Scenic hilltop setting on outskirts of pretty village of Deia
Set in extensive gardens brimming with exotic plants
Most guest rooms open to balconies or terraces with lovely views
All suites add pillow menus and Nespresso machines
Long, spring-fed heated swimming pool
Free shuttle bus to exclusive cove with loungers and bar
Buffet breakfast with cooked-to-order eggs always included
Poolside snack bar and seasonal tapas bar
Half-board rates are available
Modern fitness center, tennis court, and yoga
Free Wi-Fi throughout property
Lots of free parking on-site
Decor feels old-fashioned in places
Not all guest rooms have balconies
Outdoor pool has no shallow end
No elevator access to annex building
Es Moli is a family-run, three-and-a-half-pearl hotel housed in building that dates back to the 15th century. One main draw is its hilltop setting overlooking the pretty village of Deia and surrounding mountains. It also has a wonderful heated outdoor pool—fed from the hotel's own spring water—though it's too deep for young children. The 87 guest rooms are a touch old-fashioned and may not suit all tastes, but bathrooms have been updated and most units open to balconies or terrace with superb views. Another impressive feature is access to an exclusive rocky cove via a free shuttle. Overall, it's one of the area's more unique hotels but one that feels a little tired in places. Couples looking for a more romantic experience might favor the boutique Hotel D'es Puig set right in the village.
Family-owned former 15th-century manor house set in beautiful gardens
With an original farmhouse dating back to the mid-15th century, few hotels on the island can claim such seasoned provenance as Es Moli. While it grew into more of a country estate through the centuries, it lay abandoned for 30 years until purchased by a German family in the '60s, the second generation of which still run it today. The main building, with its natural stone walls and long balustrade balconies certainly still looks every inch the country mansion. Terra-cotta tile roofs, louver-shuttered windows, and long, elegant archways add to the rustic charm. Stepping inside, the low-ceilinged reception area is a perfectly pleasant mix of dark-wood fixtures, fresh flowers, and potted plants against a beige backdrop. Generally, however, interiors tend more towards the old-fashioned than quaintly antiquated, with rather gloomy corridors, dated red carpets, and mismatched furnishings. But it's the surrounding grounds that make the property special, consisting of almost three-and-a half acres of lush, tiered gardens, brimming with exotic plantlife. There's a water-lily pond and numerous secluded spots to relax and soak up the picturesque mountain views. The hotel attracts repeat customers (with much of the artworks donated by regulars), and clientele tends to be older couples.
Set on picturesque hillside a short stroll from charming Deia village
The hotel is set on a hillside just off the main road that runs into the village of Deia -- a small and particularly scenic mountain village and part of Majorca's northern Tramuntana sierra. It's about a five-minute walk into the village, which has been a popular destination for numerous artists, writers, and musicians for more than a century. Properties have been bought up by wealthy expats, though the place retains a rustic (albeit rather exclusive) charm. There are a few restaurants and the start of several hiking trails within a short stroll. A 10-minute drive brings guests to a shingle beach with two seafront eateries. The charming towns of Soller and Valldemossa are about 20 minutes' drive away, and it's roughly 45 minutes to the bustling capital Palma and the airport.
Old-fashioned rooms with updated bathrooms and free Wi-Fi
The hotel has 87 rooms and suites in all, 71 in the main building and the rest in an annex farther up the hill. The annex has 125 steps and no elevator, so travelers with limited mobility may wish to request a room in the main building. Rooms average about 235 square feet (22 square meters), with decor that could politely be called traditional -- old-fashioned antique-style furniture, carpeted floors, textured walls, and stripped fabrics. The majority of rooms open to balconies or terraces with mountain, garden, or village views; some also features peeks of the sea and others are large enough for a couple loungers. One suite offers spectacular panoramas from its balcony.
Amenities are a highlight, and include well-stocked minibars, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and flat-screen TVs -- pretty small at just 24-inch, but with a decent selection of British channels. Digital safes are free of charge, as is in-room Wi-Fi (with a good signal considering the mountain setting). All suites add pillow menus and Nespresso machines. Bathrooms were updated for 2015, and are clean and contemporary, with a choice of walk-in showers or shower/tub combos; all with hairdryers, quality eco-friendly toiletries, and robes and slippers as standard.
Heated spring-fed swimming pool with poolside bar, plus exclusive cove access
Without doubt, one of the hotel's genuine standout features is its heated, spring-water-fed swimming pool. It's set amid gardens and measures an impressive 105 feet (32 meters). The drawback is that it's fairly deep and lacks a shallow end, so it isn't the best for young kids. Loungers line one side and tables are on the other, both waiter-serviced from the poolside bar. There's no real spa, but massage and beauty treatments are available on the garden terraces. There are also twice-weekly yoga sessions (for a fee), a tennis court, and a fitness room with up-to-date equipment.
The hotel's main dining room opens for buffet breakfast, which is always included in the rate and offers cooked-to-order eggs. A set menu is served here for dinner for half-board guests, and there's an alfresco candlelit terrace with countryside views. The poolside bar provides a lunchtime menu, and a tapas bar opens most nights over the summer months. Reports suggest food quality can vary between excellent and disappointing. Room service is available during kitchen-opening hours, though just in the main building. Low-key live entertainment is put on most evenings.
Guests have exclusive access to the Muleta cove five miles (eight kilometers) away, with lovely clear water, rocky terraces with loungers, and even a bar serving decent food and drink. The hotel operates free shuttle service there that takes about 25 minutes (alternatively it's a two-hour walk). Snorkeling gear is also provided free of charge. There's plenty of free on-site parking, and free Wi-Fi throughout, but there's no elevator in the annex.