This delightful and original row house with walled garden has been carefully restored using materials and techniques favoured by mallorquin builders for centuries. At the time the house was built (late XVIII) this little hamlet, then part of the nearby historical village of Petra, was home to prosperous farmers. Their "corrals" or back gardens were large enough to stable cattle and mules, and had back gates opening onto a parallel street behind. This house has been restored and enlarged, keeping the foundations and carefully preserved rough sandstone walls of the outbuildings, to extend the sleeping quarters. The plunge pool was formerly the "aljibe" or reservoir. The furniture is a mix of local antiques acquired over the years, and late 19th Century family stuff, shipped over years ago from our farm in the US. The aim has been to provide total comfort and convenience in a traditional setting. Visitors invariably remark on the aura of upbeat, peaceful wellbeing the house radiates.
About the Owner
About Ray Chatham
Your host is an Anglo-American expatriate and longtime resident of the island. Painter and sculptor as a very young man he moved into the field of design, and eventually to posts as university lecturer in Barcelona, before retiring to Mallorca once more, specifically to restore old houses. This he's been doing for 10 years, and has never been happier.
The owner-family is composed of 4 generations, and starts with a terrifically amusing matriarch of 103, down to a lovely prima donna of 8, great granddaughter of the titular head of the group.
Everyone chips in to make the property comfortable and pleasing. The centenarian, who learned watercolour painting at the age of 96, has done a number of paintings of butterflies, fishes and flowers which hang on the walls of the village house.
Ray Chatham purchased this in 1998
Why Ray Chatham chose Inca Region
We had lived in Palma's Old Town since 1975 and were keen for our youngest to have a place to spread out a bit, swim, hike and exhaust themselves during school holidays. The central agricultural area was the last bastion of true mallorquin village life, near enough to the coast, but off the usual tourist routes. Property values were about to soar as investors, needing to get in before the advent of the euro, were buying up everything available, and we were lucky to get in just before this happened. We love the village for its pace and unpretentious aesthetic and the intelligence with which the Arianyers have kept to traditions while at the same time going very green. The village is situated on a hillside and isn't on the way to anywhere else, making it blissfully quiet.
What makes this unique
The house is just off the village square and therefore only a couple of minutes walk from the cafes, shops and bank. It's way off the beaten track but at the same time has easy access to all the attractions of the North Coast (15 to 20 minutes) and a straight road into Palma through beautiful countryside (about 40 minutes).
We've been careful not to "ruin" the house with our restoration, but at the same time have added conveniences that it didn't have before. With broadband and Sky one can keep in touch while otherwise living a rural village lifestyle.
- Booking Notes:
Our guests book by advancing 30% of the total via bank transfer or PayPal, with the rest payable in cash upon arrival at the house.
Notes on prices:
Guests may book for one night if desired although there is a 4 night minimum charge. For rentals of longer than 7 nights, the reduced weekly rate is extrapolated to cover the entire stay on a pro rata basis. Further discounts are negotiable for longer rentals, especially during low season, depending on availability.
From the Owner
“We had lived in Palma's Old Town since 1975 and were keen for our youngest to have a place to spread out a bit, swim, hike and exhaust themselves during school holidays. The central agricultural area was the last bastion of true mallorquin village life, near enough to the coast, but off the usual tourist routes. Property values were about to soar as investors, needing to get in before the advent of the euro, were buying up everything available, and we were lucky to get in just before this happened. We love the village for its pace and unpretentious aesthetic and the intelligence with which the Arianyers have kept to traditions while at the same time going very green. The village is situated on a hillside and isn't on the way to anywhere else, making it blissfully quiet.”
Activity and Interests
Special interest holidays:
For guests with an artistic or academic bent a week-long "Portrait Pair" painting course can be arranged in which one half of the pair learns the art of portraiture from a professional, while the other sits for the resulting portrait. A 2 week version provides each guest with both: a portrait painted by his or her opposite number as well as training in portraiture.
There's also beginner Silk-screen Printing, where an ambitious novice can print his or her own design on up to 20 metres of cotton cloth. A young graphic designer from the US teaches this course.
Both these courses are apt for guests from about 10 yrs. on up, and can be run in the village house or in the studio next door.
Finally there's beginning and intermediate Spanish available for individuals and groups. The teacher is a charming and urbane Barcelonian who speaks, besides his native Spanish and Catalan, French, English and Swedish.
Courses are arranged on demand and are not central to a stay in the house.
You can drive to the beautiful Porto Cristo beach in less than 20 minutes. The Drach Caves are nearby, drawing lovers of natural beauty from all over the world. But the favourite beach with local residents is the one at Son Serra de la Marina, natural and unpretentious, about 15 minutes by car. A few miles farther takes you to Ca'n Picafort and Puerto de Alcudia which, like the others, has limpid, transparent, turquoise water. And to the NW of Ariany, 45 minutes away, is beautiful Formentor.
Palma's Son Sant Joan airport is a 45 minute drive from the house and instructions are provided for reaching the property by car, rental of which is recommended for at least part of the stay. But cycling fans will also find many bike routes threading between the tiny villages in this beautiful rural area. And the local government has recently revived the Palma-Manacor train service with an Ariany bus that meets most trains.
Guests arriving by car ferry are provided with routing instructions.
There are two cafe-bars with shaded tables on the leafy Ariany town square, as well as a savings bank with an ATM. Two well stocked food/general stores, one of which doubles as post office and tabac and is round the corner from the house, also sell the fresh local produce. At the foot of the hill is a big, friendly, all-you-can-eat buffet roadhouse, known island-wide for its good food, local vibe and low prices.
Nearby Manacor acts as a service hub for the surrounding communities. There are banks, internet cafes, and restaurants, two big supermarkets, tree-shaded street cafes, a hospital with an excellent ER, as well as the famous Majorica pearl factory.
Petra (walkable in 20 mins, bike-able in 7, or 2 by car) is an exquisite little village in an aesthetic time warp, where you can tour the tiny house where myth has it that Fray Juniper Serra, the Franciscan monk who sailed with the Spanish mission to the New World, was born in 1713. Recent research proves it's actually where the Serra clan moved to 5 years later. It was Junipero who gave saints' names to the mission towns he founded all along the California coast: San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Clemente and so on.
Sineu, 10 minutes away, has bloomed since the reintroduction of rail service, and boasts more than a dozen new restaurants in the winding streets and lanes around the Medieval church square. It has another claim to fame that goes back further. Historians confirm that a weekly street market was well established in Sineu in the early XVth century. It has been held every Wednesday since then, save during the Civil War years, or when it rained on the day. The market serves the local community but also attracts tourists from round the island. You can buy excellent fruit, vegetables, local cheeses and sausages at the little stalls in the church square. The broader tourist market surrounds the railway station and has an acceptable selection of souvenirs, fringey bags and carved olivewood salad bowls.
From the Owner
“The house is just off the village square and therefore only a couple of minutes walk from the cafes, shops and bank. It's way off the beaten track but at the same time has easy access to all the attractions of the North Coast (15 to 20 minutes) and a straight road into Palma through beautiful countryside (about 40 minutes). We've been careful not to "ruin" the house with our restoration, but at the same time have added conveniences that it didn't have before. With broadband and Sky one can keep in touch while otherwise living a rural village lifestyle.”
Pool / Spa
- Outdoor Pool
- autumn foliage
- naturist beach
- bird watching
- eco tourism
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses
- medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities
- equestrian events
- jet skiing
- roller blading
- surf fishing
- water skiing
- Golf ...
- Outside: The property's ex-corral is now a private garden with citrus trees and grapevines. The plunge pool is the former water reservoir. There are canvas director's chairs and terrace tables and a portable barbecue in the garden. There's a large terrace one flight up, overlooking the garden and pool, with seating for either 6 or 9. At the top of the house is a small terrace with views over the land. On a clear day the Mediterranean coast is visible from there, specifically the beach at Son Serra de la Marina. For hikers, or just strollers, the walks round the area are very beautiful and especially satisfying. The island government has designated certain country lanes as "ecovias", green alternatives to the roads, and these are used by walkers and cyclists. In fact the area round Ariany has been used for generations by champion cyclists preparing for competition. The local road system's excellent surfaces and gently rolling rises and descents are apparently an ideal training ground.