Room Service: Scott's Galilea, Mallorca

Not George Scott. With this picturesque group of nine traditional houses and studios in mature gardens clinging to the hillside, the Chicagoan proprietor has achieved something very special: a peaceful retreat from the modern world with sufficient luxury to enhance, but not eclipse, the amazing natural beauty of the setting.

It's sophisticated, rustic self-catering - just the sort of place writers and artists might retreat to in winter for sunshine, privacy and tranquillity. Children under 12 are not allowed, so it appeals more to romancing couples, peace-seeking singletons, hillwalkers and well-heeled empty-nesters.

LOCATION

Scott's Galilea, Galilea, Mallorca (00 34 971 870 100; UK telephone 0871 717 4227; www.scottsgalilea.com). Almost 600m above sea level, in the Tramuntana mountains of south-west Mallorca. Scott's teeters over the tiny village of Galilea, with vast south-facing views from every room over the mountain peaks and out to sea. On a clear day, tiny white yacht-sails drift across the far blue horizon. Walk down to the village and you can buy groceries (spicy cured sausage; creamy manchego) or dine at the chilled-out tapas bar or Mallorquin restaurant.

Time from international airport: Pick up a licensed taxi or a hire car at Palma airport and you should arrive 40 minutes later. You will pass a lot of fit young cyclists on the way up, mostly male, all with thighs of granite.

COMFORTABLE?

On a deliciously soft Vi-Spring mattress and goosedown pillows, under broderie anglaise sheets by Ralph Lauren? Oh, yes. There's nothing like a mountain breeze and an absence of urban noise to aid deep sleep. During the day you can doze on a sunbed on your private terrace, or beside the swimming pool and self-service terrace bar, with your nose in a copy of The Bloody Bokhara. This is a visceral murder-mystery novel written by George Scott himself that's set in very familiar surroundings (you may feel compelled to examine the soft furnishings for evidence of grisly goings-on).

THE BOTTOM LINE

From February-October expect to pay from €130 (£93) to €330 (£236) per property per night. This includes room-cleaning and a generous breakfast on your terrace. Winter rates are lower, call or see website for details.

I'm not paying that: Then you'll be staying elsewhere on the island. Our thrifty travel editor is a regular at the Hostal Ritzi in Palma (00 34 971 71 46 10).

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