Spain’s party islands have cast off their wild reputation and reinvented themselves as stylish and sophisticated holiday havens
The Balearic Islands have historically played host to the smart set and it’s not hard to see why. They’ve got it all – beautiful beaches, mountains, scenic white-washed coastal towns, olive groves and even lakes. And after the hedonism of the Eighties and Nineties, the Balearics are enjoying a renaissance.
Hotel MiM Ibiza Es Vivé
The Lowdown A deco-style gem offering both sides of island life.
Best for Lounge lovers who want to party by night and bask peacefully on a rooftop terrace by day.
Situated halfway between Ibiza town and party hot spot Playa d’en Bossa, Es Vivé embodies the Balearic lifestyle down to a T – it’s just close enough to the heart of the action to dip a toe in the vibrant club scene, but far away enough for chilled-out downtime.
The hotel’s Miami-meets-Mykonos edifice is one of the most unique on the island – with its Art Deco-style, symmetrical white-washed exterior, it’s no surprise the expansive outdoor areas are the main focus here, especially the roof terrace, with panoramic views overlooking Figueretas beach below.
By the pool you’ll find different DJs every afternoon, playing a quintessentially ambient Ibizan soundtrack. Rooms have a simple, stripped-back décor, with a subtle nod to the Twenties, but the hotel restaurant Deco lets the full glamour of the decade come into play – marble floors, a mirror-backed bar and leather club chairs create an oasis of period charm if you’re in need of respite from the sun, or a good highball.
Book it From £92 for a double room.
The lowdown A secluded port of cool in one of the capital’s central historic plazas.
Best for hanging out with the locals in the hotel bar.
Sitting in the charm-filled, cobbled square from which it takes its name, Hotel Cort is housed in a century-old former bank. Transformed by hotel guru Lázaro Rosa-Violán (who has a host of international projects under his belt, including the Delano in Miami), the fresh and preppy look of Hotel Cort cherry-picks the best of old Mallorcan style for a stylish modern clientele.
Small yet spacious, the 16 individually designed rooms echo a marine theme, with a palette of sea blues, bare wood and linen whites, given a dash of personality with whimsical props such as maps, surfboards and typewriters.
Blue-and-white tiled tiered terraces and a rooftop pool provide sheltered spots for soaking up the sun. Guests can choose to enjoy a tipple at the private Altillo mezzanine bar, while downstairs, the hotel bar and restaurant opens out on to Plaça de Cort, tempting in locals and visitors with its raw-seafood bar and Iberico ham sliced to order.
Book it From £231 for a double room.
Font Santa Hotel
The lowdown A tranquil, kid-free oasis fed by thermal waters.
Best for The beautiful historic landscape and easy access (by bike) to the island’s best beach, es Trenc.
Blissfully remote, Font Santa is a haven for all things natural. It lies just next to Mallorca’s Es Salobrar de Campos nature reserve – a protected area of salt flats, which once upon a time the Romans harvested, dubbing it ‘white gold’. But it’s the subterranean water source that gives Font Santa its unique selling point – housed in a 19th-century sandstone villa, the hotel sits on thermal waters rich in minerals, which are pumped into its spa.
There’s a series of thermal baths, a steam room, Jacuzzi and an extensive wellness treatment menu, so guests can be pampered after a day exploring the unspoilt loveliness of Es Trenc, Mallorca’s finest beach – a gentle, 15-minute bicycle ride away. Font Santa’s interiors are modern yet in keeping with its traditional Mallorcan bones – the hotel was refurbished in 2012 and has been upgraded with a sophisticated palette of taupe, grey and caramel colours, which make for a calm and relaxed vibe.
Gastronomy is also a highlight, with the restaurant’s refined Mallorcan flavours enhanced all the more with the use of local flor de sal (sea salt) from the very saline ponds the hotel overlooks.
Book it From £199 for a double room.