Can Bordoy may be set in the natural splendour of one of the largest private gardens in central Palma, but it is delightfully unassuming and understated in feel.
The 16th century property was once one of Palma’s most important buildings, housing a kindergarten run by the Catholic religious order of Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, and has undergone many refurbishments and iterations since. Following a four-year renovation, its serene and welcoming atmosphere remains, but with significantly modernised interiors by design studio, OHLAB.
The house now offers 24 characterful suites, a library, restaurant and spa, alongside plentiful outdoor facilities in its splendid grounds.
OHLAB's Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver were inspired by the concept of 'kintsugi' – the Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with gold, silver, or platinum – in their careful renovation of the property.
Adorned with wooden beams, antique frescoes, gothic relics, marble tiling and baroque mirrors, the building's history and heritage are still present, but OHLAB's additions are equally and honestly highlighted, too.
Indeed, much of the inspiration for the refreshed interiors roots from the property's beautiful private garden. Measuring over 750m², the grounds feature more than 70 plant species, including a diverse array of Wild-Olive, Jacaranda and fruit trees. An enormous Lledoner, or European Hackberry tree, holds special significance as a recognised symbol of welcome in Mallorcan houses.
"OHLAB's Paloma Hernaiz and Jaime Oliver were inspired by the concept of 'kintsugi' – the Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with gold, silver, or platinum – in their careful renovation of the property"
When guests first arrive, they're greeted by a leafy, tranquil courtyard. This botanical splendour continues inside the property, where greenery trails across the walls and ceilings to create an organic, almost enchanted feel.
Can Bordoy's aptly-named restaurant, 'Botànic', serves up organic, Mediterranean cuisine by Chef Andrés Beníte. Featuring a soft, soothing colour palette, Botànic offers 89 seats, with the option of both indoor and al fresco dining.
This light, airy feel is mirrored in the guest accommodation, where the school's former classrooms now hold a luxurious range of Traveller, Junior, Deluxe, Premium and Grand Suites.
Each guest room has been individually designed, with elegant Art Deco-inspired furnishings, a soothing ultra-marine colour palette and dramatic ceiling-height velvet curtains to divide the room.
Some feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows with wonderful views over the garden, whilst others have wooden beam ceilings, TVs artfully screened behind period mirrors, private terraces or large freestanding bath tubs in marble bathrooms.
Original design elements, such as the two-tone floor tiles that decorate the corridors, blown glass windows, wooden doors and parquet have been restored wherever possible, and replicated where not. Such was OHLAB's dedication to maintaining the property's history, that even the smallest of restoration details – such as the screws used in the windows and doors – emulate those used in bygone eras.
Much of the avant garde furniture and artwork within the accommodation and throughout the hotel has been sourced from antique shops and auctions throughout the world, while other items – the elaborate tapestries in the suites, for example – have been made exclusively for the hotel.
Completing Can Bordoy's impressive offering is a subterranean spa, featuring two treatment rooms, a plunge pool with water jets, changing rooms and relaxation areas.
In a perfect example of 'kintsugi', remarkable sections of the spa's authentic 12th century stone walls are complemented by the addition of exposed concrete and delicate natural finishes.
Photography: Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden, Majorca