From the first moment I entered the lobby of the Hotel Sant Francesc, in Palma’s historic old town, I knew this was a special place – writes Andrew Forbes.
Even before the welcome from the front desk, one is first embraced by the subtle aroma of Mediterranean fig gently scenting the air, and the relaxing, warm tones of this elegantly decorated and impeccably restored 17th century mansion house.
Now, a little after a year since it opened, this chic city boutique property has won a prestigious Readers’ Choice Award from Conde Nast Traveler – voted ‘Best Hotel in Spain and Portugal’ – yes, that’s right the finest place to stay throughout the Iberian Peninsula (winning score of 96.55).
I first visited Hotel Sant Francesc in 2015, shortly after it opened. It was a very welcome addition to Palma’s luxury city hotel scene, further cementing Mallorca in general and Palma in particular as a sophisticated destination.
I fell under the spell of this Mallorca hotel, and I was to return a year later, and once again last month. Each time, affording me the privilege to follow the fortunes of this notable 5 star hotel. In my mind it continues to set the standard for elegant city accommodation on the island; and General Manager Ilka Karl and her team continue to refine the guest experience.
Regular visitors will recognise on-going, subtle yet significant enhancements; from the superior service standards from the more confident team; the personalised Sant Francesc Times welcome paper placed on one’s bed upon arrival; to the charming handmade Mallorcan artisan glass gift at turndown.
Guest rooms & suites remain as elegant as before; very well-maintained and impeccably presented. On my recent stay I enjoyed an intelligently designed room with private terrace overlooking the courtyard garden. Sliding doors created peace and intimacy when closed, and a feeling of space when left open.
Amenities are by James Heeley, an ideal match for the style and ambiance of the property.
Each day begins with a treat – breakfast served in the Quadrat restaurant – and on my recent visit the service was spot on; professional, friendly but not over-attentive. Produce is typically Balearic, from local pastries to fresh Mediterranean tomatoes, regional cured meats and sausages, and local honey.
The roof terrace and pool bar is a beautiful highlight of the hotel and has become quite the chic destination for cocktails. Here one can take in views of the Sant Francesc basilica opposite, the roof tops of old town, the gothic cathedral of Palma in the near distance, as well as the Tramuntana mountains – a rich island cityscape that etches permanent holiday memories.
If you haven’t yet discovered this luxury urban boutique hotel, then I recommend you make a point to check-in next time you visit Mallorca. What’s more, Palma as a city destination continues to become richer in its cultural and gastronomic offerings; and the city’s Balearic beaches are within walking distance.
I believe that Hotel Sant Francesc, now in its second year, is a fine hotel – and Conde Nast US Readers appear to agree.
Congratulations Hotel Sant Francesc, from us here at TLE.
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