January 11, 2023
Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.
Here are the top boutique hotels in the Balearic Islands, Spain:
The old town center of Palma de Mallorca is beautiful, rich with history and impossibly atmospheric. Even so, it’s not quite adequate preparation for what you’ll find within the 12th-century stone walls of Can Bordoy Grand House and Garden. It’s made from a couple of heritage buildings, and the ancient architecture lends its spaces plenty of historical character. But what it all adds up to is a high-end luxury boutique hotel that’s as contemporary as can be.
Part of it is the visual style, which mixes classic antiques with ultra-modern design pieces. Part of it is the comforts, which are subtly high-tech and totally up to date. And part of it is the restaurant, Botànic, which is refined yet nourishing, featuring a cuisine that’s largely organically sourced and well tuned to today’s health-conscious tastes.
When it comes to Mediterranean escapes the Balearic island of Mallorca isn’t exactly obscure. But there are places on this island where you can still get away from it all. The town of Campos, in the island’s southeast, is one of these places. It’s less than a half-hour’s drive from the spectacular Es Trenc beach; and, more to the point, it’s the home of Sa Creu Nova Art Hotel & Spa.
Though crafted from a historical structure, Sa Creu Nova is an entirely modern boutique-hotel experience. Rustic on the outside, it’s as plush as can be on the inside. The occasional rough-hewn stone wall only adds atmosphere to the clean-lined bedrooms, and the simplicity of spaces draws the eye to the artworks — there’s an impressive contemporary collection distributed throughout the hotel’s rooms and common spaces.
If you’re familiar with the rest of Sir Hotels’ portfolio, then you might be clued in to the location of Sir Joan: it’s the place where Joan is a gentleman’s name rather than a lady’s. For their first island outpost they’ve chosen Ibiza, and while it’s not the first time some globetrotting Northern Europeans have been transformed by their Balearic experience, it may be the first time that such a pilgrimage results in a luxury boutique hotel that genuinely improves the destination.
Ibiza, right now, is two different places in one: the up-all-night party mecca, and the semi-secluded, quasi-rural island paradise. Sir Joan is a hotel that can do a bit of both, as it turns out that even the most dedicated reveller needs a quiet place to sleep, eventually. But it’s perhaps most in tune with the private-retreat type, as its rooms are luxurious, light-filled, and though they’re stylish, thanks to designers Baranowitz + Kronenberg they’re rather subtle and sedate about it. Meanwhile you’re walking distance from both the beach and the nightlife, though if you prefer, you’ve got a good reason to stay in as well: Izakaya, the Japanese-Peruvian restaurant based in Amsterdam, has an outpost here as well.
Travelers who like the idea of visiting Majorca but find themselves put off by talk of foam parties, streets packed with nightclubs and hordes of package-holiday makers, should do an about-face at the Son Sant Joan airport and head north to the Casal Santa Eulalia, a converted traditional farmhouse that embodies the opposite of all those off-putting stories.
Here the interiors dispense almost entirely with the traditional farmhouse look, with a striking mix of wooden ceiling beams, modern soft furnishings and traditional furniture, while the color schemes combine pastels with stone, wood and glass. And though the estate is hundreds of years old, the modernisation of the hotel has still allowed it to retain its charm, while incorporating most amenities that guests demand — plus a few welcome extras such as three swimming pools, a gym, sauna and Jacuzzi, a tennis court, and the chance to grab a bike and explore the nearby trails. The beautiful Alcudia beach is also close by.
What began as the Experimental Cocktail Club was always destined for bigger things, but it’s still surprising, in retrospect, that the path from a hip bar in Paris to a beautiful farmhouse hotel on the Balearic island of Menorca took barely a decade to map out. Experimental Menorca joins sister hotels in London, Paris, and Venice, a diverse set of experiences that have little in common besides the creative personnel involved and — what’s always been the Experimental Group’s greatest asset — the flawless good taste that seems to underwrite the whole enterprise.
In other words, they’ve earned the sort of trust that permits guests to surrender to Experimental Menorca without a care. The rooms are designed by the same Dorothée Meilichzon, whose work is no less at home under the timbered ceilings of these farmhouse buildings than it is in the more urban Experimental hotels. The result is both true to the 19th-century finca and indelibly stamped with a contemporary personality — and the spaces, needless to say, are more generous than their counterparts in Paris and London, and doubly so in Experimental Menorca’s nine freestanding villas.