Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Photo: Can Bordoy

The Balearic Islands are some of your favorite islands in the world. You’ve partied on Ibiza. You’ve hiked around Menorca. You’ve soaked up the sun and the culture on Mallorca. You’ve even hidden and recuperated on Formentera. You’ve always visited the autonomous Spanish community during the summer, though. Everyone forgets about them by October. But the Mediterranean islands have mild winters; it’s usually sunny and in the 60s through February. You could see a very different side of the popular holiday destination right now.

You always wanted to spend more time in Palma de Mallorca. Ciutat (City) is the capital and largest city of the Balearics. The busy port sits on the southwest coast of Mallorca and the Bay of Palma. It was controlled by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Moors, and the Aragons before the Spanish staked their claim. Tourists now rule the walled city. They come to see the Old Town, La Seu (the cathedral), Bellver Castle, and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. They stroll along the palm-lined waterfront, gallery hop, and alternate between tapas bars and Michelin-starred meals, too. The beaches outside of the city always beckon you, though. This time, Palma has your undivided attention.

You already have your hotel picked out. You’ve been wanting to stay at Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden since it opened a few years ago. The boutique hotel is steps from Plaça de la Drassana. The yacht-filled harbor is just beyond the square. The hotel’s Grand House is a 16th-century mansion. Vegetation crawls all over its walls and roof. The natural vibe flows into the parlor-style lobby, where Gothic pillars, Baroque gilt mirrors, and a grand chandelier are draped with faux ivy.

Photo: Can Bordoy

Botànic, an all-day restaurant, serves organic breakfasts and interesting tapas dishes. Mallorcan wines and great cocktails flow at the bar and on the terrace. The latter leads into the walled garden. The largest private garden in Palma is surrounded by 12th-century walls. It features 70 plant species, including a huge Mallorcan Lledoner tree, and a pool that’s heated year-round. There are usually more singing birds than people out there.

The garden isn’t the only relaxing spot at the hotel. The basement spa has stone walls and dozens of candles. A steam room, a hot tub, and a horizontal shower join its treatment rooms. There’s a rooftop terrace, as well. It has a small glass plunge pool and panoramic views of the Old Town. While the suites—there are only 24 of them—have frescoed ceilings, marble bathrooms, and vintage drink cabinets. You upgrade to a deluxe suite to take advantage of its freestanding bathtub.

It feels like you found a secret hideaway right in the middle of Palma. You’ll certainly be torn between the city and the beach next summer.

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