Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mallorca's 'Royal' Retreat; Alex Hibbert Chills out on the Balearic Isle Where He Is Treated like a King

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mallorca's 'Royal' Retreat; Alex Hibbert Chills out on the Balearic Isle Where He Is Treated like a King

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Hibbert

IKNOW my stay at Jumeirah's Hotel and Spa in Port Soller is going to be special from the moment I walk through its doors.

Blasted by a spray of the custommade scent that's piped into the lobby, I am immediately seated atop a plump-cushioned chair, handed a cold flannel to wipe the travel grime from my face and given a glass of the most delicious orange juice I have ever tasted.

This is the welcome of either kings or dreams. Or a dream in which I am royalty.

In fact, if I didn't have a shinybronze tan and a huge smile on my face still, I might just think my trip was truly a fantasy.

Jumeirah's Mallorcan resort hunches along the edge of a cliff on the north-west coast of the island, a long train of white, low-rise buildings that stretch along the hillside on various levels for a kilometre.

Nestled in among the perfect luxury of the resort's buildings is an outdoor pool for families, a gigantic infinity pool, restaurants, a sunset bar and terraces to enjoy the spectacular 360 degree views.

Those views really are incredible: on one side of the resort you can take in the azure expanses of the Mediterranean, on the other enjoy the pretty Port de Soller and the Unesco World Heritage Tramuntana mountain range.

There are 121 spacious rooms and suites, beds are comfort defined and my morning regime of coffee and a good soak was made all the easier by the room's Nespresso machine and separate bath and shower.

One of the best things about a stay at Jumeirah is that it regularly throws up moments of intense satisfaction: rising in the morning and, at the touch of a button and finding your curtains opening to reveal one of the room's incredible views of the sea, the mountains or both; an hour-long massage at the resort's spa (I fell asleep three times); a day spent idly floating between a good book and dips in the spectacular infinity pool.

The only sleep I even came close to losing was after surreptitiously dumping the empty packaging of a Boots meal deal - devoured mid-flight - in one of the spa's luxury wicker bins. I honestly thought about going back for it, so harsh did the crumpled cardboard look against the harmonious lines of the spa's dark wood and polished surfaces.

Every detail at the resort is scrutinised to the tiniest degree.

That scent I mentioned? A mix of lavender, rosemary and citrus that takes its inspirations from Mallorca's natural environment, and a selection of paintings and sculptures dotted around the resort are all by local artists.

Jumeirah can make even something fairly mundane magical: a Hendricks gin and tonic becomes a work of art - little white cubes of plump cucumber flesh spiralling out of a sparkling draught.

After being there for just under 48 hours, I came back feeling like I'd been away for weeks. …

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