Go to Magaluf. Where Majorca used to be known as a mecca for guys on a trip with cheap packages, today everything has changed.
Indeed, the tourist community has been quietly looking to change the landscape on the island for almost a decade – and it has finally paid off. Everyone from Sir Richard Branson to Rafael Nadal is opening hotels – some in the city, some in the countryside, some on the beach.
Insiders say Majorca’s recent renaissance began when its waterfront restaurants and hillside resorts caught the attention of BBC’s The Night Manager in 2016.
Meanwhile, this year, the island has St Tropez and Portofino in the series finale of The Crown, and that’s what happens to Nicole Kidman’s CIA lover Lioness. Here’s our look at the ‘new’ Majorca…
In the northern hills of Majorca hides The Lodge, a newly opened, adults-only resort surrounded by lavender fields and almond, olive and carob trees. Only 24 rooms and suites are scattered throughout to create many private, peaceful spaces. Lose yourself in the hotel’s 157 acres, follow the walking trails and enjoy the perfect yoga, scenic gym and infinity pool.
Don’t miss: Al fresco dinner where chefs work in a traditional “fire kitchen” using local wood to add flavor.
Type: Doubles from £405 B&B (thelodgemallorca.com).
With 319 rooms, suites and bungalows, the largest hotel to be opened in Majorca this year (on June 16) is Ikos Porto Petro – but the low buildings and large grounds stop it from being full. On the green beach in the southeast of the island and 50 minutes from Palma Airport, there are five pools and two sandy beaches. There’s Michelin-star cuisine in five restaurants and a 300-bottle wine list. Or take the ‘dine out deal’, a free meal at a local restaurant instead of a hotel restaurant.
Don’t miss: Bring a hotel Tesla and get a Culture Pass to enter the museum on the island.
Type: Doubles available from £290 B&B (ikosresorts.com).
Sir Richard Branson says he has been in love with Majorca for six decades and will be back in June to open Son Bunyola, an apartment hotel near Valldemossa on the Unesco-protected west coast of the island.
Having created a celebrity-friendly environment at his former Mallorcan estate at La Residencia (now owned by luxury travel company Belmond), Branson knows how to make a hotel a success. With Son Bunyola, he added richness to the mansion and placed a long, beautiful pool in front of the old olive press.
Guests stay in 26 rooms including the Tower Suite in the old observation tower.
Don’t miss: A guided tour, where the staff explains how the ancient olive trees are shaken.
Type: Doubles from £520 B&B (virginlimitededition.com).
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
June 24-July 1 – Mallorca Open tennis championship (mallorca-championships.com).
July 11-15 – Frederic Chopin’s works will be performed in the village of Valldemossa, the composer’s former home (festivalchopin.com).
August 5-27 – Classical music festival in the mountain town of Pollenca (festivalpollenca.com).
September 30- Oct 21 – Musicians from all over Europe are playing in Port de Soller (festivalportdesoller.com).
July 30-August 5 – The annual King’s Cup regatta takes place in the Bay of Palma (regatacopadelrey.com).
September 23 – Palma becomes a museum of permanent art during the Nit de L’Art festival (mallorca.es/en).
Majorca-born Rafael Nadal will convert a hotel in July to set up Zel Mallorca beach, a 20-minute drive west of Palma. There are no organized tennis courts (although with 600 on the island there is no shortage) as the main attractions of Zel are the spa, bar and relaxed vibe.
An explosion of aqua colors fills the 180 rooms. Or book Casa Zel, a two-bedroom villa with ocean views. Expect yoga classes under the palm trees, electric bikes for sightseeing and plenty of hammocks and Bali beds in the two large pools.
Don’t miss: Here’s a list of some of Nadal’s most famous inspirations (some are his childhood favorites).
Type: Doubles from £240 B&B (melia.com).
The rooftop pool and rooftop lounge with comfortable sofas, palm trees and parasols is the crowning glory of the newly opened JS Palma Plaza hotel on the edge of the Majorcan capital. You’ll be a 15-minute walk from most of Palma’s attractions, but you’ll have plenty of tapas bars and restaurants nearby. The new building has 56 rooms, including a gym and spa.
Don’t miss: A sunset view of Bellver Castle from the rooftop pool.
Type: Doubles from £70 B&B (jshotels.com).
Good value and relaxed vibes are promised at Cook’s Club Calvia Beach overlooking Palma Bay on the edge of the famous Magaluf. The recently opened, adults-only hotel features a poolside restaurant, boho-chic decor in its 211 rooms and top DJs. There is a gym and bicycles for rent, although most guests are expected to head to the nearby beach or relax on the hotel’s wooden patio.
Don’t miss: Food service with drinks and snacks on the beach by the infinity pool.
Type: Doubles from £82 B&B and 30 per cent off in June (cooksclub.com).
PALMA IN STEEL
British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Tui and Wizz Air fly direct to Palma from a dozen UK airports, with summer fares from £80 return. More information at: mallorca.es/en.
Expect Scandinavian style at Sweden’s Nobis Palma, opening in August in the heart of Majorca’s capital.
Nordic architects have designed 37 rooms and suites from a 12th century building on one of the oldest quiet streets. Visitors are a few minutes from La Seu, Palma’s gothic church and Passeig des Born, a golden street lined with designer shops and restaurants. Outside rain on the sun terrace will beat on hot days, while the rooftop provides views of the sun.
Don’t miss: Drinks in the living room: it is called the ‘surprise room’, designed by the original owners to impress the neighbors.
Type: Doubles from £330 B&B with a 15 per cent discount in August (nobishotel.es).
Nothing can say it like a typical vineyard, one of the highlights of Son Net, a large hotel located 20 minutes from Palma at the foot of the Serra de Tramuntana.
The old manor house has just reopened after a long renovation and now has 31 mixed rooms, suites and cottages with private pools. There is a large spa with a saltwater pool, hot tub and treatment rooms. The open kitchen serves seafood under the stars all summer long.
Don’t miss: Try the hotel’s wine in its bar or take a vineyard tour.
Type: Doubles from £660 B&B (sonnet.es)
BEST BREASTS FOR MAJORCA
Majorca has over 250 beaches – here are just six of the best: