Hotel Review: Palacio Can Marques in Palma, Mallorca
Words by Selina Julien
Palma is definitely having a moment. Considered one of the jewels of the Mediterranean, there’s now a resurgence of tourists flocking to explore Mallorca’s charming, cultural capital. With magnificent architecture at every corner, Palma’s latest restoration project of one of the oldest buildings in the Balearic Islands is certainly something to be celebrated, after opening its doors to the public for the first time in 300 years.
Tucked away down a narrow street in Palma’s Old Town lies Palacio Can Marques, once the former private palace of Spanish aristocracy, now enjoying its latest incarnation as an opulent boutique hotel.
A short stroll away from landmark cathedral La Seu, the unassuming entrance belies Palma’s best-kept secret as the giant wooden doors open up to a vast open-air atrium with symmetrical floating staircases, gothic alabaster columns and a champagne bar. As Al Green’s soulful voice fills the lobby and a chilled flute of Lanson hits the spot, it’s a memorable first impression of the Palacio Can Marques.
Lovingly restored by German businessman Kim Schlindelhaueur and French interior designer Aline Matsika, the 18th century palazzo features 13 bespoke suites with eclectic styles, all designed according to a theme or colour palette. Rooms include Renaissance with its soaring ceilings, Romance with a decadent bathtub for two and Eden, featuring a subtle gold and copper palette, and a private lift either to the roof terrace or down to the courtyard.
The Moroccan-themed presidential suite, Riad, sits proudly at the top of the hotel. It’s palatial with three bedrooms, living and dining area, kitchen and private terrace.
Suites are layered with bespoke chandeliers from Murano, art deco-inspired mirrors, French antiques, art and handmade woven rugs from Nepal. Mod cons blend seamlessly with the furnishings like the TV screens that cleverly disappear into cabinets at the touch of a button.
The hotel manages to pull off the difficult feat of being luxurious, while also feeling intimate thanks to the wonderful craftsmanship and custom made pieces used to transform the historical property, which was the residence of the Marques family for decades.
The crypt-like Restaurant Can Marques is popular with well-heeled patrons and guests alike, or those who prefer an al fresco vibe can dine in the tranquil courtyard where olive, cherry and palm trees create a serene oasis in the heart of the city.
The cuisine is a triumph thanks to resident Belgian chef Cedric, who has curated a mouth-watering menu of Mediterranean classics using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Popular a la carte dishes include Beef bourguignon, Lobster Papardelle and the grilled catch of the day straight from La Lonja.
With the communal areas elegantly designed for guests to relax – think vast bookshelves of interesting tomes and plush velvet loveseats – it’s easy to find many excuses not leave the property at all. The sun-drenched roof terrace boasts panoramic views of the compact capital, not to mention potent sundowners served up by blue-eyed British barman and master mixer Lukas.
While the champagne bar offers a rare treat being the only hotel residence in Spain to boast the entire Lanson vintage collection. Quite a feat, but equally a fitting collaboration given the heritage of the two brands – Champagne Lanson, a favourite in the royal households, dates back to 1760, the same year that the Palacio was built.
A real labyrinth of a property, its additional amenities include a fitness centre and steam room with a masseuse available for in-room treatments. Upscale kaftans and jewellery pieces sourced from local and international designers can be found in the boutique, with the added bonus of purchasing anything in the suites that you fall in love with – from robes to works of art.
Guests who can tear themselves away from the Zen-like ambience of the palazzo can also enjoy private excursions on the hotel’s 108-ft super yacht.
Unpretentious and relaxed, with accommodating staff providing everyone with VIP treatment, owner Kim, who bought the property in 1999, enthuses: “It’s not a hotel, it’s my home and I love to share it with guests… as it’s something special.”
There’s definitely something special about Palacio Can Marques, so it’s no wonder check outs are heavy-hearted as guests disappear into the myriad of streets outside, vowing to return again.
Address: Calle Apuntadors 15, 07012, Palma de Mallorca
Phone: +34 871 520 290