Spruced-up secret-garden hideaway in Palma’s most characterful neighborhood, on an island that just keeps getting better.
Set the scene.
Duck through an archway in Palma’s Old Quarter and arrive in a secluded courtyard, hidden in the thick of the city in a quiet, residential district that’s well-connected to the fun parts. This is a former 16th-century mansion, with faux vines creeping past the chandelier on the ceiling in the living room, linking to the large walled garden at the back. Contemporary furniture is mixed with vintage finds, mirrors reflect light all around, and there’s a lovely centerpiece stairwell—as well as a suspended glass plunge pool. An extra floor has been added with a roof deck for panoramic sweeps of the city.
What's the story behind it?
Can Bordoy was originally a private family home, then a convent school in the 1970s. Four years ago Swedish developer Mikael Hall brought in award-winning architects OHLAB to repair and renovate the dilapidated building and create contemporary additions.
What can we expect from the rooms?
Grandeur and class. Top floor rooms under the eaves have views of Palma’s rooftops and the street below. Bathrooms, bathtubs, and beds (with mattress control to adjust the firmness—how cool is that?) felt decadently huge. Tech is there, but low-key and easy-to-use.
How about the food and drink?
In Botànic restaurant, accomplished chef Andrés Benitez cooks delicious food using locally sourced, seasonal and organic products—plenty of seeds, fruit, and nuts at breakfast, and inventive vegetarian plates (barbecued avocado red curry, kale salad, and Menorcan cheese) along with tapas including moray fritters and surprising flavor combos such as pork shoulder with mussels and fennel. The toasted potato-bread sandwich with melted cheese is quite delicious. From the drinks menu, try the Sour Eva cocktail, made with local Mallorca gin.
Anything to say about the service?
A smooth operation. Low-key and friendly—in keeping with the homely feel—yet intuitive and efficient. Staff have good local knowledge and are happy to share.
Who comes here?
Quietly smart forty-somethings and well-behaved aging rockstars.
What's the neighborhood scene like?
Charming. Tucked away on a residential street in Palma’s Old Quarter, the hotel is surrounded by some really good restaurants, a well-loved concept store, and other art and design galleries. The harbor and designer stores are a short walk away.
Anything you'd change?
The hallways are a little noisy during the night when heavy bedroom doors open and close; soft textiles in the corridors would help dampen the acoustics.
Anything else we should know?
The basement spa is small but sweet. A relaxation area has a steam room and hot tub and a horizontal shower; treatments (using all-natural Mallorcan GAIA products) can be taken inside or in the wellness pergola in the gardens. And the views from rooftop deck are lovely and the glass-bottom plunge pool acts as an oculus, sending refracted light down the main stairs of the building.
Is it worth it—and why?
Palma is full of great discoveries, none more so than this secluded retreat, great for exploring the city.