Son Brull hotel review: Why this Mallorcan sanctuary is a world away from the Love Island villa

Emily Goddard
Son Brull used to be an ancient monastery: Son Brull

In a nutshell: A sophisticated boutique hotel and spa near picturesque Pollença, that is inspired by its roots.

Price point: £££

The neighbourhood

Nestled in the lush foothills of northern Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana, this renovated 18th century Jesuit monastery is close to some of the island’s most exquisite coves and sandy beaches. The Palma de Mallorca airport is a 45-minute drive away.

The hotel is nestled in the wild, mountainous region of northern Mallorca (Son Brull)

A short 3km bike ride or car journey from the hotel takes you to the charming town of Pollença, where an extensive market sells local produce and typical Spanish gifts. The striking landscape can be taken in from the top of a 365-step ascend leading to the ancient Calvari chapel – worth the climb, even on a hot day. There’s also the possibility of taking a boat excursion from Port de Pollença along the coast of Mallorca to spot the Cap des Pinar, more historical sites and local wildlife. Look out for wild donkeys and goats grazing on the seashore, captivating jellyfish in the turquoise waters and La Fortaleza, the 17th century clifftop fortress that is featured in the BBC spy drama The Night Manager (2016).

Neighbouring properties are all but non-existent. Instead, the hotel’s rooms offer panoramic views over more than 30 hectares of unspoiled land, with vast groves of olive, orange, lemon and almond trees and vineyards set to a backdrop of the mountainous countryside.

The look

The hotel is a fusion of contemporary aesthetics and historic relics that celebrate the golden building’s heritage as an old monastery. A palette of millennial pink and white walls contrasts handsomely against gold leaf ceilings and charcoal grey polished concrete flooring that also features surviving sections of the original pebbled walkways.

Millennial pink adorns the hotel's walls (Son Brull)

Other preserved original architecture includes the star-shaped impression in the floor at the entrance of the hotel and a curious ancient staircase that leads to nowhere in the main restaurant, adding character to this remarkably well-restored building. Perhaps most striking are the magnificent, decades-old olive presses in the bar area.

Son Brull is spacious but not overwhelmingly so – it doesn’t take long to become familiar with the site.

The vibe

The atmosphere is tranquil; stresses melted away from the moment we checked in. The family-run business' ethos is deeply rooted in traditional Mediterranean values, with nature at the core of what it does. Also key to the brand, is the philosophy of using local produce wherever possible, which can be seen throughout the hotel, from the spa to the kitchen, to the works of art on the walls.

Tranquillity reigns at Son Brull (Son Brull)

Although it’s a spa hotel, guests don’t spend the day walking around in towelling robes and slippers – the unofficial dress code seems more sports luxe, but without the associated pretentiousness. That said, there’s no pressure to be immaculately presented at all times – although dressing up for dinner is recommended.

Fellow guests keep to themselves, to the point where it can feel like you have the place to yourself – bliss, in my opinion. Equally, polite and friendly staff were always present but never in your face.

Bed and bath

In keeping with the focus on family and the importance of local resources, Ignasi Forteza, a local and personal friend of the Suau family who own the hotel, spearheaded the hotel’s chic interior design. The 23 airy rooms are modern and fresh with a classic twist, and each has its own unique layout and features based on the original characteristics. Pieces from local artists cover the walls, and some rooms have raw wood beams, floor to ceiling windows, outdoor terraces and sea views.

Bedrooms are spacious and modern (Son Brull)

The bed is large, and there's a sumptuous pillow and sheet menu to choose from. The bathing facilities are roomy: there’s a whirlpool bath and a huge shower, complemented by homemade, orange-scented toiletries.

The hotel is also due to open two newly developed villa suites for families or friends wanting to share this summer. Each has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a heated pool, private garden, fireplace and living room.

Food and drink

The main inspiration behind Son Brull’s two eateries, the 3/65 restaurant and the more casual UBistró for tapas, is local, seasonal and natural ingredients – and it works superbly. Traditional Mallorcan cuisine is served with a contemporary, gourmet twist, including a menu with vibrant salads and succulent seafood.

Contemporary restaurants use local and seasonal ingredients (Son Brull)

Dinner also features some of the hotel’s own-brand products, including wines and an excellent olive oil that is like no other I’ve tasted. Chef Rafel Perello also holds cooking classes with guests to share his kitchen secrets.

Pools, spas and public areas

The spa is the jewel in the crown, going far beyond offering the usual facials and massages; it seeks to reconnect people with nature and the earth for a truly restorative experience. The design is clean and reminiscent of a Japanese dojo, and there’s a couples’ room for those on a romantic break.

The spa offers seasonal treatments (Son Brull)

There are holistic, head-to-toe experiences inspired by the seasons – visit in spring and you can indulge in a “blooming ritual” to recover energy and vitality with a scrub and body mask, facial as well as an intense, almost yogic, massage. The oils and balsams used are all made on the property.

There’s an infinity pool, a water circuit therapy pool, jacuzzi, sauna, hammam and a yoga and meditation room offering complimentary daily classes. Electric and mountain bikes are also free to use.

Nuts and bolts

Room count: 23 rooms

Freebies: Still and sparkling water as well as bed sweets

In the bathroom: Son Brull’s own-brand toiletries

Wifi: Included

Extra charges: Parking is free, laundry from €3.10 (£2.70)

Minibar prices: Rooms have a small fridge with free still and sparkling water

Disability access: Design throughout is inclusive and there is one room (a superior double) that has been specially fitted for easy access for disabled guests

Pet policy: No pets allowed

Son Brull makes its own toiletries (Son Brull)

Bottom line

Best thing: The feeling of getting back to nature, but in style

Worst thing: There’s no beach within walking distance

Perfect for: Those in need of relaxation

Not right for: Raucous partygoers

Instagram from: The Ubar, where you can capture the hotel’s ancient olive presses

Room rate: Doubles from £215, B&B

sonbrull.com