Work at the Son Bunyola estate. | Joan Lladó

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Sir Richard Branson’s Mallorcan dream is rapidly coming true. Renovation work at his Son Bunyola estate in Banyalbufar is well under way, with a highly professional team of builders and restorers working round the clock on the main manor house of the 700-acre finca, which dates back to the 18th century but with a history stretching back further to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Builders have found original girders dating back to the 15th century. These have been lovingly restored and will form part of the main building, which will also act as museum charting the history of the estate and the Tramuntana Mountains, which are a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The restoration of the main property, which will have around 28 luxury bedrooms, is being undertaken with “love and empathy”, according to Sir Richard and Jon Brown, Virgin Limited Edition’s Managing Director.

“It’s been 20 years in the making. We first embarked on plans to develop Son Bunyola and restore the main historic finca to its former glory two decades ago. Yes, we had some setbacks, but having been finally been given the all-clear to proceed by all of the local authorities, we can’t wait to open in June 2023,” Jon recently told the Bulletin during a quick visit to see how the project is coming along. It has the full support of the local authorities, who are desperate to see the historic property restored to its former glory and are well aware of the economic benefits it will bring the local communities and prestige to Mallorca.

Sir Richard is very emotional about the project, he has fought very hard to get this off the ground - he was determined to see this project come to life and it is finally happening.

And in keeping with Branson’s philosophy of sustainability and community, all of those involved with the project have been hired locally. And that will be very much the theme once the hotel is open. The emphasis will be on recruiting local staff, using local produce and promoting all the glorious things Mallorca has to offer.

“The atmosphere, like in all of the Virgin Limited properties, will be relaxed and informal, very personal. We may well have some of the most luxurious properties in idyllic locations around the world, but we’re not jackets and ties for dinner,” Jon said.