Palau Sa Font

Historic Quarter, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
A 16th-century palace with modern interiors in the heart of Palma's lively historic quarter
Palau Sa Font is located at the end of a narrow street in Palma's medieval quarter known as 'La Lonja'. Intricate wooden balconies almost bridge across the narrow alleyways strewn with washing lines and filled with vibrant chatter from the local bars. Several years ago La Lonja had a reputation for drugs and prostitution. Now it is the fashionable cultural area noted for its excellent nightlife.

Open since 2000, Palau Sa Font was the city's first designer boutique hotel. On entering the hotel you leave behind the bustle and excitement of the city and arrive to a cool and calming interior. Beautifully designed with bright bold colours, hand-crafted modern furniture and intriguing modern art, Palau Sa Font offers a relaxing haven in the heart of Palma. Its bar is open all day and the rooftop terrace has panoramic views of the city and a refreshing plunge pool.

Highs

  • Excellent location: right in the heart of the old city, close to cultural sights and the hub of Palma’s nightlife. It's 5 minutes' walk from the harbour and 15 minutes from El Seu cathedral
  • Very helpful and friendly service
  • Clean-cut, comfortable rooms with fresh flowers
  • Rooftop views of the cathedral and harbour
  • A delicious breakfast and a wealth of great restaurants within a few minutes' walk of the hotel

Lows

  • The hotel hasn't moved with the times, and what was hip design in 2000 looked a bit dated when we revisited in 2012
  • We didn't like the art canvases hanging on each bedroom door
  • The plunge pool is very small and there's no ambiance
  • No parking at the hotel itself but you can drive to the door to drop off luggage. There are public car parks 5 minutes' walk away

Best time to go

Spring and autumn are the most pleasant months; July and August get very hot. However, every evening in August there are free open-air concerts and movies around the city. In mid-winter Palma is still a lot more pleasant than northern Europe - on sunny days you can sit outside in the cafes. The hotel closes for the month of January.

Our top tips

If you enjoy good design, then make the short pilgrimmage to Rialto Living (c/ Sant Feliu, a few blocks away) for fantastic fashion, interiors, art and a relaxed café, all housed in a beautifully converted old movie theatre.

Come dinner time, head to Koa on c/ Sant Joan for gourmet pizzas, Asian-style tapas and grilled meats; afterwards, slip next door to their sister bar, Ombu, for superb cocktails.

Great for...

City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 19
  • Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 29 Jan 2017 - 26 Feb 2017
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 19 guest rooms are simply furnished. Contrasting with the hotel's traditional exterior, they are modern and clean-cut, offering comfort with easy style. Each has cool pistachio-green walls with cream calico curtains and blinds, crisp white duvets and wrought-iron bed heads. Bathrooms have good showers and huge green stone sinks moulded from a single slab.

Referred to as S, M, L and XL, rooms are priced according to size; we recommend the L and XL rooms (the S rooms are only for single occupany and the M ones a bit cramped). The better rooms overlook the plunge pool and patio; those at the front of the hotel overlooking the narrow lane can be darker. Both can be a bit noisy so bring ear plugs if you're a light sleeper. The best room is the XL with Terrace which has its own terrace overlooking the rooftops. All have satellite TV and a minibar (hidden away in specially designed fabric cabinets), hairdryer and air-conditioning. Individual safety boxes are available at reception.

The interiors and furnishings were designed by Hans J. Pahl, whose attention to detail and unique style won it a place in several 'design hotel' books back in the day. However, it hasn't really moved with the times and when we revisited in 2012, it looked a little dated. Still clean and functional, but the wrought ironwork used for bedside tables, lamps and drinks cabinet all seemed a bit yesteryear. Bathrooms also felt tired and spartan, with a lack of bathrobes or toiletries. It is still very pleasant, just not hip these days.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

A very good breakfast is served in the downstairs bar: an appetising spread of yoghurt, cereals, fresh pastries, homemade quince puree, jams and honey, plus freshly squeezed orange juice. There's a good selection of salamis and cheeses, too.

For other meals, there's no shortage of places to eat nearby; you are surrounded by some of Palma's best tapas bars and restaurants (check out La Boveda and Aramis around the corner). For further suggestions ask reception.

Open all day, the hotel bar is a nice place to hang out, with interesting modern paintings, funky furniture and a good selection of drinks.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Palma has a wealth of historical and cultural places to see and many are close by, including the city’s magnificent cathedral, La Seu
  • Next door to the cathedral, Palau de l'Almudaina was once a Moorish palace and later remodelled in Gothic style in the 13th/14th centuries by the Kings of Mallorca
  • Stroll around Palma's harbour - home to some of the world's most expensive yachts
  • Shop in the city's excellent boutiques, all within walking distance
  • Enjoy a cold beer in one of the outside cafes in La Lonja
  • Visit an art gallery - the Fundacio de Caixa or Juan Miro's old house are recommended, as is the nearby Museu d'es Baluard

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Children are welcome and babies stay for free (cots can be provided). Don't expect any facilities, though - this is more of a hip hotel for 20 and 30 somethings.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

An extra bed is possible in the XL with Terrace rooms and 2 of the L rooms - 1 extra bed max in each at an additional cost. There is the possibility of reduced rates for children in their own room - please enquire for details.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
9/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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