Sant Francesc Hotel Singular

Palma de Mallorca, Spain Book from Eur195

Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
Elegant boutique hotel with rooftop pool and fine restaurant in the heart of medieval Palma
Everything about this neoclassical mansion, superbly restored as a serene boutique hotel in 2015, has been beautifully realised. You enter to soaring carved original ceilings, statement mirrors and a bold sweep of painted marble staircase. An inner courtyard has olive trees, the lobby bar a wall of backlit bottles, and the shaded garden a vertical wall of succulents. Artwork is contemporary yet harmonious, much of it specifically commissioned, including photographs of the building prior to restoration displayed along the corridors. A lift glides up to the rooftop pool and bar for panoramic views and cool beverages in the sunshine or cocktails at night.

Each of the 42 rooms and suites is unique in layout and styling. Some have balconies, patios, private terraces, canopy beds and baths; all come in soothing shades of stone and are flawless. We dined on exquisitely plated, delicious Mallorcan fare in the Quadrat restaurant and savoured well-matched wines, before sinking into our supremely comfortable bed for a peaceful night's sleep. The perfect pied-à-terre for a relaxed city break: by day, stroll around the old city for heritage buildings, the cathedral and art museums; return to bliss out in the small spa or for a rooftop swim.

Highs

  • We thought it perfect for a classy, romantic break
  • Gorgeous rooms and suites with bespoke furniture, good quality fixtures and fittings; all are double-glazed and soundproofed
  • A choice of common areas from the rooftop pool and bar to a riad-style enclosed courtyard and gardens to the rear
  • Fantastic food: we loved the sea bass with Hollandaise foam and lemon air, and a duck breast with apple and pineapple chutney
  • A great location within easy walking distance to all sights and shopping

Lows

  • Many bathrooms are open-plan or have a partial wall
  • Pricey, as you'd expect from the no-expense-spared renovation, and high standards of service
  • Not great for families; this is a grown-up establishment
  • Tasteful to the max - some may find it too restrained and formal
  • A 3-night minimum for stays including a Thurs, Fri or Sat (April-October)

Best time to go

Palma is at its most agreeable in spring and autumn as the summers can get very hot, and the winters can be rainy. That said, we visited in the winter and had a lovely sunny balmy weekend (and there were fewer tourists about).

Our top tips

Don't forget to bring your swimming costume if you're here in the warmer seasons. And make sure to dine at Quadrat, a real highlight of our stay.

Great for...

City Style
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 42
  • Restaurant and 2 bars 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
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The 42 rooms and suites are elegantly decorated in shades of stone and charcoal; each is uniquely configured - think suede or textured walls, woven rugs and lime-washed floorboards. From the lighting design to Nespresso coffee machines and drench showers, everything is of high quality. You get Heeley toiletries, ample storage, bathrobes and sheets in Egyptian cotton, and local products in the minibar.

Superior and Deluxe rooms may have garden, inner courtyard or Sant Francesc Plaza views. Our Privilege room had an ante-room overlooking the courtyard; many have balconies, too. Plump pillows induced a heavenly sleep.

Most Junior Suites have canopy beds and a balcony or patio; some have bathtubs. Three of the 4 fabulous signature Suites have original ceiling frescoes and mouldings, balconies opening to the plaza and triple-height ceilings. But La Torre is a one-off: a choice of staircases leads to a living room or the bedroom, where external stairs rise to a private roof terrace with 360º views across Palma.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Cleverly occupying the former stables is the celebrated Quadrat restaurant, offering modern Mediterranean cuisine. An extensive buffet breakfast is laid out until 11am: local cured meats and cheeses, brioche and croissants, fresh fruit. A la carte items include eggs Benedict, pancakes or Spanish omelette.

Before dinner we sampled cocktails of brilliant hue in the elegant lobby bar. From the lunch and dinner menu we enjoyed the Quadrat anchovies, grilled octopus, Mediterranean sea bass with Hollandaise foam and lemon air, and duck breast in an apple and pineapple chutney with Beijing sauce. We only managed to share a dessert of creamy yoghurt with coconut ganache and anise pineapple. Our sommelier brought us excellent wines to accompany. All was beautifully presented. Next time we'll go for the 5-course tasting menu, and start with cocktails on the roof.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Wander the streets of this beautiful historic city, starting at Plaza Sant Francesc with its eponymous church (where local hero Ramon Llull is buried) and peaceful cloisters
  • La Seu Cathedral is very impressive; do check out the relics room
  • Palma has a wealth of museums and arts institutions including the Palace of La Almudaina, Bellver Castle, the Miro Foundation and the Es Baluard contemporary arts museum in a landmark 16th-century fortress
  • Concierge services at the hotel include bespoke experiences, from wine-tasting to helicopter rides to guided tours of the island to discover beaches, caves, mountains and history
  • Return for a treatment in Singular wellness area or work out in the small basement gym

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Art classes
    • Boat trips
    • Historical sites
    • Museums / galleries
    • Nightlife
    • Sailing
    • Shopping / markets
    • Well being
    • Wine tasting
  • Kids

    Children are welcome and there are cots, extra beds and high chairs, plus the draw of a rooftop pool, but there isn't that much for them at the hotel, which has a distinctly grown-up vibe. We left ours with their grandparents and came for a romantic break!

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Privilege Rooms can take an extra bed or baby cot, Junior Suites can have 1 extra bed and 1 baby cot, Junior Sant Francesc Suites can take a baby cot. If you've 2 children under 12, the Sant Francesc Suite has space for two extra beds, while La Torre has a separate living area with 2 single sofabeds. You'll need to take a pair of rooms if travelling with teens as extra beds are only for under 12s. For extended family parties La Torre can connect with a Privilege and a Junior Suite, or book Rooms 5, 6 and 7 near the restaurant (a Superior and 2 Deluxes), which can be sectioned off to create one entity.

    Baby equipment:

    Baby cots and high chairs

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

    Families Should Know:

    The pool is unfenced

    Distances:

    • Airport: 20 minutes' drive
    • Hospital: 10 minutes' drive
    • Shops: 2 minutes' walk
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    10/
    Rooms
    10/
    Food
    10/
    Service
    8/
    Value
    10/
    Overall

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