Occupying a majestic position on the Mallorcan coastline lies Son Bunyola - a 16th-century finca turned luxury hotel at the hands of Sir Richard Branson.

Perched on the edge of our seats, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of our home for the next few days, we weave our way around the snake-like roads of the Tramuntana mountains close to Banyalbufar, our giddy states akin to how one would imagine going into space for the first time.

Our driver, however, misses the turning into the vast 1,300-acre estate, testament to just how unspoilt this part of the island is, the hotel sitting like a pebble amongst a sea of olive groves, vineyards, and almond trees, blending so seamlessly with its surroundings you’d never know it was there.

The Resident: The vast 1,300 acre estate of Son BunyolaThe vast 1,300 acre estate of Son Bunyola (Image: Virgin Limited Edition)

As with all eight properties in the Virgin Limited Edition (VLE) collection, Son Bunyola is a passion project for Branson, and one that’s been decades in the making after first setting eyes on it twenty-five years ago.


The Resident: One of the hotel's impressive tower suitesOne of the hotel's impressive tower suites (Image: Virgin Limited Edition)


Hotel design and amenities


Occupying a UNESCO World Heritage Site, overlooked by a rocky mountain range and framed by three miles of pristine coastline, lies the historical 16th-century finca that had been left to ruin when Branson first discovered it. After a twenty-year battle, permission was finally granted to turn it into the magnificent, luxury hotel it is today.

Thanks to the help of Spanish-based Gras architects, all the historical touchpoints have been sympathetically restored and now act as standout features - the 13th-century medieval defence tower cradles two of the hotel’s 26 rooms, the chapel’s altar takes centre stage inside the main restaurant, while the incredibly impressive olive press sits proudly in the second restaurant.

The Resident: One of the hotel's deluxe suitesOne of the hotel's deluxe suites (Image: Virgin Limited Edition)

Local interior designer Rialto is responsible for the laid back luxe of the place brought to life with neutral tones accented by a tapestry of blues and punctuated by local artwork.

Every inch of the hotel is elegant, yet relaxed, giving it a home-from-home feel, but it’s the 28-metre pool framed by pretty parasols befitting of the French riviera and boasting the most breath-taking views that will forever be etched on my mind.

Of the 26 rooms and suites, many boasting their own impressive terraces, you’ll discover unexpected treats such as GHD straightens, espadrilles, yoga equipment, and even a portable speaker. Take note of the unique textiles which have been made by the Eve Branson Foundation. In fact, community very much lies at the heart of the hotel with over 80 per cent of the staff originating from Spain.

The Resident: Son Bunyola's impressive 28-metre pool that's a favourite of Sir Richard Branson'sSon Bunyola's impressive 28-metre pool that's a favourite of Sir Richard Branson's (Image: Virgin Limited Edition)


Food & Drink


Choose to eat in one of two restaurants headed up by renowned Executive Chef, Samuel G. Galdón, where his authentic, yet elevated, Mallorcan-inspired dishes relay his Michelin-star past.

Natural produce taken from the estate’s garden, olive groves, and beehives showcase the hotel’s farm-to-fork concept. Even though it’ll be a couple of years before you can enjoy a bottle with dinner, vines have been planted to reproduce the estate’s own Malvasia wine from the 19th-century.

The main restaurant, Sa Terrassa, serves up Michelin-worthy dishes and breath-taking views under the watch of the finca’s stunning façade. While the secondary restaurant housed in the former olive press, Sa Tafona, provides a playful reinvention of Spanish tapas. If you find yourself inspired, there are even cooking demos and Paella classes to get involved with.

The Resident: Sublime views surround Son BunyolaSublime views surround Son Bunyola (Image: Virgin Limited Edition)


Things to do


Those who are keen to learn more about the vast history of the estate can join guided history walks led by local historian Tomàs Vibot. If you prefer a slower pace of life, there’s the opportunity to reconnect with nature in an outdoor yoga class, indulge in a massage in the spa or simply take in the uninterrupted views from the hot tub.

For anyone who struggles to sit still, you can cast off from the shores of the private beach on a kayak, explore miles of hiking and cycling trails without leaving the estate, and even hone your skill on the on-site tennis and pickleball courts. Should you wish to explore further afield there are complimentary shuttle services connecting guests to nearby villages.

Website: sonbunyola.virgin.com