Arrival/Check-in: The dry stone walls and tropical landscaping that make up La Residencia’s approach camouflage the vastness and enticements held within the modest Mallorcan-style manor house — modest by manor house standards, that is. Despite being more than an hour late due to a ferry delay, I was whisked into the foyer — my bags taken from me — and handed a glass of welcome champagne. Minutes later, I was enjoying a late lunch (Kobe beef burger) at the hotel’s pool restaurant. (20/20)
Guest Quarters: There are a total of 67 guestrooms here, including several luxury suites with private pools for the hotel’s many low-key VIPs. Much of the 16th- to 18thcentury furniture is original to the property, and tasteful, modern pieces and appliances are neatly woven in. Fourposter beds are the rule here, as are generous Molton Brown toiletries, wide-screen TVs, full marble (or marbleaccented) bathrooms, drapes, bedding and robes all in white linen and modern art distinctly favoring the nude female form. Some rooms have original fireplaces and nearly all rooms have pleasing property and mountain views. Downsides: Food and drink facilities in standard rooms are thin, soundproofing is weak and the abnormally high beds invite minor-fall disasters during midnight bathroom visits. (12/15)
Services/Amenities: At reception, when they hand you a map of this sprawling property, don’t laugh — you’re gonna need it. There’s a gym, hairdresser, three restaurants, bar, giant outdoor pool, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, multifaceted spa, tennis courts, a limited business center and a modern art gallery (exhibitions change every two weeks) spread out over several buildings, all veiled by sun terrace on top of sun terrace. Van transfers to nearby beaches are available. Unfortunately,WiFi service is feeble — when it works at all. (42/45)
The Experience: Deia, a serene little village of stone houses, is set against the amazing backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains. This ambient tranquility contributes enormously to La Residencia’s Eden-like air. To further dial down noise and distraction, cell phones are banned from the hotel’s public areas and, apart from a few select weeks each year, children under 10 are not permitted. The food in all three restaurants is superior, with reservations a must on weekends. Assuming you don’t come here to work (a sane person wouldn’t), La Residencia provides for virtually every leisure need with subtle Mallorcan style in gorgeous surroundings. (19/20)
Total Score: 94/100
tel 34 971 636 046
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
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