June 7, 2023
Belmond La Residencia Photo tour

Belmond La Residencia Photo tour

June 7, 2023

belmond residencia mallorca mountain view birdseye
Belmond La Residencia is a luxury hotel located in the charming town of Deia, Mallorca. It's without question the most spectacular accommodation in the Spanish island. The property, located in Sierra de Tramuntana, is surrounded by mountains with breathtaking views everywhere you look.

During my Mallorca vacation last summer I had the oportunity of visiting the beautiful Belmond La Residencia hotel and couldn't stop taking pictures at every step. So today I'd like to share with you a photo diary of this stunning place. Are you ready to see all the hidden gems this 5-star hotel has to offer?belmond residencia mallorca garden manor

The vibrant photos are full of pastel hues with pink flowers, stone buildings, tiles and amazing views. Does the Mediterranean vibe appeal to you? Then, take a peek into Deia's most famous luxury hotel!

Some history first... the two main buildings are manors dating from around the 16th century. During the 18th century Deia was practically owned by Cistercian monks. The monks acquired one of the twin manor houses that form the core of the hotel. They directed a source of water to it, to irrigate the estate that surrounds the property. Thanks to the water supply olive oil production became the principal source of income. But by the mid-20th century the estate was no longer as profitable. Axel Ball bought the property and turned it into a hotel in 1984. In 1987, British business magnate Richard Branson partnered with Axel Ball, and in 2002 it was sold to Orient-Express Hotels. Finally, in 2014 Orient-Express changed its name to Belmond Ltd. At that time the hotel was renamed Belmond La Residencia and that's how we know it today.

Belmond La Residencia Photos: Manor Houses & Suites

The hotel has 70 rooms and suites. They are decorated in the style of a classic Mallorcan country house. What does that look like? There are lots of antiques, terracotta tiles and beamed ceilings. Color is added by flowers and the most colorful original paintings.belmond residencia mallorca manor reception desk inside

belmond residencia mallorca manor room suite

belmond residencia mallorca manor room suite

Belmond La Residencia Photos: Dining options 

El Olivo Restaurant

El Olivo restaurant is one of the most instagrammable spots in Mallorca. This outdoor dining experience is a must while you are in the island. You can eat there even if you are not staying in the hotel. However, be sure to book well in advance. Tables are limited and demand is high. The name was chosen because the restaurant is located in the old olive press.

belmond residencia mallorca olivo restaurant

belmond residencia mallorca olivo restaurant

Cafe Miro

If you can't get a table at El Olivo, you can try Cafe Miro, their indoor cafeteria and restaurant. They offer an afternoon tea that you can enjoy surrounded by some of Joan Miro's original paintings, 33 in total.

belmond residencia mallorca cafe miro afternoon tea

belmond residencia mallorca cafe miro afternoon tea

Belmond La Residencia Photos: The Pool

One of the best places to relax in the hotel is their amazing pool. There's nothing like taking a swim surrounded by spectacular mountains.

belmond residencia mallorca deia pool mountains view

Belmond La Residencia Photos: The Gardens

The well-kept paths and gardens are a joy to walk around. Get your phone camera ready because you will be taking pictures non-stop. Your Instagram will be on fire! Every step of the way is social media worthy.
belmond residencia mallorca deia pool outdoor flowers garden

belmond residencia mallorca deia pool garden sunbathing

belmond residencia mallorca deia art gallery

belmond residencia mallorca deia garden suite

Belmond La Residencia Photos: art works 

The 5-star hotel is also an art gallery with a collection of over 800 works, plus 33 originals by Joan Miro -which you can find at the cafe dedicated to the artist- plus its very own gallery.
belmond residencia mallorca deia art antiques

belmond residencia mallorca deia art antiques room
I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of Mallorca's most famous hotel. Which part did you like best?

Are you planning a trip to Mallorca soon? Check out the following posts 

Need some help planning your trip? Leave a question on the comments below. I'll be happy to help you!

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belmond residencia deia mallorca 360 tour

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April 17, 2023
How Many Days Do You Need in Cuenca, Spain?

How Many Days Do You Need in Cuenca, Spain?

April 17, 2023

portrait hanging houses cuenca spainThere's a magical city, just 2 hours away from Madrid -or Valencia- with houses literally hanging from a cliff. The city of Cuenca is a lovely hidden gem impossible not to fall in love with. There are plenty of incredible things to do for such a small city. 

This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site deserves at least 48 hours in your travel schedule around Spain. It's located in the region of Castilla-la-Mancha, famous for being the setting of the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. In this post we are going to take a look at the best things to do to make the most of two days in Cuenca. 

parador cuenca monastery view

Fisrt of all: is Cuenca worth visiting?

The scenic landspaces, marvellous architecture and rich history make Cuenca a must-see destination while you are in Spain.

So how many days do you need to see Cuenca?

Two days are more than enough to see the city. If you have an extra day, I recommend exploring Ciudad Encantada -Enchanted City- a natural site that contains curious rocky formations that look like humans, objects and animals.

Visting Cuenca: Day 1

The best place you can stay at during your 2 days in Cuenca is the Parador hotel. The Parador is a former monastery with an enviable location atop the river Huecar Gorge opposite the magical Hanging Houses.

cuenca spain hanging houses

During the summer months you can take a swim at the hotel's unique swimming pool surrounded by mountains.

cuenca parador piscina swimming pool facilities

From the Parador you only have to walk across the San Pablo bridge to get to the old town. The good thing about Cuenca is that everything is walking distance. The old town is all about narrow and steep alleys so be sure to wear comfy shoes. 

Once you get to the old town you can't miss the gothic Cathedral. The facade is unique, without the typical towers of this type of architecture, it looks as if it wasn't finished. The entrance ticket is 5.5€. 

cuenca cathedral choir inside tour

After dinner be sure to go out and take a walk around the hanging houses. They look magical once the lights are on during blue hour.

parador cuenca spain night restaurant

Visting Cuenca: Day 2

Start your day with a hearty breakfast, we are going to burn some calories! A great option is this humongous cheese omelette. It was as unforgettable as many of the sights we saw.

cuenca parador breakfast
cuenca cerro socorro hike

Next, get your cardio workout of the day by going on a hike to Cerro del Socorro for the most spectacular views of Cuenca. If you are staying at the Parador, change into your swim clothes and go for a swim before lunch. The hotel offers a great tasting menu to try the region's traditional dishes of shepherds, muleteers and hunters, such as zarajos de cordero (lamb intestines), migas (fried breadcrumbs), ajo arriero, morteruelo (pork liver stew) and mellow alajú (traditional dessert). If you prefer modern cuisine, Cuena also houses a Michelin-star restaurant.
cuenca parador menu degustacion tasting manchego
cuenca parador food patio cenaparador cuenca dessert

Read a book, play a board game or simply chill out in one of the Parador's common rooms. Feeling sporty? You can also use the tennis court or workout at the gym!

parador cuenca facilities common room

Spend the second half of the day exploring the rest of the city. Here are some of the sites you can't miss:

  • Torre de Mangana, a tower built during the 16th century.
  • Enjoy the stunning view from Mirador Barrio del Castillo.
  • Visit one of the citie's museums: you can choose between Paleontology Museum, Museum of Spanish Abstract Art -which is inside the hanging houses- or the Science Museum.

cuenca spain old town

cuenca spain old town

cuenca spain old town

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So, as you can see, Cuenca is absolutely worth a couple of days on your itinerary if you are in Madrid or Valencia. It's actually midway between the two, so it can also be a stop on the way. This incredible and picturesque town will leave you speechless.

Apart from Cuenca, this Spanish region has so much more to offer. Here are other spots in Castilla-la-Mancha worth visiting:

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cuenca spain collage pinterest image

December 21, 2022
What to do in Madrid during Christmas 2022

What to do in Madrid during Christmas 2022

December 21, 2022

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

Christmas in Madrid starts on the last week of November when the Christmas lights are lit and ends on January 6 with the coming of the Three Wise Men who bring presents to children. During those weeks the city is filled with holiday cheer, lights and decor in every street becoming a magical place to visit.

Traditionally, visiting the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor or seeing the Christmas lights were the most popular things to do in Madrid during the holiday season. However, the capital of Spain has increased the variety of Christmasy things to do in recent years. Let's take a look at the best things to do in Madrid this 2022 to have an unforgettable Christmas experience in Madrid.

Christmas in Madrid: Visit the brand new Zara Home store in Plaza España

It's not Christmas without a shopping spree, am I right? Zara Home has just opened a brand new shop on the second floor of the Zara store in Plaza España. The space is divided by rooms as if it was an apartment itself. Apart from their amazing designs and unbeatable prices, this decor haven has the most beautiful Christmas display. 

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

Christmas in Madrid: ice skating & hot chocolate in Plaza España

This iconic square was closed for renovations for years. Since it reopened a year ago it has become one of the main Christmas spots in Madrid. At La Navideña you can find an ice-skating rink and a lovely Christmas market which includes a chocolate con churros stand from San Gines! You can also find other interesting gastronomic and craft stalls as well together with a huge Christmas tree.

Useful info: Christmas markets tend to open at around midday and close around 9 or 10 p.m. As for dates, they will be open form early December to early January. Entrance is free.

chocolate caliente hot madrid navidad christmas

madrid plaza españa navidad christmas tree lights

madrid plaza españa riu navidad christmas tree lights

Christmas in Madrid: indulge yourself at the Nuevos Ministerios Christmas Market

Hosted by El Corte Ingles de Castellana department store, this traditional Christmas market offers food trucks and gift shopping for every taste. There's also a beautiful large Nativity scene (called Belen in Spanish) worth checking out.

At this Christmas market you can find food stalls and trucks from chocolatería San Gines, pizza by Grosso Napoletano, burgers from Goxo by Dabiz Muñoz, calamari sandwith by El Brillante or empanadillas argentinas Malvón among others. Plus, they have a lovely sitting area to indulge in your treats comfortably. 

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas tree bear market

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas gift market

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas tree bear market

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas food market

Christmas in Madrid: see the lights show at the Royal Botanical Gardens

From 14/11/2022 to 22/01/2023 the Royal Botanical Gardens offer Naturaleza Encendida (Lit Nature) an outdoor light show that marvels thousands of people every year. So much so that getting tickets is almost mission impossible. 

The show consists of an evening stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens where light and music bring life and colour to the world of nature. Find more info here.

madrid naturaleza encendida fungus hongos luces espectaculo setas 2022

madrid naturaleza encendida fungus setas 2022

madrid naturaleza encendida fungus setas 2022

Are you interested in Spanish culture and traditions? Do you want to learn more about how we celebrate Christmas in Spain? Be sure to check out these posts.

How we holiday in Spain

Family Traditions in Spain

Bundle up!

Even though winters in Madrid are generally quite mild and dry -temperatures average around 8°C (46.6°F)- I still advice you to pack some warm clothes and an umbrella.

I hope you enjoyed this post about the best things to do in Madrid during Christmas. Pin the image below to share the love and save it for later!

madrid christmas market light decor

October 5, 2022
Mallorca: The best 5-day itinerary (+ map!)

Mallorca: The best 5-day itinerary (+ map!)

October 5, 2022
palma mallorca cathedral storm cloudy

The balearic island of Mallorca is one of Spain's top destinations all year round. With beautiful beach resorts, turquoise Mediterranean waters and quaint villages, there's no way you are going to run out of things to see and do in Mallorca. 

To help you plan your trip to Mallorca, I've designed this 5-day road trip itinerary perfect for first timers. It includes a map with all the must see spots and plenty of places to eat. 

Are you ready to explore this beautiful island? Let's take a look at the best 5-day itinerary to Mallorca.

Planning your trip to Mallorca

Mallorca is a big island. If you want to make the most of it, you have to stay for at least one week. However, you can see the best spots and a little bit of everything the island has to offer in 5 days. 

Renting a car is a must to travel around the island. You can either make an online booking or rent one as soon as your plane lands. If you are traveling during peak time (July-August), booking your car in advance is highly advisable. 

Tip: Get an automatic car if you can, specially if you are not used to manual transmission. traveling around the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains can be quite challenging at times otherwise.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 1

During our Mallorca vacation we stayed at Melia Palma Marina in the capital, Palma de Mallorca. This 4-star resort is located opposite the marina. It doesn't have its own parking. But you can park along the marina promenade for free.

Since we were staying in Palma, we devoted our first day to visiting the island's biggest city. Palma has a lovely Old Town, with lots of beautiful buildings. The architectural richness of the city is really impressive.

  • Palma's number one landmark is the cathedral. Its unique location by the sea is what makes this Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral so special.
  • Also worth visiting is the charming Santa Catalina neighborhood. Get lost around the streets of this former fishing neighborhood, now one of the most important hotspots in the city.
  • Don't miss La Almudaina Palace, the official residence of the Spanish Royal family during the summer months. 
  • On the other side of the city you can find Bellver Castle, a Gothic-style castle built in the 14th century for King James II of Majorca, one of the few circular castles in Europe.
  • Last but not least, the Arab baths are one of the most surprising places in Palma de Mallorca. A  splendid garden with cacti, palms and orange trees, where you can sit to take a break, lead to this unique hammam that dates back to the 10th century.
arab bath hammam mallorca palma

llotja lonja palma mallorca

fornet soca ensaimada mallorca

Tip: need to satisfy some sweet cravings? While strolling around the old town, stop at Fornet de la Soca and grab an ensaimada, a delicious rolled pastry made of flour, eggs and pork lard that is probably the most typical thing from Mallorca. If pastries are not your thing, grab a spectacular gelato from Giovanni L. Gelato Deluxe.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 2

Visit Colonia Sant Jordi and take a dip at Es Trenc beach. 
es trenc beach colonia san jordi sunset

Colonia de Sant Jordi is a small resort town located on the southeastern coast of Mallorca, near the famous Es Trenc beach. This was once a small fishing harbour but the outstanding beaches on its coastline have made tourism thrive here in recent years. 

Es Trenc beach, an unspoilt stretch of sand that is part of a nature reserve. We had high expectations about this place, however it turned out to be quite disappointing as the promised turquoise waters were so full of algae, it was difficult to take a swim. Other than that, you can actually see a beautiful sunset at this beach.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 3

Travel back in time thanks to the Soller train.
soller tram port beach marina

soller tram cathedral mallorca

One of Mallorca’s best-loved attractions, the old wooden train that connects Palma and the town of Soller, was originally introduced to transport citrus fruit from the Soller valley to the capital city.
The one-hour journey takes you through a spectacular scenery. Once you have explored Soller, you can take the old tram to Port de Soller. That's a great place to grab some lunch and spend the afternoon at the beach.

Train+tram tickets are 32€ and you can buy them online beforehand.  

Where to eat in Soller: we had reservations at Randemar. A seafront restaurant with a nice outdoor sitting area. 
mallorca food soller randemar dessert

soller shopping mallorca street

Mallorca Itineray: Day 4

Are you a tennis fan? Manacor is where Rafa Nadal was born and the place where his academy and museum are located. Tickets to the museum are 18€. You can also eat at the cafeteria or the Roland Garros restaurant before exploring the tennis courts. 
rafa nadal museum manacor mallorca

rafa nadal restaurant roland garros manacor mallorca

rafa nadal academy manacor menorca tennis court

Spend the second half of your day at Muro beach. One of the most spectacular beaches in Mallorca. Playa de Muro is a beautiful 6 kilometre long, award-winning, white sandy, crystal clear beach in the north of Mallorca.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 5

Spend the day in Deia.
belmond residencia hotel reception mallorca deia

cafe miro belmond residencia deia mallorca cocktail drink

deia belmond residencia pool mallorca

When it comes to visiting Mallorca, Deiá is one of the dreamiest hilltop villages to visit.

The most spectacular place in Deia is Belmond La Residencia hotel. Perched in the Tramuntana Mountains beside the Mediterranean Sea, this five-star spot offers an unforgettable experience in the north of the island. Even if you don't stay there, get reservations at one of their restaurants: El Olivo or Cafe Miro to be able to explore this jaw-dropping property. 

While you are there, you can't miss Cala Deia. This spectacular rocky cove is difficult to access but totally worth it. you can eat at one of Mallorca's most popular restaurant which is located there: Ca's Patro March. Both getting there and booking a table are tricky during peak season so I devoted a full post to all the things you need to know before going to Cala Deia. You can read the post here
cas patro march restaurant deia mallorca

Time for more?
  • If you love quaint towns, just about a 30-minute drive from Deia you will find the lovely town of Valldemossa 
  • Wander amongst the stalagmite and stalactites at the Drach Caves

Mallorca Island map

This map includes all the things you'll need during your stay: eateries, hotels, shops and beaches. To take this map with you, simply click on the star next to the name and it will be automatically saved to your Google maps. Enjoy!

Mallorca Packing List
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mallorca hot spots