Deià from La Residencia.
Deià from La Residencia. / SUR


  • 'You say Majorca, I say Mallorca'

The Romans referred to this, the largest island of the Balearic archipelago, as 'Balearis Major' (and its smaller sister as 'Balearis Minor'). So for the Brits, this favourite holiday destination is Majorca (and its sister Minorca). But please bear with us, as here we're sticking with the Spanish and Catalan spelling of Mallorca.

If you haven't visited the island recently, then cast aside the package-holiday image you may have of Mallorca; it has evolved into one of the Mediterranean's most sophisticated islands. To help you navigate to some of the best places, here's our guide to enjoying Mallorca in style.


La Residencia - Deià

Deià is no longer a hidden corner of Mallorca. This artistic village, home once to Robert Graves, the English novelist and poet, is on the well-beaten tourist trail. Yet the historic manor houses that now make up the exclusive La Residencia hotel successfully capture the magic of an undeveloped Mallorca, allowing guests to savour fabulous views of the beautiful village, away from the crowds. Yes, there's super-stylish accommodation; fine dining by executive chef Guillermo Méndez; and also dozens of original Joan Miró paintings to be enjoyed whilst sipping cocktails in the hotel's chic café bar; but you can also keep things simple here. Get back to nature with a hike up through the hotel's terraced olive groves, accompanied by Pancho, Luna or Alba, the hotel's much-loved donkeys. A private chef will prepare a picnic of local produce, including butifarron sausage, sobrasada, hearty empanadas and of course the classic rustic Mallorca dish 'pa amb oli' or simply bread with olive oil. Don't worry the kitchen will also pack a few shiny apples for the donkeys too! Also, in the spirit of Deià, develop your artistic side with a sculpture or painting class with resident artist, Juan Wealder; or take a village art tour, visiting local studios, with Cecilie Sheridan, curator of the La Residencia's evolving collection.

Gran Hotel Son Net - Sierra de Tramuntana

The Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range makes up the island's unique UNESCO cultural and natural landscape. A good base for exploring these natural wonders is the Gran Hotel Son Net. A 17th century noble manor house provides a welcoming and elegant home-from-home from where one can hike, cycle and motor around the stunning countryside. However, the swimming pools, tennis court, gym as well as the cuisine by Chef Cristian Coll García may mean you have difficulty persuading yourselves to leave.

Gran Hotel Son Net.

Gran Hotel Son Net. / SUR

Son Brull Hotel & Spa - Pollenca

Discover the north of the island, and beautiful Pollenca. Take in some of Mallorca's most remarkable scenery - the area was one of the locations used in the TV adaptation of John le Carré's 'The Night Manager'. Take the winding road along the peninsula and enjoy the views from the Mirador d'es Colomer viewpoint and the exceptional Cap de Formentor.

The place to stay in the north is Son Brull - a former monastery now sophisticated boutique hotel, with urban style yet a relaxed Mediterranean vibe. Relax at the end of a day's exploring with cocktails on the pool terrace or maybe indulge in a spa treatment.

Sa Torre Mallorca - Llucmajor

Sa Torre Mallorca.

Sa Torre Mallorca. / SUR

Close to the island's capital of Palma, yet hidden within coastal countryside is the Hotel Sa Torre Mallorca. It's a former aristocratic estate; a manor house complete with neogothic chapel (now available for events and weddings), and even a protected historic windmill. Guests come here to enjoy an active and healthy Mallorca experience; the sprawling resort has a jogging trail, tennis and padel courts, football pitch, pools, gym and more; and there's in-house dining that focuses on local produce.


Hostal Can Mario - Valldemosa

The mountain village of Valldemosa is among the most picturesque, well-known and most-visited on the island. Yet you can still eat well, for a fair price and in authentic surroundings. The humble, family-run B&B Can Mario is the place to enjoy real Mallorca home-cooking. During the festive season look out for classic dishes such as a hearty soup made with pasta shells stuffed with chicken (sopa de Nadal); and suckling pig too.

Tapas Bar, at Park Hyatt Mallorca - Canyamel

Tapas at Park Hyatt.

Tapas at Park Hyatt. / SUR

Spain's only Park Hyatt resort opened this year in the north east of Mallorca. Built in the style of a Mallorcan village, the property promises world-class hospitality and dining.

Try Tapas, a stylish restaurant that offers a striking resort dining experience yet with the attention to detail and quality local produce found in an intimate local eatery. Pull up a stool at the bar, watch the chefs in action, delivering a menu that's designed by Michelin star chef David García. Try the almond and coconut soup, with tomato tartar and spicy calamari; or the grilled scallops with local crab.

Quadrat, at Hotel Sant Francesc - Palma

A favourite hotel in Palma de Mallorca's old town, this upscale boutique property, recently voted by US readers of Conde Nast Traveler as the 'Best Hotel in Spain and Portugal' is increasingly a destination for its chic lobby bar and intimate Quadrat Restaurant. Here you can enjoy a well-priced set lunch menu, or a la carte dining with festive treats

Fosh Lab & Fosh Kitchen - Palma

Brit chef Marc Fosh is one of the island's best known chefs. In 2002 he became the first, and only, British chef to be awarded a Michelin star in Spain. Building on the success of his flagship Marc Fosh restaurant and his catering business, he has opened two new eateries on the island. 'Fosh Lab' is positioned as his test kitchen, an intimate space where as a diner you can can feel part of the creative process; while 'Fosh Kitchen', in Palma's old town, offers what is said to be a "sustainable restaurant with raw bar".


Sport Xperience by Rafa Nadal - Manacor

This year, Mallorca's most famous athlete, tennis ace Rafael Nadal, opened the most spectacular sports centre, showcasing the stars of sport using the very latest technology. This place certainly has the 'wow' factor.

Can Prunera Museu Modernista - Soller

Modernista Museum.

Modernista Museum. / SUR

Port Soller is a popular coastal holiday resort, but make a point to explore the village of Soller just a few kilometres inland. Famous for its orange groves, try a freshly squeezed juice in one of the café bars! The Calle Sa Lluna is one of the village's lovely streets, full of interesting little boutiques, places to eat, as well as the Can Prunera Museum, which includes a beautiful modernist house. The restored property showcases many of the architectural elements that were unique to this style in Catalonia and the Balearics.

Cathedral Terraces Tour - Palma

Offered from spring to autumn this brand new tour delivers unprecedented access to one of Europe's most spectacular cathedrals. The tour takes adventurous visitors up to the vertiginous roof terraces of this medieval cathedral, giving one the opportunity to stand directly in front of the famous Rose window, said to be the largest Gothic window in the world.

Port Adriano - Calvià

One of the most modern and stylish marinas in the Mediterranean, Port Adriano, designed by Philippe Starck, is half an hour's drive west of the capital, and is the place for a little luxury retail therapy, and people-watching too, from one of the marina restaurants and bars. Check their website for seasonal events like concerts and food festivals etc.

Urban Drive Style - Palma

Driving in Palma, Mallorca's capital, might be tricky, but you can whizz around like a local thanks to this e-bike and bicycle rental shop in old town. Choose electric-powered vintage style scooters, mopeds, bikes and bicycles (even little urban scooters!) for a fun and clean way to get around.

Golf with a View - Port d'Alcúdia

Golf courses offer some of the most beautiful designed landscapes, and in Mallorca I don't think you'll find a course more impressive than the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed Alcanada Golf. Even if you don't play, it's worth visiting the club house for lunch as it has the most spectacular view over the greens to the lighthouse and the bay.

Explore coast and country

Mirador d'es Colomer.

Mirador d'es Colomer. / SUR

The island is a favourite with cyclists so you'll need to have your wits about you when navigating the narrow lanes, but it is certainly worth it. Discover the historic agricultural terraces of the tiny coastal village of Bayalbufar for example; or the charming architecture of the hamlet of Fornalutx.

The beaches of Mallorca need little introduction, but not to be missed are the postcard-perfect coves of Cala Sant Vicenç; and the stunning scenery along the northern peninsula to Cap de Formentor.


Fashion - Palma

The chic Carrer de Sant Feliu street in Palma de Mallorca is one to be explored when you have plenty of time. There are fascinating and beautiful shops; including a flagship store from iconic fashion label Sybilla - a must for anyone interested in fashion.

Llum de Sal - Palma

If food is more your thing, then there is no shortage of gourmet stores in the towns and villages of Mallorca. In Palma's old town, you'll find this shop celebrating one of the island's more famous exports, Flor de Sal sea salt. Much of the salt is flavoured with local produce such as olives and tomatoes. The salt is harvested in the south east of the island, and makes for an interesting day trip.

Rialto Living - Palma

Previously featured in our Insider Guide to Palma last year, this luxury lifestyle store is even better with more dining options and seasonal shopping ideas.


Rent a car

Local rent-a-car firm Transfer Rent allow you to avoid the airport queues by having your car personally delivered.

VIP Services

Vanity Welcome is one of the few concierge companies with airport security clearance which mean they can meet you inside the terminal, directly at the luggage belt, so from the moment you arrive you feel like a VIP. They take care of airport transfers, luggage and offer concierge services.


There is choice of direct and indirect flights to Mallorca including scheduled services from Vueling. If you have the resources and fancy something wholly unique, then EuropAir offers private jet services to Mallorca.