Scandinavian chic in the heart of Palma de Mallorca

Friday, 23 November 2014 10:18 AM

Esme Fox finds a boutique refuge and plenty of culture in Mallorca’s historic capital – Palma.  

Making my way down a cute winding alley way, flanked by cream stone buildings, I knew I was back in Spain. I liked Palma instantly; it was so different to the Mallorca I had seen before – the tacky bars and clubs of Magaluf and Palma Nova.  Everyone seems to head away from Palma as soon as they arrive on the island, either to the infamous clubs island’s west coast, or the boutique and island life luxury of the mountain villages to the north, but I’d come here to see what the city itself had to offer. 

Room at Hotel Tres, Palma de Mallorca

I was staying at the Hotel Tres, housed in an old atmospheric Mallorcan courtyard, which I’m told was once a 16th century palace. I was greeted immediately by a giant palm tree and a trickling blue fountain, two things that instantly remind you you’re in Spain.

The inside, however was a stark contrast to the traditional Spanish exterior – sleek white marble floors, clean glass lines and modern art filled the public spaces giving off the vibe of stylish Swedish and Norwegian boutique hotels.

The room mirrored the public spaces – everything lustrous, clean and white with sharp edged lines and a photo of a part naked body on the wall. The only splash of colour was a ginger and brown cow hide bench that sat at the foot of the bed. The pièce de résistance surely had to be the bathroom though – open plan and only divided from the main room by a white curtain. On one side sat a toilet cubicle and on the other a shower – big enough for at least four people. 

View from Hotel Tres, Palma de Mallorca

The only thing it seemed to be lacking was a balcony with views over the charming central courtyard, however after a bit of exploring around the hotel, we soon found plenty of public spaces with even better views – the balcony of the hotel’s cosy library, the rooftop terrace and the pool terrace on top of the new part of the building.

After enjoying a glass of Spanish cava from one of our newly-found view points over-looking the now moon-lit courtyard, we decided to explore the local area. The alleyway below was now buzzing with life and laughter spilled out of the many tapas bars lining the street. People sat on old wine barrels, sipping glasses of vino and nibbling on plates of Padrón peppers sprinkled with salt, roasted almonds and sharp tangy olives, this was an authentic, traditional Spain, something that I hadn’t expected from Mallorca.

After wandering for a bit we found ourselves at a charming paella restaurant, filled with old carriage wheels and flickering candles. Here I had the best paella I’ve ever eaten – rice perfectly chewy, vegetables cooked just so, with plenty of flavoursome saffron, garlic and tangy lemon squeezed on top. The evening ended back at the hotel where we headed up onto the dimly-lit roof terrace for one of the best views of the famous Palma Cathedral anywhere in the city.

The next couple of days in Palma were spent visiting the old cathedral, where we came across a traditional wedding; wandering the narrow back alleys, where we discovered an ancient Arab bath house and shopping for souvenirs at the city’s regal looking Plaza Mayor.

This was a Mallorcan city break free of seedy nightclubs, British pubs and lobster-red beach goers and the quaint towns of Valldemossa and Deià, this was a Mallorca full of historic sites, vibrant culture and Scandinavian chic.

Follow us @ASPIRE:Holidays on Twitter for more travel inspiration


La Residencia Hotel, Deia, Mallorca

In search of the real Mallorca

Not content with her solely her teenage clubbing memories of Mallorca, Esme Fox goes in search of a more rustic and luxurious side to the Spanish island at the renowned La Residencia Hotel.

A guide to the most exclusive beach resorts of the Mediterranean

A guide to the most exclusive beach resorts of the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean has long been a playground for the rich and famous, inducing images of shaded eyed celebrities zipping around on their private yachts, sitting in stylish cafes with cups of espresso, or showing off their latest styles on the beach. But the Mediterranean also brings to mind another world, of quaint winding cobblestone streets, cute squares encircled with lemon groves, and romantic architecture - ensuring they never lose their charm and remain exclusive and luxurious.

How to choose accommodation in Mallorca

What are your accommodation options for a break in Mallorca?

Mallorca is a popular holiday destination for friends, couples and families alike. The Spanish island boasts a lovely climate and plenty to see and do, while it also has an impressive array of restaurants and accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Son Brull, Mallorca - a great place for a honeymoon

Best honeymoon resorts: Son Brull, Mallorca

Set in the sweeping gold and green of the Mallorcan countryside sits the impressive Son Brull hotel, shining like a beacon of terracotta across the landscape. This is the perfect escape for a nature filled honeymoon destination.

Playa de Palma is a good spot for short break

What makes Playa de Palma perfect for a short luxury break?

If you're jetting off for a short break in the sun, you'll want to stay in a place where everything is within easy reach. Playa de Palma in Mallorca is an excellent choice because it's got great weather and is close to the city and a wonderful beach.

Enjoy a stein in one of Munich's many bars

Feature: Culinary excursions in Germany and Spain

The delights of Western European cuisine is known all over the world. From the gastronomical melting pot of London to the refined dishes of Paris, visitors to this affluent part of the world are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating well.

A foodie's guide to Majorca

A foodies' guide to Puerto Pollensa

Mallorcan cuisine, like most Spanish food, descends from traditional peasant recipes with plenty of olive oil and garlic to bring out the natural flavours of fresh seafood, meat dishes and locally-grown vegetables. Think hearty and healthy with a moreish aftertaste that leaves you wanting more.

Discover Mallorca's beaches on a cycling tour

Discover Mallorca's heritage, cuisine and scenery on its Wild Coast

The so-called Wild Coast of Mallorca in the east and south-east of the island is an excellent place to go on relaxing cycling holidays, as it is a little off the beaten track and home to some stunning scenery, both inland and along the coast.


Sign up to's ASPIRE.

Subject to terms of use and privacy policy

Top five luxurious things to do in Florence

Top five luxurious things to do in Florence

Italy is synonymous with luxury and where better for a luxurious city break than the Renaissance city of Florence? Here are some of our top five luxurious activities to do in the city, from gourmet eating, to opera in the Gardens of Boboli and Italian leather glove shopping.

Scandinavian chic in the heart of Palma de Mallorca

Hotel Tres, Palma de Mallorca

Esme Fox finds a boutique refuge and plenty of culture in Mallorca’s historic capital – Palma.