Guide to Mallorca’s Best Hotels, with Stepan Borovec

Stepan Borovec travelled to Mallorca and inspected eight different hotels on the Balearic island.

Mallorca isn’t a classic beach destination. It’s an island for exploration, in small mountain villages, old harbour towns and beautiful coastlines.

All beaches in Spain are public, not private, so it’s hard to find exclusivity on the sand. Plus, the biggest beaches are already dominated by Mallorca’s mass tourism. Stepan says:

This is a stunning island with plenty of secrets and some amazing places to discover, far far away from the crowds, whether it’s a long weekend or a two-week holiday. And thanks to the great weather and direct flights, Mallorca is an option for most of the year.

Here is Stepan’s explanation of the best Mallorca hotels, based on his visits and stays last month.

Hotel Cap Rocat

Hotel Cap Rocat

A boutique, adults-only seafront hotel, converted from an abandoned fortress and partially carved into a rock. Stunning for two or three nights, but not much to keep you entertained longer than this.

Recommended for: A romantic short stay for couples. It’s adults-only so no children anywhere near.

Location: Close to Palma and only a 15 minutes drive from the airport. Despite planes flying above you feel very cut off. The disadvantage is that you can’t really walk anywhere from the hotel.

Tasting menu at La Fortaleza restaurant

My favourite moment: The tasting menu at La Fortaleza restaurant, one of my all-time favourite dining experiences. It’s all local Mallorcan ingredients and cuisine, with a creative twist.

Main advantages: The unique design and feeling inside this converted fortress. The best service on the island in my experience. And two amazing restaurants.

Cap Rocat beach club

Important to know: Hotel Cap Rocat doesn’t have a proper beach. Instead they have a really nice beach club, on a platform above the sea. There’s a lovely outdoor and indoor pool, but the spa and gym are very small and limited.

Sentinel Suite

Accommodation recommendation: A Sentinel Suite. Each is carved into the rock and provides complete privacy: you can be naked on the terrace if you wish! These are the only suites with a direct sea view.

Don’t miss: Exploring the abandoned fortress Alfonso XIII nearby and seeing how Cap Rocat would have looked before the conversion. It has the same owner so maybe Cap Rocat 2.0 is coming here.

Son Bunyola

A large estate in a remote and wild part of the island. This Virgin Limited Edition property opened last year and provides real seclusion in nature.

Recommended for: Adults seeking a few days of total tranquillity. It’s a clear-your-head-type property.

Location: 40 minutes over the mountains from the airport, on slopes dominated by sheep and goats. It’s close to the sea, but there is no beach or platform, so you can’t really swim. The views are stunning though!

My favourite moment: Meeting Richard Branson himself! He is such a humble and friendly guy. He invited us to wine tasting and the next day we sat next to him at dinner.

Main advantages: Feeling cut off from the world. Spectacular views and nature. A large outdoor pool which is great for swimming and long lazy days.

Important to know: It’s a relatively new opening and the service wasn’t quite right yet. The team is new and needs more time, which is typical of new openings. I was expecting more from the spa, which only offers massages, not full facilities.

Accommodation recommendation: The entry-level rooms are quite small. Go for at least a Deluxe Sea View Room, which are all on the upper floors. The Tower Suite is stunning, an original 13th-century castle tower with a private terrace. Three private villas are located far from the main building, ideal for complete seclusion.

Don’t Miss: Walking, running and cycling in nature – the estate is large enough to have a marked five-kilometre running route. They’ve started their own vineyard and it’s interesting to see the very young vines.

La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel

Belmond La Residencia

A charming village property, a mountain oasis where anyone will feel welcome and relaxed. The Mallorcan atmosphere and authenticity makes this one of my favourite hotels anywhere.

Recommended for: Anyone who wants a charming property with great service and food. Actually, just about anyone who doesn’t need to be by the sea.

Location: The hotel feels like an extension of the small Deià village, which is known for its artists, in the remote west of the island.

My favourite moment: Every moment! I’ve stayed here before and it gives me a special, indescribable feeling. My favourite memory is a walk with the resident donkeys. Cipri guides the activity and prepares an authentic Mallorcan feast when you reach the hilltop.

Main advantages: Facilities are of the highest level, from the spa to the kids club and three restaurants. Service that is near impossible to fault. The hotel design mixes traditional Mallorcan architecture, of wood and stone, with so much interesting modern art.

Important to know: It’s not near the sea, although the surrounding landscapes are spectacular. I suggest a day on a yacht for coastal exploration.

Accommodation recommendation: Depends on budget. Anyone with a keen eye on design will enjoy the signature Matthew Williamson and Miró suites, but I’d happily recommend the entry-level room category here as well.

Don’t miss: Dinner at El Olivo. The donkey walk and the new Poet’s Walk through the property. The recently renovated pool area.

Jumeirah Mallorca

Spa pool at Jumeirah Mallorca

A large resort with a stunning cliff top location and for most types of client, the greatest range of facilities on the island.

Recommended for: A family resort holiday, if you don’t need a beachfront location.

Location: On the quieter western side of the island. It’s not beachfront but perched on the cliffs with beautiful views, close to Port Sóller town, where there is a beach and nice restaurants. Also, don’t miss the historic tram that goes from Sóller to Port Sóller!

My favourite moment: Definitely enjoying an aperitivo in the sunset lounge, with live music and spectacular sunset views over the port, sea and mountains.

Main advantages: Great facilities for all ages, with various pools (including an infinity adults-only pool with an unforgettable sea view), the best spa I visited in Mallorca, different kids clubs and sports activities.

Important to know: The interior design of Jumeirah Mallorca feels like it could be anywhere. The rooms are more like a resort in Dubai so don’t stay here if you seek total authenticity.

Accommodation recommendation: Many good categories to pick from and I can advise you personally. I particularly like the Junior Suite Sea View with Grand Terrace, for private sunset views.

Don’t Miss: An evening in the Sunset Lounge, even if you are not staying here.

Cap Vermell Grand Hotel

Cap Vermell Grand Hotel

A huge hotel on the mass tourism side of the island, which lacks any feeling of exclusivity. Despite the many facilities, this hotel doesn’t make sense to me unless you’re a golfer. Although admittedly, I’m generally not a fan of large grand hotels.

Recommended for: Golfers who want to try something other than the famous Son Vida area in Palma.

Location: In a green valley, relatively close to the coast, although the closest beaches don’t feel luxurious in any way. Golfers have easy access to some of the island’s best courses, including Capdepera next to the hotel.

My favourite moment: Exploring the caves of Artá, on the cliffside, about two kilometres walk from the hotel.

Main advantages: The many sporting facilities. Restaurant VORO, the only Mallorcan restaurant with two Michelin stars.

Important to know: It’s a really huge property, more like a Mallorcan village with many paths between the different buildings. The resort’s country club should be a selling point, but it’s a public facility and I felt weird being there in the hotel bathrobes. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

IKOS Porto Petro

Bungalow Suite with Private Pool at IKOS Porto Petro

This all-inclusive is the only luxury beachfront resort in Mallorca (until Four Seasons Formentor opens this summer). Despite having over 300 rooms and suites, everything is nicely spread and the atmosphere is one of intimacy and relaxation.

Recommended for: An all inclusive family holiday on the beachfront.

Location: On the busy east coast but in a very nice and relatively quiet location. IKOS Porto Petro has two nice beaches and is close to two interesting towns.

My favourite moment: My own surprise. I wasn’t expecting much, yet the overall quality is very high and it doesn’t feel like a hotel with 300+ rooms.

Main advantages: Has all the facilities you could want from a nice beachfront family holiday, including water sports, spa, restaurants, a very well equipped gym, kids and teen clubs and age-related activities. The first time I’ve ever seen an actual theatre at a hotel! A one-day Tesla rental is included in every stay (as in every IKOS resort).

Important to know: As Mallorca’s only luxury beachfront hotel it’s very popular and already almost booked up for the summer.

Accommodation recommendation: They did a great job with the design, using natural Mallorcan colours and materials. Definitely stay in the Deluxe Collection accommodations as these offer better service and more perks. Best are the Bungalow Suites (2- and 3-bedroom options) with private pools, which are a lot more private than the Junior Suites with private pools.

Don’t Miss: The all-inclusive dine around program is a la carte, including local restaurants in the villages of Porto Petro and Cala d’Or. So you don’t need to spend all your time at the resort to enjoy the inclusions.

Finca Serena

My morning view at Finca Serena

Opened in 2019, this traditional finca (farm estate) is a cosy place for adults to escape the world, amid olive groves, vineyards and lavender fields.

Recommended for: Adults who need to chill for a couple of days.

Location: This is a large estate in the very heart of the island, while only 20 minutes from the airport. It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but it’s easy to drive somewhere for dinner.

My favourite moment: Waking up in my cosy farm house and opening the curtains to a view of the vineyards and lemon trees.

Main advantages: The feeling of complete serenity. If you feel burnt out or stressed then come here for 24 hours and you’ll be in complete chill mode.

Important to know: Lacking in facilities: there’s only one restaurant, the spa and gym are nice but small, and the outdoor pool isn’t heated. Finca Serena could be too rural and rustic for many people.

Accommodation recommendations: I loved the traditional design of the rooms and suites, which are located in small farmhouse buildings dotted all around the property. I stayed in an entry-level room and although it’s very small, it’s beautiful and I would choose it again. Suites are more spacious and there’s one villa with private pool.

Don’t miss: You can’t miss the silence and rural beauty here, you will be immersed in it.

Different Hotels in Palma

Es Princep, Palma

Palma is one of the most touristic towns in Europe. It certainly has its charms, so if you don’t mind the touristic atmosphere it’s a nice place to spend a night.

I personally wouldn’t stay longer than one night, as you only need one day to explore the main attractions and soak up the town’s vibe.

View across Palma from the Es Princep rooftop terrace

Palma has many small boutique hotels to choose from, such as Nobis Hotel Palma, part of the Design Hotels collection.

I stayed at Es Princep, which has a very convenient location as everywhere is in walking distance. The rooftop terrace is the main highlight, with its pool and sunset view. However, the hotel does feel a little dated.

Our room at Es Princep

Grand Hotel Son Net

My colleague Matty Grund stayed at this renovated 17th-century finca last year. He loved his stay:

I felt like a king in an old castle, except the whole hotel is new. It’s hidden in the hills and great for downtime with your loved ones.

Overall, Matty recommends Son Net for a holiday in autumn and spring. Take a direct flight, go to enjoy the mountains, and feel like old-world royalty in a new hotel.

Four Seasons Resort Mallorca at Formentor

Four Seasons Resort Mallorca at Formentor will open soon!

Soon there will be a new luxury beachfront resort in Mallorca.

This Four Seasons property is scheduled to open in August of this year, however, as it’s not currently accepting reservations, this open date could move back.

I did go to the construction site and it’s very much a construction site at the moment, so there’s nothing I can report about the actual hotel. Other than the location, which is on a peninsula in the far northeast of the island.

Such a location is likely to create the exclusivity we expect from Four Seasons properties.

Your Holiday in Mallorca?

Stepan Borovec in Mallorca

Mallorca is such a convenient destination. With direct year-round flights and great weather most months of the year, it’s an easy choice.

I love the diversity of Mallorca’s best hotels, there’s really something for every type of holiday. And the island is so much more than the mass tourism stereotypes.

This report summarises my impressions of a ten-day trip. There are many more details I can share, depending on what is most important to you.

Let’s plan your next holidays

View more destinations

Other articles you might like