Spa day at Belmond La Residencia, Deia

There are some places that just feel right. They're different for each of us - a city may speak to some, a tempestuous coastline to others, or a rural village to others still - but they have in common that they help you find yourself, fire up your imagination, make the stress of the day-to-day melt away. For me, Deia in northwest Mallorca is one such place.

One warm day in June, we returned. Travelling from the south, we left behind the towers of concrete coastal high-rises that dominate that part of the island and soon drove into the tight valleys of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, where the road wound between steep flanks studded with olive groves before spilling out onto a panoramic shelf above the wide turquoise sea. One bend and then another, and then Deia - a tapestry of golden-toned fincas clinging to the hillside amid terraced orange and lemon groves. Glorious.

Our destination was Belmond La Residencia, a beautiful five-star resort in a discrete collection of stone buildings hugging the flank above the village, where we were booked in for a spa day. Such tranquility there: the breeze dusting the treetops, the jangle of sheep bells, the golden light. And the perfect summer temperature - cool like early in the morning, but maintained throughout the day thanks to the profusion of trees.

The spa sits amid landscaped gardens that tumble with blue-toned agapanthus and vivid bougainvillea, and swimming in its light-filled indoor pool, where shutters open onto the mountains, is a heaven-sent tonic. We actually could have spent the whole day just reclining on the sun loungers in the shade though, gazing at Deia's pretty little houses with their shutters in shades of pastel blue, forest green and iris, or in the cooling whirlpool under a canopy of trees.

An excellent platter of tapas in the resort's Cafe Miro drew us away for a while, before we were each cocooned in an exfoliating and hydrating treatment that left our skin silky smooth. Sadly the magic of the resort wasn't powerful enough to make the day last forever, though having to leave was softened by a stroll along the village's main street, which afforded excellent people watching over a freshly pressed lemon juice at a streetside cafe and the chance to enjoy observing as the local builders clocked off for Friday evening, gathering outside the grocery store in a riot of chatter, beer and pastries.

Another time I'd like to return to Cala Deia, the pretty cove separated from the village by steep terraces of citrus fruit groves. For now, La Residencia has set me up for the summer perfectly well indeed.
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