Carioca Outpost: Mallorca
Once associated with package deals and hordes of sunburnt tourists, the Balearic Islands have undergone a reputation transformation in recent years (not least due to the sumptuous production of The Night Manager filmed in the region) and Mallorca is now more likely to be populated with celebrities, public figures, and a high-end traveller clientele.
Where to sleep
High-rise developments of the past are easily avoided, and have rapidly lost ground to the latest in luxury accommodation, from luxe city locations to rural idylls. We recommend you check in at the Cap Rocat hotel, a former military bastion, this hotel boasts a small number of suites with private pools, terraces, and spa-inspired interiors, all set into the original walls and features of the fortress. The views and setting are unparalleled amongst hotel accommodation and it is the last word in both grandeur and romance.
If you want to stay in the heart of Palma, the Hotel Cort is another stand-out option for accommodation. It also happens to be home to a restaurant that is open to non-residents, and absolutely unmissable. Don’t be put off by the extensive menu. In fact, don’t even read it. Order the ceviche, it’s the best on the island.
Where to eat
The produce of Mallorca – from seafood to olive oil – has always been exceptional, but is steadily gaining recognition and becoming a sought-after commodity, particularly the wines. The best restaurants on the island champion local flavours and dishes, whether you choose Michelin star, or laid-back local favourite.
Flanigan Restaurant, in Portals Nous, began as a breakfast spot on the port, but has developed into a first-class terrace hotspot in recent years. Before you even think about starters, order dessert. The signature apple tart is prepared to order and requires extra notice time for the kitchen. You’ll be glad when you did when the end of the meal arrives and so do caramelised laters of filo pastry and apple. Enjoy at a leisurely place surrounded by the soothing comings and going of yachts in the port.
Despite having a few locations scattered across the Balearics, Tahini Sushi Bar is more a curated portfolio of restaurants than a chain. The Portals Nous location has a unique character and a beautiful setting with an indoor garden featuring trees growing by each table. Both the sushi and the Instagram factor are off the charts.
Where to shop
Rialto Living is a beautifully curated concept store in an equally pleasing building. Tucked beneath vaulted ceilings, between marble pillars and full-length wood panelled windows is a selection of fashion (including Frescobol Carioca should you have a resort-wear emergency), homewares, contemporary art, and even a bespoke interior design studio. Take a break to fuel your exploration in the Rialto Café: a tranquil courtyard café with a menu that includes wine from their own vineyard, and the signature Rialto salad: a crisp and refreshing combination of avocado, yuzu, shrimp and strawberries.
Puerto Portals has developed around a series of private yacht moorings, and now offers everything from a weekly farmers’ market to a series of luxury boutiques. Our favourite is Exclusive swimwear: showcasing the best of beachwear and accessories (yes, we’re in there). They also run regular events including regattas and musical concerts.
Where to relax
PuroBeach beach club is located on a stunning peninsula, and is also equipped with an incredible black feature pool, and a spa, restaurant, and bar. While away a day socialising and unwinding in the picture-perfect location. Stay for an apéro if you’ve got time: it is an ideal spot to catch the setting sun to DJ tunes.
Mhares Sea Club certainly rivals PuroBeach for sunset views, but offers a slightly different atmosphere to clients. With a strict adults-only policy, this is a quieter, low-key spot where you are sure to go undisturbed. The chill out zone offers a sophisticated, ambient atmosphere to watch that famous sunset.
Where to absorb the culture
Es Baluard museum, founded in 2004, exhibits a collection of contemporary and modern art, with a focus on Balearic artists or those with a strong connection to the Balearic Islands. Located in a 16th century fortification, this museum would be worth visiting even without its enviable permanent collection including Picasso, Joan Miró, and Andy Warhol.
Just five minutes walk away, the Gerhardt Braun gallery is the perfect follow-up for a cultural programme. The beautiful stone building champions a tasteful and memorable curation of avant garde and contemporary artworks, presented in a strikingly creative manner. Emerging artists feature alongside big names, for an experience with just enough familiar pieces to feel entice a visit, while undoubtedly introducing you to some new figures of interest.