Palacio Can Marques is a genuinely luxurious hotel, with individually designed suites, a gym and also a destination restaurant, The Merchants, an upscale Steak and Grill Restaurant with tables set amongst the romantic sub-tropical courtyard garden.
The hotel’s website teases visitors with the phrase, ‘Why stay in a hotel when you can live in a Palace’. Well, when you arrive at Palacio Can Marques, you truly understand these sentiments.
The narrow streets of Palma’s honey-coloured old town are lined with the high walls of discreet period building and unassuming arched doorways. Yet behind one of these arches, one finds a resplendent patio, once for footman, horses, and carriages. Now it’s a wow-factor lobby. This covered courtyard is a sumptuous space, with lobby bar, seating, and an extraordinary, fairy-tale inverted imperial staircase.
Mallorca’s strategic position in the Mediterranean and its history of merchants and trade has left a remarkable cultural and architectural heritage. Palma’s old town has been restored over the past couple of decades and is now home to chic hideaways and boutique hotels.
Yet few can compare to Palacio Can Marques in terms of visual impact.
Yet this striking mansion isn’t just relying on its good looks to get by – the team equally impress with a generous welcome and thoughtful attentiveness during the stay.
Facilities include a restaurant, The Merchants; a gym; and also a tie-in with Puro Beach giving guests access to the islands prestigious beach clubs.
Climbing the glorious staircase builds anticipation for the guest room. Well, here each is suite, with its own style and ambiance. But expect extravagant dimensions, and bold interiors. Signature details include bespoke crystal chandeliers made in Murano, that although strikingly contemporary, are evocative of the noble past of this aristocratic property.
Although the property has completely remodelled, there are still original features like the wonderful old pine doors of the rooms, floor tiles and fireplaces – each being an inspiration for the diverse designs of each suite, from elegance of the Cathedral Superior suite to the exotic 300 sq. metre North African Riad penthouse said to be the largest suite in Palma!
We stayed in the Cathedral suite – aptly named when one considers the lofty dimensions of the living room and bedroom, which rise some 6 metres. It’s a calming space with a muted, soothing palette.
The creativity throughout the Palacio Can Marques is the work of renowned designer Aline Matsika, who maintains offices in Paris, New York, and Hamburg. She is the vision behind the eclectic furniture, rugs and artisan materials used, as well as curator of the artwork and paintings sourced from shows and galleries across the world.
This has been a truly personal project for Aline, as she is the partner to the owner, Kim Schindelhauer who bought the property from the Marques family, who had been custodians of this architectural jewel since 1860, when Antonio Marques, the first mayor of the city of Palma, acquired it. Schindelhauer is German businessman and owner of the 33-metre Baltic racing yacht WinWin.
Spaces are decorated with artefacts and artwork from across the world, reflecting Schindelhauer’s nautical travels. Although this mansion is tucked away in the old town, the water is just a few hundred metres away, and from the terraces of the Riad penthouse one can take in a view of the marina and the yachts.
Centuries before of course, the boats would have been very different – trading vessels that brought wealth to the Islands.
Antonio Massa, who built this mansion, was a captain, consul of Merchants, consul of the Order of Malta, priest, guardian of the cathedral and a senior official of Palma. Worthy inspiration for The Merchants restaurant.
The Merchants Steak & Grill Restaurant, although in name is a reminder of this property’s maritime past, is very much a contemporary place. With cuisine by Chef Stephen Sullivan, The Merchants is a modern steakhouse and seafood restaurant open from breakfast to dinner, with indoor dining on the hotel’s ground floor, as well as outdoor tables set amongst the palms of the secret patio garden of Palacio Can Marques and during the weekends on the rooftop terrace.
Menu includes seafood from rock oysters to lobster, and prime cuts including Wagyu.
It all adds up to a deliciously stylish stay in Palma.