Steps From the Mediterranean, a Boutique Hotel Envelops the Beauty of Palma

Formally a 17th-century palace, Portella has recently opened its doors.

Some of the most restorative travel experiences are those that offer the feeling of being at home. This is the spirit behind Portella, a recently opened boutique hotel in Palma, Mallorca. Tucked away in a quiet enclave in Palma’s old town, the property is part of Palma’s history and only steps from the Mediterranean Sea. The residential feel and curated experience at Portella help guests immediately feel at ease, creating a home base from which to explore Mallorca.

In a former 17th-century palace, the interiors of Portella have been transformed into 14 character-filled suites by Parisian interior design studio Festen Architecture in its first project in Spain, in collaboration with Palma-based GRAS Reynés Architects.

Drawing from both baroque and Moorish influences, the property beautifully echoes Mallorca’s past and present. The small collection of suites is centred around a lush courtyard, a traditional element of many Spanish homes. Local materials feature heavily throughout Portella, such as the terra cotta floors laid in patterns inspired by those found in the neighbouring Arab Baths, alongside passageways and arches with Santanyí stonework, sourced on the island. A selection of custom glass lamps from 18th-century Mallorcan glassmaker Gordiola adorn the suites and common areas. Each fixture is hand-blown and made with traditional techniques.





The muted tones of the suites serve as a backdrop to the vintage furnishing pieces selected and sourced by Festen. The pieces span different eras, from a Savonarola chair from the Italian Renaissance to a pair of North African chairs with intricate intarsia patterns dating to the 1950s, yet still flow together in the space. Custom furnishings accompany these, made in oak and iron to match the existing pieces and features of the property.

The building has a history as a cultural feature in Palma. It was formerly the home of Spanish figurative painter Joaquim Torrents Lladó and most recently served as a museum dedicated to his work. Portella was later started by Enrique Miro-Sans, whose sister Ines Miro-Sans was behind Barcelona’s well-known boutique hotel Casa Bonay. The redesign was completed with the building’s legacy top of mind, creating a boutique getaway layered with history and care.





Portella has an intimate yet residential feel, with multiple spaces throughout the property carved out for relaxation. Echoing a family home, an open kitchen serves a leisurely breakfast until the early afternoon in an open-air living and dining room. Nearby, a cobalt-blue sofa, placed underneath a lithograph by Catalan arist Joan Miró, invites lounging with a book from the nearby library. Upstairs, a rooftop terrace overlooks the historic Arab Baths, while a hamam downstairs is an opportunity for additional relaxation.

The more you spend time at Portella, the more details you notice: the intricate carving on an antique chair, the ever so subtle limewashing of the paint on the walls, or the chirps and songs from the birds in the nearby gardens of the Arab Baths. Here, it’s effortless to sink into the beauty and history of Palma.