As the summer draws to a close, I do what I have done every year for as long as I can remember; with my gaze firmly set on the Mediterranean; we chase the last of the summer in our favourite places. By now you’ve probably guessed I’m besotted with both Italy and the Balearics; only 2 hours from the United Kingdom and a good 10 degrees warmer. The turquoise waters of Mallorca were calling us and this time we were lucky enough to stay for a week of work and play with a 3-day stay in the Portixol Hotel just outside Palma, right in the middle of our trip.
Staying at Portixol Hotel
Four floors of perfectly designed hotel heaven greeted us on the Tuesday morning we arrived. Part of the exclusive Portixol Group, we’d previously stayed at their sister hotel Esplendido in Soller. Before I write about the hotel and our stay, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the people who make the hotel.
I met Christina, the manager of Portixol, and we talked about the history of the hotel and the surrounding area, she has been the manager for 25 years. Christina kindly took time out from her busy schedule to tell me more about the haven she has created with her amazing staff.
Portixol is an area that has changed quite a bit since the hotel itself opened. It was once a famous gourmet restaurant and the simple beauty and tranquillity of the harbour made it a popular eating and meeting place since 1956, with an unrivalled reputation for delicious seafood.
The name Portixol itself means ‘port and sun’ in Mallorcan, and this perfectly describes what it is all about. You simply fall in love with the charming harbour and sunny terraces. Every day, Portixol residents and visitors enjoy its beautiful setting with properties in the first line to the sea, the marina and endless miles of promenade along the coastline.
Originally an old fishing village, it has moved from being ‘up-and-coming’ to being one of the trendiest and sought-after areas around Palma for purchasing property. Just a few decades ago, it was described as a run-down place until the first homebuyers recognized the potential of the picturesque harbour. They renovated the former fishermen’s cottages along the coast and developed the area.
Despite the development in the area, the typical Mediterranean lifestyle and atmosphere have been preserved, Christina and many of her staff have seen this also, with many of them taking in the beautiful sunsets for over 10, 15 and even 20 years from the prime view of the windows of the hotel that look out onto the glittering sea and the fishing boats that still deliver the food that the guests eat in the restaurant.
The interiors at Portixol
The original Hotel was refurbished in 1999, its pristine white exterior, azure blue shutters and nautical theme are the perfect reflection of its environment combined with a streamlined Scandinavian feel.
As you walk into the stylish lobby, its minimal lines give the fish tanks and the open windows that look onto the turquoise pool an extra nod to its nautical heritage, with subtle touches such as the white pillars shaped as conch shells and lobsters embossed in the walls inside and out.
A further nod to its surroundings are the dark wooden panels that led to our room with portholes and a glossy finish, this of course didn’t prepare us for the beautifully sun-soaked corner room we were staying in.
Our Room at Portixol
Known as the corner terrace, this room faced the sea and the pool on one side and views of Palma and its majestic cathedral on the other side, with a balmy 28 degrees on our arrival we had the option to side on either corner of our terrace in the sun or the shade.
The décor is a mix of warm natural materials, think marble and stone bathrooms, wooden panelling and sun-washed deckchairs; with a nautical splash of blue and white, from the cushions to the fresh white bed linen. The generous bed and double doors that replaced windows meant mornings were a case of opening the shutters and literally sitting in bed watching the sparking waters below.
The generous touches such as the toiletries and complimentary mini-bar were absolutely lovely, however, my ultimate favourite addition (as in the Esplendido) was the robes that were made from crisp cotton fabric resembling a striped shirt.
Wellness at Portixol
I think maybe until recently, people didn’t factor the wellness; post covid I think we are more aware of what is happening to our bodies and our health, Portixol have that covered inside and outside of the hotel.
One side of the hotel is the walk to Palma along the seafront, in summer this may not be your first choice but out of season it’s perfect for running and cycling (bikes are provided also for guests); as is the promenade of Portixol itself.
In the hotel itself, there’s the beautiful pool that sparkled underneath our room and was perfect for a cooling dip or to lounge next to, the pool is not the only part of the hotel dedicated to wellness. There is a small but perfectly formed gym and spa with an outside terrace ideal for yoga.
The Food at Portixol
I think it’s only right to follow up from the wellness theme to the food, at the Portixol it is almost impossible to eat unhealthy food.
The restaurant buzzes with sophisticated locals, guests of the hotels and tourists alike (we overheard one group quote “See wasn’t it worth the walk”). Greeted by George, he’s an effervescent gentleman, who like a large percentage of the staff has been at the hotel under Christina’s watchful eye for over a decade, his charming mannerism was perfectly placed to put you at ease as we perused the menu.
I’m going to take a breath on the food here, as it was so lovely (there’s an editorial dedicated to my favourite Mallorcan restaurants to follow) however, we ate Lunch on the first day and breakfast followed by dinner on the second day it was SO good.
With a more of a leaning toward seafood (it was once famous for its lobster) this does not disappoint, however, Chris had lamb on the first day which he informed me was absolutely stunning. I’m mainly plant-based with the occasional foray outside of this and the prawns for me were the perfect choice. The side salads could be courses in themselves, with fresh ingredients and zingy dressing; whilst the homemade truffles finished with an espresso were a beautifully small indulgent finish.
The breakfast is a choice of buffet or via a menu, once again fresh, local and with gluten-free options it’s the perfect way to start the day.
Side, note… snacks and service by the pool are the way forward, even down to the perfect non-alcoholic mojito; I’m really looking forward to sharing more about the food!
You would never know this is less than ten minutes from the airport, this is the perfect weekend escape or base for exploring the area, there are no crowds like we found in Palma and it is in the perfect location should you wish to dip in and out of the city.
Carrer de la Sirena, 27