Can Ferrereta, a glamorous 17th-century hideaway in Mallorcan municipality Santanyí, gives a sleek modern edge to Balearic rusticity. This may have once been a farmhouse, but after the transformative efforts of the Soldevila-Ferrer family (who have also done wonders with sister stay Hotel Sant Francesc Singular in Palma), alongside local creatives and artisans, it’s taken on a more cosmopolitan air. Here you can muse on artworks by the likes of Joan Miró, spend an edifying afternoon in a library packed with cult designer books and dine on Med dishes as well crafted as the wall-candy. While a flourishing pool-blessed garden, beatific all-natural treatments in the spa, and organic decor touches in rooms evidence this retreat’s agrarian heritage and fertile surroundings.
12 noon, but flexible, on request and subject to availability. Check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $469.05 (€392), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.40 per person per night on check-out.
Rates usually include a buffet breakfast. Guests will need to pay an additional tourist tax of €4.40 a person, each night (for May to October stays) and €1.10 (from November to April) at the hotel.
While there’s much to lure you from the hotel – be it Santanyí’s historic corners or the surroundings’ raw natural beauty – there are many reasons to stay put too. Pause awhile in the hotel’s bougainvillea-strung, jasmine-scented garden solarium, while you enjoy a chilled glass of local wine, or flip through cult, coffee-table tomes from Maison Assouline (including some limited editions) and rummage through the hotel’s vinyl collection in the library. The hotel has bikes to hire during your stay, but if you’ve arrived with your personal pedaller in the roof rack, you can get it fine tuned and stash it securely at the on-site bike station.
At the hotel
Spa, hammam and sauna; garden; library; bike station and bikes for hire; concierge service; free WiFi. In rooms: Smart TV with streaming services, Bluetooth speaker, USB charger, minibar with local and gourmet treats, coffee machine, ceiling fan and Heeley bath products. From the Duplex Suite upwards, some suites have a terrace or French balcony, and the Pool Suite has a private swimming spot.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms in the hotel are composed of the same design elements: agrarian touches (cream-hued rough-mortared walls, woven-hessian headboards, artisanal trinkets such as sunhats and ceramic vases) alongside iconic furnishings by stellar designers (Piero Lissoni, Hans Wegner, Michael Anastassiades) and bespoke statement pieces. Some of the rooms are set in sympathetically built new extensions, so be sure to request a room in the original house if ceiling beams and stone arches make you swoon. The Junior Suite has the most romantic bathroom, arranged around a huge circular bath tub and the Pool Suite – true to its name – lets you wallow in peace on a sizeable view-blessed terrace.
Lined in emerald tiles and surrounded by cyprus and olive trees, the hotel’s unheated (but sun-warmed), 25-metre saltwater pool is a calm cooling-off spot in the bougainvillea-threaded garden. Parasol-shaded pairs of sunloungers and tables for alfresco drinks are set around the side. On cooler days, you can splash about in the spa’s heated 10-metre pool.
With treatments that use salts from Es Trenc; sea-harvested algae and mud; local olive oil; and rosemary, lavender, and citrus fruits from Sóller, the Sa Calma spa will leave you smelling like a scented advert for the island itself. Decorated in soothing neutrals and latte-hued stone, it has three cabins for massages and Anne Semonin facials, a 10-metre heated pool, hammam, sauna, extra-sensory shower and a relaxation room. The gym next door is open round the clock and has upmarket Technogym equipment: a punch bag, TRX kit, cross trainer and spin bike. Plus, there’s a dedicated space for yoga. Staff will happily provide headphones, towels or water as needed.
Swimming gear and shoes you can comfortably pedal in will set you up for a stay with some – but not too much – action.
The hotel’s public areas are wheelchair accessible and Room 26 (a Junior Suite) is adapted for guests with mobility issues.
The hotel is for over-14s only, but, let’s face it, little ones won’t really appreciate the elegant lines of a Piet Boon sofa or divine provenance of the olive oil quite as much.
The hotel shows deference to Santanyí’s superlative farming and fishing by serving market hauls and fine local produce at both its eateries.
If you’re travelling with a small group of friends, book Ocre’s private room, which has access to its own small courtyard.
Aim for cottagecore gone couture.
Ocre Restaurant (named for the striking ochre-rock facades coloured by winds blowing in from Africa, to be found throughout Santanyi) is set in the hotel’s former wine cellar and in between courses you can play ‘spot the 17th-century graffiti’, etched into the wood beams and stone arches, which tipsy past patrons have left behind. Head chef Alvar Albaladejo also oversaw the menus at Hotel Sant Francesc Singular, and here uses produce from a whole new region of farms and fisheries to make his edible masterpieces. Expect daily coastal plunder, freshly made cheeses, vegetables by the season and meat from animals with exceptional diets. All brought to life with the finest olive oil, salts and spices, of course. La Fresca is the hotel’s more casual diner by the pool. Its name comes from a local expression for cooling off (‘prendre la fresca’ – literally ‘take the cool’) and its menu is suitably refreshing with light fish dishes, salads and fresh-fruit platters.
The hotel has two bars; however, the small one in Ocre with a handful of stools is in full view of the restaurant, so is best used for apéritifs. For more intimate drinks, sit by the pool at La Fresca’s bar for gluggable local wines and chic cocktails.
Whether you’re jonesing for a 2am sandwich, dinner on your terrace or breakfast in bed, the hotel will oblige, with round-the-clock room service.
Can Ferrereta sits on a narrow, unassuming carrer in the historic quarter of ancient Mallorcan town Santanyí, close to the town hall and the Parròquia de Sant Andreu church.
Fly into Palma Airport, which is just a 40-minute drive from the hotel – or an hour’s drive if you take the scenic route along the south coast. The hotel can arrange transfers for €121 each way.
With a set of wheels you can zip from Mallorca’s south to north coasts in just an hour, so it's worth hitting the ignition to roam over ochre and sage landscapes, through olive and citrus groves and out to the craggy coastline where tucked-away beaches await. You can hire a car at Palma airport and for €30 a night, you can store your wheels in the hotel’s underground car park – they offer a valet service too.
Worth getting out of bed for
Pull back those Egyptian cotton covers and head straight to the spa to be slathered in flor de sal and olive oil, seaweed and mineral-rich muds, and more, before mood-brightening spells in the hammam and massage-jet-enhanced showers. Or if you need more of a wake-up call, get to grips with the gym’s Technogym equipment, contort yourself serene at a yoga session, or paddle about in one of the two pools. Once you’re fragrant and floating, admire the glorious graphics of Maison Assouline’s travel books in the library and spin some classic toe-tappers on the turntable. Then complete your in-house cultural odyssey with a self-guided tour of the hotel’s incredible art collection, which includes bold pieces by Joan Miró, ethereal photos by Bárbara Vidal, monumental stone heads by Jaume Plensa and minimal sketchings by Jordi Alcaraz, among other local art stars.
With clement weather and scenic routes in all directions, Santanyí’s surroundings are ripe for exploring by bike, and you can hire wheels at the hotel. You’re treated to several areas of spectacular beauty, all within an hour's cycle from the hotel: the salt flats of Ses Salines, wild sandy beaches of Es Trenc and the thickly clustered pine trees and desert palms, and turquoise-water-lapped cliffs of Mondragó Natural Park. To see this region’s wonders from all aspects, hire a boat from Cala d’Or to ride out to teeny story-book coves, or hop in a hot-air balloon to see Mallorca’s rocky spinal cord of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains laid out below. Other beloved beaches to drop and flop on include Cala Llombards and Es Calo des Moro, but you’re spoilt for choice along this stretch of coast.
Santanyí is more petite than Palma, but it’s an authentic and attractive municipality. Wander its narrow cobbled streets and peaceful plaças, stopping into indie ceramic shops and the art galleries who supply head-turners for the luxury fincas orbiting this once-fortified outpost. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the main square fills with punters eager to stock up on fresh farm produce, leather goods and artisanal homewares at the weekly market.
Set in a 300-year-old house, Cassai Gran Café continues the theme of historic romance. Sit under the trailing ivy in its stone courtyard to feast on lobster with rice, red-tuna tartare and Iberian pork, or pick at its simple yet flavoursome tapas plates. And the owners have converted a vintage blue-and-white fisherman's cottage close to Es Trenc into a nautical-themed beach house restaurant, just a 20-minute drive from the hotel, for lazy lunches overlooking Cabrera Island. East 26 is a lifestyle boutique that doubles up as a restaurant, so if you take a shine to the tableware, you can shop the look when you’re done. And it has good taste beyond interiors: try the salmon rolls with lemon cream and black rice, sea bream with citrus fruit and truffle purée or caramelised goat’s cheese with paprika jam. And, it’s worth making the hour-long pilgrimage to Es Molí, a west coast eatery with generous paellas, thoughtful vegan fare and fish and meat with surprising – often Asian-inflected – flavour pairings. Say, the salmon sashimi with passionfruit and tiger milk, or the confit duck wings with caramelised popcorn.
Retroway Café is a laidback sort, with its tie-dye chairs, sociable booths and sheltered terrace, but the chef is serious about their healthful fresh menu, which boasts fully gluten-free dishes. And, while wellness is considered, there’s room for decadence too, with burrata, stuffed falafel burgers and fudgy vegan brownies to get stuck into.
The hotel’s barkeeps do stirling work slaking guests’ thirsts in ever more inventive ways. But, if you do fancy a change of scene, head back to Cassai Gran Café to sample all their fruity variations of mojitos and daiquiris.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this centuries-old hotel in equally old-school Santanyí and unpacked their colourful market-sourced pottery and raved about newly discovered contemporary Spanish artists, a full account of their refined rural break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Can Ferrereta in Mallorca…
Our favourite hotels are those that feel like you’re stepping into a magical secret world, and the only clue to the grandeur that lies within 17th-century home turned newly minted hotel Can Ferrereta from the street is its towering, typically Mallorcan, wooden doors. Cross the threshold and you’re in a sophisticated sanctuary that celebrates Santanyí’s agrarian history and the cultural mores of Spain’s present. This is all thanks to veteran hoteliers and longstanding arbiters of taste, the Soldevila-Ferrer family, who have also beautifully restored the Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in Palma (an ideal city-break pairing). Working with the aesthetically leading teams at local architects Bastidas and interior designers WIT, they’ve taken the rough with the smooth, giving equal importance to rustic traits (such as ruggedly-mortared walls, woven-hessian-and-hemp headboards and wall panels, timber furnishings and organic handicrafts), as they do artworks by names as renowned as Joan Miró, furnishings from big-deal design houses (Piero Lissoni, GamFratesi, Hans Wegner), and characterful original features: stone arches, painted beams, the ancient Norfolk pine growing through the courtyard. And, beyond the 37-key rooms and suites, spaces within the former farmhouse (and a new, stylistically similar extension), have been used wisely, to add a spa with all the trimmings, chic library, tempting Mediterranean restaurant, and a bike studio. From the back a vast garden unfurls, encompassing a restored shepherd’s hut, alfresco bar and lengthy pool. While much of the stay has been subtly nipped and tucked, it hasn’t lost its sense of authenticity or its warmth as a family home – from the come-and-go-as-you-please feel to superlative service, life feels lazily comfortable here. And you’re in the privileged position of being sandwiched between the Ses Salines salt flats and Mondrago National Park – but above and beyond natural wonders, being able to stay in this tucked-away treasure is privilege enough.