About a 20-minute walk (or a quick cab ride) from the centre of Palma, this hotel rises like a beacon from the middle of the miniscule Portixol harbour (part of the trendy fishermen's quarter) surrounded by clanking masts, fishermens' sloops and wind-beaten palm trees.
All 26 rooms here are filled with colour and light (mainly Mediterranean blues) with the odd leopard skin throw or pony skin rug for fun. I love that it doesn’t take design too seriously, so while it certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the pages of an interiors magazine it is not all po-faced about it. Most rooms have great views of the sea and harbour, and along with the DVDs and sound systems you’ll also find a pair of binoculars. Nice touch. After a recent expansion, the Portixol is not as small as it once was and has several, easy-to-understand room categories: atico (the penthouse on the roof), Mediterranean view terrace, Mediterranean view, port view terrace, port view, big port view, no view (the single rooms), port house and corner terrace. All self-explanatory enough stuff. If you can afford a terrace to sit out on, it is money well spent (my favourite is room 31), and if you’re a family or a couple of friends traveling together consider treating yourself to the Port House (a collection of duplex suites with private living room, terrace and Jacuzzi).
The place to be is around the pool, lounging about on a day bed with a long drink in your hand or kicking back in the shade of the veranda on a plump, stripy sofa. What so many so-called designer hotels lack, and what the Portixol has in spades is comfort: there are sofas everywhere, reading corners, stacks of glossy magazines and newspapers. All good for people watching and making new friends.
Eating and drinking
Food here is good and varied. Breakfast is a large, and typically Scandinavian brunch-style buffet. That means plenty of good things like stewed berries and yogurt, eggs made to order, hearty rye bread, cheese and charcuterie. The restaurant does what I'd call Scando-Asian fusion - think inventive fish dishes that are light and bright. They also do an good value, three-course ‘seaside lunch’ Mon-Fri for €18.50. The bar serves one of the best burgers in town and a good selection of Mad Men style cocktails.
The Spa offers a good range of treatments and massages (I like the super relaxing lavender scrub, wrap and massage, a treat at €120, but worth it if you’re feeling frazzled), for gym bunnies there’s a small room for workouts, free city bikes for zipping into town, and free tickets to Real Club Deportivo Mallorca home games: a big added-extra for football fans.
The sheer number of return visitors to the Portixol is testament to the kind of service you get here: relaxed yet professional and endlessly helpful when it comes to restaurant recommendations, reservations and other stuff to occupy your time.
Who stays there
A mix of nationalities including quite a few Spanish, though it is particularly beloved by Brits and Swedes. Mainly a grown-up, fashion-forward crowd ranging from upwardly mobile couples, hip families escaping with the kids, and groups of friends on mini-breaks.
Discounted package breaks during winter months and around Christmas, good Spa deals for guests. Breakfast is included.
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Great views / scenery
- Chilling out
Pros & Cons
- Un-self-consciously cool
- Gets very busy