insulation, the houses make an attractive off-season option, too.

Our top tips

Two artisanal gems: Vinos Artesanos Binissalem (round the corner in Santanyi) where Asuncion dispenses her hard-earned oenological prowess for a couple of Euros per litre; and the unbeatable Grimalt (in Es Llombards) for wonderful Mallorcan cheeses, all from cows' milk, and matured for 45-90 days.

To avoid traffic restrictions, ask Maren about the hourly shuttle bus from Santanyi to Cala d'Es Moro. Or follow the small coastal trail from the end of Cami de Cala Llombards.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique rentals
  • 2 houses (1 sleeps 6, 1 sleeps 6-8)
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The beautiful boutique townhouses are similar in size (3 bedrooms) and layout (living spaces downstairs, bedrooms upstairs). Both have a rear-facing courtyard with plunge pool and outdoor seating, and are located a few blocks from Santanyi's pedestrianised centre.

Moon House (sleeps up to 6) - the more recent conversion - is sleeker and chicer, with a palette of creams, honeyed stone and lime-washed beams. Its gorgeous bespoke basins and tubs are made of smooth marmolina (poured marble and alabaster dust). Punched pewter lamps and latticed cupboard doors lend a hint of nearby Morocco. One bedroom has 3 windows over the street, a second has a private sunbathing terrace, while the third lies up its own (quite steep) staircase. All 3 are doubles, with ensuite bathrooms. Downstairs, the lovely living spaces flow into one another: kitchen - dining - sitting room (dark but cool). But you'll probably spend more time outside, lazing on the cushioned bench seats around the semi-recessed plunge pool. We think it's perfect for 2-3 couples or a family with older kids.

Sea House (sleeps up to 8) is slightly more bohemian and less 'designer', suited to a family with younger children or with grandparents in tow (there's a separate 'granny flat' across the courtyard). The open-plan living-dining room is bigger and brighter, with orange accents, well-stocked book shelves and a spidery wrought-iron lamp. French windows open onto a slightly larger courtyard, shaded by a palm tree. One bedroom (the only twin) is also downstairs, with a huge seascape canvas, and a shower room next door. Upstairs, under sloping eaves, are 2 pretty double bedrooms with cream walls, a glimpse of stone, sun-shaped gold mirrors and loads of storage space. These share a bathroom (tub and separate wetroom) and a lovely, spacious terrace with yin-and-yang sun loungers. This is where we spent our evenings, catching the sun's last rays and smiling at roof-level neighbours as they hung up their washing.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Beach towels
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Plunge pool
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

Both houses have a well-equipped kitchen: hob, oven, large fridge, toaster, coffee machine, plenty of pans and plates, sharp knives and (my litmus tests) egg cups and ice trays. Everything worked like a charm, and the ornate chandeliers (one with blown-glass red peppers dangling among the beads) add warmth.

Caretaker Barbara provides some bottled water (tap water is brackish), coffee, tea and wine to start you off; for your main shop, it's a 3-5 minute drive to Santanyi's 2 supermarkets. Top up at delightful bakeries and Mallorcan delis nearby, or the vibrant market (Wednesdays and Saturdays).

Also on your doorstep are several great little restaurants, including trendy Goli, and the chilled-out Llum de Sal, where we enjoyed homemade lemonade mocktails, superb sushi and Bossa Nova soundtracks. Maren also anticipates great things from the re-invented Sa Cova on the Placa Major: top tapas, buzzy vibes, live music.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • You've 3 gorgeous coves within 5km: sandy, family-friendly Cala Santanyi has watersports, beach bars and volleyball; fjord-like Cala Figuera draws crowds for its azure, pine-fringed waters and traditional wooden boats; idyllic, cliff-ringed Cala s'Almunia has the most sparkling seas, but barely enough space to lay your towel

  • Near yachty Cala d'Or are a golf course and more tiny white-sand beaches, popular with Germans

  • To escape the crowds, follow the coastal path southwest from Cala s'Almonia towards the lighthouse of Ses Salines: rugged cliffs and turquoise waters of almost Maldivian luminescence

  • Or head inland to Moorish Santueri Castle (you can drive almost all the way), sitting atop a 400m peak with eagle-eye views over a tapestry of almond groves, pine woods and glistening villas

  • Leave time to browse the arty boutiques of Santanyi, and the church of Sant Andreu; we liked of D-Tres (fashion, handbags, jewellery), Cult (boho clothing and shoes), and the ubiquitous colourfully glazed pottery

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Cycling
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming

Kids

Both houses are well suited to a family of 4-6, with 3 bedrooms, plenty of living space, and a courtyard garden with plunge pool. Sea House has an additional 'tower' bedroom across the courtyard if you want to bring the parents or in-laws, but preserve a bit of space. You'll need to bring toys, books and children's equipment, though.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Moon House has 3 double bedrooms; Sea House has 2 double bedrooms and 1 twin bedroom (plus the additional room)

Baby equipment:

  • High chair
  • Baby cot

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

Families Should Know:

Parents of toddlers should be aware that there are no guards on the stairs or around the plunge pool. Mallorca can get extremely hot in summer.

Distances:

  • Airport: 45 mins (Palma)
  • Supermarket: 3 mins' drive
  • Health Clinic (German-run): 3 mins' drive
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
7/10
Service
8/10
Value
8/10
Overall

I would say that i-escape has described Santanyi Townhouse very accurately. Santanyi is a great place for "foodies" with lovely family friendly bars and restaurants. A couple of points to watch with Moon House. The floors on the ground floor are smooth limestone, so care is needed with wet feet. Also you have to pay 800 Euros damages deposit for the house and had 50 Euros deducted for a mark on the wall, where a suitcase had scraped it. Also you have to pay 250 Euros for end of stay cleaning charge and 15 Euros per person, for "hiring bed linen" and towels including beach towels. The house was very clean, and well equipped.

7/10,

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Rates for Santanyi Townhouses