The largest of the Balearic islands, this Spanish and Catalan-speaking southern spot is a favorite destination for Europeans looking to relax and enjoy the hottest months of the year. Surely due to the ever-growing tourism on the island, there are more and more options for design lovers to feel right at home in Mallorca, with some lovely boutique hotels!
During this particular visit, we stayed on both Palma (the island’s capital) and Illetas, a small resort town only a few kilometers away from town. Here’s my take on two very different and still really satisfying Mallorca experience!
Barceló Illetas – My Feel Good Oasis
1. Design & Boutique Feeling: 4
2. Room & Other Facilities: 4
3. Food & Drinks: 3
4. Service: 4
5. Location: 5
As part of a large hotel chain, with seven types of rooms to choose from and plenty of variety all-around, Barceló isn’t technically a boutique hotel – but it’ll fool you easily enough! The rooms, common areas and other facilities are decorated with a clearly loving hand with luxury and extravagance in mind. The décor has a lot of whites and earth tones, a very modern setting that also creates a beautiful contrast with the Mediterranean’s blue hues. I recommend staying in one of the superior rooms with a front view or one of the junior suites, and enjoy the windy balconies.
Barceló is located on one of my favorite areas near Palma, the smaller resort town Illetas, where you can enjoy the beach feel of the island in a much quieter way than you would in the often overcrowded capital. It’s even better if you’re visiting Mallorca during the low season, which is basically any time outside of the summer months.
It’s quiet and beautiful in Illetas, and the hotel is ideally located on the side of a cliff, overlooking the sea of this paradisiac place. The side of the hotel that overlooks the sea is perfect to just sit back and relax, enjoying the sun and the sounds of the waves; in fact, if you’re staying at Barceló, there’s hardly any need to go to any beach clubs. The pool area is very nice and the cliff one step down is my favorite hangout during the days! It’s also a 10-minute walk away from the Illetas beach and the Puro Beach Illetas club, so it’s always a great idea to walk up there early in the morning to see a beautiful sunrise!
Barceló has turned into a must-visit during my times in Mallorca, but it does have its mild downsides: the food is only okay, except for the breakfast, and the service can be a bit slow, particularly on the reception – which happens with big chain hotels, generally speaking.
Sant Francesc Hotel Singular – A New Diamond in my Boutique Hotel Collection
1. Design & Boutique Feeling: 5
2. Room & Other Facilities: 5
3. Food & Drinks: 5
4. Service: 5
5. Location: 5
A perfect, five-star experience: the Sant Francesc Hotel Singular is a paradise on Earth for anyone who loves design and boutique hotels!
Right in the heart of Palma de Mallorca, this beautiful boutique hotel was originally a 19th century mansion, which has now been restored to maintain its historic heart while also offering the most modern commodities. A whirl of luxury, this place gave our holiday a majestic feel: at the junior suite, we enjoyed the breathtaking (and high!) painted ceilings, the lovely balcony doors leading to a view of the old plaza, the super comfy beds, and, of course, the modern bathroom with two basins and a super fab rain shower.
The location is a dream, particularly for those enamored with the charm of old European cities: in the picturesque old town, the hotel is in the Sant Francesc square, and right next to the 13th century Sant Francesc (St. Francis) Basilica, a true jewel of medieval Spanish architecture.
As for the actual hotel, you couldn’t possibly ask for more. The Quadrat restaurant is a feast for the eyes, as well as the taste buds: a cave-like environment downstairs, it also offers an outdoor terrace to really bask in the beautiful Mallorca climate. The food also happens to be delicious, particularly their breakfast options, including pancakes, scrambled eggs, newly baked bread and a number of healthy options. They also have really great and freshly squeezed juices!
For me, the highlight among all the areas of the Sant Francesc was the rooftop: a little cosy place to relax until 9pm, with a small pool, fancy sun beds and an amazing view of the Palma rooftops. A great spot to relax after a long day, and even have a few drinks before dinner.
It’s impossible to leave out the incredible service of the Sant Francesc Hotel Singular! The staff was always available and willing to help you in any way they could, without ever batting an eye and always with a smile on their faces. They were very accommodating and pleasant: I traveled with a friend with a lot of food allergies, and they were sweet (and professional!) enough to make a special breakfast for her every day we were there. This is the kind of flexibility and personal touch only a great boutique hotel can provide!