Palma de Mallorca – the capital city of the Balearic region of Spain oozing with history and style. A great treasure of the island boasting a huge array of art galleries, designer (as well as all of your favourite high street) stores, fantastic restaurants and atmospheric bars.
It was always going to be difficult choosing a hotel in this city – there is far too much choice, from budget hostels, mid range yet comfortable hotels, boutique gems and enormous family and business hotels overlooking the bustling harbour. However, my preference is to always go for a hotel with character, so I narrowed down my search to the ‘old town’ of Palma, and was spoilt for choice.
I finally came across the 5* (Conde Nast award winning) Sant Francesc Hotel Singular and having scrolled through the photo galleries and read the reviews, I knew it was ‘the one’. I sent a link to my mother (her and my father were coming to visit for the weekend – her second time but his first) and she fell in love with it too! We booked there and then and couldn’t wait to check it out.
Their flight arrived at 8.30pm on Friday night but as I finished work at 5pm, I thought I would make the most of a relaxed few hours at the hotel beforehand. As I struggled along the cobbled streets with my suitcase and approached the entrance, the doorman spotted me and arrived immediately to take my bag. I was ushered to take a seat at reception and offered a glass of bubbles, which of course I didn’t turn down!
We sorted all of the boring stuff which was followed by a tour of the hotel by concierge; we saw the patio and terrace, the lobby bar, the tiny but beautiful gym that is tucked away in the old cellar (where they can organise for a personal trainer to come and work out with you), and the ‘Quadrat’ restaurant which back in the day used to house the horses of the family that inhabited this beautiful mansion. I also had a sneak peak at the roof terrace and swimming pool with the most breathtaking views. It is very rare to find a boutique hotel with a pool this size, and with views of the ancient Cathedral and rooftops of the city, I imagine it is the perfect place to relax, sunbathe, swim and enjoy lunch on a warm summers day.
Eventually we made it to my room and I unpacked and got settled in. I only opted for the standard double room, rather than the ‘privilege double’ or a suite, but it was still as luxurious as I had hoped. A complimentary Nespresso machine was heaven and the mini bar stocked full of wine, spirits (including Gin Mare – YES) and champagne (Louis Roderer – YES). The bathroom was just as impressive with the softest towels, bath robes and divine toiletries. It was perfect.
I got myself dolled up and decided to head down to the lobby bar for a drink before my parents arrived.
It is such a stylish bar and the waiter was extremely attentive even though he had quite a lot of guests to look after. I decided to order a bottle of Cava for us to share, and as soon as the cork popped they arrived! (It’s like they had a sixth sense…) That evening we decided to head into the old red light district (very close to the hotel) and grab some tapas before getting a good nights sleep in preparation for exploring the city the next day.
[Of course I took the opportunity to wear my new Zara skort that I picked up in the sale for €15.99!]
[The bag, knitwear jacket and earrings were all in the Zara sale too, and although they blend into my tights in this photograph, I am wearing my L K Bennett knee high black suede boots]
9am was our meeting time for breakfast and shockingly I beat them there (usually they are always early!) so I grabbed a coffee to keep me company. Breakfast was served in the Quadrat restaurant, and we started off with some cheeses, hams and yoghurt with fruit (all delicious, fresh and replenished often) before ordering our eggs. My father and I opted for eggs benedict which didn’t disappoint, very light which is often unusual for that particular dish and it was served on a brioche bun which was a nice twist. My mother went for poached eggs and bacon and also didn’t leave a morsel! All in all very good and well worth the €25 per person.
Unfortunately, due to our short stay we didn’t get chance to try the restaurant of an evening, but the menu looked varied with a lovely Mediterranean theme (http://www.hotelsantfrancesc.com/sites/default/files/carta-menu-restaurante-quadrat-hotel-sant-francesc-palma-5-estrellas.pdf) and it has very good reviews online. I believe the lobby bar also offers snacks (I spied a burger at one point) which is great if you fancy something a bit more casual.
From the moment we checked in to the moment we checked out, our experience was certainly 5* and I would not hesitate to visit again. I may even go as far as saying it is one if the best hotels I have ever stayed in! Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and they really went out of their way to make you feel pretty much like royalty. Thank you, Sant Francesc, I will be back!