Palma is a city close to the hearts of all the team here at TLE – we adore it. The island traditionally had a reputation in the UK for package holidays, with visitors ignoring the capital and heading to the resorts. Yet the island has emerged as an upscale destination, and the capital, once an overlooked gem in the Mediterranean, is now a chic city break favourite. Beautiful shops and boutiques; an ever-growing number of luxury hotels; and a food and drink scene that matches any of the larger Spanish cities and only around 2 hours flight from the UK makes it the perfect mini-break destination. We’re frequent visitors to the island – so read on to find out where to stay in the city.
Gloria de Sant Jaume
Gloria de Sant Jaume boutique hotel is an exquisitely restored Mallorquin mansion that has been thoughtfully reimagined as a 14–room small luxury hotel, with a beautiful rooftop terrace with pool, and a striking basement spa with a 14-metre pool. El Patio de Glòria is amongst the city’s destination restaurants. This café, restaurant and cocktail bar is open for sophisticated, seasonal dining. Almost hidden amongst the honey-coloured streets and saffron-hued alleyways of the old town quarter, boutique hotel Gloria de Sant Jaume Palma is tucked away from the city bustle in the quiet Carrer Sant Jaume street between Avenida Jaime III and the city’s elegant Rambla, making it perfect for guests looking to enjoy the cultural, historical and gastronomic attractions of the city.
El Llorenç, Parc de la Mar
The bold hotel El Llorenç, Parc de la Mar in Palma’s historic Calatrava neighbourhood adds style and sparkle to the area. This unique design hotel has superb interiors and guestrooms by Swedish designer, Magnus Ehrland; destination dining by acclaimed and self-assured Mallorca chef Santi Taura; a luxe spa; and a truly wow-factor triple-level roof terrace with an infinite pool that elevates the hotel design to new heights. This latest opening confirms Palma as the Mediterranean’s hip hotel hot spot.
Once you step across the threshold of Es Princep, you immediately notice you’re somewhere special – you are embraced by the warmth of welcome you’d expect from this Mediterranean island, but you also become immersed in the sophisticated vibe of a capital city hotel. Es Princep is a full-service luxury hotel. There’s the urban flair of its destination cocktail bar, Gremium (where mixologist and bar manager Andreu Genestar works his magic, bringing genuine cocktail flair to Palma’s vibrant bar scene); fine-dining at the hotel’s Bala Roja restaurant (named after the hotel’s historic district, overlooking the city walls); and the upscale pampering of ‘Coco’, Es Princep’s luxury oasis spa – whilst the capacious guest rooms boast sea views.
A converted 19th-century building homes the airy Boutique Hotel Calatrava, which sits as part of a façade of buildings that used to form an ancient Arabic wall in Palma. The hotel is decorated in a contemporary Spanish style – there is a lot of natural wood throughout, interesting art adorns the clean walls, and the furniture is a stylish mix of modern and vintage. There are only 16 rooms for a truly boutique experience, all of which have King size beds and spacious closets. We recommend going for a suite if you can as you are guaranteed a view over the bay of Palma from your private balcony, perfect for lazy holiday breakfasts. The Boutique Hotel Calatrava also offers a comprehensive luxury concierge to ease the stress of travelling – from organising day excursions to booking your private yacht, their staff can do it all for you.
Found in a restored and renovated 19th-century mansion that used to belong to the Aloma Femenia family, the Saint Francesc is right at the heart of Palma’s historic town centre. The building itself is of neo-classical 19th-century style although inside the décor is paired back and contemporary with classic touches. The use of light marble and wood textures, stone checkerboard or stained wood parquet flooring, and huge arched glass windows, create a luxurious but warm feeling – the lobby looks more like the entrance to a beautiful modern art gallery than a hotel. Most of the 42 rooms and suites have exposed wood beams, covered verandas, and original frescos and mouldings. There is an impressive collection of modern art and photography, some of which have been privately commissioned for the hotel. There is of course an obligatory roof terrace with particularly impressive panoramic views over Palma’s old town. For the night owls and those who are more active, the Spa and fitness area are open 24/7.
Can Cera Hotel
The traditional Majorcan patio with magnificent arches and lush plants welcomes you to the Can Cera hotel. The layout of this hotel hints to its past as a family home and although the building has been renovated, there are still plenty of original features. There are lots of common spaces in the hotel including the Recibidor meeting room, the intimate Salon Dorado, the comfortable Bibliotecca or reading room, and the top floor Terraza with views over the old city rooves. With only 14 rooms this hotel is small and elegant. The rooms are spacious and bright with traditional Majorcan influences. French doors lead out onto Juliette balconies and the bathrooms are simple and modern in muted tones. Each room has a different character much like the rooms of a house, adding to the feeling of comfortable luxury. The hotel is also home to a spa which includes a Finnish sauna, Hamman sauna and a Jacuzzi.
Petit Palace Hotel Tres
This hotel is a modern structure within the remnants of a 16th-century palace that mixes rustic Majorcan style with contemporary design. The rooms are bright and airy, have marble floors, crisp white bedding, and sensual art hanging above the beds. The simple white décor is punctuated with leather or cow hide and chrome accessories lending a more modern feel to the bedrooms. The plant-filled patio nestled between the buildings provides the perfect spot for a relaxing glass of wine lounging under the palm tree. The encouragement to relax at this hotel continues to the rooftop terrace which houses an infinity splash pool with great views over the city, a sundeck and a sauna with a difference. There aren’t many saunas that have a window that provides an unrivalled view over the rooftops towards the Palma cathedral. Although the feel of the hotel creates a very tranquil atmosphere, there is a gym just off the courtyard for those interested.
Posada Terra Santa
Tucked away in amongst the narrow medieval streets of the old centre of Palma is Posada Terra Santa – an unassuming boutique hotel housed in the Boixador Baron’s former stately home (dating back to 1576). A large central patio leads off to the reception area as well as peaceful interior patios which reflect the out-door/in-door feeling that many traditional Spanish homes are known for. Follow the flower-filled urns that adorn the stairs up to the main body of the hotel. The Posada Terra Santa has kept the original layout of the 26-bedroomed home, each of which are decorated in taupes, greys, and light luxurious neutrals, keeping a comfortable and cool elegance running throughout the hotel. There is an almost Scandi-inspired design element to the hotel with modern furniture design and lots of wood. The rooms are situated higher up in the townhouse so most have views out across the terracotta tiled rooves. La Despensa del Baron restaurant is a lovely place to chill out – the original 14th-century gothic arches provide for a shady arcade under which to enjoy some local wine and tapas. The hotel too has an abundance of common space including a terrace with a solarium and small heated swimming pool, a cosy library, and an honesty bar perfect for midnight snacks.
Hotel Cort is truly unique in its style. The hotel is reminiscent of seaside retreats with subtle nods towards traditional Spanish abodes whilst retaining a luxurious feel. It is obvious that when designing the hotel, they aimed to keep it feeling homey and comfortable. The rooms themselves have a relaxing ambience and each room is unique in design, from the lemon tree-filled suite, to the Hamptons-like room with sailing-inspired pieces. As for exploring the rest of the hotel that is an adventure for each visitor to partake in – there are multiple bars and terraces tucked away in corners and up staircases that are just waiting to be discovered!
Boutique Hotel Can Alomar
Located in a former 19th-century palace, Can Alomar preserves much of the elegance of the original building. A lesson in understated style and luxury, the hotel combines the splendour and space of a palace with contemporary furnishings and finishes. With only 16 rooms which include 9 suites, this hotel is truly boutique in size. Décor is sophisticated and discreet – walls are painted in neutral tones, adorned with modern art, and textiles are kept sumptuous and luxurious. We adore the discreet but attentive luxury concierge, whilst the plunge pool and solarium on the roof is an ideal spot for chilling out with views of the cathedral and bay of Palma. There is even a charming tower at the top of the hotel available for private massages and celebrations. Dinner takes place in the stylish De Tokia a Lima restaurant, serving up a creative and unique selection of Mediterranean, Peruvian and Japanese gastronomy either in a relaxed brasserie-like interior or on the tranquil terrace overlooking the Paseo del Borne.
Each of the 32 bedrooms at this boutique hotel has been individually decorated, with interior design by Paris-based Jacques Grange. Splashes of bold colour are blended with quirky accents, classic luxe styling and comforting conveniences including blackout drapes and soundproofing. Look out from your balcony onto the ancient olive tree of the Plaça de Cort below, or head up to the chic rooftop pool and terrace where you’ll be afforded far-reaching views over the old city. A calming stone-walled wellness zone with a gym and jacuzzi is found inside, along with a Japanese eatery and a bijou in-house cinema.
Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden
An air of the aristocratic combines with a botanical theme, as greenery climbs oil-painting clad walls inside the Can Bordoy Grand House. 24 bedrooms have opulent gilt touches, sparkling chandeliers, ornate mirrors, rich contemporary fabrics and freestanding tubs. As with the decor, plants and sustainable ingredients are central to the cuisine served at its restaurant, Botànic. The candlelit spa features the iconic building’s original 12th-century natural stone walls and offers treatments using vegan SCENS products and therapies by Swiss Perfection. And a rooftop terrace provides cathedral views; a lovely spot to sunbathe and sip on champagne.