Five minutes from Santa Maria, a small, sleepy village on the road to Inca with an impressive 17th-century heart. There are a handful of places to eat, and an interesting food and crafts market on Sundays.
Eight doubles and 15 suites keep Reads small-feeling despite its grandeur. Each room is individually designed, ranging from luxury-themed suites to more minimal doubles. Suites and Junior Suites have the added draw of private terraces or gardens, but for a proper fantasy weekend, check into the Princess Suite with its Philippe Starck furniture, the Kings Suite for precious metals and regal purples, the Senorial Suite for an Italian-style villa, or my personal favourite, the flamboyant Sultan’s Suite inspired by the richly decorated riads of Marrakech and built around a private courtyard.
With vast manicured lawns, several terraces, and a large pool and spa area, Reads is great for stylish outdoors living. Inside, you'll find curios at every turn and a large bar with plenty of period rattan furniture for hanging out in. However, I miss a more cosy chill-out area for flopping around in.
Eating and drinking
After Michelin-starred Marc Fosh left to set up his own restaurant in Palma, his protégée Felix Eschrich took over with his own line of inventive Mediterranean tasting menus and fun cooking classes. Sign up for a gourmet weekend and he’ll take you shopping at the market in Palma, and teach you anything from hosting a glam tapas party to scaling and roasting a fish. Bistro 33 offers more casual eats either in the old olive mill or round the pool, while the elegant Browns Bar serves killer cocktails and snacks. What I can tell you is that Eschrich will move onto pastures new come January, but I’m assured the next in line will be bringing a whole new dimension to Reads dining experiences. I’m predicting new Mediterr-asian, but watch this space for updates.
When Simone Wyse (Vivian’s daughter) began researching spas, she was struck by the fact so many of them seemed disjointed. Something I tend to agree with. Vespasian then is a bubble of self-contained pleasure where Asia-meets-Europe treatments segue nicely into wet room time. Summer massages are taken on a private roof terrace, while the Moroccan Room provides intimate relaxation time for two. The other Reads innovation is to team up with Dutch bicycle manufacturers Giant, to offer cycle training camps and events.
Really understands the meaning of ‘at your service, 24 hours a day’.
Who stays there
A mainly English crowd, ranging from upwardly mobile and more mature couples, groups of friends on relaxing mini-breaks, and more seasoned travellers looking for experience-based holidays.
Expensive but high quality packages such as cookery courses, stress recovery breaks and honeymoon specials, to Christmas and New Year getaways. Long-stay winter specials (21 days minimum) are heavily discounted.
- Mature travellers
- Sporty types
- Great views / scenery
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Laid-back luxury
- No cozy living room