Palma: a New Lease of Life for Majorca's Unduly Overlooked Capital
Anyone who has enjoyed the architecturally distinctive white-stucco andyellow-stone Maeght Foundation near St Paul de Vence, home to one of thegreatest art collections in the South of France, will likely have madea mentalnote that at some point they'd like to see the studio its architect, LluÃs Sert, designed for the artist Joan Miro. Locatedin Palma, the capital of Majorca, it's now home to the FundaciÃ³Pilar iJoan MirÃ³ a Mallorca, an organisationdedicated to the artist's memory. The studio has been preserved much as it wouldhave looked when Miro worked there, but in light of the size of the collectionof his work still held by the foundation (it holdsmore than 100paintings, as well as sculptures, drawings and prints from an archive ofperhaps 3,000 works)the building's exhibition space has been extended by anothercelebrated Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo.The venue opened in 1992 and it's fair to say it began the transformation of Palma into a city destination in its own right rather than just the airport into which one flew en route to Magaluf, if you were one sort of traveller, and Deia, if you were another.Since then a growing number of boutique hotels have opened in the capital, catering to weekenders who want to visit its immense Gothic waterfront cathedral, its ancient Moorish baths; its handful of galleries (notably the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art), or simply promenade under the trees of Passeig des Born.They might also wish towhile away afternoons in cafes and evenings over dinner at Marc Fosh, named after the British chef (once of the Greenhouse in London), whose "lab" opened on July 26 to showcase his most esoteric creations, a cuisine one might term molecular-Mediterranean. Not that his main restaurant, which has a Michelin star, is exactly conventional. Converted from a 17th-century seminary transformed with a strikingly austere interior, it serves three set menus of between six and eight courses (â¬68 to â¬89 a head), which this summer, incorporate taste sensations created from plankton (a jelly), nasturtium, echinacea, chlorophyll and burdock, among a host of unexpected ingredients, as well as more conventional luxuries such as foie gras and truffles.If Fosh Lab is the hottest restaurant to open in Palma this summer, the newest hotel is Nakar(doubles from â¬214), in the heart of shopping district on Avenida Jaime III, Palma's diminutive answer to Fifth Avenue.Converted from a 1950s hotel, the Pension Nacar, by Majorcanarchitect Magi MarquÃ©s and the local interior designer Marga Rotger, it offers a the pared-down "contemporary" aesthetic that tends to be favoured by Design Hotels, the consortium of which the property is a member, but also makes much of local materials and traditions. Floors are oak or pale stone; ceilings are faced in wood; and there's a lot of leather and matt-black-lacquered ironwork, notably in the striking wheel-shaped pendant light fittings, which echo the railings of the balconies on the facade. Even the bath tubs in the deluxes (some of which have patios), junior suites and suites (which have balconies) have black exteriors.As forfacilities, there's a little spa with an indoor pool and a small infinity pool on the roof, with views across the old town to the cathedral, the 14th-century Castell del Bellver and the Mediterranean, as well as a buzzing bar and restaurant. Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019Need help?Visit our adblocking instructionspage.