Sitting in the Mediterranean just off the coast of Spain, Mallorca has long been known for its gorgeous beaches and over-amped clubbing scene. But the largest of the Balearic Islands also boasts moderate temperatures year round, and a landscape diverse with mountains, lush groves and vineyards, hilltop towns, and a turquoise coastline.
Unsurprisingly, it’s also become one of Europe’s great expat magnets over the last decade.
The capital and cultural hub of the island, Palma de Mallorca, wears its rich history via striking Spanish, Arabic, and Moorish architecture. Cobblestone streets lined with art galleries, boutiques and cafes give way to enough medieval landmarks to impress the most discriminating beach bum historian.
In the heart of Palma’s Old Town, La Calatrava is a charming quarter surrounded by the Cathedeal Le Seu on the seaside, and ancient Arab baths inland. And a stunning new hotel, El Llorenç Parc de la Mar, sublimely captures the area’s mix of old and new. It’s also the newest member of the Design Hotels group.
Designed by Barcelona trained architect Pedro Rabassa, the structure takes its cues from the local aesthetic, with wide open spaces to maximize the spectacular views—including a three-tiered rooftop terrace decked out with with Palma’s longest infinity pool, and luxurious Balinese beds from which to take in the panorama of the city and marina. There’s also a poolside cocktail bar, for those languid, lazy afternoons and evenings.
Swedish interior designer Magnus Ehrland also worked the contrast of classical and modern, incorporating stone columns, Venetian plaster walls, and Arabic star patterned floors, with well chosen contemporary art and B&W photography gracing the lobby. The surprisingly warmly decorated (and all king-bedded) guest rooms feature custom furnishings from Roche Bobois, Kartell, and Flos, while bathrooms are equipped with futuristic Senso wash toilets and heated flooring. Suites are especially well appointed, and each features a pair balconies with glorious sea views.
One imagines its possible to spend a couple of days never leaving the hotel, with a 24 hour fitness room and wellness center with serene Arab baths and a beautifully adorned thermal pool. And back up on the roof, at the stylish DINS restaurant, Chef Santi Taura serves a Balearic style menu of freshly caught seafood—coca mallorquina, creamy rice with Mallorcan red prawns—and locally sourced farm provisions.