Best Mallorca hotel for: families
A seriously useful Spanish address to have up your sleeve, this green-shuttered, balustraded 1950s hotel is tucked away on the north-west coast in Port de Sóller, a horseshoe-shaped scoop out of the Tramuntana mountains. It’s a million miles from the egg-and-chips package tours of Magaluf. Here you have a rather charming seaside town, a pedestrianised waterfront, a curving stretch of sand backed by tavernas and beach restaurants, and the Esplendido right in the very middle.
Swedish couple Mikael and Johanna Landström (who also own the Hotel Portixol in Palma) have transformed it from rather fusty-dusty traditional lodgings into a gleaming-fresh temple of Scandinavian chic. The bright and airy bedrooms, retro-cool with mid-century armchairs and fern-frond-printed wallpaper, have views either out to the water or to the terraced gardens behind, planted with olive trees, red geranium and bougainvillaea. And because there’s no traffic, you really can go to sleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore.
Your mini-bar comes stocked with complimentary drinks; the wardrobes contain help-yourself flip-flops and beach bags; bathrooms are loaded with thick, white towels and delicious Korres bottles in the showers. Mineral water by the bed is topped up nightly and the Wi-Fi is free and everywhere. If your brood is made up of under-10s, they’ll love the electric juicer at the breakfast bar, with bowls of grapefruits, oranges, limes and lemons ready to be squeezed.
There’s a kids’ menu in the bistro, a family pool (and one for the grown-ups), baby bedding, highchairs and cots all available, as well as junior treatments in the spa. While there’s no kids’ club, the shallow waters of the bay are great for timid paddlers and eager snorkellers, and there are pedalos for those needing to burn off excess energy as well as boat trips out of the harbour to coves further up the coast. In the early evening, when temperatures cool, take the wooden tram to Sóller town for a drink while the youngsters wheel around the smooth stones in the main square. And if you manage to get everyone to bed in time when you’re back, make a beeline for one of the striped, nautical chairs on the terrace. Order a stiff gin and tonic and marvel as the sun drops straight between the cliffs and sets behind the bobbing boats.
INSIDER TIP If you ask to be in a room on one of the lower floors, you’ll find your baby-monitor signal reaches to the restaurant.
Address: Passeig Es Traves, 5, 07108 Port de Sóller, Illes Balears, Spain
Price: Doubles from about £238