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Best hotels in Palma de Mallorca for a 2023 holiday

Choose from luxury spa resorts, infinity pools and family-friendly setups

Anna Nicholas
Wednesday 24 May 2023 10:03 BST
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The city’s blend of Moorish, medieval and Gothic architecture make it a real stunner
The city’s blend of Moorish, medieval and Gothic architecture make it a real stunner (iStock)

The allure of Palma, a pocket-sized coastal city that packs a punch, lies primarily in its heady historic blend of Moorish, medieval and Gothic architecture, and abundance of vibrant attractions. Increasingly a sought-after destination for short, sunny breaks, Mallorca’s capital oozes charm with its lively street markets and dazzling array of restaurants, from Michelin-starred havens to cheap and edgy tapas bars and vermuterias.

Amid the atmospheric cobbled lanes of old town, ancient palaces and churches rub shoulders with slick galleries, museums and artisan studios. Close by, on the elegant central Passeig del Born, there are cafés, chic boutiques and quirky stores galore, while at the far end, La Seu, the majestic cathedral, hugs the limelight, plumb in front of the glistening sea.

The city has fast gained a reputation for offering peerless five-star boutiques, grand refurbished palaces, and groovy deluxe boltholes, but luxury comes at a price, especially in the high season. All the same, the savvy traveller can still find attractively priced hotels in the less touristy areas, and the joy of the city is that practically everywhere can be accessed on foot.

Here is a selection of the hottest hotels in the capital.

Best Luxury hotel: Hotel Palacio Can Marqués

Neighbourhood: La Lonja

The restored 18th-century palace is a treat for the eyes (Palacio Can Marques)

Just a stone’s throw from the bustling Passeig del Born, this sensitively restored, 18th-century palace, is squirreled away in the heart of the historic quarter amid galleries, design studios, and funky bars. There are 13 bold and opulent suites, each with their own contemporary theme, colour scheme and meticulous decor, and every imaginable bolt-on. Expect Murano lighting, custom-made handwoven rugs, textiles and furniture, and international works of art. There’s a sense of drama about the place, with its sweeping stone staircase, original marble and decorative features, antiques and lofty, wood-beamed ceilings. For all that, it’s not remotely stuffy. Despite its old-world charm, the hotel is a techie’s dream ticket: all rooms have centrally controlled lighting, and tablets for food and drink orders. The romantic Merchants Restaurant – serving creative, clubby fare and the best spicy-batter prawns in town – spills out onto a private candlelit patio surrounded by lush foliage and palm trees.

Best spa hotel: Hotel Es Princep

Neighbourhood: Parc de la Mar

The rooftop terrace has stunning views of the city, and hosts a large infinity pool (Booking.com)

Modern, relaxed and inviting, Es Princep is a stone’s throw from the Calatrava historic district and just a 10-minute walk from the popular Portixol marina area, with its many fish restaurants. This 68-room peaceful refuge has two claims to fame: its acclaimed chef, Fernando Pérez Arellano (who offers two avant-garde tasting menus at the Zaranda restaurant) and the sumptuous subterranean Cocô spa. The latter gives this hotel the edge over many others in the capital, as its wellness zone includes a whirlpool, dry salt cabin, Turkish bath, sauna and gym. The pièce de résistance is the 18m pool but would-be mermaids can also take advantage of the large infinity pool and relaxing loungers on the rooftop terrace, handily located next to Almaq Bar.

Best family-friendly hotel: Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel

Neighbourhood: Son Vida

This hotel provides a raft of activities for children of all ages (Booking.com)

Family-friendly hotels in Palma are going the way of the dodo, although some establishments half-heartedly offer cots and sofa beds. The best option is to head to a comfortable hotel such as Sheraton Mallorca Arabella. A mere 10 minutes by car from the centre, the hotel provides a raft of activities for children of all ages. Its kids and tweens club offers cooking workshops, nature hunts and yoga, while golf and tennis lessons are also on tap. The 93 suites and rooms include family rooms with sofa beds, and, in the extensive, mature grounds, there are two large pools and a children’s play area. Adults can indulge too, as Golf Son Vida is bang next door and there’s a fully serviced spa, gym and al fresco restaurant.

Best budget hotel: Ca n’Alexandre Hotel

Neighbourhood: Sindicat

This place used to be the home of a local liberal politician (Ca n’Alexandre Hotel)

It’s rare to find a stylish, historic and urban gem that doesn’t come with a hefty price tag but Ca n’Alexandre is the exception. Once the home of local liberal politician Alexandre Jaume, who was imprisoned and killed by the Franco regime, the hotel is currently run by his descendants. In the heart of Palma’s shopping district, in an edgy and bustling zone, the property offers 23 rooms, a terrace and library. The lunchtime menu is coveted by locals too, which is always a positive sign.

Best beach hotel: Hotel Portixol

Neighbourhood: Portixol

The stylish, boho-chic hang-out is located right in front of the sea (Hotel Portixol)

With its white façade, blue shutters and jaunty nautical theme, Portixol has snaffled the perfect spot right in front of the sea in the trendy fishing area of the same name. The hotel’s Swedish owners have created a relaxed and stylish boho-chic hang-out, with a glittering pool and sought-after restaurant with an exceptionally good-value lunchtime menu. There are 25 rooms, all sea- and port-facing, and soft drinks and beer in the minibar come free. Just a five-minute drive along the promenade to the heart of Palma, one can enjoy the peace, and daily swims without the crowds.

Best adults-only hotel: Boutique Hotel Can Alomar

Neighbourhood: Passeig del Born

The hotel offers a range of beauty treatments and massages for ultimate relaxation (Boutique Hotel Can Alomar)

A former 19th-century palace, Can Alomar is situated in fashionable Calle Sant Feliu, home to the capital’s sassy independent galleries and classy boutiques. It’s a seriously grown-up and discreet sanctuary with statement art and a vast terrace overlooking leafy Passeig del Born. The 16 spacious rooms, liveried in calming, neutral shades, have an air of refinement. In addition to its much-feted restaurant, De Tokia a Lima, offering a medley of Peruvian, Japanese and Mediterranean gastronomy, the hotel also tempts guests with a rooftop plunge pool, and offers a raft of beauty treatments and massages.

Best boutique hotel: Sant Francesc Hotel Singular

Neighbourhood: Calatrava

The 42 luxurious rooms offer effortless elegance (Sant Francesc Hotel Singular)

A chic urban retreat, Sant Francesc is situated close to the 13th-century Sant Francesc Basilica and cloisters. It oozes confidence and élan, thanks to an experienced team that sweats the small stuff to ensure nothing is left to chance when it comes to client requests. With showstopping bespoke art, rooftop bar and pool, and destination restaurant Quadrat, it’s no wonder visitors flock here year on year. The devil is in the detail, with the 42 luxurious rooms offering effortless elegance and comfort, and just about every gizmo a guest might crave. Fine Egyptian cotton sheets, quilted hangers, waterproof bags for swimwear and an inspired turn-down service (let’s not spoil the surprise) have made this one of Palma’s most cherished properties.

Best hotel for foodies: El Llorenç Hotel

Neighbourhood: Parc de la Mar

At Dins restaurant, you can enjoy an 11-step tasting menu from Michelin-starred chef Santi Taura (El Llorenç)

This deluxe bolthole, just a whisper from the sea, is the epitome of cool Swedish design and understated elegance. With 33 stylish rooms, the hotel is also a key landmark for serious gourmets in search of one of the most lauded Michelin-starred chefs in the capital. Serving an 11-step tasting menu at his Dins restaurant, chef Santi Taura uses local and seasonal produce with dishes embracing the rich culinary heritage of the Balearic Islands. On the dreamy rooftop terrace, with direct views to La Seu cathedral, there’s the more laid back Urbá restaurant, serving fresh, cosmopolitan sharing plates. The staff will even do all the work, selecting a bunch of savoury and sweet dishes for you.

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