The 13th-century Majorcan stately home, managed by Marriott International and owned by
Arabella Hospitality, has renovated 100 of its rooms, the most coveted for their incomparable views
of the Bay of Palma.
Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a Luxury Collection hotel, has today presented the renovation that the interior design studio Goddard Littlefair has carried out in 100 of its rooms, updating its design to combine a local and relaxed aesthetics with the historical character of the property. All the other rooms, with views of the property’s gardens, were renovated in 2017, and at the beginning of 2020 the hotel was converted into being adults only. Its Castillo Hotel Son Vida Spa was also recently renovated at the end of 2019, with more than 900 m2 dedicated to well-being, an indoor swimming pool with extensive outdoor views, a gym, a large water, sauna and relaxation area and four luminous treatment cabins.
The designers adapted their proposal for the renovation of the new rooms to the architecture, location and
spirit of the hotel, creating a consistent narrative around its history and its iconic character as a haven of
discreet luxury for the elite who used to choose the island of Mallorca to enjoy their holidays. Those
personalities from the world of art, culture and the aristocracy who were looking for the perfect enclave to
relax during the day that preceded the intense nights on the island, evoked a nostalgic glamour that has
been imprinted in all the rooms. Island life and Majorcan traditions have also played a very important role in
the new design, with clear reference to hand-woven fabrics in the furniture and the choice of traditional
motifs and patterns that inspired the selection of textiles and the design of the carpets.
“We are delighted to be working with the Castillo Hotel Son Vida and ‘The Luxury Collection’ brand on this project. Each property has a unique architectural spirit, and while they meet all the requirements to guarantee the guest a luxurious and consistent experience, the nature of their design responds directly to the pillars on which we support ours: location, architecture and narrative. In the resulting presentation, the motifs, textures, colours and works of art are intermingled in the project to give a unique identity to the property”, comment the people in charge of the project and founders of the Goddard Littlefair interior design studio, Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair. “Designing for hotels has always attracted us, because it allows adding a dose of drama to the project and creates opportunities that do not exist in other design disciplines. The Castillo Hotel Son Vida is a very special property with a dazzling history but also a place where guests have always felt welcome and relaxed.”
“Our intention with the renovation of the most appreciated rooms of the hotel was to blow a breath of fresh and Mediterranean air into them without losing sight of the elegance and glamour that correspond to the rooms of our resort. The essence and soul of the building’s architecture remain intact in a design that is firmly linked to the tradition of the island’s crafts through materials, patterns, textures and colours. The intention is to give the guest the feeling of arriving at an old friend’s house in a stately Majorcan building, where they are going to take care of making you feel as comfortable as possible”, says Francisco Vila, CEO of Arabella Hospitality, the company that owns the hotel, when commenting on the project.
A living room in each bedroom
Creating a residential atmosphere in the bedrooms of the Castillo Hotel Son Vida was key to recreating that
feeling and, to this end, the rest area was differentiated from the living area by means of sofas that can be
used to relax, dine or work. Access to the terraces was key to providing perfect connection between indoors
and outdoors, while lighting and mirrors were also used to increase the feeling of space in the room and fill
the rooms with natural light. The polished plaster wall behind the headboard evokes the warmth and color
of island sunsets and local handcrafted pottery. The floors are covered with rugs topped with a coloured
border, clearly influenced by traditional Majorcan patterns. The joinery is rich dark wood and the walls are
simply painted, allowing the furniture, colours and fabrics to give the room the warmth and familiarity of a
Neutral colours with intense touches
According to the interior design studio, in addition to balancing the colours of the project to favour rest, the
most important thing is to observe how they change as the day progresses and what their reactions are to
light, both natural and artificial. The colour scheme chosen by Goddard Littlefair is derived from local
Majorcan crafts as well as the history, culture and inspiration of the island environment. A neutral and
relaxed colour palette that is accentuated by warm terracottas, coral shades of pink, Mediterranean shades
of blue and marked touches of black in some elements of the decoration that add glamour and drama to the
rooms. The warm tones of natural wood in the furniture also make a more organic and natural effect on the
strength of the contrasts of ivory and black.
All textiles used in the project are locally sourced and neutral textures predominate in the rooms to create
that relaxed, residential feeling. However, the visual interest has been amplified with decorative items such
as the headboard of the bed, which is covered in an ikat-like patterned fabric, while the stool is decorated in
coral-coloured velvet. The bench at the foot of the bed is finished off in a pretty tan leather that connects
with the colour of the polished plaster behind the headboard, and the sofa cushions are patterned in blue
and coral colours.
The vast majority of the furniture was custom designed for this project and therefore inspired by local
craftsmanship and the atmosphere of the Castillo Hotel Son Vida itself. The intention was not to create a
set of matching furniture, but to give the feeling that each item had been eclectically selected as for a house.
One of the key items that was designed, taking inspiration from the building itself, was a bar cabinet
reminiscent of an old chest of drawers, with the functionality that the hotel needs, but with the convenience
of avoiding having to bend down in order to pour a drink.
Castillo Hotel Son Vida
The Castillo Hotel Son Vida opened its doors as a luxury hotel on 23rd June 1961. Located in the urbanization
of Son Vida, a green, hilly spot a few minutes by car from the centre of Palma de Mallorca, it is part of the
brand of Marriott Bonvoy “The Luxury Collection“. With an interior architecture that shows great love for
detail, full of antiques and works by old masters of painting, the Castillo Hotel Son Vida offers a magical
place to rest for lovers of the Mediterranean atmosphere. The hotel has 164 rooms and suites, all with views
of Palma or the Arabella Golf Son Vida that surrounds the hotel. Its legendary terrace, a social meeting point,
offers panoramic views over Palma, its cathedral and its bay. Among its guests are illustrious personalities
such as the King and Queen of Spain, Patricia de Monaco, Aristotle Onassis or Maria Callas. The hotel offers
two restaurants: Es Castell, with Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine, and Es Ví, which offers elaborate tapas
cuisine as well as a large selection of local and national wines. The Castillo Hotel Son Vida Spa offers guests
and visitors all kinds of beauty and health treatments, with products from the Maria Galland and Demarés
cosmetic lines. Numerous conference rooms, all with natural light and some with direct access to gardens
and terraces, make it an ideal place to hold meetings of all kinds.