“…just breath-taking, it honestly makes you rethink the landscape of Mallorca.” This was the first mention of Osa Major at the abcMallorca Digital Media office and it set the tone for a highly-anticipated visit. The owners of the country house, Dutch couple Brenda Ootman and husband Roland Verbeek, live side-by-side their guests where delicious plant-based food and yoga retreats are offered. Its position on the side of the mountain (close to Sant Joan) has one of the highest vantage points in the area and is where the couple offer their restorative experiences – a place where holistic thoughts and cultural values collide.
A view unlike Mallorca
“The first time we visited this place and saw those views, we thought ‘this could easily be Tuscany,’” smiles Brenda, sitting on the porch of her country home. She points towards vast areas of land dotted in forests, which true to observation, could easily be Italy or even rural England. Its rolling hills and thick woodland is not an image Mallorca is usually associated with. “We offer the space and tranquillity people are looking for but with a sense of community too. Our vegetable garden is open to all our guests and we frequently end up cooking and sharing dinner together,” says Brenda. As well as their large garden, Osa Major also includes an infinity pool, Stairway to Heaven (a terrace for star-gazing), Paradise Showers, a Tipi Glamping area, 60 fruit trees and acres of surrounding land (where wine, olive oil and honey plan to be harvested).
The challenges faced
On what is believed to be an ancient historical site, Osa Major is set high up into the mountainside at the end of a narrow, bumpy track. The plot of land was left untouched for years until Brenda and Roland visited in 2007 and fell in love with the view. As an intellectual property lawyer and yoga teacher, the plot alone was enough to ignite Brenda’s imagination. First of all, there was the challenge of getting a building license (which had already exhausted the efforts of a German architect) and then there was the process of putting up the exterior walls – halted due to the excavation of archaeological remains. “It took three years to get the licences to continue building and when things started moving, two successive building contractors we employed went bankrupt. When your patience is tested like that, you really have to believe in what you are doing,” says Brenda. Four years later and a lot more paperwork in hand, Osa Major finally opened its doors in 2011.
The Great Bear
Named Osa Major after the Great Bear star constellation that is visible from the property most evenings, the finca certainly reflects its star name. It has become a hotspot for yoga and health retreats in Mallorca which are run by Brenda herself alongside other island yogis such as Mariana Salinas from Sadhana Works. With 25 events currently in the line-up for 2021, Brenda is surprised that weddings are also in the mix. “I never dreamed that people would ask me to have their wedding here! Yoga retreats yes, but personal events never,” she beams. She is pleased that her finca is being recognised as a multi-functional space and a property that inspires possibility
Photos by Sara Savage