From the far side of the bay, the hotel looks very much like a Florentine villa. It was built in the heady 1920s at the whim of an eccentric Italian multimillionaire who wanted to give his lover something more than a string of pearls.
  Today Villa Italia is arguably the closest thing to Beverly Hills-on-sea. Politicians, actresses and pop stars have enjoyed a glass of champagne in its swimming pool and a stroll among the oleanders and palm trees in the gardens.
  With its stucco ceilings, Portuguese marble floors, Cretonne curtains, Roman capitals and plinths, mirrors, alabaster chalices, round baths, linen sheets, lace pillows and other hand-made details it is indulgence all the way. For something extra special, if money is no object, book the royal suite.
  Service is personal - everything you would expect. An elevator and a small funicular railway transport the luggage to the rooms above.
  The area around Andratx (a small, low-key town) is one of the less-developed parts of Mallorcan coast with some fine cliff-top walks, where Northern Europeans, in particular, will enjoy the specialized and varied wild flowers.