Finca Es Castell
7 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A Harmonious, Relaxing Retreat
"We decided upon Finca Es Castell after wanting to spend a few days experiencing the rustic mainland of Mallorca, and we weren't disappointed. The Finca itself is located alone, halfway up a large hill - and a car is essential if you want to do anything other than sit and relax all day by the pool.
Despite its rural isolation, it is surprisingly easy to find; being well signposted via a series of small yellow signs after the large town of Inca. The last few miles, however, are traversed via a series of very narrow, suspension-bashing, spine-juddering pothole-ridden roads - not a problem for most people in hire cars, mind!
We arrived early, and received a very friendly welcome from the owner, James, who showed us up to Room 12 - a spacious room with a large bathroom, sizable bed, table and chairs, sofa, large French shutter-style windows and a huge fan along with an air-conditioning unit. In short - everything we could have wanted. The complimentary bottle of local red and the tea/coffee making facilities were a bonus.
A minute's stroll past a colourful array of pomegranate trees and through the atmospheric interior of the 13th-century farmhouse leads to a breakfast terrace, and a small but adequate (and very quiet!) pool, offering panoramic views throughout the valley and also of the overlooking mountain range. There is also a lower level of land, scattered with sunloungers and a comfortable hammock; the culmination of which making it almost impossible not to slip into complete relaxation.
Being a small family-run Finca, the atmosphere is completely different to a large, chain hotel. There are few staff around during the day, and the informal air stretches to helping yourselves to chilled beers and soft drinks out of the fridge in the kitchen, and ticking off your consumption on an attached clipboard. Tea and coffee are free all day.
One of the highlights of the stay for us were the evening meals. Most residents opt to stay for the 4-course set menu (the only other options would require a decent taxi journey) and after the first night, you'll be hooked.
Served on the unique small roof-terrace which offers the best panorama in the whole Finca, the dinner transcends from a basic meal to a complete culinary experience. Special dietary needs aside (which are catered for with the minimum of fuss), everyone is treated to the same 4 courses, complimented with a selection of good local wines and a relaxing orchestra of frisky baa-ing sheep and ringing cowbells from down in the valley below.
The food is not typical Mallorquin, but instead draws from general Mediterranean influences, with completely fresh local ingredients, and even the occasional English twist - the carrot cake was divine!
We left Finca Es Castell feeling relaxed and refreshed and only wishing we could have stayed longer!"
- Travel date: Sun 7th of October 2007
"We have just returned from this stunning hotel, where we have been thoroughly spoilt for ten days. James and Paola have thought of everything, great rooms, wonderful food and great staff - nothing is too much trouble. Having had a ten hour delay at the start of this holiday - we arrived very very late - only to be welcomed by Leigh offering to get us something to eat and drink at 1.00a.m. We were made to feel truly relaxed and at home - and will certainly go back again. However, just to mention that some of the reviews shown below are a little misleading - Finca Es Castell, is first and foremost a beautiful hotel which offers various activities one of which is Pilates at certain times of the year - so it would be very wrong to assume that this is just a Pilates centre, which from some of the reviews posted suggests.
R & J Hants."
- Travel date: Tue 11th of September 2007
"We have stayed in this converted farmhouse once in August 2004 and then again in June 2006. Up in the mountains with fantastic views and a beautiful pool, it has a rooftop terrace for evening meals. Run by Paolo & James the food is bought daily and beautifully prepared. There are only about 12 rooms and they come round the pool each morning to dicuss the menu with you. They speak Italian, German & English fluently. Rooms are clean and mostly air-conditioned. There is an "honour bar" during the day for cold drinks and ice-creams. It feels more like staying with friends."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of September 2006
An absolute gem
"We have just returned from a seven-night stay at Finca Es Castell. This is a place where everything is being done absolutely right. Friendly, capable and discreet hosts, excellent food and wine generally sourced locally - much of it off the circa 700 acre farm itself - spotlessly clean, tastefully decorated bedrooms, and the most superb mountain location with stunning views east across the island. Breakfasts are extensive and leisurely - 8.30-11am. The building itself dates back to the 11th century in parts, and is a beautiful, rambling old place, nestling up in the mountains near the hamlet of Binibona. One of the joys of a stay here is the fact you can walk amongst the ancient olive trees (some rumoured to be 2,000 years old), carobs and almonds. James and Paola have clearly worked hard to make this a welcoming, relaxing place to stay, and we can't wait to return. I can genuinely think of nothing worthy of criticism. Top marks."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of June 2006
Just as fantastic the second time around.
"We first stayed at Es Castell for 10 nights in August 2004 and realised that we had encountered a real gem of a place. As travellers who never usually visit the same location or accommodation twice, we were both so enamoured with this finca that we returned for a second helping in April for 8 nights. Paola and James' welcome was as warm as ever and other guests also commented on their excellent skills as hosts. The finca is elegant in its simplicity with all rooms artistically furnished and attention given to detail including fresh flowers from the garden and a bottle of wine in the bedroom on arrival. Paola and James provide a delicious full breakfast which caters for all tastes. Lunches are available on request and the four-course dinner cooked by Paola is of the highest quality. Everything is home-cooked with local fresh ingredients and is beautifully presented. Dinner is served in the summer on the terrace which has panoramic views. The experience is enhanced by the small number of friendly and helpful staff. Paola and James are always on hand to advise and suggest places of interest and to recommend good quality restaurants. This young couple make guests feel like old friends and the comments written by past visitors are witness to this. We shall be returning again and again and...!"
- Travel date: Sun 30th of April 2006
Loved the life!
"We were fortunate to discover this converted finca nestling in the foothills of the Tramontana mountains north of Inca and surrounded by olive groves and carob trees. Many of the original features, including the olive press and cobbles, had been preserved but the swimming pool was an addition..We arrived ahead of time but were warmly and efficiently greeted by the proprietors Paola and James.A superb lunch was seemingly effortlessly provided on the roof top terrace with its wonderful views of the surrounding country side ;being a beautiful sunny day in November, a real bonus coming from a dreary, damp UK. The rooms were warm, clean, comfortable and well equipped and decorated in a simple country style.The staff being friendly,informative and helpful, without being intrusive.Meals were all cooked by Paola and were a delight.All in all a super find and well worth a stay."
- Travel date: Thu 9th of February 2006
Extremely friendly welcome in beautiful location
"We have just spent 8 very relaxing nights at Es Castell. The finca is situated at the bottom of the Serra Tramantana Mountains within a 750 acre estate. The view from the terrace is breathtaking and despite its location the finca is surprisingly easy to find due to the very good directions provided on the website.
Parts of the building date back to the 11th century and it fits perfectly within its surroundings. Rooms are furnished tastefully and simply with nice touches such as a small vase of flowers, chocolates/bon-bons and atttractive tolietries.
The evening meals are very good - we enjoyed every course of every one of our 5 meals. Paola produces food that appears to draw on a range of influences with ingredients often sourced from the finca estate itself. Good, reasonably priced wine is available and James is happy to make suitable suggestions; watch out for the local digestif too! If eating in every night seems a little tedious, ask for local recommendations since we were steered towards some good restaurants.
There are many places like this across the Mediterranean. However, Es Castell is quite unique in that all of the people who work there are extremely welcoming and positive. We felt like 'guests' in the true sense of the word.
I would highly recommend Es Castell."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of September 2005