Tucked away down a street so narrow you doubt the taxi will be able to squeeze along it, the Hotel Puro is a 14th-century palace turned boutique hotel. Inside, the all-white lobby, accented with splashes of colour, sets the scene.

Swedish owner Mats Wahlstrom's travels around the globe provided the inspiration for the Puro's bohemian decor: the design is a mix of modern Marrakech meets Bali. The international staff are cheerful and friendly in their casual uniform (white of course) of t-shirts and flappy, linen drawstring trousers.

Up on the fifth floor there's a rooftop area decked out with a black tiled heated plunge pool and canopied sunbeds with views out across the tiled roofs (and TV aeriels) of Palma.

The restaurant, Opio, serves Asian-inspired food with lots of seafood while the bar, complete with DJ, is buzzing. Locals and guests pose side by side drinking long cocktails and mingling with sunburned yachties in pastel slacks and shirts.

Alfresco fans can also head to PuroBeach, situated on a mini-peninsula 10 minutes from the hotel, a seafront hangout with sunrise yoga

and sunset cocktails, also with its own DJ.

LOCATION

Puro, Calle Montenegro 12, 07012, Palma de Mallorca, Spain (www.purohotel.com; 00 34 971 425 450; or book through Design Hotels 00 800 37 46 8357; www.design hotels.com). The hotel is right in the heart of Palma's La Llonja district, which although the most touristy area of Palma, also has a huge number of excellent restaurants, bars and cafes.

Time from international airport: the 15-minute taxi ride costs €8 (£6).

COMFORTABLE?

There are 26 rooms - all gleaming white, with fluffy, white goose feather-lampshades, carved teak doors and masses of mirrored and beaded cushions from Rajasthan. Bathrooms are reminiscent of Eastern-style spas with dark slate and chrome fixtures. The interiors are the same throughout although depending on the type of room, the layouts may differ: Puro Flow rooms, which sound strangely like a drain cleaner, are split-level with a bedroom on the first floor and a bathroom above. There are two suites one of which has a dramatic bathroom.

Freebies: aromatherapy Thann toiletries are definitely worth stashing in your suitcase; camel bone bracelets in pouches are left on your bed and said to "bring strength and good fortune". Free daily shuttle service to PuroBeach.

Keeping in touch: Bose Wave sound systems in bedrooms and bathrooms, flat screen TV, in-house digital library with thousands of tracks and hundreds of DVDs, fixed and wireless internet.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Doubles from €210 (£150) including breakfast.

I'm not paying that: The four-star Hotel Tres opened last year, built on the remains of a 16th-century palace with details such as cowhide-covered seats and photos of nudes above the beds. Doubles from €175 (£125) including breakfast.

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