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Review: Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a Luxury Collection hotel, Mallorca

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HfP in the Balearics

This is our review of the Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a Luxury Collection hotel in Mallorca, Spain.

It is the third part of our ‘HfP in the Balearics’ series in partnership with Marriott Bonvoy, which provided – in this case – a free dinner. We also reviewed the St Regis Mardavall as well as the W Ibiza (review here).

I was given a tour of the hotel whilst staying at the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella hotel (review here) just down the road. We were also able to try out the restaurant one evening. I did not stay overnight overnight, however.

Castillo Hotel Son Vida night

As the name suggests, the Castillo Hotel Son Vida is situated in a 13th Century castle that got its name from the Vida family in the 1500s. After changing hands several times over the centuries it finally opened as a luxury hotel in 1961 and opened as a Starwood / Marriott Luxury Collection property in 2005.

As of last year, the hotel has advertised itself as a 16+ adults-only resort. Whilst it cannot legally restrict children from staying under Spanish law it has ripped out the kids club and there is now very little left for children. Families are encouraged to stay at the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella, just 2 minutes away, which we reviewed here.

The hotel website is here.

Location

Son Vida, as the area is now known, is located just outside Palma in an elevated position and boasts fantastic views of the Bay of Palma. These days the area is home to an upmarket residential neighbourhood, three golf courses and of course the Sheraton and Castillo hotels.

Castillo Hotel Son Vida location

The Castillo Hotel Son Vida is just 20 minutes from Palma airport, which is on the other side of the city. The town centre itself is much closer.

Castillo Hotel Son Vida

The hotel lives up to its name and a number of heritage features make for a grand entrance:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida gate

and

Castillo Hotel Son Vida tower

Although the tower is not from the 13th Century – ‘only’ the 20th Century according to the hotel history.

Inside is a large atrium with grand staircase and beautifully stained glass ceiling:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida lobby

There’s also a beautiful banqueting room available for private dinners or events:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida banquetting room

Rooms at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida

There are 164 rooms at the Castillo Hotel, which makes it substantially larger than the nearby Sheraton.

The hotel is divided into two different room types: rooms with more traditional styling in the heritage wing of the hotel, facing towards Palma, and the more modern wing with slightly fresher decor and resort views. Both have their charms, although you don’t get the same stunning views from the modern wing.

Here is a very spacious modern room:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida modern room

As you can see, these rooms are light and airy, with light green tones. Here is the modern bathroom:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida modern bathroom

Whilst the view from these is across the resort gardens:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida resort view

The heritage rooms are a lot darker with dark-stained wood panelling:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida heritage room

…. and more traditional, often antique, furniture:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida suite living room

The bathroom is large and has a lovely green marble tops:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida heritage bathroom

Toiletries in both rooms are Herbas de Mallorca:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida toiletries

Whilst here is the view from the balcony:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida room view

It is expected that the heritage rooms will undergo a soft refurbish in the next few years, whilst the modern wing was refreshed a few years ago.

Pool, spa and gym at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida

There are three pools at the hotel. The two main pools are on the lowest terrace:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida pool

It is a pleasant pool, although slightly voyeuristic with the restaurant terraces overlooking above. I’m not sure how crowded the loungers would be with the hotel at higher occupancy rates.

The spa and gym are brand new and underneath the pool. Whilst not the largest, they are very modern and stylish with a slightly Nordic feel. Here is a treatment room:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida spa treatment room

Whilst hotel guests also get access to an indoor pool:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida spa pool 2

…. as well as sauna, steam room etc.

The gym again features mostly cardio equipment:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida gym

Dining at the Castillo Hotel Son Vida

There are a range of food and beverage options at the Castillo Hotel, virtually all of which make use of the fantastic views across Palma.

The bar terrace is gigantic and has the best views of Palma Cathedral:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida bar terrace

and

Castillo Hotel Son Vida terrace view

Underneath the terrace is the Es Castell restaurant, with massive floor-to-ceiling windows:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida restaurant view

You can also sit outside, as we did, and you still get an exceptional view:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida dining view

Es Castell has also just introduced a brand new menu which I liked: it was fairly inventive and there were several dishes I would have had.

Dinner starts with an amuse bouche:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida amuse bouche

We then had the tuna tartare as well as fresh anchovies with tomatoes, both of which were delicious:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida tuna tartare 2

For the main course I had a duck lasagne, recommended to me by the hotel GM:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida duck lasagne

Before rounding off the evening with a dessert featuring mango in different styles:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida dessert

There is another restaurant, Es Vi, as well as a pool bar, which occupy similar locations above the pool. Fundamentally, the restaurants are all within 20 metres of each other.

All let you enjoy the beautiful sunsets:

Castillo Hotel Son Vida sunset

Conclusion

It’s very easy to compare the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella and the Castillo Hotel Son Vida given their close proximity and access to the same three golf courses. Fundamentally, however, the two hotels offer different experiences: the Castillo Hotel is targetted at adults and has exceptional views across Palma whilst the Sheraton is far more family oriented and has views across the golf courses.

If you’re just coming for the golf, the Sheraton is marginally closer to the golf club although a regular shuttle bus runs between both hotels and the courses.

In terms of style, the Castillo Hotel has a little more character and heritage thanks to its affiliation with Luxury Collection, which means it doesn’t have to follow stringent brand standards as closely.

The Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a Luxury Collection hotel, is a Category 6 redemption with Marriott Bonvoy. This means that you will need between 40,000 and 60,000 Bonvoy points per night. Cash prices start at €318 for a weekday night in September. You can book on the hotel website here.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (4)

  • Barnaby100 says:

    Is it still 5 euro for a child’s coke in a plastic IKEA cup (so tiny) ? My daughter is now 25 and I still remember the shock.

  • Richie says:

    Does anyone know of a similar hotel to this https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-photos/piolc-hotel-paracas-a-luxury-collection-resort-paracas/ less than a four hour flight from London? I’m compiling a list of places for 3/4 night do nothing breaks.

    • Nick Burch says:

      We’ve just had a lovely week at the Renaissance Aix-en-Provence. Has the pool, beach loungers, spa, poolside dining and bar etc of a resort, but also under 10 minutes walk from a huge selection of restaurants in Aix. Not as fancy as the hotel you mentioned, but lovely area, and a short taxi ride from Marseilles airport.

  • Crafty says:

    How does overnight overnight relate to out out?

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