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.
Discover more of the island with our guide to the best luxury hotels in Mallorca.
El Llorenç, Parc de la Mar
The bold new hotel El Llorenç, Parc de la Mar has arrived in Palma’s historic Calatrava neighbourhood with a style and sparkle. 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 infinite pool that elevates hotel design to new heights. This latest opening confirms Palma as the Mediterranean’s hip hotel hot spot.
Read our comprehensive profile review of hotel El Llorenç, Parc de la Mar here.
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.
Boutique Hotel Calatrava
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.
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 – there are multiple bars and terraces tucked away in corners and up staircases that are just waiting to be discovered!