This small, intimate city-centre hotel is friendly, architecturally and historically interesting, and run by very helpful and friendly staff. Its location in the Old Town of Palma de Mallorca makes it an ideal base for discovering what the city has to offer - and it has much, from the Cathedral to the market to the art museum, all glued together with some high quality and stylish restaurants.
The Palacio Ca Sa Galesa is a restored 17th Century nobleman's house. It therefore does not come with a flat screen computer in every room, elevators that play specially composed music, uniformed doormen waiting to call taxis for you or indeed many of the other goodies that 5 star hotels around the world seem to think are necessary to attract the well-heeled traveller.
What it does provide is a charming, idiosyncratic layout, antique furnishings, original 20th Century artworks on the walls, a certain charm and a truly accommodating attitude on the part of the front office staff.
The hotel can arrange a limo transfer from the main airport just outside Palma (that, believe it or not, is the third busiest airport in the whole of Spain), and we took advantage of that option. It was nice to be whisked through the suburbs in an air-conditioned Mercedes van, sipping our chilled mineral water; but the journey time is less than twenty minutes and there seem to be plenty of taxis at the airport. The limo transfer I would say therefore is far from being a must. At €49 it is (just) on the right side of the value for money line, in my view.
The frontage of the hotel is a large wooden door on a narrow, delightful cobbled street. The Reception area is a small air-conditioned office on the Ground floor; and the rooms themselves are on the First and Second Floors.
Each room differs from its neighbour. All seem to be furnished to a high standard. The beds are comfortable (we stayed in two different rooms during our visit) although the mattresses are somewhat harder than those we are used to at home. There is an extensive pillow menu, at least one painting on the wall, satellite TV, well-appointed bathroom/shower, etc, etc in each room.
Our first room was Purcell. This is styled as a luxe suite by the hotel. It certainly had plenty of space and a central bathroom between the bedroom and lounge areas that I can only describe as "fin-de-siecle" in style. (Sorry, don't know the Spanish for this, or very much else actually.)
We moved to a smaller room (Sibelius) for the second part of our stay, and preferred this one partly because the bathroom layout was slightly more practical for husband-and-wife and also because Sibelius is at the rear of the hotel and therefore slightly quieter - it seems the rooms on the front can suffer a little from street noise.
In the morning you go down to the courtyard in order to visit a well-stocked breakfast room that provides English and German language newspapers and a more than adequate choice of things to eat and drink.
Post breakfast if you are not out exploring Palma you can visit a small spa area next to the breakfast room where massage and beauty treatments (as well as expert physiotherapy) can be booked and enjoyed; you can sit in an outdoor courtyard on the First Floor; you can enjoy the shared spaces such as the Library and Drawing Room; or you can head up to the Third Floor to the rooftop sun terrace.
Here there is an adequate number of loungers; a waterfall/shower you can use to cool off; four cabana-style tents (called Haimas) that you can rent for about €70 a day; and a bar area with drinks and quite substantial snacks (such as ciabatta sandwiches and so on).
The terrace is very relaxing and has a charming view over red tiled roofs (in one direction); out over the bay (in another) or, if you look to the right, one of the best views in Palma of the Cathedral.
The food service operates on an honesty system, using which you record your purchases on a pad a la mini-bar in many other hotels.
For one reason and another we spent about one and a half days snoozing in the Haimas. The rental price includes free snacks and drinks plus a bottle of Cava. There is also a flat screen TV but the range of English language channels was limited and anyway the sun was too bright for much TV watching. The Terrace on the whole is a relaxing place, and TV is not really essential in such a location.
If you wish you can take your spa treatment on the Terrace. You may or may not like the slight reduction in privacy, compared to a spa treatment room, that this entails; but receiving a treatment under the hot Mediterranean sun for my money was an unusual and enjoyable experience.
The hotel does not have a restaurant as such. If you wish to dine in you can take your pick from a range of locations around the building and your food will be brought to you. We did this for one evening and had a very well prepared Paella as recommended by the hotel staff.
The wine list is limited to say the least. The quality of the wines however is good.
The hotel has a very small gym equipped with cardiovascular machines but really it is too small to be of much use. There is an exercise pool in the basement including a water jet that provides swimming resistance. The pool is not large enough to let you swim lengths.
There are some free weights but not much room to use them - it is easier just to borrow the ones you need and take them to your room, where there is plenty of space for a workout.
The hotel offers free tea and cake in the Kitchen every afternoon - this reminded me of our stay at Mohonk Mountain House some years ago - and in the early evening you can help yourself to a glass of sherry.
The bar is well equipped drinks-wise and again you just record what you take using a pad and pencil. Overall the feeling very much is that you are staying in the house of a wealthy, generous host who has just had to nip out for an hour or so while you make yourself comfortable.
The staff in the hotel are extremely friendly, welcoming and helpful (as are the spa staff, who I think are brought in from beauty and wellness businesses in Palma). The Front Desk can book you tickets for anything on the island it seems and appears also to know the most fashionable restaurants in town. The restaurant recommendations really felt like "insider knowledge" - we got some great tables and consumed the highest standards of food and wine.
The hotel's location is ideal for visiting on foot most of what the centre of Palma has to offer.
So overall, this is a little jewel of a hotel the memory of which will remain vivid for a long time to come. The only things that stop the place from getting 5/5 from me are firstly the tiny size of the gym and pool area - and of course I accept that the hotel cannot create a larger footprint than that of the original house - the slightly limited wine choice at dinner, and little else really. One should not lightly give out a perfect score, but this place came pretty close; and we will definitely be going back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palacio Ca Sa Galesa is an iconic 5-stars boutique-hotel in the heart of Palma de Mallorca. It is located in an elegant XVI century palace which perfectly combines island's architecture with French, Italian and English style.This charming hotel has 12 rooms, all of them unique and different. The wonderful interiors of Palacio Ca Sa Galesa are smartly decorated with valuable works of art by great artists such as Miro, Calder or Bennasar. The hotel is equipped with comfortable lounges and meeting rooms, a library, a bar, a restaurant, a breakfast room, a quiet courtyard for relaxing and a spacious terrace for sunbathing. Hotel's excellent location allows guests enjoying some excellent views of Palma's bay and Cathedral.Palacio Ca Sa Galesa offers a wide variety of quality services including Wi-Fi Internet access, 24 hour room service, express check-in/out, air conditioning, heating, parking facilities, free bike rental and a new wellness area with gym, thermal bath circuit, heated indoor pool, sauna, Roman bath, Jacuzzi and health and beauty treatments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palacio Ca Sa Galesa Hotel
- Hotel Palacio Ca Sa Galesa Palma De Mallorca, Majorca