Having started the renovation process with the garden guestrooms in 2019, the remaining 100 rooms and suites with views over Palma Bay have joined in the makeover process with a new design by the Goddard Littlefair studio which combines Balearic textures with the hotel’s heritage. Inspired by the architecture, location, and spirit of the hotel, the design is centered around the hotel’s iconic character as a haven of discreet luxury for the elite who choose the island of Mallorca as a holiday destination. Island life and Mallorcan traditions have also played a very important role in the new design, with clear references to hand-woven fabrics in the furniture and the choice of traditional patterns that inspired the textiles and design of the carpets.
“We were delighted to work alongside the ‘The Luxury Collection’ brand on this project. Each property has a unique ethos, with layers of interest and intrigue that can appeal to a variety of guests. Whilst there are requirements which ensure that the guest has a consistent and luxurious experience, the nature of the design can be directly responsive to the design pillars which we also ascribe to: location, architecture, and narrative. It resulted in a scheme where pattern, texture, colour and artwork could all be embraced to deliver a unique identity for the property”, commented Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair, co-founders of Goddard Littlefair. “Designing for hotels has always attracted us, because they allow us to add a dose of drama to the project and create opportunities that do not exist in other design disciplines. 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.”
Creating a residential atmosphere in the rooms was key and the living area is designed to provide guests with space to relax, dine, or work. Access to the terraces provide a seamless connection between the inside and outside, while lighting and mirrors are used to enhance the feeling of space in the room. The polished terracotta plaster wall behind the headboard reminds guests of the warm sunsets on the island and local handmade ceramics, and the floor is carpeted with inset borders, strongly influenced by traditional Mallorcan patterns. The joinery elements are also coated in a rich dark timber and the walls are simply painted, allowing the furniture, colours and fabrics to bring the warmth and familiarity of a Mallorcan residence.
“Our intention with the renovation of the most appreciated rooms of the hotel was to breathe a fresh and Mediterranean air into them without losing sight of the elegance and glamour that correspond to the rooms of our resort,” said Francisco Vila, CEO of Arabella Hotels and Investments of Spain. “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 that they have arrived at an old friend’s house in a Mallorcan traditional possessió, where the courteous staff will look after your every need.”
Developing a harmony of colour and texture was imperative to the design and guests can observe how they change during different parts of the day, and with different lighting. The colour combination chosen by Goddard Littlefair is inspired by local Mallorcan trades, history and culture and the island setting. The relaxed, neutral palette is accented by warm terracotta, coral pinks, and Mediterranean blues with glamorous notes in the strong black accents through selected finishes. Warm, natural timber tones in the furniture also helped provide a more organic contrast to the strength of the ivory and black contrast.
All fabrics are sourced locally, and natural textures used reinstate the residential feel. The headboard is covered in woven textures, the dressing stool is dressed in a coral velvet, while the bench at the end of the bed is finished in a beautiful tan leather which in turn connects to the coloured plaster finish on the wall. To complete the look, cushions on the sofa pick up on the combination of blue and coral printed textiles.
The majority of the furnishings were designed bespoke for the project including a mini-bar cabinet inspired by an antique dresser. The intention was not to create a suite of matching furniture, instead the pieces were selected as if they would have been part of a residence, adding a notes of individual luxury to the guestroom.
Main image credit: Marriott International