Nestled in the Tramuntana Mountains of Mallorca — a renowned travel destination itself — sits a quaint Spanish town that was once visited by the People’s Princess herself. Though it has been frequented by the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones, in addition to the royal family, Deià is often overlooked by tourists who flock to more bustling cities, like Palma, Alcúdia, and Pollença, in search of the island’s famous art scene and 365-degree ocean views. That being said, this small but luxurious village is not to be missed.
Like any winding journey down the coast (Italy’s Amalfi, California’s Bug Sur, etc.), the trip to Deià is almost as beautiful as the destination. Almost. Deià is a city of understated opulence — “stealth wealth,” if you will. Though the population is only 620, the little village is rife with culture: fashionable boutiques, extravagant resorts, and outdoor eateries sat beneath canopies of Mediterranean trees in lieu of actual roofs.
During my time there (a press trip with accessory brand Kurt Geiger to celebrate its just-released Matthew Williamson collection), I stayed at La Residencia — just like the late royal did in the ’90s. She stayed in one of the presidential suites, Room 66 (the most spectacular one, of course). One day at lunch, a waiter told me, “This table was reserved for Princess Diana,” he said, gesturing at the mosaic-topped table where I sat.
One look at the skyline and it was immediately clear why. The tiled patio is surrounded by blooming flowers and palm trees, which only add to the main attraction: a lush green mountainside speckled with clay homes of every size, each finished with roofs of curved, Spanish tiles.
Once an olive grove, the grounds are expansive, with guest rooms located across multiple buildings which used to be manors for the wealthy. It’s more of a rustic Spanish compound than a traditional hotel. The feel is so elegant, one could easily envision the estate as The White Lotus’ next destination.
The hotel’s tree-lined lane spits vacationers out at the edge of town. A left turn takes you directly to the store-lined main street of Deià, Carrer Archiduque Luís Salvador. A fashion editor, I did some shopping while exploring the town, popping into local stores like Studio Isla, Icks Deià, and Laurel Deià. My excursion ended with a bagful of brand new leather accessories and breezy linen staples — all by Spanish designers, of course.
Further down the mountain, however, sits one of the most stunning spots I visited during my trip: Ca’s Patró March. Perched on the cliffside of a small cove, this open-air restaurant uses the natural rock formation as walls. While diners eat, they can look out at the cerulean waves of Cala Deià, from which their fresh-caught seafood dishes came (shrimp, squid, muscles, cuttlefish, and more). On sunny days, visitors and locals bask on the pebble beach below and take boats out to sea.
In my nearly 30 years of life, I’ve seen many wondrous corners of the world: I’ve walked the stone streets of Pompeii, danced at a music festival in Barcelona, explored the rainbow geysers of Yellowstone, seen the ancient Roman Baths of England, partied on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, biked down Haleakalā volcano in Hawaii, and seen the Venice Canals of Italy (and the Venice Canals of California, come to that). Now, having visited Deià, Mallorca, I can honestly say it was most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
Though my time on the island was short, I have pledged to one day find my way back — hopefully, to uncover more charming corners of Mallorca. And you, dear reader, should too.
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