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.
Elba Sunset Mallorca Thalasso Spa
Luxury, Spa Hotel
4.4/5 (131 Reviews)
Courtesy of Elba Sunset Mallorca Thalasso Spa / Expedia
On a clifftop at the tip of the Torrenova peninsula, few hotels on Mallorca can claim a sea vista like this one. Gazing over panoramas of blues, it’s certainly easy to forget you’re sandwiched between popular Palmanova and raucous Magaluf resorts. Every inch of this hotel shimmers or gleams, from the sea-view Thalasso spa to the swish sunset terrace. At dusk, music and cocktails set the mood for a romantic dinner or preface to a night on the razz.
Thanks to a new breed of luxury hotel, savvy travellers are increasingly looking to the Mallorcan countryside for their luxury lodgings. Finca Serena is a perfect example – as the name suggests, an air of sophisticated serenity is assured in this converted country estate, surrounded by nature and beautifully understated design. A blissful spa offers Natura Bissé treatments and eye-stretching views. Many ingredients in the restaurant come directly from the hotel grounds, which you are invited to explore.
A popular haunt in the 1950s for holidaying Hollywood legends, the Nixe Palace Hotel still retains its old-school glitz. While today the Cala Major setting hardly screams glamour, a position overlooking the popular sweep of sand is certainly privileged. Luxury-level offerings such as an outdoor heated wellness pool, marble bathrooms with Bvlgari toiletries, plus a choice of excellent sea-view restaurants, all add up to a five-star experience.
Since opening in 2019, Can Bordoy has appeared in an impressive number of “best of” lists – and it’s not hard to see why. This repurposed palatial home scores top marks on everything from attention-grabbing design and sumptuous decor to haute gastronomy and luxurious wellness facilities. Summer cooling comes in the form of two outdoor pools, one on the rooftop, the other set in the enchanting walled garden – the only one of its kind in Palma.
While part of the popular and family-friendly Santa Ponsa resort, Jardin del Sol has a waterfront setting that makes it one of the more peaceful spots to stay in town. An adults-only environment certainly adds to the feeling of calm, together with a broad expanse of blue water right on your doorstep. What really demonstrates the upscale credentials of the hotel is that all accommodation is suite-style, with bubble tubs and guaranteed sea views. Upgrade and you combine the two.
Even in the crowded luxury boutique hotel scene in Palma, El Llorenç Parc de la Mar has made a name for itself. It’s not just the Moorish-inspired design or Michelin-starred dining, or even the gorgeous subterranean spa, that make it stand out. But crown it all with a stunning rooftop infinity pool – unique to the Mallorcan capital – and you soon understand why this five-star gem shines brighter than most.
Stepping through the unassuming entrance in the centre of Artà, you pass into an otherworldly sense of calm. This 18th-century mansion has been beautifully restored with an artful lightness of touch that combines original features with a soothing, minimalist design. A secluded courtyard garden is a lovely spot to recline on a sun-dappled Bali bed or cool off in the pool. Fancy a private session in the Arabian-inspired spa, or wine tasting in the on-site bodega? Just ask.
This former fortress has risen to the status of being one of the most celebrated, and most intriguing, luxury hotels on the island. Set on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Palma, this imposing slab of sandstone architecture was positioned for broad sea-view panoramas. Most rooms take full advantage, some from private plunge pools and canopied day beds. Set deep in the citadel, the hotel spa has a dream-like quality matched by few others.
Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Luxury, Chain Hotel, Boutique Hotel
4.6/5 (269 Reviews)
Courtesy of Castillo Hotel Son Vida, a Luxury Collection Hotel / Expedia
One of the grande dames of Mallorca, the Castillo Hotel radiates old-school opulence from a Son Vida hillside setting. Even A-listers such as Grace Kelly and Steve McQueen have been drawn to the lavish grandeur through the years. Converted from a 13th-century castle, an air of sophisticated majesty remains throughout, from the refined dining to intimate salons. Views stretch over Palma to the sweeping bay, while golfers have some of the best holes on the island right on their doorstep.
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.