The super luxury brand was about to make its first European appearance, and I had to see it. So on the second day it was open, I was on its doorstep. Like a phoenix, the hotel had risen in this most beautifully green corner of the island, a powerful citadel sitting very close to the famous Serra de Tramuntana mountains. The area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, so no other high rises will blight the landscape. The fabulous views will be there forever. Clever people, they got in just in time, and can now offer a special brand of luxury in this unique position overlooking the azure sea. This fortress is not for the faint hearted, however; it is built right into the hillside, its various components cleverly stacked to blend into the landscape. As such, many steps have to be negotiated by the willing, and, of course, there are lifts for the less sporty.
The Jumeirah mantra in Mallorca is about being green and 'local'; the staff are adamant they will be part of the community, use local building materials deliberately, and plant with water shortage in mind. The result is impressive - trees that are native offer shade in the Cap Roig restaurant, small cacti sit prettily around them to shelter their roots. All very laudable and beautiful.
The rooms are amazing, and for those travelling with children, include sofabeds. My junior suite had a eight-metre-long array of picture windows not often seen in any hotel, so when your curtain swishes apart in the morning (electronically, of course), you are presented with a panorama view of the Tramuntana mountains that might make your heart skip a beat. They have excelled at austere, almost Quaker-plain simplicity here, maybe harking back to classic Arabic style, or the monastic Middle Ages. This is luxury with an über-minimalist twist. Some might say the very whiteness and plainness has gone a touch too far, but it fits the environment. We are in Spain after all, and here, baroque style belongs to Gaudi and the churches.
A fine example of that baroque exuberance can be seen in the local church of Soller, the small market town just a walk and quaint tram ride away, a fun place to visit especially on market day, when music and food show traditional Spain at its best. It's a foodie's paradise, with amazingly tasty orange juice (the locals' pride and joy), light pastries, succulent sausages, and the famous Jamón Ibérico.
Then back to the lap of luxury, where you can dine on creative, tasty, healthy concoctions made with prime ingredients, or where you can indulge yourself at the spa. With a vast array of treatments, Rasoul and Hammam suites, steam rooms and saunas, as well as a super outdoor whirlpool the size of a swimming pool, there is something for every ailment. (And while the genius Chopin sadly did not recover in nearby Valdemossa, in this oasis of quietness, exhausted Londoners no doubt will.)
Mallorca is now on my radar, and the hilly landscape looks more beautiful than ever. There are still too many families, but at least most of them are on the other side of the island.