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Gran Hotel Son Julia
Mallorca - Spain
Amenities & Activities
There's just something about newly opened Son Juliá that evokes an aura of Arabian Nights fantasy. Maybe it's the acres of polished marble floors covered with thick Persian carpets. Perhaps it's the towering extravagance of the Oriental Salon with its gilt-chased walls and carved ceiling. It could be the profusion of plush sofas and silk cushions in fruity colors luscious enough to taste.
Somehow, even the ultra-contemporary enhancements seem to fit the mood. After all, this is how any self-respecting modern sultan would live: with an oversize plasma-screen TV in every guest room (make that two TVs in most of the suites), whirlpools in many of the bathrooms, not just an outdoor swimming pool but an indoor one as well, and a spa, sauna, and fitness center in the basement to aid the quest for eternal fitness and relaxation.
Lavish as it seems, Son Juliá is down-to-earth in the ways that matter. The house itself is a lovely 15th-century tile-roofed yellow manor that seems to exude the sun it has been soaking up for hundreds of years, surrounded by highly worked gardens and almond trees, the remnants of the finca's once-vast agricultural holdings. The cuisine served in its restaurants relies on masterful use of local ingredients and Mediterranean flavors rather than exotic imports. Las Bóvedas is a must, but don't miss the oh-so-romantic ambience in the Orange Patio courtyard, or excellent tapas and wine in the atmospheric Bodeguita, a former wine cellar.
What more could an aspiring sultan want? Well, maybe a night or two in the Imperial Suite, complete with mini-gym, working fireplace, and a pool-size Jacuzzi® with its very own giant TV. Now there's a fantasy to aspire to.
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767 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH 03801
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