Manor houses transformed into magical museums, remote hilltop monasteries boasting breathtaking views, and verdant botanic gardens providing relief from the sun have all captivated me far more on this trip than any beach resort. And yet I have to admit that I am one of those people who occasionally likes to spend a week soaking up the sun on a stunning stretch of sand somewhere, and who has secretly been dreaming of a holiday doing nothing but reading books by a hotel swimming pool. Probably because these are the very things I no longer have time to do, despite spending some 300 nights on average a year in hotel rooms. Yet most of Mallorca's beaches are too crowded for my taste and their surroundings are often marred by ugly hotel developments. A place that I found especially enchanting was the lush Jardines de Alfabia near Soller. While the gardens themselves are lovely, with their leafy walkways, tinkling fountains and tranquil ponds, it was the splendid residence that they're tangled around that once belonged to the Moorish viceroy of Mallorca, that I found even more compelling. Sumptuously decorated with rich brocaded furnishings and colossal works of art on the walls, it was one of those places that took you back in time for a while when the world was a very different place. Take a peek inside here and let me know what you think.