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Perched on the edge of the eternally buzzing Plaça de Cort, Hotel Cort is an oasis of whitewashed calm that nonetheless manages to feel like an integral (and integrated) part of the neighbourhood. While the plaça is a gently chaotic crossing point both for tourists in search of a selfie next to the generations-old olive tree and locals attending raucous weddings or demonstrations in front of the baroque town hall – we witnessed both in our long weekend here – stepping over the threshold and into the intimate, cosy environs of the hotel offers immediate respite.
Part of the Design Hotels stable, the property was designed by “urban archaeologist” Lázaro Rosa-Violán with an eye towards traditional Mallorquin style. Mosaic tiles in monochrome, grey or blue and the classic “llenguas” patterned fabric are recurrent motifs throughout the public and private spaces, yet the atmosphere is decidedly cosmopolitan. The ground-floor restaurant/bar can normally be found with doors thrown open on to the main square outside, with a row of red umbrellas marking out the hotel’s facade and a lively mix of locals and travellers stopping by for a glass of wine. One of our favourite pastimes was to slip past our suite’s fluttering white curtains and on to the wrought-iron balcony overlooking the square, from which we could sip champagne and spy on the action from above.
For those seeking a slice of real Mallorca rather than its notorious, boozy beach resorts, Hotel Cort offers a decidedly anti-Love Island type of romance and is a calming base from which to explore the labyrinthine old town and coastal charm of the island.
There are 16 rooms in total (14 suites and two smaller rooms, although one comes with its own terrace) overlooking either the square or internal courtyard, all in shades of emerald green, dusty blue or terracotta. We stayed in the Plaça Suite, which had a gently nautical theme with framed maps on the wall, cream dividing shutters and ultramarine accents reminiscent of the Mediterranean. While our suite had an adorable blue-and-white-tiled shower, others house freestanding bathtubs, while the Island Suite (the hotel’s only duplex) has a private jacuzzi terrace and outdoor shower.
What’s for breakfast?
After grabbing a table inside or out on the square in sunnier climes, hotel guests can pick and choose from a long list of breakfast items. Each morning saw us over-indulging in bread baskets, mini chocolate croissants, grilled vegetables and eggs every way – perhaps to the horror of our waitress.
How about lunch and dinner?
The ground floor of the hotel is dominated by its chic restaurant, which has a Mallorca-by-way-of-New-York feel. Grey mosaic floors, mirrored ceilings, walls lined with bottles and moody, modernist chandeliers open directly on to the cobbled streets of the square. The focus is on Mediterranean market cuisine and seasonal products, with a regular menu that features classics such as Iberian ham, croquetas and almond cake alongside daily specials. The highlight is the raw bar, where fresh mussels, prawns, lobster, oysters and slabs of ruby-red tuna are enticingly encased in a glass counter.
Is there a bar?
Perch on one of high-top stools near the entrance to peruse the treasures of the hotel’s own wine cellar, which has a selection of local, national and international wines. Cocktail classics are also available and hotel guests can order drinks up to the private sun terrace and splash pool if they prefer.
Refillable Molton Brown products in the shower, stacks of books lining the shelves and a minibar for all your champagne-based needs.
Things I should know
Although it’s a delight to throw open the balcony doors of the front-facing rooms to let the chatter from the plaça flow inside, come bedtime you may want to pack some earplugs – the town hall bell chimes faithfully through even the smallest hours of the night.
Within a short walk I can find…
Palma is an eminently walkable city and Hotel Cort is a short stroll away from its grand cathedral, beach-fringed coastline and warren of boutique shops and pintxos bars.
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