It’s easy to go off-grid at LJs Ratxo, an eco-finca west of Palma where honey-coloured Mallorcan stone, beamed ceilings and furniture hewn from forest timber by resident cabinetmakers hark back to the estate’s medieval origins. Sure, there’s WiFi, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it. Instead, while away the hours reading Cervantes and sipping cervezas by the mountain-facing pool. The only things likely to distract you from this noble pursuit are the preening peacocks and wild goats foraging in the forest undergrowth, and your own nagging urge to head to the all-natural spa for a restorative Balearic beating.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of LJs wine and a two-hour guided tour of the nature reserve
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £370.18 (€437), including tax at 21 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.40 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include breakfast, which is available all day. There's also a nightly city tax of €4.40.
At the hotel
Two restaurants and a bar, spa with pool, steam room and treatment rooms, free WiFi. In rooms: minibar, flatscreen TV, bathrobes, slippers and Tot Herba toiletries. The rooms also have air conditioning; although the temperature can't be lowered below 22 degrees celsius due to the hotel's sustainability efforts.
Our favourite rooms
Right at the top of the resort, the Royal Suite allows you to preside over your temporary kingdom from not one but two grand balconies – when not supine in the private mountain pool, that is. Beamed ceilings and hand-carved furniture lend a traditional, even old-fashioned touch to proceedings but, make no mistake, when you’re splashing around in your enormous hot tub, glass of bubbly in hand, you’ll feel anything but rustic.
Gaze down upon pine and oak forests from the vantage point of the resort’s infinity pool and Jacuzzi, which is open throughout the warmer months. The indoor spa pool operates year-round.
You can treat yourself to a swift back and neck rub, or go the full monty with a comprehensive all-over body massage. The steam room, pool and sauna are all free to use. And, if all that still isn’t relaxing enough, yoga, Pilates and mindfulness sessions can be arranged on request.
The mountain hiking trails are well signposted, but that doesn’t mean you should go unprepared. Insect repellent, a decent water bottle and energy bars or dried fruits are a must, especially if you’re the type to dramatically insist on an emergency snack 10 minutes after leaving the house.
Children aged 12 and up are charged the adult rate.
LJs Ratxo does not wear its tag of eco-resort lightly. A crack team of in-house carpenters transforms discarded forest timber into boho-chic lamps, rustic ‘do not disturb’ signs, tables and more. Water from the mountains is collected and filtered to quench the driest of thirsts. Just-picked vegetables from the kitchen garden form the basis for seasonal restaurant menus. Heck, the hotel is almost as green as the forest that surrounds it.
Get to Arratxa early and make a beeline for the right-hand side of the terrace. Tables here overlook the pool, the palm-filled garden and the mountains beyond.
LJs Ratxo takes a ‘zero-kilometre’ approach to its culinary creations, bringing garden-fresh delights to the table every day and leaning heavily on local produce. Think homemade Mallorcan pastries at breakfast, burrata with rocket at lunch, and barbecued Iberian pork in the evening. Arratxa’s open kitchen, terrace and barbecue is the place of choice during the warmer seasons, while Roots – an indoor eatery built into the mountain and supported by two massive columns – is favoured in winter (and on rare rainy days). Sweeping mountain views and an extensive wine selection from local vineyards are of course available in both
Ginebro opens on the terrace during summer to serve up refreshment to adventurers returning parched from hillside hikes. Try the Pure Herbs cocktail, made with seasonal herbs from the garden.
Breakfast is served from 7.30am, and last orders at the bar are at 10.30pm.
LJ’s Ratxo is set in two and a half square kilometres of pine-scented wilderness in the lush mountain forests of Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana range. The location feels seriously remote, yet is a mere 30 minutes from cosmopolitan Palma.
Palma de Mallorca Airport is a 45-minute drive. A private transfer for two people is €99 one-way, bookable direct with the hotel.
Those hiring cars at Palma Airport should first attempt to pronounce – and then head towards – the tiny village of Puigpunyent, from where LJs Ratxo is well signposted. Please note that some of the roads to the resort are unsurfaced. Parking is available at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Spend an hour leafing lazily through your holiday read in the palm-strewn gardens and you might find the very suggestion of leaving your new Eden absurd. If not, you’ll find plenty more gentle (and not so gentle) pursuits to be enjoyed in this most laidback of locations.
Keep it local with a visit to the Son Puig Bodega in nearby Puigpunyent. This tiny producer offers tastings of its finest reds and whites against a backdrop of mountains that fairly heave with pine, almond, carob and oak trees. Just try saying ‘Puigpunyent’ out loud after your third merlot, we dare you.
Walking and cycling trails abound straight out of the resort, and bikes can be hired from the hotel. The more dedicated adventurer might even consider attempting part or parts of the GR221, an epic mountain trail that snakes through wooded valleys and across peaks with Balearic sea views, from Andratx in the west to Pollensa in the east.
Nearby La Reserva is the best of both worlds. Here, when you’ve had your fill of pounding the mountain paths (or indeed zip-lining through the pines), you can slide into a refreshing waterfall pool, lie back and gaze up at the forest canopy – where the eagle-eyed may even be lucky enough to spot a bird of prey or two. Cost of entry is €15 for adults and €5 for kids.
Picturesque, off-grid mountain isolation is the name of the game at LJs Ratxo, but a visit to Palma is always worth the gastronomic rewards, assuming you’re game for a night drive along unsurfaced mountain tracks.
Vandal’s modern take on tapas allows you to pick and choose from an extensive selection of interesting small plates. Pisco bloody mary oysters, beef bao buns, cauliflower ravioli, roast octopus and many more choices mean the only difficulty here is deciding what – and how much – to eat. The crack duo of chef and sommelier means there’s a wine recommendation to match each selection.
In the shadow of Palma’s extraordinary Gothic cathedral is Dins Santi Taura, awarded a Michelin star in recognition of their passion for “traditional Mallorcan cuisine with an updated modern flair”. Whether you go for the a la carte menu or epic 11-course tasting option, you can expect the likes of suckling pig cannelloni, grilled squid and Mallorca-style stuffed snails. There’s a rooftop dining area during the warmer months.
Bar Nicolas sits on the Place del Mercat close to its sainted namesake: an imposing medieval church topped with an impressive hexagonal belltower. Admire the view with a negroni on the bar’s terrace, or head inside, where leather banquettes and cosy booths meet industrial staircases and a gleaming bar staffed by eager mixologists.
Whisky might not be the first thing you think of on a visit to Mallorca, yet a whisky bar is precisely what Chapeau 1987 purports to be, serving up a mindboggling variety of Scotch and international tipples, plus wine and cocktails galore. Regular live music, from jazz to hip-hop, keeps this wooden-clad institution the right side of trendy.
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 traditional Spanish finca in Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, switched their devices back on and rejoined the real world, a full account of their off-grid adventure will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside LJs Ratxo...
LJs Ratxo lies in the lushly forested foothills of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, a medieval estate now gloriously reborn as a laidback luxury retreat, where ‘me-time’ is practically a philosophy and you are encouraged to shake off the world and its woes on the dirt-track before you enter.
There are many nods to the estate’s past: some of the finca’s walls date to the 14th century and an antique olive press has been lovingly restored (presumably also oiled) and displayed in the restaurant. The hotel sits oasis-like in the landscape, its traditional honeyed stonework, carved wooden seating and lush tree-filled gardens encircling an oh-so-inviting infinity pool that overlooks hills as far as the eye can see.