I know where paradise is, but don’t worry, I’m not going to keep it to myself! As part of my research for my vegan guide to Mallorca, Mr Green V and I headed to the beautiful Balearic island on a mission to find the best places to recommend to you, my lovely readers. The good news – Mallorca is full of picturesque locations, the bad news – we had to leave and return to Belgium and normal life at the end of our trip.
We stayed in the village of Valldemossa, set into the Tramuntana mountains about 20km outside Palma city, and enjoyed three nights at the exquisite Hotel Valldemossa. I have to say the hotel, and indeed the village of Valldemossa, took my breath away. Not only is the hotel perfectly situated with stunning views on all sides, but you truly feel like you are gently nestled away from the rest of the world, surrounded by lush greenery, mountains and some of the best service I’ve enjoyed in a long time.
We took the bus from Palma airport into the centre of Palma city and quenched our thirst with a drink al fresco whilst we waited for the bus which would take us to Valldemossa.
Valldemossa is famous for its beauty, but also for being home to Frederic Chopin and his lover Aurore Dupin, better known as her alias George Sand, who wrote the well-known book ‘A Winter in Mallorca’. In fact, Chopin described it as “The most beautiful place in the world”.
When we finally arrived at the hotel, we paused at the gate to take in the front view of the hotel and its grounds. It really is beautiful, as you can see. What I really liked about the location is that not only is it easy to get to, but the hotel is situated just a few minutes’ walk from the village centre, meaning that not only are all the amnesties easily accessible, but you also feel completely away from the rest of the world at Hotel Valldemossa.
If you arrive by car with heavy luggage, there is actually a lift to take you from the hotel gardens up to reception, so no need to struggle with your bags! When we arrived at the check-in desk we were invited to enjoy a welcome drink on the terrace whilst our bags were taken up to our room. Perhaps somewhat boringly we asked for tea – in typical English fashion! But of course, there is ample choice from any of the options at the bar.
As I write this, I’m smiling, as I remember the excitement of arriving and sipping my Earl Grey on the terrace, completely mesmerised by the outstanding views ahead, which you can see for yourself.
We stayed in the Jorge Luis Borges superior room. I particularly enjoyed the fact we were given this room as Borges was a famous Argentine writer, and whilst I’m certainly not on the same level, I appreciated the thoughtful nod to my profession.
Our room was lovely – light, fresh and with plenty of space, one thing that can often be missing in European hotels I find. The décor was chic and simple, with a well-sized bathroom and dressing area, but the pièce de résistance was the outstanding view! Oh my lordy, when we stepped on to our private balcony and saw the glorious mountains ahead – how our eyes did feast!
There is certainly something fantastic about working outside, especially when your work involves creativity. You can’t get much more inspiration than sheer nature to get the writing juices flowing, can you?
As we prepared for our first dinner and meal in the hotel, we noticed a welcome gift waiting for us, which was so sweet and kind. Mr Green V ate the macaroons as they weren’t suitable for vegans, but the cava certainly was, and we sat on our balcony, sipping the bubbles and relaxing.
I was also happy to see some Molton Brown items in the bathrooms. Whilst not all of the products were vegan-friendly (the bar soap for example had milk in), Molton Brown are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free and I contacted them for information on their ingredients, getting this response:
“Since we started in 1973, we’ve never tested our products on animals and we try to source as many naturally derived ingredients as possible.
The only ‘animal derived’ ingredient we use is:
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey – is the Ingredient name on our pack for this raw material; derived from Honey and is in Coco & Sandalwood Bath & Shower and Coco & Sandalwood Body Lotion”
We headed down to dinner after a quick freshen up, and we were both looking forward to a good meal after our travels. Well, forget about it being good. The food was simply enchanting. Perhaps an odd word to use for food, but it really was. As regular readers will know, Mr Green V isn’t vegan, although he does eat plant-based pretty much all the time at home, so whilst he chose off the standard menu, I was directed to the veg-friendly one.
I think we can all relate to that nervous feeling before eating somewhere new, and especially abroad: will they know what vegan means? What if it’s just salad? Will they get confused and give me a giant steak?! I’ve been vegan for 2.5 years, and I was vegetarian for 14 years before that, but I still can get that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, although it is getting weaker. Anyway, there was no need for concern here, as our waitress knew straight away to offer the special menu – hooray!
So, this is one of the reasons I love eating out at luxury restaurants in Spain, the fact that they offer the delicious bread and oil to begin with. However, as Mallorca is famous for its salt (and it really is delicious by the way!), our bread was served with a side of Mallorcan chilli salt.
On both dinner occasions, I found the waiting staff, and of course the chef, super helpful in suggesting vegan options for my meal, and they were also happy to ‘veganise’ anything that caught my eye on the vegetarian menu.
This is what I had on the first night. I was thrilled to be given a mini starter and dessert as well, which really was adorable – and such a surprise to us both. Mike’s was non-vegan and mine was a vegan version of his. Or perhaps his was a non-vegan version of mine!
Let’s talk about the main event. I eat out a lot, I love food – in fact, I’m pretty much usually either eating or working! When I tasted the risotto, it was simply mouth-watering. I’ve had a great many risottos in my time, I really have, but this was just sublime. Mike can always tell when I’m enjoying a meal as I don’t talk much – instead preferring to focus on the delicate flavours, the subtleties of the ingredients. I was actually really tempted to order this on the second night we ate at the hotel’s restaurant, but I chose to opt for something different!
And here is the cute dessert made with rice cream – rich, sweet but still a modest size for the old waist!
Tummies full, and with very large smiles on our faces, we headed out into the village for a post-dinner walkabout before returning to our beautiful room, donning our robes and relaxing for the evening with a cup of herbal tea. It was great to see a kettle with a selection of teas and coffees, as often (particularly in France) there aren’t always tea-making facilities in the rooms! And you know how much we love tea…!
There were lots of windows in our room, which meant plenty of natural light (hooray!), and on each window there was a wooden shutter, which really blocked out the light. So much so, that waking up in the morning was quite confusing because it still looked dark, but of course the sun was beaming outside! My top tip would be to leave one or two of the shutters open, so you can be greeted in the morning by the sun and the reassuring tweeting of the birds… ah, perfect!
When I was younger and on holiday, breakfast used to be one of the highlights of the trip. The pastries, the cheeses, the fruit and vegetables… I loved it! However, since travelling vegan-style, this is absolutely an area which many hotels fall down in, and all too often my breakfast will end up consisting of coffee, juice, fruit and a bit of bread. Now as nice as that is, it doesn’t seem as much of a treat compared to the non-vegans who are enjoying much more choice at the buffet table, am I right?
Let me tell you though, that Hotel Valldemossa hit breakfast out of the park! My initial impressions were good – plenty of fruit, soya milk, even chia puddings made with almond milk, and lots of pickled veggies and salad. Oh, and my favourite breakfast snack from Spain, the grated tomatoes! But! As I returned to our table, I noticed a platter was waiting for me… and our waitress told me that all the food on it was vegan. WOW!
I was so happy! Seriously, I have more of a savoury palette, so a breakfast consisting of vegan meats, cheese, pates was just perfect! Oh, and of course the muffins were fantastic!
You can either eat breakfast inside or out on the terrace. The first day we stayed inside as it was a little cool, but for the second two days we headed out to the terrace.
As there is plenty of seating available (for both dinner and breakfast), we didn’t feel like we had to rush off once we’d finished breakfast, so we just relaxed and took in the view with a couple of coffees. I liked the fact you could either order coffees from the kitchen, or help yourself at the Nespresso machine – it’s always good to have choice.
Strolling around the hotel grounds, I couldn’t help but feel that I was in a real life secret garden. Although there are several rooms inside the main building, there are suites situated throughout the grounds, some with their own courtyards, and you can see the doorways tucked away in the gardens.
There’s a well-sized outdoor swimming pool, which is ideal for some summer sunbathing. We would have loved to have gone for a dip, but it was just a little too cold! Instead we chose to swim in the heated indoor pool, that also included a Jacuzzi and sauna!
Time to Dine Again!
We weren’t disappointed with the second night’s dinner, and we treated to a little starter and dessert once more.
It was another splendid evening, with fantastic views, delicious food and some great background music from the pianist, who accompanied our evening with some lovely lounge music.
The service throughout our stay was top level, from the warm welcome, to the dining staffs’ understanding of veganism, and the thoughtful vegan chocolates left in our room each day. It really is these little touches that make the difference, especially when it comes to dealing with guests that have certain requirements.
The staff are extremely well-equipped to communicate to the hotel’s international guests, and whilst a lot of visitors were from the UK, we heard French, German and of course Spanish being used – no communication worries here! I also noticed that there were a couple of other guests who were gluten-free, so it was nice to hear that they were easily accommodated for.
Hotel Valldemossa is like stepping foot into another world, far away from the everyday stresses of normal life, as you settle in to being well and truly looked after, with your wellness and happiness being the top priority. Although I didn’t get chance to try them out for myself, there are a range of beauty and massage treatments available, and you can even participate in private Pilates classes.
Hotel Valldemossa is not only a beautiful hotel in a fantastic location, but we were truly blown away by all the staff and the general ambiance and environment. The dining was superb, and actually the food was some of the best I’ve ever enjoyed.
If you’re looking for a luxury hotel that understands veganism, which will offer you the best gourmet vegan experience you could ask for, then I can’t recommend Hotel Valldemossa enough – but be careful, you’ll never want to leave.
Book your relaxing getaway at Hotel Valldemossa here.