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Mallorca, a perennially popular Spanish destination attracting millions of visitors every year, has a hotel scene largely filled with functional, 1970s-era properties built to absorb the package holiday hordes. Away from the resorts, however, this Balearic isle has also long been a magnet for more sophisticated travellers. From converted monasteries to restored 15th-century castles and luxe properties in Palma, here are our top picks of upscale accommodation on the island.
One of the best-known – and certainly most luxurious – hotels on the island, La Residencia has a picturesque setting among scented citrus and olive groves nestled in the foothills of the Tramuntana mountain range. Candlelit fine dining, an award-winning spa and two gorgeous outdoor pools are just some of the hotel highlights. For ultimate indulgence, book the deluxe villa, which has a plunge pool with views over the Mediterranean. Art lovers will also be wowed by the unique art collection, featuring 33 Joan Miró paintings.
Set in the quieter side of Palma’s 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 neo-classical features of this 19th-century mansion have been restored, but with a light contemporary touch that makes for pleasing results. But it’s not all aesthetics – a fine dining restaurant, hi-tech in-room amenities and a rooftop swimming pool with poolside sushi bar puts the icing on one very luxurious cake.
Housed in a restored 18th-century Jesuit monastery, Son Brull combines charming historic architecture with gorgeous 21st-century design. The rural setting is special, nestled among vineyards, lavender and lemon orchards in the foothills of the Tramuntana sierra. A luxury teakwood spa is a highlight and the on-site dining, largely sourced from products grown on the surrounding farmland, is outstanding.
The family-run Fontsanta Hotel has a 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 delicious high-end dining, beautifully minimalist guest rooms, and the peace and serenity that come with a child-free property.
What first distinguishes the five-star Castell Son Claret is the fact it occupies a castle with roots dating to the 15th century. The setting is also stunning, among hundreds of acres of beautiful parkland and well-tended gardens in the Tramuntana foothills. An infinity pool provides panoramic vistas of the gorgeous surrounds, while dining has been confirmed as world-class with a Michelin star.
Perched on a hill overlooking the picturesque valley of Puigpunyent, this former 17th-century country estate scores high on stunning surrounds. A 30m (98ft) pool lined with canopied cabanas enjoys scenic vistas, while palatial guest rooms have charming period features such as exposed beams and stone arches. Art fans will find works by the likes of Marc Chagall, David Hockney and Andy Warhol gracing the walls. There’s also two restaurants serving outstanding Mallorcan-inspired dishes and wine produced from the hotel vineyards – alternatively a treehouse is available for private dinner parties.
With just 24 suites, this boutique property fits into the small-but-perfectly-formed category of luxury hotels. Interiors are tasteful, integrating chic minimalism into the four-centuries-old stone finca (country villa). A swimming pool is surrounded by canopied Bali beds and the restaurant is presided over by a chef with Michelin star heritage. A WhatsApp concierge is also on call around the clock to help organise anything from hiking to horse riding around the picturesque countryside surrounds.
Built on a cliff overlooking the bay of Port Soller, this Mallorcan outpost of the luxury Jumeirah chain has some of the finest views on the island. Unlike many high-end hotels, this one is family-friendly – with a kids’ club and separate family pool. A clifftop hydrotherapy pool, a deluxe spa and infinity-edge swimming pool also distinguish this upscale property, with three restaurants and two bars completing the impressive package.
A landmark hotel since the 1950s – when it was a famed jet-set haunt – Hospes Maricel still channels plenty of palatial glamour. The property comprises a centuries-old neo-classical mansion with swish contemporary additions, plus a terrace and an infinity pool overlooking the sea. A spa offers an indoor-outdoor pool, hammam, jacuzzi and sauna, while most of the 51 rooms and suites offer superb sea views – some from private plunge pools.
Set a stone’s throw from the super-yachts of the swanky Port Portals marina, the St Regis Mardavall is well placed to attract the millionaires – and the odd billionaire – who frequent this stretch of Mallorca’s south coast. It has one of the biggest spas in Europe, boasting an indoor-outdoor pool, Egyptian brine bath, and range of traditional Chinese treatments. Fine dining comes in the form of a Michelin-starred restaurant while the trademark St Regis private butler service extends the five-star feel.