Santanyi, Mallorca, Spain.
Both a boutique hotel and holistic retreat, Cal Reiet has established a new benchmark for soulful wellbeing in Mallorca. Set among lush Mediterranean gardens surrounded by rural countryside, this agriturismo is a haven for those seeking inner and outer peace. By combining mindfulness, movement and mega-nutrition, Cal Reiet offers an enriching experience that nourishes the mind, body and soul.
Situated in the south-east corner of Mallorca, in the quaint town of Santanyi, Cal Reiet is just a stone’s throw away from some of the island’s most beautiful beaches and a 40 minutes’ drive from Palma airport.
Cal Reiet is almost 130 years old, with the first stones laid in the late 19th century after an opulent family from Barcelona – in typically opulent fashion – decided they wanted a summer home away from the hustle and bustle of their city residence. Mallorcan for ‘house of the little king’, the property was restored in 2012 by Swedish owners Petra and Henning Besland, who already had plans to invest in overseas properties well before they walked through Cal Reiet’s majestic iron gates. With their shared passion for holistic health and desire to create a centre for personal growth and spiritual fulfilment with the standards of a luxury hotel, the retreat became the first holistic wellbeing hotels in Mallorca to offer a uniquely cathartic experience, and remains one of the Island’s foremost R&R pioneers to this day.
‘It’s like a cocoon. You come, and you don’t want to leave. It’s a place to feel good, to feel safe and to develop’ Henning says, and he’s not wrong. The ‘home away from home’ atmosphere that Cal Reiet’s owners have managed to cultivate is precious, and the perpetually enticing off of rural relaxation without the sacrifice of any luxury comforts is only made real thanks to their careful, attentive work. Support is on hand for you whenever you may need it, a blend of the ‘customer is king’ ethos you’ll find in every 5-star establishment, with an intense focus on personal wellbeing. In terms of creating an environment for healing, growth and rejuvenation, this retreat has little comparison on the biggest island in the Balearics.
A true adventurer who is really more of a get-up-and-go kind of guy. Part of me was slightly apprehensive about bringing a committed carnivore to Cal Reiet, especially with its vegetarian-only menu and holistic approach to holidaying. The initial horror on his face when the dining options were revealed was, however, pleasantly short lived – and I don’t think he learnt to truly love ‘down time’ until the morning’s shavasana. Enjoyed it? Definitely. Converted? We may need one more visit.
Rooms start from 180 euros per night and the 2 bedroom casitas are 375 euros per night.
Where You’ll Stay
Cal Reiet has three stories, each one embodying the unconventional, free-sprit feel the owners wanted to curate when the property was purchased almost a decade ago. The sitting room, filled with comfy sofas and a grand piano, opens up into the Mediterranean gardens, abundant with courtyards and lush-green secret corners perfect for some reading or quiet reflection. A sense of calm pervades this beautifully designed sanctuary, as you hear only the gentle song of birds and trickling sound of water fountains. Together with the scent of fragrant rosemary, flowering bougainvillea and orchids of fig trees, the garden soothes all the senses.
The retreat hosts 15 elegant rooms and suites; 10 deluxe and luxury rooms located inside the main house and two guest houses which offer 1 and 2-bedroom chic suites in the front courtyard. If you’re travelling with family, go for the 2 bedroom casita suites with a living room, kitchen and private terrace. A personal favourite of mine however is the Luxury Attic Room, which immediately inspires relaxation with its panoramic views over the estate and in-room swing.
We stayed in a deluxe room for one night. The decor throughout is calming and minimalist, leaning towards natural fibres and products wherever possible. The serene white walls and marble floors contrast nicely with the dark wooden ceiling beams and antique furniture, whilst a touch of bright colour gives life to the space, as do the fresh-cut flowers in pale glass vases and wall tiles in the expansive bathroom. The absence of a TV is all part of the charm; reconnecting with both nature and yourself is strongly encouraged. Besides, who needs one when you can fall asleep to the gentle hum of the cicadas in your king size bed?
The Food. The vegetarian kitchen procures seasonal and organic food with many of the ingredients used being locally-sourced or harvested from the hotel’s garden. On the dining terrace, candles and flaming torches light the way, so booking a dinner for sunset is absolutely recommended. The food is, to put it bluntly, is delicious, full if vitality, and each dish can be paired with one of the organic or biodynamic wines available.
The buffet breakfast is a Mediterranean affair, with delicious fresh juices, local cheeses, homemade müesli and hot savoury dishes to guarantee a reinvigorating start to your day. There are even guilt-free vegan desserts, which means it’s perfectly acceptable to stuff your face with cakes before 8am.
During the day, snacks and drinks are served by the pool, and at night there’s an honesty bar with an assortment of drinks for a good nightcap. If you want the inside scoop on Cal Reiet’s culinary secrets, workshops and classes cover raw, vegan and vegetarian cooking in the open kitchen.
Wellness. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner, find your inner balance in the indoor and outdoor yoga shalas, where group classes are offered every morning. There is also a small gym if you want to step it up a notch, or if you’re pining for a pamper session, indulge in a revitalising facial or body scrub followed by a visit to the juice bar for a fresh green smoothie packed with super foods.
Ayurvedic and Tibetan sound bowl healing are offered alongside traditional Thai massages, supported by a unique holistic treatment menu that includes a chakra balancing massage and deeply healing shamanic therapies. Or if you prefer something more interactive, book in a soul to soul conversation with the psychological counsellor to discuss any issues you may have in personal development.
Pool & Garden. Early morning yoga sessions and superfood smoothies aren’t for everyone, and they also aren’t compulsory – Cal Reiet’s ethos is all about feeling good, and if that means lazing around on one of the hammocks dotted around the retreat, that’s fine too. The huge pool, flanked by palm trees and cream sun loungers, is a refreshing respite from a hot summer’s day. Alternatively, take a stroll around the idyllic gardens, which are full of inviting nooks and crannies hidden under lush foliage. This is a place to simply be.
What I loved
Expanding the dimensions of wellness. Cal Reiet’s holistic approach feels ever more relevant amidst a global pandemic, and many more travellers are now seeking experiences centred on enhancing our wellbeing through nutrition, rest, rejuvenation and mindfulness. Rather than focusing solely on physical wellness, this retreat emphasises the connection of mind, body and spirit as well as community interactions. This is not just a place to heal from the outside in, but offers a way of life.
The service is genuine and heartfelt. Henning and Petra have created a wonderfully inclusive and open environment, and it’s not uncommon to see either of the pair having a chat, turning up to morning yoga or eating with family out on the terrace. It is a pleasure to see their warming personalities shine through not only in the hotels décor and upkeep, but also in the conversations they have daily with the guests. Sounds strange to say at such a beautiful retreat, but you’ll probably remember your interactions with them and the staff above anything else!
The community-driven ethos. A meeting point for locals and travellers with a shared interest in wellbeing to connect and share experiences, Cal Reiet does away with most of the 5-star thrills and replaces it with something much harder to find: an authentic familial feel.
Things To Know
We all know that clean guts are the route to good health, so expect a vegetarian-only kitchen. It’s all part of the yogic philosophy!
Enveloped by palm trees and dreamlike grassy fields beyond, the property has a sense of seclusion, and yet the picturesque town of Santanyi is just minutes away on foot. Santanyi’s independent shops, galleries and bi-weekly market are worth exploring.
Cal Reiet is also just minutes away from a variety of beaches and coves – Cala Llombards, Cala Santanyi, Calo d’es Moro and Cala Mondrago are not to be missed.
The hotel holds a range of retreats throughout the year, which are led by renowned international teachers and holistic wellness experts. Find the retreat schedule on Cal Reiet website – https://calreiet.com/
Yogis, zen seekers and the spiritually curious – those who want to completely disconnect from the modern world, temporarily at least, and are seeking optimum levels of wellbeing and mindfulness. Now I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not just discerning, well-travelled Europeans looking to show off their new sarong – the prevalence of non-guests flocking for yoga classes is illustrative of an ethos that transcends traditional resort/customer pairings.
Cal Reiet is a soul-nourishing space steeped in unrivalled tranquillity. Whether you’re new to yoga or an old hand, spiritually curious or health conscious, a wellness seeker or just looking for a relaxing holiday in the Balearic sun, Cal Reiet will have you leaving on a natural high. The ‘little king’ certainly lived up to its name.
about the author
Hi! I’m Maz, born and raised in London. After working in finance for 5 years, I was left craving a life with more meaning and less monotony - so I decided to set up my hotel reviewing business, something I'd always dreamt of doing. Now I am always in search of beautiful spaces which inspire people and create memorable experiences.