Glòria de Sant Jaume joined Palma’s upscale 5-star hotel scene without much fanfare – in keeping with the property’s ethos of discreet, understated luxury. This chic and sophisticated 5-star luxury bolthole in the heart of Palma’s evocative old town deserves to be discovered. I stayed a few weeks ago, and really, it’s a delight. Here’s 10 compelling reasons to book your stay, writes Andrew Forbes.
1. Luxe Location
Palma, the sophisticated capital of Mallorca, has become one of the Mediterranean’s hotspots for cool bars, great dining and elegant boutique hotels. Gloria de Sant Jaume has a superb location, in a charming, narrow stone-paved street called Carrer Sant Jaume. It runs between the chic Avenida Jaime III (the main shopping street) and the city’s historic Rambla. This little street was a favourite for aristocratic mansions, as its is perfectly aligned to capture the sunshine – so unlike many streets in old town, Carrer Sant Jaume is flooded with light.
The hotel is within walking distance of the main sights of old town and is well-positioned to enjoy the myriad of neighbourhood tapas places, cocktail bars and restaurants.
2. Warm Welcome
Welcome to Gloria! As soon as you cross the threshold into this exquisite building you will be sure to feel welcome. Enjoy a chilled glass of cava at the bar or in the lobby lounge upon arrival. It’s a relaxing moment when you can take-in the beauty of the historic building. There may be lots of original features from over the centuries, but there’s no dusty coats-of-arms or suits of armour here. Glòria de Sant Jaume hotel sparkles with contemporary glamour. Everything is immaculate, stylish, with an understated touch of extravagance.
3. Marvellous Mansion
The restoration of this unique palatial home and its conversion to a hotel was a labour of love for the Cabau family owners. It is surrounded by ancient churches and historic convents, and surrounding streets carry the names of saints.
In the 19th century the property was updated, giving it glorious fin de siècle style, including the unique and colourful floor tiles (from the famous Catalan factory Escofet), tall windows, and the carved woodwork.
For the restoration, the owners commissioned additional artisan Spanish hydraulic cement floor tiles to make sure all the floors were saved (you even find the handmade tiles in the lift).
Look out for the vintage newspaper clippings that have been framed and hung in guest corridors – these papers were recovered in the latest restoration, when wallpaper was removed, and the newspaper was discovered as a backing paper – what a discovery! A real insight into the olden days of life in Palma.
4. Beautiful Bedrooms
There 14 characterful and individually designed bedrooms, over two floors. Presentation at Glòria de Sant Jaume is immaculate. Also, this has to be one of the cleanest hotels at which I have ever stayed. The colourful floor tiles bring warmth and vintage details into each renovated room.
Each space is different, reflecting its position in the house, whether on the noble floor, or the more intimate, cosy second floor. Some with wooden beams.
5. Bath-time Bliss
Every guest room bathroom not only has a great shower, and beautifully appointed fixtures, but also a vintage French style bathtub that so generous and comfy you won’t want to get out.
L’Occitane amenities, plush towels, fabulous robes, and comfy, high-quality flip-flops make for an indulgent guest experience.
6. Divine Details
Gloria de Sant Jaume is full of gorgeous details, from historic features to contemporary craftsmanship. Enjoy the beauty of antiques; the unique stonework; and the beautiful contemporary carpentry and woodwork. Antiques and art from the Cabau family collection are found throughout the hotel; including vintage collectables like the cash-register on the bar.
The property dates back to the 16th century, with some elements that go back as far as medieval times – so expect a feeling of history thanks to the beautiful arches made from local Mares de Santanyi stone, and priceless features like the rescued ceiling frescoes that are displayed in the lobby.
7. Captivating Cocktails
A creative cocktail culture has emerged in Palma, and Gloria de Sant Jaume is no exception. Mixologist Sergio and his colleagues are experienced barman – tell them a favour or destination you like and from this inspiration they’ll create an artisan cocktail – a fun way to start at evening.
8. Creative Cuisine
El Patio de Gloria is the all-day café, restaurant and cocktail bar headed by Executive Chef Javier Gardonio, who together with his team have created a unique Palma dining experience, with a menu that combines homespun comfort-food sharing plates; creative fusion; and elegant fine-dining.
El Patio is also where guests can enjoy a gourmet, a la carte breakfast.
9. Spectacular Spa
Glòria de Sant Jaume is bijou, yet they have been very creative in their use of space. The historic lower level is a delightful spa, with the longest indoor pool in Palma’s old town; as well as sauna and steam room. Personalised treatments and yoga are also available upon request.
10. Romantic Rooftop
Take in the Mediterranean sunshine on the elegant roof terrace. There’s a refreshing plunge pool too. Or, enjoy the golden hour sipping a cocktail, looking out across the rooftops of Palma.
Address: Glòria de Sant Jaume Hotel, Carrer Sant Jaume, 18 07012, Palma de Mallorca España
Tel: +34 971 717 997