The perfect hotel, in my opinion, is in a convenient location, has amazing views, chic updated decor, a good breakfast, excellent service, and a very comfortable bed. Boutique Hotel Calatrava has all this and more! Located in Palma, the capital city of the Spanish Island of Mallorca, Boutique Hotel Calatrava is 5-star hotel with world-class charm. As the name suggests, it is a small hotel with just 16 rooms, 6 of which are Calatrava Suites with ocean view terraces. Nestled in the heart of old town Palma, Hotel Calatrava is in the perfect location to explore the city by foot, and it’s also across from a beautiful bay that has a jogging path running along the water!
Every morning in Mallorca, I woke up to ocean views, went for a run along the ocean, followed by an exquisite buffet breakfast on the rooftop terrace overlooking the city and sea. The breakfast buffet is fantastic. The chocolate croissants are way too good to pass up! And I loved that I could order fresh squeezed juice and scrambled eggs (with cheese of course) along with my fruit, yogurt and pastries. We also enjoyed the rooftop terrace in the evenings, with champagne in hand, watching the setting sun cast vibrant colors across the ocean, before dipping behind the mountains in the distance. This magical spot on earth is truly paradise!
I loved our Calatrava Suite. It was large and very clean with luxe, updated minimalist decor. Our bathroom was also spacious, and our balcony had great views of the ocean and city, and proved to be a great place to sit and write and take photos. The internet is very fast at the hotel, and the luxury concierge service makes planning anything during your stay as easy as picking up the phone and putting in your request. I also loved the Calatrava Spa Room, which can be booked for a private one-hour complimentary session, where you can use the Finnish Sauna, Jacuzzi, aromatherapy shower, and hot stone loungers to relax and unwind.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN PALMA
Our first night in Palma, my friend Carissa and I ate dinner at Can Cera Gastro Bar, a Mediterranean restaurant in Can Cera Boutique Hotel, a sister hotel of Calatrava Hotel that appeared to be a lovely place to stay as well. The atmosphere was upscale and the food was excellent (the burrata salad with basil pesto dressing was insanely good!), but if you are looking for an upscale Spanish cuisine, try La Bodeguilla. They have delicious Spanish tapas; everything on the menu was good, but I loved the cheese plate (it’s only listed on the desert list for some reason so you have to ask for it), and the seafood paella was fabulous. They also have an excellent selection of wines, which I personally feel is a must to accompany any proper Spanish meal!
Every afternoon we were too full from eating a huge breakfast at the hotel to have lunch, but late one afternoon we had Spanish tapas and drinks at Café La Lonja. This place has a cool vibe, good food and cocktails, and a nice outdoor seating area right across from the harbor. This café, along with all the restaurants I am mentioning in this post, are in old town, walking distance from Hotel Calatrava.
My favorite meal of the trip was at California Burger Bar! Wait, what? A burger was my favorite meal in Spain? I know, it seems wrong, but these really could be the best burgers in Europe! I might be a little bias because I am friends with Mark, the owner, but I’m not the first to claim this was the best burger of my life. The California Burger Bar opened May 2014, and since, people have been flocking to Palma just to try these famous burgers. The fries are delicious too, the cocktails are served stiff, in large glasses, the bar has a kick-ass decor, and they play old school gangster rap. It is really a one-of-a-kind scene and a must visit when in Mallorca.
There are lots of cool bars in old town Mallorca but I especially loved Bar Abaco, an old world Mallorcan manor house. Grab your cocktails at the bar and then head upstairs to explore the sitting rooms, kitchen, and terrace where you can enjoy your cocktails in an intimate setting. Saludos!
WHAT TO DO IN MALLORCA
In the summertime, I would have spent most of my trip basking in the sun at one of Mallorca’s many gorgeous beaches (the East side of the island is said to have the most beautiful beaches, and fun little beach clubs), but since it was winter, (though still 70+ most days!) we spent our time exploring the island. On our first day in Mallorca we explored old town Palma. I loved the Catedral de Mallorca, which is right down the street from Hotel Calatrava. We did a self-guided tour, which was just €7, and then explored the rest of old town on foot. There are gorgeous little winding roads everywhere and several cool shopping streets in old town. I could have spent at least another full day just wandering around the city, soaking in the culture and beautiful architecture.
The next two days we rented a car, which can be done directly through the hotel. It was €114 for a “luxury car” – a compact BMW with navigation, which we needed because the cheaper rental options were stick shifts (I have no clue how to drive a stick shift!), and neither of us are good at reading maps. Getting out of the city was a little scary because the streets in old town Palma are small and windy, but once you are on the main roads, it is a breeze driving around Mallorca, and it is very easy to find the main towns that you’ll want to visit. Even if you don’t have a navigation, you would be able to find your way easily with a simple map that the hotel will give you.
On our first adventure, we headed north to Formentor. Cap De Formentor, on the northern tip of the island, is breathtaking, and there is a look out, jetting over a cliff, where you can take a million photos and soak in the coastline. It only takes about 35 minutes to get there from Palma so I recommend continuing on and driving to the lighthouse. The Formentor Lighthouse itself is nothing to write home about, but the drive along the ocean is gorgeous and reminds me of driving Highway 1 up to Big Sur, California. Just be sure to drive slow and look out for bikers, as the roads are windy and small! After the lighthouse, head to Formentor Beach, a beautiful, pristine beach lined with pine trees, where you can swim and lay out in warmer months.
On our last day in Mallorca, we decided to explore the West side of the island. We drove to the mountain town of Valldemossa, which is only about 20 minutes from Palma. Valldemossa is so charming with its tiny cobblestone streets and pretty, old buildings built into the mountainside. Having limited time, we only spent an hour here. But this was by far my favorite little town in Mallorca, and I recommend leaving yourself at least a couple of hours to explore it fully.
Our next stop, just 10 minutes down the road was Deia, a gorgeous, little mountain town that also has ocean views! In the summertime, be sure to stop by the Belmond La Residencia for cocktails at their poolside restaurant & bar. The town of Soller is just 15 minutes passed Deia and also worth a visit if you have the time. If you go, make sure you see Port de Soller. We didn’t know about the port so we missed the best part of the city! Oh well. I guess I will just have to add this to my long list of things I want to see when I return!
Mallorca is a quick, two-hour flight from London and most major cities in Europe. If you are flying from the US, I recommend flying into Barcelona and spending a few days there exploring the city before popping over to Mallorca. Spring and early fall are the best times to visit because you will get the benefit of great weather without hordes of tourists, but really, anytime is a good time to visit this gorgeous Spanish island.
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Have you stayed at Boutique Hotel Calatrava? Have you been to Mallorca? Please share your experience in the comments below!