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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 lovely boutique hotel aims for perfection and comes pretty darn close. It occupies a former mansion dating to 1576, which was once home to Spanish aristocracy. The ancient character of the property has been expertly updated with a fresh contemporary polish, while plenty of its original charm has been retained. The 26 rooms are luxuriously put together, with top-end comforts such as king-size beds with egyptian cotton sheets. Space to unwind comes in the form of a cosy lounge, a beautiful library and a rooftop terrace with fabulous views over the city. Even a sauna, a massage room and a heated splash pool have been squeezed into the basement of the hotel.
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.