Quietly and discreetly, luxury and boutique hotels have been popping up across Mallorca, with many more set to open in the coming years. But if you want to experience Mallorca’s real spirit with unique, unparalleled views of both the mountains and the sea, there is only one place to go – the stunning Jumeirah Port Soller, recent winner of Spain’s Leading Luxury Hotel World Travel Award and recipient of Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold Award for Best Resort in Spain in 2021.
In recent years, Mallorca’s Balearic star has been on the rise. Thanks to big names such as Michael Douglas, Brad Pitt, Annie Lennox and Richard Branson all buying holiday homes on the island, it is now the European destination du jour. With dramatic rocky mountain vistas, pretty stretches of sandy beaches, turquoise sea, a substantial amount of consistent sunshine and temperate weather throughout the year, why wouldn’t you?
Unlike its sister islands Ibiza and Formentera, Mallorca isn’t known for its crazy partying, yoga retreats and boat parties… Although if you want it, you can of course get it here. But with increasing popularity comes more choice and difficulties finding good places to stay and experience the true energy that Mallorca provides.
Nestled in a rocky outcrop in the northwest of Mallorca, a mere 40 minutes from Palma airport, Jumeirah Port Soller sweeps across a 1km stretch of cliff, sliced diagonally between the deep aquamarine sea and the vivid Tramuntana Mountains, the latter of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The first thing that hits you about the hotel as you enter is how absolutely breath-taking the views are from both sides. And luckily, due to the hotel’s location on this diagonal precipice, you are constantly surrounded by sea and mountains no matter where you are in the hotel. I really don’t think many others can beat this location, just on the adjacent side to famous Port Soller.
My Deluxe Mediterranean Sea View Room
ALL rooms at the hotel have either a sea view or a view of the Tramuntana mountain range. My room faced the Port and the sea, and waking up to an endless tranquil blue horizon brought feelings of calm and peace to the hotel’s overall atmosphere. The room itself is understated luxury: off-white marble floors, a very large yet firm bed facing the sea, and remote controlled temperature, lights and curtains, making it so you don’t have to move an inch from the comfort of your bed.
Another nice touch is the welcome pack for all guests; the hotel provides you with a locally weaved wicker basket so you can traverse the grounds in style at all times, and is also available to purchase for a small fee. The welcome pack additionally includes locally sourced olive oil and herbed bath salts, the latter great for use in the hydro-jet bathtub in the palatial bathroom, complete with the largest showerhead I think I’ve ever seen! The room itself is decorated with muted, earthy tones, which allows for full immersion into that gorgeous sea view. My own balcony is large and is bordered by an old tree that almost hugs the sea, like a landscape painting by one of the old Masters. I love that every single detail has been considered, and that each hotel room here is unique so that you can have a different experience each time you visit.
The Jumeirah Port Soller vibe
The Jumeirah hotel group has a set a strong precedent with well-known superhotels in Dubai (Burj Al Arab), Abu Dhabi (Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort) and Capri (Capri Palace), to name a few. But Jumeirah Port Soller has all the typical hallmarks of a Jumeirah hotel and then some with a real home from home feel too.
The décor is understated yet classy throughout, with neutral earthy tones accented by floor to ceiling glass windows, letting the views do most of the talking. All 120 rooms and suites have large balconies or terraces and are generously sized. Bathrooms are laden with marble and Natura Bissé toiletries. Natura Bissé are a family-owned Spanish luxury skincare business from Barcelona, and the toiletries on offer this time are pleasant and refreshingly citrus, mimicking the groves of oranges and lemons dotted along this side of Mallorca’s beautiful coastline.
The hotel also offers a fair few stunning suites, including the split-level Lighthouse Suite, complete with floor to ceiling windows, original arches, a private terrace, and the Mar Blau villa with its own pool facing the sea and terraces. One of my favourite parts of the hotel was the adults only infinity pool, perched at the highest level of the hotel and directly facing the exquisitely sapphire sea.
If you chose to just stay at the hotel and not explore the island, the hotel has more than enough amenities to keep you going for weeks at a time. With three pools, three restaurants, a state of the art and award-winning spa and gym (more to come on that later) and those views, you could be very content wiling away your hours by cracking open a cold one or two and gazing out at the sea. But Jumeirah Port Soller likes to make sure you have the option of experiencing what makes Mallorca Mallorca, and that starts with its hefty list of activities… from painting classes to scenic boat tours, they have you covered.
One of the highlights from my stay was a visit to Finca Son Moragues, a redeveloped organic olive oil grove that allows you to literally taste, smell and feel Mallorca through its centuries-old olive trees, a true sensorial experience. Our walk through the olive groves is peppered with interesting details about olive oil cultivation and harvesting, all the while surrounded by the dramatic mountains of Valldemossa. We then hop in a beautiful vintage green Land Rover and zigzag around the different olive grove trees, finishing at the Finca with its layered vegetable garden, seashell-covered grotto and abundance of carob trees.
We eat a simple but hearty lunch of bread, olives, olive oil, typical Mallorcan empanadas with meat and vegetable fillings and a bottle of fizzy, refreshing but dry cava, all while facing the beautiful land of Son Moragues. Rooted in ancient history and Mallorcan tradition, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a morning, and best of all, Jumeirah did all the hard work so you don’t have to. Just ask at the reception to find out what activities are on during your stay, and Jumeirah will do the rest. In case you want to organise your own trip, Jumeirah Port Soller also provides private transfers to anywhere on the island on request, using Mallorca’s prestigious Transfer Class service.
Three distinct pillars combine to create the foundation of any Jumeirah Hotel – Architecture, food and beverages and superior service, and Jumeirah Port Soller is no exception to this rule. The hotel celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022, and with this celebration came the appointment of new executive chef, Javier Lopez Ruiz. Known for his passion for fresh and responsibly sourced organic food, he has helped bring a certain pizzazz to the hotel’s three restaurants:
Starting with Cap Roig brasserie, so named after a local fish, is the hotel’s more casual offering and is found in the centre of the hotel complex. It faces the sea with the mountains on your left-hand side and one of the three pools (family-friendly) directly in front. Shortly after arriving at the hotel and checking in to our rooms, we have a beautiful lunch sitting under Cap Roig’s verdant canopy and have time to take in those all-encompassing vistas.
Service is snappy and within half an hour, we have been served bread, local Mallorcan olive oil and wine, and our rice dishes arrive in their wide flat black pans with delicately crisped edges. The waiter corrects us when we refer to it as paella and goes on to explain it is actually arroz de senyoret, or “gentleman’s rice” in English. It is different to the typical Valencian paella as the seafood comes “undressed”, and therefore easier to inhale… raunchy! The restaurant also serves local wines, including a lovely Mallorcan Mortitx Blanco, made from Chardonnay, Muscat Blanc and Malvasia grape varieties, which complements our senyoret rice dish especially well. For dinner the following night, Cap Roig selects a variety of only the freshest fish and cooks each to order, either simply grilled or with a sea salt crust. We choose a sea bream with salt crust, a big-eyed red snapper grilled on the josper with some lemon and steamed clams with garlic and parsley from the a la carte as our mains. There really is no comparison to fresh seafood, which due to the hotel’s extraordinary location, is sourced directly from the port below every morning.
We also eat a charming dinner at nightfall at the Sunset Lounge, thusly called as it’s the hotel restaurant with the highest altitude and has the most scintillating 360° views of the sun at dusk. It’s a cocktail bar and also a fusion restaurant, serving all kinds of interesting sushi, including my favourite spicy tuna roll, ceviches and a selection of Peruvian anticuchos (skewers) such as Iberico pork shoulder. I rather enjoyed perusing the diverse cocktail list, with fun additions to classics like a Yuzu Martini and a gin sour with a nutty choya shiso umeshu liqueur.
The hotel’s jewel in the food crown however is Es Fanals, perched beside the adults only infinity pool at the top of the hotel. Looking more like a private Spanish country house than a restaurant, the décor emulates the surroundings, with lots of wood (local pine, of course), rounded corners and off-white furnishings. Despite the casual surroundings, the restaurant is one of the more high-end offerings on the entire island. It offers an a la carte and two tasting menus, with all dishes featuring Mallorcan or Balearic accents. On our visit, we enjoy the 5-course tasting menu, which is accompanied by wine pairings and excellent, insightful but never intrusive service. Highlights include a gazpacho with langoustine tartare, beluga caviar and local Mallorcan cherries from Alaro, black pork served medium rare on its own charcoal-heated grill, and a zingy lemon and citrus brûlée.
When I say this might be my favourite spa in the world, I am in no way exaggerating. It is large, has multiple sensorial experiences, and a beautiful infinity hydro-pool with inbuilt jacuzzi that faces the Tramuntana mountain range. If it’s relaxation and rejuvenation you’re looking for, that is what you’ll get here. The spa in total is an enormous 2,200 square feet of pure luxury all bathed in the snow-white glow of the Mediterranean sun.
With 10 treatment rooms all named after different herbs and an extensive range of massages suiting all skin and body types, you can use this part of the hotel to wind down from the chaos of city life. Want a sauna and steam? You have almost too much choice, with a bio sauna facing the mountains, experience showers, a hammam suite, steam bath room, ice fountain and salt bath rooms all available, one can easily spend a full 24 hours here. The gym is fully decked out with its own yoga/dance studio, weights area and numerous cardio machines, and as a nice touch, the hotel provide their own in-ear headphones for all guests, just in case you’ve forgotten your own.
In a nutshell
Presided over by the wonderful and kind-hearted Gianluca Priori, the hotel is closed between the November and April cooler months, each year working to make the hotel bigger and even better for its esteemed clientele. Having been a visitor to Spain and its islands for many years, it takes a lot for me to want to return to the same places time and again. Jumeirah Port Soller have outdone themselves with the beautiful architecture, service and amenities here, and I am already consulting my schedule over the next few months to see whether I can slot in a cheeky return trip. I have only the most positive feedback on this hotel nestled in a rocky outcrop of north-western Mallorca. Remember, if you want to stay different, stay Jumeirah Port Soller.
To discover more, visit: jumeirah.com/mallorca
5 things to do in Mallorca:
- If you’re visiting the island’s capital Palma, you must go to the impressive gothic cathedral, the Santa María de Mallorca, locally referred to as La Seu
- Staying in Soller or Port Soller? Take the charming historic tram between both towns and spot the beautiful lemon and orange groves in between (Jumeirah can also organise this for you if you elect to stay there)
- Stalactites and stalagmites abound in Campanet’s kooky mountain caves, available with and without guided tours. More info here
- Culinary magic ensues at Belmond La Residencia’s award-winning restaurant El Olivo, nestled in the mountains of Deià, one of the island’s most exclusive locales
- Famed poet and author Robert Graves, known for I, Claudius and his verses on WWI, lived and died in Mallorca. His house is open for all the public to see and is kept maintained by the Robert Graves Foundation. Make sure to book in advance.
All imagery courtesy of Jumeirah Port Soller / The Jumeirah Group.