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.
Neighbourhood: La Lonja
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.
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