In the sunny Majorcan capital, Connor McGovern checks into a former convent that blends art, history and sophisticated surroundings
Hidden down a quiet, shaded street off the Carrer Sant Miquel, Hotel Convent de la Missió’s name hints at its former life. Dating back to the 17th century, the hotel was originally built as a school for missionaries — there’s still a church next door. These days, it’s been sympathetically transformed into a chic city hideaway, blending historic charm with touches of first-class hospitality.
Wellness and relaxation
If the calming, muted hues aren’t soothing enough, the hotel’s quiet, cosy nooks are hard to resist. I head down to the basement wellness area, with its original columns and arches, to unwind in the soothing pool and sauna and recline on one of the sumptuous waterbeds. The star attraction, however, is upstairs — on the roof to be precise — where a quiet terrace traps the Majorcan sunshine nearly all day long. Within earshot of the Convento de la Carmelitas’ bells, a cluster of loungers and parasols skirt the pool, with a drinks service available to help guests make the most of the views across to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains. Should the weather not play ball, the snug upstairs lounge is both warm and minimalist — the perfect place to curl up with a book.
Rooms were once the monks’ bedroom chambers, I’m told, as I’m shown to my junior suite, but as I push open the heavy oaken door, the room couldn’t be further from its austere past. A sanctuary of serenity greets me, with tall windows bathing the Champagne-and-stone-toned room with light. A freestanding bath sits grandly in the centre of the room, where L’Occitane cosmetics wait to be unwrapped, and a well-stocked minibar vies for my attention — perfectly juicy oranges and peaches are a nice touch. Lights made from industrial mesh — echoing much of the hotel’s contemporary art — hang like clouds beside the bed, while a spacious rain shower around the corner is an extra nod to the cloudy theme. But the centrepiece is without doubt the bed — an enormous white cocoon of comfort that could easily sleep five, topped with plump cushions that promise a good night’s sleep.
When the pull of the bed becomes too great, an efficient room service is on hand to help me make the most of an extra leisurely morning.
Start an evening with a cocktail at The Art Bar — the former convent refectory — now a semi-circular bar pouring a smooth array of tipples. Sip it slowly, admiring the Catalan words spelled out on the wall in pieces of driftwood. Afterwards, make a beeline for the hotel’s restaurant, Marc Fosh, a cool and sleek dinner spot that spills out onto a terrace dotted with lush plants and backed by a cascading wall of water. The beautiful plates are truly first-class, with the likes of sea bream and plankton pil-pil, and foie gras with hibiscus and caviar salt part of Marc’s Michelin-starred repertoire.
Come morning, the terrace is transformed, with a mouth-watering array of Spanish meats and cheeses, as well as the usual Continental treats, laid out for an al fresco breakfast.
A must for unrivalled luxury, calm surrounds and pure peace and quiet
Standard double rooms cost from €188 (£165) a night, on a B&B basis.