The 51-room luxury boutique Hospes Maricel is the kind of place where one might expect to find a modern doppelgänger of Cary Grant lounging by the pool. It is timeless and timely; marvelously classic in parts, and strikingly contemporary in others. Views of the sapphire ocean waters are ubiquitous, as are views of the mountains and gardens. The variety of rooms offered -- from opulent classics to more minimalist, eco-friendly rooms with stone walls -- is impressive. Service is reportedly not always up to five-pearl standard, however, and there have been issues with a limited hot water supply. A nearby competitor that is also worth checking out is the Hotel Nixe Palace; its views are just as supreme, with the added advantage of a sandy beach.
Classic, yet contemporary beauty in a relaxing, privleged setting surrounded by blue waters
Classically beautiful and artfully contemporary, its sprawling grounds expertly meld stunning 16th- and 17th-century architecture with eco-friendly modern chic. Spread over two very architecturally distinct buildings, and connected by a private road covered with tropical flowers and a luscious trail of ivy, the property is an enchanting blend of history and luxury. The pool area is the centerpiece that brings it all together. It literally floats over the sea below and offers a full, postcard-perfect panoramic view of the water and mountains beyond. Expect to be surrounded by guests seeking privacy and relaxation, with the occasional influx of business people attending meetings or a conference, as the hotel's proximity to central Palma --couples with its four on-site meeting rooms -- make it well-suited to professional purposes. Service is reportedly not always five-pearl standard, however.
Just outside of central Palma and surrounded by the sea
Although it's just a 15-minute drive from central Palma, the Maricel is the antithesis of urban. Surrounded by water, mountains, and coves, it's near a yacht dock in an otherwise more subdued part of the island dotted with other resorts. A five-minute drive (or 15- to 20-minute walk) to the nearby Cala Major offers plenty of local restaurants, bars, nightlife options, and an Eroski supermarket. Otherwise, for major sightseeing and other leisurely activities around the island, it's best to hire a car. The Miró Contemporary Art Museum is under a 15-minute drive away, and a few golf options, including Golf Santa Ponsa, are a 15-minute drive in the other direction. The Palma Mallorca Airport is 15 to 20 minutes away by taxi.
Impressive variety of room choices with striking ocean or mountain views
One thing that really sets the Maricel apart from its competitors is the variety of rooms it offers. One can choose to stay either in the main white 16th-century building of the hotel, or in the Eco side, where the experience is completely different. Rustic, though a pinch too "over designed" stone walls on the Eco side are found in lieu of the contemporary, white-and-black decorative scheme found in the main building's rooms, though the amenities are equally plush across the board. Expect glossy white claw-foot tubs, indulgent toiletries, fluffy robes, pillow menus, and views of either the ocean or mountains. All rooms have stocked minibars, plasma flat-screen TVs, and safes.
An oasis of ocean, gardens, and intimate stone alcoves
The Maricel's most outstanding feature is the omnipresence of water. Its enviable location wrapped around the ocean offers sweeping views of blue waters and rocky mountains, contrasted by exuberantly green gardens and the striking white façade of the hotel itself. Its Bodnya summer spa is spread through a series of intimate arched stone alcoves, with treatment tables overlooking the water. The winter spa, on the Eco side of the property, offers a fuller range of treatments and features, including a hair salon and a sleek rectangular indoor pool that extends to the outdoors. Lush palm trees, electric green lawns, and striking white loungers surround the entire space. The wellness center is small, but overlooks a charming stone wall and garden. The fitness center is small as well, but with its cherry-colored wood floors, and glass wall overlooking a stone wall and small lawn, it's a lovely spot for a workout. The on-site Maricel Restaurant has a spectacular terrace overlooking the water, and serves traditional Majorcan cuisine with all locally sourced ingredients; the incredible, multi-course breakfast gets rave reviews.
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