First look at Can Ferrereta, Mallorca

South-east out of Palma on the most recent part of the Ma-19 motorway, the countryside flattens out right into a minimalist panorama of fig and meandering dry-stone partitions. There’s a dazzle within the sky; the nice and cozy air smells of mud and salt. Up forward lies a huddle of homes topped by a stable, four-square church, all in the identical sandy-coloured, pink-tinged native rock. It is perhaps simply over half an hour out of city, however this seems like a world away.

In the previous days no one ever lingered in Santanyí. There was no ‘there’ there, as Gertrude Stein mentioned of Oakland, California – however there was additionally nowhere to remain. Only two causes may take you to this rural city of two,000 souls in one in every of Mallorca’s least-traversed and least-developed corners: the bustling twice-weekly avenue market and the untrammelled seashores of close by Es Trenc and Es Caragol, their waters as intensely blue as turquoise ink.


Pool at the spa at Can Ferrereta

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While the remainder of the island bristled with ever-more elegant lodges, it had apparently occurred to nobody that this backwater is perhaps an acceptable vacation spot for the well-heeled traveller.

Enter Andrés Soldevila Ferrer, scion of the Catalan household who personal the grande-dame Majestic Hotel on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia. A fan of Mallorca since childhood holidays along with his grandparents, Soldevila first disembarked right here professionally in 2015 with the Sant Francesc in Palma, the place the astute mixture of Barcelona fashion and palatial Mallorcan structure nonetheless stands out amongst a slew of charming old-town lodges.

Astuteness clearly runs in Soldevila’s veins. Looking for a rustic property to enrich his Palma palace, he homed in on the island’s deep south as an space thus far bereft of really subtle locations to remain (the reinvigorated Fontsanta spa hotel and raw-food-and-yoga retreat Cal Reiet being honourable exceptions). The home he finally chanced on, a Seventeenth-century mansion in a state of persistent disrepair, stands a block from the parish church of Santanyí the place, it’s mentioned, the townsfolk as soon as took refuge from pirate raids. Its authentic house owners, the Bonet household, had lengthy since moved away, however in the end a 96-year-old grandmother confirmed as much as inform Soldevila that pigs had been stabled below the restaurant’s vaulted roof and the duplex suite was beforehand a hayloft.

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Lanterns on the wall by the out of doors pool at Can Ferrereta

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Sleepy Santanyí was all aflutter because the cranes and pile-drivers moved in. Even now, with the enterprise up and operating easily, curious locals could be seen peering by way of the home windows to marvel at the transformation wrought by ‘the Catalans’.

Their sense of marvel is comprehensible. Masterminded by Soldevila together with Sergi Bastidas, famend for his information of Mallorca’s rural structure, and Barcelona-based inside designer Nuria Ferrer (additionally Soldevila’s mom), the 32-room Can Ferrereta faucets into a number of current genres with out being constrained by any of them. One is the country minimalism of new-wave country-house lodges together with Es Racó d’Artà and Finca Serena, the place rugged textures coexist with Santa and Cole lamps and Carl Hansen armchairs; the tough with the graceful. There’s additionally the high-end townhouse – Can Aulí in Pollenca being the plain comparability – and the design-led artwork resort. (At Can Ferrereta an enormous, lovely bronze head by Jaume Plensa stands beside the pool, a spotlight of Ferrer’s spectacular assortment of latest Spanish artwork.) There’s even a suggestion of the ultra-exclusive inland resort, what with a severe spa, a vacation spot restaurant and a way of house shocking in a resort so firmly ensconced within the coronary heart of a city.

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Dressing room in one of many suites at Can Ferrereta

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Can Ferrereta breaks some guidelines, complies with others, however basically makes its personal. It just isn’t the world’s most piously eco-aware or craft-forward handle, for instance, however appears joyful to recognise that’s not what it’s about. There’s loads of native enter from potters, carpenters and farmers, however Ferrer has no qualms about calling on non-Mallorcan makers for her effective Catalan linens (Lo de Manuela) and Italian ceramics (Bucci).

The flooring of the mansion are of time-worn stone and cobbles, the partitions a chalky-white conventional stucco, cool to the contact. In placing distinction, home windows and shutters are completed in gun-metal gray and black-painted iron is ubiquitous in doorways, furnishings, cabinets, wall sconces. It’s right here, arguably, {that a} line has been crossed. Though the moody modernity of this detailing works brilliantly at the Sant Francesc, it is perhaps thought just a bit too severely stylish, a little bit too Barcelona for this nation cousin.

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Four-poster in a bed room at Can Ferrereta

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Looking by way of the window of a set on the higher ground reveals the lie of the stunning land. Over there stands the hulking, fortress-like type of the church. Around it clusters Santanyí’s townscape of secret terraces and clay-tiled rooftops with solely a lone palm tree, a pine, to interrupt the attractive monotony. In the far distance the little hill of Puig de Randa rises within the heat-haze. Half-close your eyes and you could possibly be in North Africa. Indeed, lack of shade within the resort’s broad courtyards might show an issue in excessive summer time, when a relentless solar pummels these dry-as-dust southern plains.

Just as properly, then, that Can Ferrereta requires little exertion past a salt-and-seaweed therapy at the Sa Calma spa, a browse across the excellent haul of labor by artists comparable to Dominica Sánchez and Jordi Alcaraz, or a supper of contemporary Mediterranean cooking at Alvar Albaladejo’s Ocre restaurant, quick shaping up as the perfect within the south-east. You may have to enterprise outdoors just for a stroll round Santanyí’s fairly plaza, a tapa or two at Can Gelat, or a go to to the mesmerising, all-white wonderland of the salt flats at Es Trenc.

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Minimalist fire within the library room at Can Ferrereta

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Close observers of the Mallorcan scene have been asking themselves lately what number of extra openings the island can assist. It might quickly attain ‘peak hotel’ – however for now, a undertaking as convincing as this one nonetheless will get in below the velvet rope. There’s a way that Andrés Soldevila’s new place could also be to Santanyí what La Residencia was to Deià again in its Eighties glory days. Like that pioneering paragon of Mallorca’s nation stays, there’s each signal that Can Ferrereta won’t solely implant itself efficiently into its host neighborhood, however alter its DNA ceaselessly.

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