The Balearic island of Mallorca (also spelled Majorca) has long been a favorite vacation destination for Europeans of all stripes as well as rich celebs — Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have both been spotted enjoying the island's charms (not at the same time). But recently it's seemed like we just can't stop hearing about this Spanish island perfectly placed in the warm. Here's a few reasons why Mallorca is so hot right now.
1. The Latest Virgin Limited Has Just Opened
The doors of Son Bunyola, the newest property in Richard Branson's exclusive Virgin Limited Unlimited portfolio, have just swung open — to those with around $20,000 a week to spare. There are two villas — one four bedrooms, the other five bedrooms — to pick from, sitting on a 680-acre estate covered in vineyards and fruit trees. Each villa has its own private pool and fits from eight to 10 people. Time to assemble the squad, then.
2. But it's Got Competition
A slew of design-forward boutique hotels have been opening up around the island in the last few years, joining longer established classic haunts. In Palma's Old Town, Hotel Cort occupies a century-old former bank and has a gorgeous rooftop pool. OD Port Portales opened near the glitzy celeb hangout of Puerto Portales yacht harbor just a few years ago and offers the complimentary use of a Smart Cabrio car with every Junior Suite. In Calvià, the palatial Hospès Maricel & Spa evokes the old school glamour of the days when it hosted the international jet set, many of whom continue to arrive today — it appeared in recent spy miniseries The Night Manager.
3. Celebs Love It
It's not just Richard Branson who loves Mallorca. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones share a luxury holiday home on the island, as does Claudia Schiffer who always spends her birthday there in August. Joseph Fiennes lives permanently on Mallorca with his local wife, and dishy tennis star Rafael Nadal was born there and returns often. It's also the official holiday destination for the Spanish royal family.
4. The Art Scene is Booming
Centered on Palma, Mallorca's contemporary art scene has been significantly boosted in the last few years, thanks to the opening of Es Baluard, Museu d'Art Modern i Contempoani de Palma, which shows work by contemporary Balearic, Spanish and international artists. The Museu d’Art Fundación Juan March focuses on 20th century Spanish vanguard artists, while the Palau March's outdoor sculpture gallery includes work by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Every September Mallorca celebrates Nit de L’Art, a night-time festival, which celebrates the island’s contemporary art scene with fiestas, performances and installations.
5. The Night Manager Was Filmed There
Drama, intrigue, and Tom Hiddleston's bum: There were many reasons to get hooked on The Night Manager, the six-episode spy drama that screened on AMC earlier this year. It seems, though, that it was the filming locations that have left the biggest impression. Most notably Mallorca, which, as well as serving as a location in its own right, also stood in for other settings in Madrid and Istanbul. Villain Richard Roper's fortress-like mansion does exist in real life but is sadly the private property of a very rich British Lord. Nevertheless, other significant locations are open to those sadly lacking a peerage. The cliffside Ca’s Patró March restaurant in Cala Deià, on the north-west coast, which features in a pivotal scene, is open to the public, serving up fresh seafood platters and Mallorcan wine. You can also take a stroll along the street where Hiddleston's character secretly meets with his British intelligence handler, Carrer de la Marina, which is much beloved — and filled with the superyachts of the ultra rich.
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