Bringing to life not one, but two historic Mallorcan buildings, Andrés Soldevila Ferrer is a master of keeping the classic in the contemporary. Turning his experienced hand from a 19th-century palace to an 18th-century farmhouse, the original character of these modernised home-from homes has been respectfully revitalised.
Favouring the word ‘house’ over ‘hotel,’ and ‘family’ over ‘staff,’ Soldevila’s down-to-earth approach makes for a genuinely warm welcome at the understated Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, which will soon be extended to Can Ferrereta, a rustic retreat on the south-east of the island which is slated to open in March 2021.
“Our hotels capture the essence of the destination,” which speaks volumes when your hotels are located in two of Mallorca‘s most coveted addresses – from the heart of Palma’s historic quarter with a 13th-century basilica for a neighbour, to the rural, golden-stone village of Santanyí which could not be more authentically Mallorcan. This refined city-break-country-house duo offers travellers the best of both Balearic worlds.
What does being ‘Independently Minded’ as an hotel owner mean to you?
To me, this means that you are free to do “your own thing” and not follow the pre-established rules of the industry. No corporate office, no cookie-cutter hotel, no unexciting and presumable hotel features…We bring our own perspective about how a luxury boutique hotel should be, how it should behave and communicate. It is all about feeling and creating a link with the building, the neighbourhood and city where the hotel coexists. We “like and live” small hotels with lots of character because they bring this sense of a private house that gives you a more belonging, homely feeling than just a regular hotel. The human touch is also aligned with the house, and our approach to service is warmer and more welcoming, very professional, and respectful but closer and fresher at the same time. “We are a family” is part of our motto, consequently we expect our team to really look after and take care of our guests, genuinely.
What was the inspiration behind your hotels, and where do you continue to find sources of inspiration?
Imagine that you have a dear friend, a local who lives by and for art, design, gastronomy based on locally sourced produce and enjoys the simple pleasures of life. Well, your dear friend is inviting you into their home. This is what we want to create – this is what inspires us. Meaningful and fulfilling experiences. Your “friend” has been waiting for you to come and has taken their time to prepare your visit, looking forward to your arrival, preparing the house and your room with great care and with flowers and candles, anticipating your needs and wishes. Creating the feeling that one belongs to this place, to Mallorca, to the village – our inspiration comes from the most literal meaning of the word “family”.
How do you think your hotels stand apart from other boutique hotels?
Our hotels capture the essence of the destination – Sant Francesc Hotel Singular is a former palatial residence, while Can Ferrereta is a converted 18th-century farmhouse. The interior design is sophisticated but with the local flavour and respecting its tradition. We knew how to perfectly combine the original architecture features with contemporary art and design.
The gastronomy is carefully addressed and takes an important role in our hotel. We have the perfect location for Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, in the most quiet and picturesque square but at the same time, one step away from all the action that Palma has to offer. Similarly, Can Ferrereta is hidden away in one of Mallorca’s least discovered areas. We understand that luxury needs to be discrete.
Our team makes sure that our guests are, quite simply, happy. We are professional and attentive but without constant interruptions or endless hosting protocols – yet warm enough for our guests to feel cared for.
Last but note least: our sense of care. We take maximum care of the house, both front and back. Constant maintenance and cleanliness are key. We are very proud of the level we have reached as this former palace is, without a doubt, at its best. Always immaculate, as if we were always ready for a photoshoot!
How would you describe your own perfect luxury experience?
It feels like when at the end of a symphony there is a big applause, a big standing ovation…when you get far more than expected; when you awake memorable and profound memories; when you leave the hotel with a bigger smile than when you first arrived; when you share with your friends and your loved ones, “I have discovered this wonderful and unique place that you need to visit”. When the hotel is the dynamo for the whole trip, recommending and finding amazing restaurants, special boutiques, and routes off the tourist path…when you get home and after a few days you still remember your stay at the hotel. All of this means the perfect luxury experience for me.
Do you have a vision for the future of the hotel?
We believe that hotels should accentuate more of all of the following: offer unique and unrepeatable experiences to their guests, show and practise a greater respect for the environment, have further and deeper connections with the destination and the local community, and be the main ambassador of the local art, gastronomy, culture and traditions.