The new Hotel Formentor in Pollensa (simulation).

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The redevelopment of the Hotel Formentor attracts the interest that it does for a variety of reasons. One is its age - it opened in 1929 - and the stories that surrounded its early years, including the eventual bankruptcy of Adan Diehl, the Argentine whose idea the hotel was. Another is the location - on the bay of Pollensa and in an environmentally sensitive area, the Formentor peninsula.

Then there are the famous people who have stayed there, such as Winston Churchill, the Dalai Lama, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne and Charlie Chaplin. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco spent part of their honeymoon at the hotel.

Always luxurious and exclusive, the hotel formed part of the tourism promotion of Mallorca in the 1950s. Along with the beach, this was an image of tourism that was to be shattered by the process of what came to be known as 'Balearisation' - the massive development of coastal areas.

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More recently, because of complex planning regulations, the hotel and indeed the rest of the development in Formentor have been at the heart of controversies. And one of these is the redevelopment of the hotel, which was bought from the Mallorcan hotel company Barceló and will come under the management of the Canadian Four Seasons group.

Tomeu Cifre, no longer the mayor of Pollensa but now the deputy mayor for urban planning, has been a figure in these controversies. He still is. The deputy mayor now explains that "a total reconstruction will be carried out after the complete demolition of the building". "The hotel was built in phases. What is being done is to recalibrate the heights and rebuild everything, recovering the essence of the original because the regulations demand this." The new hotel will "faithfully" reproduce the aesthetics of the original.

Cifre adds that "it was a structure without foundation". "The floors didn't comply with fire regulations (among others), and a building had to be developed that was adapted to current regulations and which had solidity. Not only did some parts have aluminosis, the oldest area had parts entirely made of sandstone. The owners know, because we have demanded it, that the final appearance of the exteriors has to be the same as it was in its original state and, for example, that the stairs will be maintained. We are talking about a reliable reconstruction."

The reopening of the hotel is now scheduled to be in April 2024. The number of beds, 249, will remain the same but there will be fewer rooms/suites - 112 as opposed to 127.