As you may have seen from my previous editorial for the Bespoke Black Book, I am a fully paid-up member of the Balearics Fan Club. Having spent many years visiting Andratx and the surrounding areas, I’m very much a sea and sunsets girl, having only visited the beautiful city of Palma just a few times. So, as you can imagine, I was looking forward to visiting the former palace that is Hotel Gloria de Sant Jaume. The property dates back to the 16th century, with some elements that go back as far as medieval times, with a stylish nod to this history throughout the building, thanks to the beautiful arches made from local Mares de Santanyi stone, the rescued ceiling frescoes that are displayed in the lobby and exquisite details such as framed newspapers that had been found in the walls of the building when it was lovingly restored.
This positive aura is felt as soon as you enter this exquisite building; you instantly feel welcome, greeted with warm smiles as you enjoy a chilled glass of cava at the bar or in the lobby lounge upon arrival. It’s a relaxing moment when you can take-in the beauty of the historic building. There are many original features from over the centuries, as I originally mentioned, but Gloria de Sant Jaume hotel sparkles with contemporary glamour.
When Jordi Cabau and Heidi Wolf bought the property, it had been virtually untouched for 50 years. A passion project of epic proportions began, and understand intimately what guests desire. They are collectors of art and beautiful artifacts, true epicureans. Together, the couple began the task of repurposing the architectural elements from the various periods of the building to maintain a sense of history in the hotel, tiles in the bedrooms were copied to continue floor patterns, the marès walls and giant wood beams of the original structure were exposed, and parquet herringbone floors were installed. Everything is immaculate, stylish, with an understated touch of luxury; their dream is well and truly translated.
Personal service is key at Hotel Glòria and nothing is too much trouble – whether organising a spa treatment, dinner or even a bespoke cocktail at the bar. Throughout the day, drinks and snacks are available in the snug cocktail bar adjacent to the sweeping lobby or on sun-soaked roof terrace. We took advantage advantage of the cloudless sky, immaculate loungers and whirlpool while enjoying spectacular panoramic views over the old town and Palma Cathedral.
As well as the roof terrace there is a well-equipped spa located in the atmospheric basement of the hotel – which once housed the stables and ancient water system. Facilities include a sauna, hammam and treatment room for a range of beauty treatments and massages. The pool however takes centre stage as you swim under arches that are centuries old.
All this is before you set foot in your room. The rooms as you can imagine follow in the stylish footsteps of the rest of the hotel. No two are the same, with a strong art deco feel softened with a Mediterranean touch. The Love Suite on the first floor has a mezzanine with a Victorian bath; another on the second, with cream and oxblood-red tiled floors, has a circular window. Little touches, such as extra large beds with toppers and natural fibre fillings, the TVs are cleverly disguised as mirrors allowing a complete switch off from technology. The large windows with shutters overlook the narrow street outside and as the light changes through the day you hear the city’s day to day movements as a quiet background narrative. The roll top bath in the bedroom is the perfect antidote to afternoon walks around the streets of Palma or if a shower is more your thing, the cool marble bathrooms wash away the sun cream and cool sun warmed shoulders before dinner.
Dinner in itself is a must do even if you are not staying in the hotel, the restaurant create the most incredible dishes from Mallorcan ingredients, we had the following as a taster. I eat a mainly plant based diet and I was looking forward to a more luxurious Mallorcan take on my favourite Mediterranean dishes; where as Laura had a gastronomical introduction to what could only be described as meat and fish from every corner and flavour of the Island.
To start Croquettes; these homemade croquettes with three different flavours: Spinach, Codfish and Lamb, were presented with what were affectionately described as baby sharks (no sharks were harmed!) these were a delicate salty squid ink shark shaped cookie to complement the texture and taste of the croquettes. This was followed by the most delicious Grilled artichoke with Mediterranean Dukkah, which is a mixed of Mediterranean spices, paired with a crisp Mallorcan Rose this was a perfect balance of flavours. (The wine I may add, should include the local choices in my opinion as they are as much a part of the delicious story as what is created for you on your plate). I had the incredible Grilled Aubergine with Hummus, promote granade and marinated cherries, whilst Laura had the Lamb tenderloin with Parmentier, vegetables and Port sauce. This beautifully presented food tasted as amazing as it looked, we finished this with local Cheese Platter, in which we had Manchego Cheese, Menorcan Cheese, Goat Cheese and Mallorcan Cheese, with a fig marmalade.
I had the opportunity to talk to Andres, and like the rest of the incredible team; you could see there is a sense of pride and happiness when talking about what they create in this incredible hotel and restaurant,
“The creation of this menú was meant to match the building where the hotel is placed. Is an easy and yet sophisticated menu in which we try to use as much local products as we can. It is a Mediterranean creative menú, I would call it. Our goal as restaurant and as hotel is make you feel in “La Gloria”. Once you cross these doors let us pamper you”
They most certainly did, thank you so much Hotel Gloria de Sant Jaume, I really do hope to see you soon; your team from the minute you step into the lobby to the moment you check out are an absolute credit to you!
Hotel Glòria de Sant Jaume
Carrer de Sant Jaume, 18