It’s a whole new world at El Llorenç Parc de la Mar in Palma, where the island’s Moorish reign is reinstated in the form of carved doors, clay ovens and patterned tiles. The shaded alleys of La Calatrava are right behind the Parc de la Mar part of the city’s seafront, and the gorgeously Gothic cathedral is a short stroll away. Or you can head up to the buzzy beach club on the roof to admire it from the comfort of your Balinese bed. Further Moorish flourishes include hand-carved stone bannisters, cooling courtyards, dark wooden shutters and jewel-coloured tones.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm, also flexible where possible.
Double rooms from £148.49 (€162), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.40 per person per night on check-out.
Rates don’t always include breakfast (from €25 a person).
One-to-one fitness classes and personal trainers can be booked.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, valet parking, gym. In rooms: air-conditioning, iPod dock, iPad, TV, tea and coffee kit, minibar and Le Labo bath products.
Our favourite rooms
For views of the bay of Palma, go for a Suite, which have the added bonus of two balconies. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a view of the inner patios or the shaded streets of La Calatrava district.
The lengthy rooftop infinity pool has 180-degree views out over the sea and the cathedral, with Balinese beds, sunloungers and serious beach-club vibes. There’s also a pool indoors at the spa.
The spa has a sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room, ice fountain, thermal circuit, ‘sensation shower’ and a treatment room for Natura Bissé rituals.
Bring an appreciation of architecture: La Calatrava’s buildings mostly range from the 12th to the 19th centuries, so there’s a whole lot of history to soak up along these cobbled corners.
The hotel’s communal areas are suitable for wheelchair users and one Deluxe Room has been specially adapted.
All ages are welcome. Cots can be added to all rooms for children under two; additional rooms must be booked for children older than this.
Sit up at the bench next to the open kitchen for the best views in the house. In Tannur, opt for a people-watching perch along the back wall.
Tannur is more casual, but bust the heels and shirt collars out for Dins Santi Taura.
Dins Santi Taura is the hotel’s formal, fine-dining option, with a duo of tasting menus and wine pairings that both champion heavenly homegrown produce. Tannur is named for the Arabic clay oven that was discovered during excavations as the hotel was being built. If you’re staying over a weekend between September and March, don’t miss the elaborate Sunday brunch. Breakfast includes the regulars (granola, eggs, porridge) along with a ‘Mallorcan corner’, with things like smoked sardines, traditional rye bread and vegetable flatbread.
There are two: one at Tannur and the cocktail bar up on the roof; mini Smiths are welcome at both. The latter has thatched parasols, Balinese beds with Arabic screens and sunloungers around the pool. Snacks are served from 11am until 11pm in the summer, and until 6pm in winter.
Breakfast is served in Tannur between 8am and 11am; lunch is 1pm to 3pm; dinner is 7pm to 10.30pm; snacks are served all day until 11pm. Dins Santi Taura is open Wednesday to Saturday, with sittings at 8pm and 9pm; it serves lunch on Friday and Saturday.
You’ll find El Llorenç Parc de la Mar in the Mallorcan capital, Palma.
The island’s airport is eight kilometres away; the drive should take just over 10 minutes. The hotel can arrange transfers on request.
The hotel has eight parking spaces, so be sure to snap one up fast. It costs €35 a day for a spot. From the airport, hop on highway 19. Palma is easy to conquer on foot, but if you want to explore Mallorca’s sierras and scenery, a car will be useful.
There are eight parking spaces, so be sure to snap one up fast. It costs €35 a day for a spot. From the airport, hop on highway 19. Palma is easy to conquer on foot, but if you want to explore Mallorca’s sierras and scenery, a car will be useful.
Ferries sail between the Balearics, docking into Mallorcan ports from Ibiza, Formentera and Menorca.
Worth getting out of bed for
You probably won’t want to go far from a cabana at the buzzy beach club on the hotel’s roof or the spa, but Palma’s cathedral and ancient Arabic quarter are on your doorstep, so you really should. The city has plenty of food markets to salivate over; start with San Juan, Olivar and Mercat 1930. For a beach club at sea level, head to Purobeach Illetas, where you can enjoy tiradito and tagliata with the waves lapping at the rocks below. And if you want to get even further out of the city, hop in a car and explore some of the island’s beaches; Caló des Moro, an hour’s drive south, is a dreamy sunset spot. You can see it from the rooftop, but Palma’s Gothic cathedral is worth an up-close visit for its series of stained-glass windows and murals.
There are worse places to spend a weekend morning that at the light-filled and fashionable Cor Barra i Taula. Vermouth fans will love La Rosa Vermuteria on Carrer de la Rosa, where you can soak up the spirit with some delicious tapas. Palma’s premier Mexican food can be found at El Aquanauta on Avinguda de l’Argentina. For classic Spanish small plates (padrón peppers, croquetas, salt-cod beignets), dive intoEl Camino on Carrer de Can Brondo. Book a table on the courtyard of Casa Maruka, a traditional restaurant in a 100-year-old house on Carrer de la Reina Maria Cristina, where you can enjoy classic Spanish cuisine, including tripe and Iberian pork.
With more than 100 types of gin on its shelves, it’s no surprise that Ginbo on Passeig de Mallorca is regularly lauded as the best place to drink juniper juice in all of the Balearics. It’s got stiff competition from the El Llorenç rooftop, but the terrace at Hotel Cuba is also rather nice.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Spain and unpacked their olive oil and oranges, a full account of their Balearic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside El Llorenç Parc de la Marin Palma…
Mallorca has seen a lot of invasions over the centuries, passing from the possession of the Phoenicians to the Moors to the Byzantines thanks to the Balearic beauty’s strategic seafaring position. It’s firmly back in the Spanish fold now, but its chequered past can be seen in its architecture, and nowhere more pleasingly so than in the Arabic quarter. La Calatrava forms part of Palma’s old town and is today one of the city’s most happening districts (hipsters welcome). The area sits behind the seafront Parc de la Mar and is home to a maze of shaded, secluded alleys and plenty of ancient atmosphere. The hotel keeps its heritage alive, including the Arabic oven that was uncovered during excavations that is now a central feature of the Tannur restaurant. Up on the roof is where it’s at, with Balinese beds and some major Ibiza-worthy beach-club feels that will almost make exploring the city a drag, but not quite. They came – now it’s time for you to conquer.