With daily flights taking only two hours from the UK, over 300 days of sun and a burgeoning food scene – the Mallorcan capital makes for a great weekend break and not just in the summer months. CODE’s Adam Hyman reports back from Palma
Situated in the square of Sant Francesc, this is Palma’s smartest hotel. Everything from the neutral tones of the exquisite interiors to the scents in the bathrooms – it’s hard to fault Sant Francesc. General Manager Miguel Garcia Feliz welcomes guests to the 5-star hotel with a relaxed charm. Be sure to take advantage of the petite but perfectly formed rooftop pool with views over Palma. The plunge pool comes in handy to cool off in between sips of Cava.
Plaça de Sant Francesc, 5, 07001 Palma
Es Princep is a relative newcomer to the Palma hotel scene. Situated along the historic walls to the city, the rooftop pool is the real draw to this hotel. With views over Palma Bay (ogle over the size of the cruise ships coming in to dock), it’s a big enough space to relax on a sun lounger without feeling like you’re in a can of Mallorcan sardines. Rooms are modern and functional. We also liked the hotel breakfast buffet.
Carrer de Bala Roja, 1, 07001 Palma
This travel guide was first featured in Issue 20 of the CODE Quarterly magazine. To subscribe, please click here
An Englishman in…Palma. Famed for founding one of the best Spanish restaurants in London with his brother Sam, Eddie recently relocated to Mallorca and has since opened El Camino in Palma. It’s already been hailed as one of the best restaurants in the capital and although diners familiar with Barrafina might notice similar aesthetics at El Camino the restaurant certainly has its own identity. No reservations means you need to either get there early or late to perch at the counter and feast on pan con tomate with an ice-cold cerveza before tucking into a menu of tortillas, octopus and Iberian pork.
Carrer de Can Brondo, 4, 07001
Whether or not you’re staying at the Sant Francesc, be sure to have dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. We’re always a little hesitant about dining “in house” but the Quadrat bucks the trend for overly fussy, boring food and focuses on catering for well-travelled clientele. Chef Àlvar Albaladejo embraces the island’s produce to create such dishes as Iberian pork vitello tonnato and his take on a caprese salad with Mallorcan burrata. Regulars from Helene Darozze at the Connaught mre to dine in the courtyard in the warmer months.
Plaza Sant Francesc, 5, 07001
Club Hidden away with no sign outside – those with a sharp eye will spot a menu outside though – Tast Club opened in 2012 and still remains one of the hottest restaurant tickets in Palma. Despite the restaurant and bar being underground, Tast is always full of locals and tourists enjoying chef Patxi Castellano’s food, who has worked at a number of the group’s restaurants. The interiors are reminiscent of a private members’ club – cosy yet chic – and the menu consists of the usual Spanish delicacies along with a raw bar. As well as a bountiful Spanish wine list, the cocktails are worth exploring too. Reservations are recommended especially in peak season.
Carrer de Sant Jaume, 6, 07012 Palma
We discovered this little gem of a vermuteria (seeminly a trend in both Spain and London at the moment – we’re a big fan of Anthony Demetre’s take of one in Coal Drop Yards) after some shopping at Rialto Living (a must visit lifestyle shop in Palma that stocks the likes of Aspesi). The retro fit-out first gives off the impression that La Rosa might be a little more substance over style but that’s certainly not the case. It’s got everything you want from a tapas restaurant – both in terms of being able to sit down or perch with vermouth in hand – and has all the classic dishes including a lot of canned options. You can’t book so either go early or wait with locals and enjoy a gin and tonic or too.
Carrer de la Rosa, 5, 07003 Palma
With far reaching views across Palma Bay and the city’s cathedral, the Sky Bar is an ideal spot for pre or post dinner drink. A mixed crowd of younger locals and tourists wanting some rooftop action gather to drink large bowl-shaped glasses of G&T as the sun goes down for the day. hotelhostalcuba.com
Carrer de Sant Magí, 1, 07013 Palma
Set in Palma’s Lo Lonja Quarter, this former nunnery is tucked away through an archway and is where we’d chose to start the evening with a quiet glass of something either in the hotel’s bar or in the courtyard. It’s worth having a nose around the residents-only garden too – an actual oasis in the centre of the city.
Carrer del Forn de la Glòria, 14, 07012 Palma