Mallorca’s Hotel Es Princep Combines Spanish Tradition with Seaside Living
Mallorca’s eclectic and invigorating energy of old and new is contagious. It’s an oceanside epicenter bathed in both sunshine and history, where the waves wash on to pulsing nightclubs and ancient religious ruins. It’s a city that has drastically grown thanks to a surging tourism industry over the last decade, with a vast majority of these visitors coming from the UK and other parts of Europe, eager to chase the golden sunshine and warm waters, while also basking in the voluminous tastes that the Spanish island has to offer.
Enter Hotel Es Princep, a new player in the Palma hotel scene, opening its doors in 2018 in an aggressively fought tourism market. Its position by the waters of Playa de Palma, literally steps away from its front door, and proximity to The Royal Palace of La Almudaina, Palma Cathedral and Parc de Mar, all of which are walkable, place it in an appealing location, but within the hotel’s walls lies its true allure, in its unique character, and moreso, the unexampled local perspective that it’s able to provide its guests.
The hotel is luxuriously simple. The 68 rooms inside are understated and practical. It’s what you’d expect from a beachside villa, with lavish and ostentatious fittings omitted for the sake of functionality for its placid environment. The decor of the hotel closely resembles typical local Mallorcan homes; stone, wood, and copper - all commonly used domestic materials in the region, litter the construction in a modernly tasteful and stylish manner with straight lines and acute angles accenting the borders of each space. In the center of the hotel, a bright patio bathes in sunshine streaming in from the open sky above, paying reference to another common feature of Mallorcan homes. A modest fitness room is compensated with a truly spectacular spa, equipped with an underground 60ft pool, and large saunas and jacuzzi.
At the top of the hotel lies a breathtaking oasis for guests, with a luxuriously spacious rooftop bar. Sipping on specialty cocktails made from the hotel chef’s own local gin, bathing in the contemporary infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on one side, and the charmingly rustic, browned residences on the other side places you in an elevated throne with an unparalleled view of the city. Sun beds are promptly tended to, and simple touches like complimentary sunscreen, footwear, and towels continue the theme of homely comforts. Guests can also dine on a selection of local tapas prepared in the rooftop kitchen, including fresh Mallorcan seafood like octopus and fish, as well as traditional Spanish specialties, including a wonderfully refreshing and effervescent gaspatcho, the perfect afternoon snack in the warm climate.
Downstairs, guests commence their day with, in my opinion, one of the true gems of this hotel. Hotel Es Princep’s breakfast is a wonderfully breathtaking array of local Mallorcan delights, some on the more indulgent side, but impressive nonetheless. A buffet of local meats and cheese, fresh tropical fruits, baskets of breads, sit alongside traditional Mallorcan offerings such as sobbrasada (a soft meat sausage) and coca de trampo (the region’s flatbread topped with vegetables). It’s an incredibly fascinating way to experience the region’s local foods right in the hotel, plated with a welcoming energy and pride that prepares you for a day of exploring Palma.
For the foodie traveler staying at Hotel Es Princep, the hotel’s position is a gift for purveyors of Palma’s culinary streets. Situated just a stroll away from a plethora of restaurants, stalls, and markets, a range of traditional Spanish bites are all within reach. A short walk will take you to Santa Catalina market, a sincerely Mallorcan affair boasting over 50 different vendors, offering fresh seafood, local vegetables and cheeses, and a wide selection of ready to eat tapas that you’ll feast on over a cold beer or glass of wine. Closer to the hotel, Palma’s Old Town offers an abundance of various bars and restaurants serving traditional Mallorca classics, all within a few minutes’ walk from your bedroom door.
Hotel Es Princep’s pride, however, lies in its in house restaurant, Bala Roja, under the helm of local award winning Chef Andreu Genestra. Local produce is transformed into loquacious gastronomic delights, with a flourish of extravagantly plated compositions presented in a dining room that sits directly over exposed excavated ancient tannery ruins. It’s a uniquely captivating transformation of the space, and yet another example of the hotel cleverly tying in their connection to the local history and traditional surroundings. The service is, at times however, rather immature in its approach enhanced by its ostentatious plating, and there’s an offensively baffling overseasoning simply be due to an inexperienced and inconsistent kitchen, but the quality of the fresh local seafood that the restaurant has access to is worth appreciating.
Chef Andreu Genestra is known for his resurrection of Mallorcan flavors and his ability to present the best flavors of his island home in a contemporary manner. A dish of local spot prawns, cooked gently in a parsnip soup was a warningly delicate dish, gentle in its luxuriously sweet flavors. A cleverly produced plate, it’s a gracious nod to the bountiful flavors of the region, with a respectful treatment of the seafood resulting in a satisfying bite into the succulent prawns, hindered only by the disparity in the sizes of other elements on the plate. It’s a wonderfully luxurious and calming dish, and an example of Genestra’s artistry in portraying local flavors with elegance and discernment.
There’s no denying that this hotel is still coming out of its infant stages. The staff, while often not the most seasoned of experienced individuals, is lead by noticeably strong management, with the hotel’s manager, Ilka Karl showing a true passion for welcoming visitors to her home island of Mallorca. Her pride in both the local region and for the hotel itself is infectious, and by her insistence, constant references to the local area’s traditional way of life will have you feeling like a Mallorcan during your stay at Hotel Es Princep. With both time and Karl’s leadership, the hotel will no doubt flourish into a leading destination for this part of the Mediterranean.
Hotel Es Princep offers an ideal stay for the relaxed sun-bathing foodie seeking a taste of Mallorca’s vivacious rustic flavors. Its breakfast buffet, offering traditional local foods and fresh regional produce is an unmissable start to any morning, and it’s understandable why the trendy rooftop bar is such a hit with locals. The downstairs Gremium Bar presents creatively crafted cocktails in a charmingly austere setting, and restaurant Bala Roja has the potential to create a unique fine dining Mallorcan experience. Hotel Es Princep may be a newcomer to southern Spain’s luxury hotel scene, but it will no doubt become a notable destination for the food traveler seeking a taste of this spirited sun kissed region.
The author of this article was hosted by Hotel Es Princep.