A PERFECT SHORT BREAK:
2-3 HOURS FLYING TIME TO THE MEDITERRANEAN’S CAPITAL
DISCOVER STYLISH HOTELS, CULTURE, RESTAURANTS, SHOPPNG & SPORTS
In recent years Palma has transformed from an “add-on attraction” to a city destination in its own right. Only 2-3 hours flying time from most European capitals, Palma’s International Airport is a 12-minute drive from the city centre. After an extraordinary time of uncertainty and restrictions, visitors are discovering the city in the off-peak autumn/winter season when the island’s mild and sunny winter climate rarely drops below 15 degrees.
The Palma Hotels Association, that represents some 66 hotels in the city, report that occupancy levels have gathered momentum throughout this summer (in September 2021 they registered 81 percent occupation over 89 percent in 2019) and they estimate that occupancy levels are running at approximately 75 percent for the month of October 2021. This has given Palma’s hoteliers, and the city in general, quiet optimism for the months ahead with the determination to keep the hotels open throughout the winter.
Major investment in Palma & more boutique hotel openings
Since 2010, major investment and restoration has revitalised the city’s historic town centre and outlying areas. As a result, over the last five years hotels have sprung up in the centre and there are now almost 40 boutique hotels in the centre offering a unique experience in historic buildings of character within walking distance of restaurants, shopping, cafes, museums, galleries, markets, beaches, and sports facilities.
Says President of the Fomento del Turismo de Mallorca, Eduardo Gamero: “There is a growing feeling of dynamism in Palma this year with new openings, festivals, concerts, and film shoots (including the new series of Netflix’s “The Crown”). The tourist sector has come together to ensure that the visitor enjoys this wonderful city in winter and feels a sense of normality once again”.
United Airlines to operate New York – Palma direct flight
Further optimism has followed this week’s announcement by United Airlines that the airline will operate direct flights from New York into Palma next summer. Starting from June 9th, 2022, this will further develop the transatlantic market for the island. https://www.united.com/en-es/new-routes
Herewith a short selection of new and established hotels open this winter:
NEW HOTEL OPENINGS:
Boutique Hotel Sant Jaume – this 18th century mansion reopened in September further to an extensive refurbishment of the rooms and public areas that are now adorned with dramatic art by Mallorquin and Spanish artists. Chefs Fernando Arellano and Itziak Rodriguez behind the Michelin star Zaranda restaurant, have taken over the hotel’s restaurant, relaunched as “Cantina Panzà”, bringing their personal flair to reworked traditional local dishes. Average room rates this winter start at 200€ per night, per room to include breakfast for direct bookings. https://www.boutiquehotelsantjaume.com/
The Hotel Concepció is a stylish restoration of a former soap factory located right on the edge of Palma’s old town that opened in spring of this year by the Swedish hotel brand Nobis. This winter the average rate will be 220€ per room, per night to include breakfast: www.concepciobynobis.com
Hotel Nivia Born, opened in May of this year right in the centre of the city overlooking the Born, with 24 rooms and a roof terrace overlooking Palma Cathedral, the hotel is offering a lead-in winter rate of 230€ per room per night to include breakfast. https://www.niviabornboutiquehotel.com
Palma Riad Hotel – just opened in the fashionable Carrer San Jaume street off Palma’s main shopping street, the Palma Riad brings a touch of Marrakech to the city’s offering of boutique hotels. It features a stunning courtyard with a small plunge pool that leads into the exotic décor of the Moroko Cocktail Bar. The hotel, which is aimed at adults only, offers 11 individual suites all with their own style and décor. The lead-in rate this winter is 350€ per room, per night, to include breakfast. www.palmariad.com
BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN PALMA OLD TOWN
IT Unique Spaces hotels operate four boutique hotels in Palma that will all be open this winter with these average room rates to include breakfast, if booked directly on their website: Mallorcan Luxury House, Can Cera (adults only) average room rate this winter is 240€; Boutique Hotel Calatrava, 220€; Boutique Hotel Can Alomar (on the Borne) 240€ and newly refurbished and reopened Boutique Hotel Sant Jaume 200€: https://itmallorcauniquespaces.com
El Llorenç, Parc de la Mar – this boutique hotel with its rooftop terrace overlooking Palma Bay and the Old Town has its own Michelin starred restaurant, “Dins” under local chef, Santi Taura. The hotel will open for most of the winter and feature a special Christmas and New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner. The average tariff for the season is 240€ per room per night to include breakfast. https://www.elllorenc.com
Convent de la Missió – a former convent, this established designer/art hotel is tucked away in the old town and will remain open for most of the winter season with a lead-in rate of 280€ per night, per room, to include breakfast: https://www.conventdelamissio.com
Hotel Sant Francesc – an elegant five star boutique hotel in the heart of Palma’s old town will remain open throughout the winter with prices from 225€ per room, per night with breakfast. https://hotelsantfrancesc.com/
Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden – recently voted one of the best top 10 hotels in Spain by Conde Nast Traveller readers, the hotel features 24 suites in the centre of Palma with a large garden, outdoor pool, a spa/wellness facility and the restaurant Botaníc. Winter rates will start at approximately 220€ per night to include breakfast. https://canbordoy.com/
Palacio Can Marques – a former 18th century palacio was transformed into a highly individual hotel with a stately home feel. Featuring 13 individually decorated suites the lead-in winter rate is 237€ per room, per night to include breakfast. Check their website for special winter packages and deals: https://www.palaciocanmarques.com/
HOTELS ON PALMA’S OUTSKIRTS
The Hotel Portixol is located 10 minutes from the centre beside the sea in the traditional fishing harbour of Portixol. This winter, the hotel will only close for a short period after New Year and reopen in February. Lead-in price is 240€ per room, per night to include breakfast. www.portixol.com
The Palma Sports & Tennis Club is part of the same group located in the city centre and features tennis courts, spa, gym, outdoor swimming pool, fitness/yoga classes and a restaurant. There are daily/weekly rates for non-members, for example, the daily “fitness” rate starts at 70€ per person: https://www.palmatennis.com/
The Castillo Son Vida and the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel are located just 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre in the exclusive Son Vida area and surrounded by top golf courses and sports facilities. Both hotels will remain open throughout the winter: www.marriott.com
Please note that as some of these hotels will close for minor refurbishments for short periods this winter it’s best to check the individual hotel websites listed.
GASTRONOMY – TAPALMA 2021
Palma will celebrate the 17th annual tapas TAPALMA festival from the 24th – 28th November this year. Over 50 restaurants, bars and cafes are expected to participate. Each year three routes are prepared for visitors to follow centred around Palma’s town centre, the popular market area of Santa Catalina and the Paseo Maritimo. Visitors can try a wide variety of tapas (at around 2€ each) as they wander from each bar/restaurant to the next. Local chefs compete for the Tapas of the Year prize awarded two days prior to the event. https://tapalma.com/
NEW RESTAURANT OPENINGS:
El Txoko de Martin has been opened by Basque chef who after 40 years in the business and some 12 Michelin starred restaurants, he has returned to his roots and opened this lively tapas restaurant on the edge of Palma’s Santa Catalina district. https://www.eltxokodemartin.com/
Za’atar Café & Restaurant – located within the historic patio of the Hotel Born in Carrer Sant Jaume, this is the latest restaurant and bar from the Tast Group (who also operate the Tast Club opposite). Featuring a varied menu of tapas/main dishes with Middle Eastern touches. www.tast.com
Cantina Panzà – within the Sant Jaume Boutique Hotel. Chefs Fernando Arellano and Itziar Rodriguez (behind the Michelin star Zaranda restaurant), have taken over the hotel’s restaurant, bringing their personal flair to reworked traditional local dishes: https://boutiquehotelsantjaume.com/en/
La Malvasia – located in the Plaza Mercat, it takes its name from a local white wine produced in the heart of the Sierra Tramuntana on the west coast of the island at Banyalbufar. The menu offers a mix of Mediterranean cuisine with the focus on local fresh produce: https://lamalvasiamallorca.com/
Santa Restaurant & Bodega in Santa Catalina features a 7-part menu based on the theme of the 7 deadly sins offering a tempting mix of flavours by local chef Bernabé Caravotta previously of the established and highly acclaimed Vandal restaurant: https://santarestaurant.com/en/