The food at St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort is sensational – look at the butters, above, at the Michelin-starred Es Fum restaurant. Each has a different flavour. One of the salts is also flavoured, with hibiscus: it may be fine dining, by the way, but this is a luxury hotel that knows that in today’s high-spending world, simplicity is often the preferred order of the day but when it is haute cuisine it has to be really good. Oscar del Campo, the Spanish-born boss of the entire Arabella Hospitality España complex, chose Mallorcan wines, including one of the 950 bottles a year made by Patric Paulen at Binissalem, Tianna 2 Negre 2015 Manto Negro Mono varietal. As we drank the health of various mutual friends, he told the gal about a group from Gold Medal Plates visiting soon, for food, and cycling.
Gold Medal Plates is a support group to raise money for Canada’s culinary Olympics, and cleverly it has expanded so that aspiring and got-there younger-age professionals join together, not only for networking, as I think OneOak does, but via an activity. Cycling is one of the options, and where better to do it than Mallorca? Sir Bradley Wiggins has a house here. Team Sky and many national teams come to train in winter. At least one hotel group, Hoposa, based at Puerto Pollença, states it has bike storage, bike showers and bike engineers in all its hotels. Sadly there was no time to go cycling as I was far too busy eating, drinking and otherwise keeping fit.
The 140-room hotel has two significant outdoor pools and Arabella Spa has one indoor-outdoor pool, and an indoor vitality pool, next to the thermae room where I did a circuit, trying hot and cold saunas and the ice room. The Technogym adjacent to the spa is 24/7 and I soon realised the importance of getting there ahead of anyone else as I coincided once with a female wonderwoman, mature and as agile as a gold-medal gymnast. I also enjoyed good walks along the coastline, at the rear of the hotel, and, in front of it along Carretera Palma-Andratx, a tenfoot-wide bike and walk path led to the marina, to the right, or past a massive supermarket, to the left. No exercise required, but I did love watching a wedding – my terrace gave perfect discreet viewing.
I quickly established my pattern. After that early workout I preferred to wait until daylight before breakfast in Café Aqua. The room inside is charming, but sitting outside under a canopy of pines, and looking across to the Mediterranean, is one of the many memories from this luxury hotel. My Financial Times was delivered by around seven – another sign of a luxury hotel – and I could sit reading about the world while debating which of 32 different jams and honeys, all from the Soller area of Mallorca, to choose. In the background, not too loud, were the dulcet tones of that Doris Day classic, Qu’est sera sera. See a video of the entire breakfast buffet, below.