Palma – the cosmopolitan city with a dramatic past
Beautiful and impressive, Palma de Mallorca is a cosmopolitan city that has a lot to offer. Adjacent to the glistening Mediterranean sea, the easily accessible Mallorcan capital offers culture, art, history and a vibrant food scene. Whilst you think about what to do first, head to a café on the seafront and relax with a coffee or a glass of Mallorcan red.
The city dates back to the 13th century when the Christians reconquered the island. The Talayotics, Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines and Moors all invaded before that bringing different cultures, architecture and wealth and shaped the history of the city as it is today. Internationally welcoming, Palma’s tony districts rub shoulders with bohemian and more traditional and exclusive neighbourhoods, making the entire city a magical place to visit and explore.
Palma’s principal architectural and historic landmark, Catedral de Mallorca (La Seu), is vast. The majestic cathedral, predominantly gothic in style, lies at the heart of the city and its sheer beauty is to be explored. The medieval arterial like streets in the cathedral surrounds are lined with baroque churches and aristocratic townhouses and lead to vibrant and bustling public squares.
For an impressive permanent art exhibition, including works by Mirò, Barcelòand Picasso head to Es Baluard, one of the island’s finest art galleries. If you arrive by bike (you will have to cycle up hill!) entrance is just €2. For a spectacular view over Palma, the Badia de Palma and out to sea, venture slightly out of town to Castell de Bellver, a 14thcentury round castle and the only one of its kind in Spain.
Palma is a beautiful city and the hotels don’t disappoint. We particularly like the enchanting new kid on the block, Can Bordoy. Located in the old quarter, the hotel occupies a large town house just 5 minutes walk from the harbour. Once family owned, the hotel later became a school before it’s latest reincarnation as an ultra stylish 24 suite boutique hotel.
Created by award winning architects and interior designers, the public areas and rooms are dramatically theatrical with dark, sweeping velvet drapes, period lighting and vintage style tall, panelled doors. The hotel’s beautiful gardens are very much part of the building. Dine on the terrace of Botànic, the hotel’s “nourishing” restaurant amongst dappled evening sunlight through mature trees and bushes. The rooftop plunge pool and pretty decked area provide an oasis from the city and stunning views towards the cathedral.
If you are looking for sun, sea and sand we recommend the Iberostar Grand Portals Nous. Just a 15 minute drive along the coast from the city, the hotel is adult only and offers a relaxing and contemporary vibe. The Astir restaurant hits the spot with reasonable pricing and a wellexecuted inventive take on Mallorcan cuisine. The immediate neighbourhood is almost Californian in feel – leafy with umbrella pines, cypresses and palm trees and only attractive secluded villas and low rise apartment buildings scatter the landscape. The marina is a short walk away for an evening away from the hotel and an alternative dining experience.
We love Palma for its wealth of sites, proximity to the coast, welcoming vibe and excellent hotels. Book a weekend but you will probably want to stay longer!
To chat more about Palma and these lovely hotels, do give Jeanne a ring on 020 8879 7171 or pop into the office in Wimbledon Village.