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Brondo Architect, a Quirky Boutique Hotel, Palma de Mallorca:
Wandering the streets of Palma de Mallorca with a guide, we stopped to look at a pair of buildings, Can Casasayas and Pensión Menorquina. My naive comment, that they looked like Gaudi provoked the response that the architect was, of course, heavily influenced by Gaudi who lived in Mallorca for ten years. I’ve travelled extensively in mainland Spain and Catalonia but never visited the Balearic Islands so a visit to Palma was something quite new. The Brondo Architect Hotel, a boutique hotel in the heart of Palma looked perfect too.
I’d come to Palma on a trip to learn about the Emblematic Shops and to explore Mallorcan Cuisine. I hadn’t expected to find an architecture which both influenced and was influenced by Gaudi. Nor had I imagined the wealth of architectural interest in this small City.
Staying at the Brondo Architect Hotel, one of the many boutique hotels in Palma, is a great starting point if you are interested in Mallorcan style. The Brondo Architect Hotel is the former studio of architects Narcís Ventura, Emma Tapia and Fernando Díez, known as N6 Architects. They transformed their studio and two adjacent buildings into the hotel as it is today. A fusion of 17th Century Mallorcan and 19th Century industrial loft styling with quirky details and imaginative use of space.
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My suite ‘Frank’ was named after Frank Lloyd Wright. A multilevel space with an open plan living room/kitchen area, large bathroom with shower, compact bedroom with a contemporary take on a four poster and, best of all, stairs up to a small private roof terrace, made for the kind of comfortable space I’d have been happy to stay in for a week or more.
The suite came with a Nespresso machine and a very appropriate bowl of oranges. Super fluffy robes and towels together with Brondo Architect Hotel slippers added to the sense of luxury. Airconditioning together with high, vaulted ceilings resulted in a comfortable living temperature.
There was a squishy sofa, a table with four Tolix dining chairs and an Arne Jacobsen chair to curl up in. Something of a design tribute to the 1970s. Neat touches like the colourful, jewelled Arabic pouffe and pretty storm lanterns lined up on the stairs to the roof terrace made this as close to home as a hotel suite can be.
On the roof terrace, a luxurious double lounger and a small table and chairs where I sat on the first evening sipping a complimentary glass of cava and watching the sun setting over the rooftops of Palma. The WiFi worked perfectly throughout the hotel (even on the roof terrace) and was easy to access too.
I checked a few of the other rooms ranging from one of the largest, a suite with a grand piano and terrace on the same level to the standard rooms on both sides of the hotel.
All had that ‘Shoreditch’ vibe, exposed beams and roof tiles and industrial styling. Some were softer, with drapes and floral wallpaper while others had a distinctly masculine feel. None of them was the same and I suspect a regular visitor would quickly find their own favourite. All that was missing for me personally was a few more rooms with bathtubs – or better still, rooftop hot tubs.
Food and Drinks:
The Brondo Architect Hotel has a large restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an adjoining pretty and spacious terrace for drinks. While we didn’t eat dinner in the restaurant we did enjoy a ‘light’ lunch (portion sizes even of starters are quite substantial) and breakfast on two days.
Lunch portions were exceptionally generous. I asked for a side salad to accompany my 15.50 euro variado de fritura de pescado (Fried mixed fish served “Andalusian style”) and was given a seriously generous portion that seemed like a meal in itself for 3.75 euros. I would have happily eaten another main meal here and thought it offered good value.
A glass of cava was 4 Euros and there was a reasonable selection of local wines.
Breakfast was quite a feast with a huge range of local specialities including tortilla, locally cured meats, bread and cheeses. The Brondo Architect Hotel offers a room service breakfast too, or you are free to help yourself from the hot and cold buffet and take your food to your room. There’s freshly squeezed orange juice, yoghurts, cakes, pastries and unlimited tea or coffee.
It was notable that once we’d finished exploring for the day our group all migrated to the bar and sat drinking coffee or cava and watching the world go by.
There are plenty of communal spaces – from small al-fresco terraces and comfy corners to the large courtyard on the first floor where you can sit and pass the day. There’s also a small outside gym and a stunning roof terrace too.
If you were to feel in need of something to help you relax then there’s the option of an in-room massage or pedicure, but there’s no spa or swimming pool.
Car parking can be arranged for a fee and there are bikes to hire if you want to explore.
Brondo Architect Hotel is right in the heart of Palma; you can walk to the Cathedral and Marina in less than 10 minutes and explore the city at leisure. Down a small passageway, it is busy during the day but quiet and peaceful at night with no road traffic. Just off the Paseo del Borne, even I managed not to get lost when I was exploring the nearby galleries and historic sights
It’s a 15-minute drive from the hotel to Palma airport
Alternative Boutique Hotels:
Palma seems to have plenty of stunning boutique hotels. If you are looking for a different style, we briefly visited two hotels which I can recommend. I loved our dinner at Cuit, the restaurant in the Nakar Hotel, a gastronomic triumph with impressive dishes that I’ll write more about later.
The hotel has a stunning rooftop terrace too, with a pool that looks out over the rooftops of Palma. Minimalist style rooms look utterly luxurious and five of the suites have their own private terrace with jacuzzi.
We enjoyed a similar view at another nearby boutique hotel, the Hotel Almudaina where we sat one evening drinking cocktails. The cosy rooftop bar is open all year round with heaters and rugs out of season. Rooms are minimalist in style and there are triple and quadruples for families or small groups of friends.
I’d still look first to the Brondo Architect Hotel if I return to Palma. There’s something about it that makes it feel like home to me – and in a hotel that’s a quality that money can’t buy.
I stayed at the Brondo Architect Brondo Architect Hotel Calle Can Brondo 207001, Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands Spain. Rates start at around £70 in low season rising to £250 in high season. Breakfast is 16 euros.
I was a guest of Palma 365. For more information on Palma as a tourism destination please visit: www.visitpalma.com or follow the tourist board on social media on @passionforpalma.
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