This 19th century merchant’s house in the centre of the picturesque Mallorcan mountain town of Sóller had been abandoned for over fifty years. Pulling aside the overgrown ivy to enter, we discovered a place where time had stopped still. Despite being in a state of disrepair, we were able to envisage its new future as a boutique hotel, and set about restoring it to its former glory with a two year renovation project.
The extensive building work was led by a well-known local builder who understood how important it was for us to keep as much of the original features as possible. A team of sixty workers were involved in the construction of a new roof, 14 bathrooms and a swimming pool. The swimming pool posed a particularly daunting challenge since, with no other access but via the hallway, the mini digger had to pass over stone floors protected by steel sheets.
The manor presented a number of surprises in the form of antique furniture in silk damask and four small but exquisite mahogany poster beds made of marquetry. We were able to fashion new headboards by joining the end posts with the head. These were not the only stunning handcrafted pieces we were able to reuse and repurpose. The old floor tiles were also salvaged, and painstakingly removed one by one to pass the new piping for the bathrooms, lights and air conditioning, before being cleaned and set back into place. Further hydraulic tiles were custom-made locally for each of the new bathrooms.
The hall, flanked by two stone columns and with a cross-shaped stone floor bordered by hand-painted tiles, leaves the visitor in no doubt that this was a house fit for nobility. Whether the charming breakfast & dining room, the spacious kitchens, the attic with its unrivalled view or the leisure rooms, every aspect of the hotel’s interior was treated with careful consideration. Each elegant bedroom received a bespoke makeover inspired by the era but without compromising on 21st century luxury.
After five decades of neglect, the garden was a veritable jungle. Rampant weeds hid a pebble path, a damaged colonnade, gazebo and a fountain; all of which were recovered for use. The listed façades were likewise repaired and, finally, after two years of unwavering determination and huge efforts, this historic home was once again a place worthy of great pride and admiration.
*The Boutique Hotel Salvia was voted the Most Romantic Hotel on Tripadvisor.*