While Mallorca will always be one of the top spots in Europe for bucket-and-spade tourism, the Balearic isle has also been busy cultivating a more sophisticated side. The upswing in the number of upmarket boutique hotels has been one obvious sign, with an ever-increasing collection of urbane one-off retreats raising the bar for bijou lodgings across the island. From chic city boltholes to luxury rural retreats, we’ve picked out some of our faves.
This immaculately converted townhouse has a truly enviable setting, overlooking the main square of one the prettiest towns on the island – Pollensa. The 18 rooms are spread over two floors, each decorated in an inviting combination of calming tones, wooden floors and modern artworks. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, where you can take breakfast on the terrace and watch the world go by. For a more panoramic eyeful, head to the rooftop terrace with a plunge pool and spectacular 360-degree views over the surrounding sierra.
The perfectly preserved valley town of Artà has grown into one of the must-visit spots in the eastern corner of Mallorca. So, it’s no surprise that such gorgeous lodgings as this restored 18th-century mansion have begun springing up here. A soothing, minimalist design complements the honey-hued stone of the building, while a serene courtyard garden with day beds and a pool provides rest and refreshment. Inside, you can detox in the Arabian-inspired spa, before a retox with wine tasting in the onsite bodega.
If guaranteed sea views and a child-free stay both rank highly on your holiday wish list, consider Hotel Negresco. Each of the 102 bright, modern rooms at this adults-only hotel includes vistas over Palma’s shimmering bay – albeit some are broader than others. To soak up the best panoramas, head to the rooftop terrace, complete with a Jacuzzi pool and clamshell loungers. The Zen Spa squeezes in a lot of pampering potential, too, plus a beachfront promenade setting puts you just steps from the sand.
Deep in the cobbled maze of Palma’s shopping lanes, the M House Hotel offers a peaceful retreat from the surrounding hubbub. Unlike many old town hotels, a large courtyard provides plenty of sunlight and is a lovely spot to relax with a meal from the hotel bistro. Bright, cosy rooms come with decent tech, such as Marshall Bluetooth speakers and smart TVs, and creature comforts include robes and coffee machines. There’s even a small rooftop plunge pool to cool off in when the city sizzles.
Since opening in 2015 – after six years of gruelling renovation work – the Can Mostatxins has become one of the most popular hotels in Alcúdia, if not the island. Two spots provide small pools: a wonderful grotto-like courtyard in the main building and a bright sunny garden in the hotel annex. Two of the 19 gorgeous guest rooms are set in a 15th-century tower accessed by private glass walkways. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive place to stay in town.
The shimmering damask-style pattern framing the entrance to Portals Hills sets the mood for the glitzy glam within. The vibe is Miami meets Balearic beach club, with clean Art Deco lines, a gold-on-white colour scheme and numerous flamingo references. All rooms are sea-view with king-size beds and JBL sound systems, while a top suite comes Fendi furnished and with a rooftop terrace. Fabulous infinity-pool views from the elevated hillside setting stretch down to the swanky Port Portals luxury marina below.
One of the more under-the-radar boutique hotels in the historic quarter of Palma, Posada Terra Santa is no less impressive for it. It occupies a richly historic 16th-century palacio, updated by the owners with a genuine eye for laid-back chic. Top-quality egyptian cotton, big beds, and pillow menus aid a good night’s slumber. Soak in a heated rooftop pool, enjoying views over the city, before dinner in the hotel’s La Despensa del Barón restaurant – considered among the finest in Palma.
Set in a quieter side of Palma’s richly historic old town, Hotel Sant Francesc oozes effortless style, from the beautiful period-chic reception to the gorgeous rooftop terrace overlooking the eponymous church. Most of the original Neoclassical features of this 19th-century mansion have been restored, but with a light contemporary touch that makes for achingly eye-pleasing results. But it’s not all aesthetics, with an outstanding fine dining restaurant, hi-tech in-room amenities, and a rooftop swimming pool with a poolside sushi bar.
Sitting in a former castle with roots in the 15th century, Son Claret has extensive grounds from where you can soak up the surrounding Mallorcan landscape. The 38 rooms are individually and immaculately styled, with top-end accommodation offering private gardens with pools, or, for a more quirky stay, there’s a circular duplex room that has been converted from an ancient water tower. A panoramic swimming pool, a deluxe spa and the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the Balearics complete a super-swanky package.
Small but perfectly formed, Mar Calma is just a short walk from the lovely long beach in the popular resort of Puerto Pollensa. Interiors are swish, hip and contemporary throughout, including the 20 guest rooms that also feature pillow menus. The top-level Master Suite opens to a private patio with superb mountain and marina views; alternatively, head to the rooftop terrace with a hot tub and sunbathing zone for vistas of the Serra de Tramuntana.
The 25-room, family-run Fontsanta Hotel can boast a genuinely unique selling point – a mineral-rich thermal spring that feeds its spa, the only one of its kind in the Balearics. The rest of this 19th-century former country house is also pretty special, with high-end dining, minimalist guest rooms and the peace and serenity that come from a child-free property.
The buildings that this high-end boutique hotel occupies date to before Jaume I conquered the island over 700 years ago. Refurbished over the years and most importantly during the Italian Renaissance, Can Cera’s stunning architecture has been maintained in the style of a 17th-century palazzo, with exposed beams, high sculpted ceilings and a sweeping marble staircase. It’s also set in the heart of Palma’s old town, and a short stroll from the city’s most historic attractions.
With impeccably stylish interiors that combine Moorish patterned tiling, traditional ikat fabrics and cosy wood panelling, Hotel Cort is one of the most handsome boutique properties on Mallorca. The cobblestone restaurant terrace occupies one of the prettiest squares in the city, featuring an ancient olive tree and the magnificent façade of the town hall – the location is also about as central as you can get. Each of the 16 guest rooms is a secluded and peaceful oasis from the buzzing hub outside, plus the free à la carte breakfast is practically worth the stay alone.
Housed in a restored 18th-century Jesuit monastery, the 23-room Son Brull combines charming historic architecture with gorgeous 21st-century design. The rural setting is also pretty special, nestled among vineyards, lavender and lemon orchards in the foothills of the Tramontana mountains. A luxury teakwood spa is a highlight, and, largely sourced from products grown on the surrounding farmland, the onsite dining is outstanding.
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