RICHARD Branson has taken another step to realising one of his dreams.
The founder of the Virgin Group has longed to convert the Son Bunyola estate on Mallorca into ‘the most luxurious hotel in the Mediterranean’ for years now, but it was only on Friday last week that he finally received planning permission.
“We have now been granted permission to develop the Finca building on our Son Bunyola Estate into a small luxury 29-bedroom hotel. We are hopeful to start construction work later this Spring to open in 2023 and bring a beautiful historic Mallorcan building back to life in one of the most ancient areas of Banyalbufar,” a Virgin source told the Majorca Daily Bulletin.
The building due to be developed dates back to the 1800s and occupies a verdant area in the northwest of the island, surrounded by ‘vines, citrus fruit trees, almonds and hundreds of olive trees’.
Although its facade was severely damaged by storms in August 2020, the Finca building, with its crenellated tower resembling a chess rook, cuts an impressive, proud figure against the bucolic backdrop and the Mediterranean coastline.
The British billionaire has been in love with Mallorca for more than three decades and originally purchased the San Bunyola estate in 1987, though he flogged it in 2002 after he was refused planning permission to convert it into a boutique hotel.
When the residence went onto the market again in 2015, however, Branson snapped it back up, for £11 million, from the couple he had sold it to 13 years earlier.
This swanky hotel will not be the first he has had a hand in establishing on the island, as he helped to launch the five-star La Residencia, one of the Mallorca’s most successful hotels.