As a founding partner of boutique luxury hotel company Marugal, Pablo Carrington oversees Cap Rocat, one of Mallorca's best hotels, along with several others from Madrid to Menorca. Though he grew up on the island, Pablo left for college in the U.S. at 18 and vowed never to return. But the island drew him back. Now installed with his family in a farmhouse near Santa Maria, he believes Mallorca’s quality of life makes it an unbeatable destination.
Apart from our very own Cap Rocat, the island does have some great hotels. In my opinion, best in Palma right now is the Sant Francesc. Outside the city, the Hotel Espléndido in Port de Sóller has an old-fashioned charm, and I love the atmosphere after six in the evening when the last train has left for Palma and the harbor slips into that slow pace again.
When I’m in Palma, there’s a bakery I like to drop in on: Es Fornet de la Soca on calle Sant Jaume. You won’t find croissants there, though—baker Tomeu Arbona is strict about only serving traditional Mallorcan specialities such as potato ensaimada and sobrassada-filled turnovers.
For restaurants, Ca n'Eduardo in Palma harbor is a classic for fish—and the wonderful thing is you’re sitting just beside the few fishing boats that still work out of Palma. Casa Manolo in Ses Salines is another amazing fish place—it fascinates me—and the calamar de potera (line-caught squid) is sensational.
There’s an Italian restaurant in Binissalem that I recommend—Terra di Vino—but you have to go on Fridays or Saturdays when there are dance classes. The place is on the main square in Binissalem, wine capital of the island. The food is wonderful, but the unique thing is watching the couples do their old-time dancing in the square. It’s like going back in time to the 1950s.
When we feel like a great excursion we hire a Zodiac in the port of Sóller and spend the day pottering along the north coast. We especially love Cala Tuent, an unspoiled bay near Sa Calobra. Last year, midweek, at the height of summer, we found ourselves alone in the bay, with the sea as flat as a mirror and Chopin’s Nocturnes playing in the background. We swam nude because there was no one else around. It’s a moment I’ll remember forever.
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