Portixol

El Molinar, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Book from

Relaxed harbourside hotel, spa and restaurant on the edge of Palma: Scandinavian simplicity meets Mediterranean deco style
Portixol stands proudly looking out to sea by a tranquil harbour on the edge of Palma. The area, a former fishing village known as El Molinar, has really up and come in recent years and is now one of the city's coolest barrios. Colourful cottages have been converted into stylish restaurants and a coastal promenade means there's a steady stream of locals who come to dine and exercise. Much of the area's success is down to Portixol, and today the hotel's as fresh, bright and smooth as when its Swedish owners first breathed new life into it back in 1999.

Step inside and you'll notice the distinctive nautical feel touched with a tinge of 1950s deco. Picture yourself on a luxe-cruise liner of a bygone era: the restaurant's large windows look directly onto the swimming pool and Med beyond; sleek loungers line the decks. Its 25 guest rooms are uncluttered, contemporary and comfortable in best Scandinavian tradition. It's easy enough to hop into town but equally easy to laze away your days without moving. Lie by the pool, relax with a massage, sip another Sea Breeze in the cocktail bar. Welcome aboard and enjoy the voyage!

Highs

  • Stylish, simple rooms, many with panoramic sea views and terraces
  • Lively bar serving cocktails and snacks (the burgers are in a league of their own) - and an even better restaurant for fine dining; alternative seafood eateries are just around the corner
  • The seafront cycle path and walkway stretches for miles in either direction; exploring the local area on the hotel's bicycles is a must
  • Imaginative, quirky details: binoculars in rooms; vinyl records in the lounge; a small porthole fishtank in the washroom
  • Child friendly, though not overrun with kids

Lows

  • Not all rooms have views, some are a tad small and only a couple have bathtubs - but all are comfortable and stylish with powerful showers
  • Some feel the pool area gets too packed, and it's by the car park so passers-by can look in
  • Walking into the heart of Palma will take you at least 20 minutes or you can cycle or jump in a cab (5 mins)
  • Fairly pricey but you get what you pay for
  • Availability is scarce - this is a personal favourite and it's not short of fans

Best time to go

Mallorca's Mediterranean climate makes it a pleasant destination at any time of year. Most people visit between April and September. Spring and autumn are ideal for walking or golf. July and August are the hottest and driest months. Rain is most likely between October and March, when everything becomes greener and the scent of orange blossom fills the valley. It can get quite chilly Nov-Feb (though still warmer than Northern Europe) but the hotel has efficient central heating to keep you cosy.

Our top tips

Portixol has the best CD/DVD collection we've encountered anywhere so the hotel makes a great hideaway in any season

Great for...

Beach
City Style
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 25
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Views are everything here and room types are defined by where they point - Sea View, Port View or No View (which actually means you can still look out but with no chance of seeing the sea). There are also terraced options on offer.

Whilst the Atico rooftop room (with its outdoor shower, huge terrace and panoramic views) is clearly at the top of the pecking order, our favourite remains the Mediterranean View with Terrace rooms. These are decent sized and you can watch the setting sun and changing colours of the sea from loungers on your terrace.

Regardless of views, all rooms have simple unclutttered styling - even your TV/DVD is discreetly tucked away in a white portholed cabinet. Expect solid Scandinavian comfort - lots of white and blue, sometimes one panel wallpapered with intriguing leafy wallpaper (spot the little men), soft bedlinen, waffle bathrobes, powerful showers and local eco toiletries. The Dux beds are superb and duvets will keep you warm in cooler months, air-conditioning will keep you chilled in summer.

If you want more independence book the Port House Suite, a duplex building adjacent to the main hotel. It is set on 2 floors with a spiral staircase leading to the roof terrace where you can lounge and jump in your Jacuzzi. There's a sofabed in the lounge for kids.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Breakfast is a leisurely affair served until 11.30am and is included in your room rate. Large tables with white tableclothes and aqua glasses are well spaced, allowing you to relax. You get fresh juices (squeeze your own if you like), cheeses, salamis, pastries, fresh fruit, compotes, yogurts and the widest selection of cereals and dried fruits and nuts we've seen in Mallorca. There's also a menu of cooked fare. Take your time: order another coffee, gaze out the window to the pool and sea beyond and linger over the newspapers.

People travel from near and far to dine in the restaurant here as the food is good and the atmosphere relaxed. Typical dishes from the a la carte lunch and dinner menu include red mullet with green risotto and foam of saffron, or ribs with apple and sobrasada tatin. The wine list (mostly local or Spanish) will serve you well without baffling you with endless choices and staff are extremely knowledgeable should you need guidance. If you prefer something lighter there's a spot-on snack menu served beside the bar or alfresco. Many a delicious burger and chips or club sandwich have helped us through a New Year's Day (washed down with hearty Bloody Marys).

If you want to eat out, there's a growing number of local waterside restaurants - ask staff for recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity: Spa

Activities

  • Chill by the pool, spin discs in the lounge (there's a large collection of LPs and record player), check out the sauna and Jacuzzi, then spoil yourself with a massage or facial using delicious Kerstin and Florian products
  • Feeling energetic? Burn up some energy in the gym and ask reception about the private yoga classes
  • Borrow one of the hotel bicycles and whizz up the coastline or into Palma along the seafront path - no hills!
  • Wind down in the spa. Treatments include hot-stone massages, a 'Moor Mud Body Wrap' and an 'Energizing Spirulina Experience'
  • Palma has a wealth of historical buildings, art galleries and boutiques - see our city guide for details
  • There are 6 golf courses within 20 mins' drive - reception can help you book tee off-times at reduced rates
  • Watch live Real Mallorca football matches - the hotel can arrange free tickets

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wellness centre
  • Yoga

Kids

Every time we've visited there have been a handful of children (well behaved - including our own). The hotel's calm ambiance never seems to be spoilt and children seem to like the pool and lounge area. The long promenade is ideal for pushing a pram or pushchair and there is a small sandy beach nearby.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

The best for families of 3-4 are Big Port View, Mediterranean View, Mediterranean View Terrace and Port House Suite, which have a double bed and a comfortable double sofabed (for 1 adult or 2 children). Ask on booking if you want a bath rather than shower. Baby cots are available too and can fit in most rooms

Babysitting:

Babysitting in all languages by arrangement. Book at least 24 hours in advance; see rates.

Baby listening:

Baby listening/monitors available on request. They work from the bedrooms to the restaurant area so you can enjoy a baby-free dinner.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Baby bedding
  • Highchairs
  • Baby bath
  • Bottle warming

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

Children's meals:

Food is available all day from the restaurant and there are child-friendly eateries and food shops nearby. The restaurant serves a kids' menu, smaller portions and an early dinner. There is also room service

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Children's DVDs

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Outdoor playground and park
  • Aquarium
  • Beach - walking distance - with pedalos and windsurfing
  • Aqualand water park
  • Segways and go-karting

Families Should Know:

The swimming pool doesn't have a shallow end (access is via ladders) so it's not great for little ones. There are no stairgates in the duplex Port House Suite. A doctor can visit the hotel if necessary.

Distances:

  • Airport: 15 minutes
  • Nearest supermarket and pharmacy: 5 minutes' walk
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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