Set in the centre of the oldest part of Palma, the capital of Mallorca, is a 16th century town house previously owned by local nobility, now converted into a modern luxury boutique hotel. It is called Palacio ca sa Galesa. It is on a quiet, narrow street, Carrer de Miramar and just down from Plaça de Santa Eulalia with its beautiful church.

Palacio ca sa Galesa is unlike any five star hotel I have visited, mainly because it has just 15 rooms, all with the finest fittings and fixtures, but also because you get a very personal, and probably discreet service. There is no grand reception hall, just a side room off the courtyard where the receptionist can buzz the gate to let guests in and out. You get the feeling of security, not that Palma is in any way an intimidating place, quite the opposite in fact, but if I was a celebrity (I hesitate to use that word), it’s quite likely this hotel would be a place to bring my entourage, as there are few places to capture a paparazzi shot, even up on the roof terrace.

On arrival (somewhat earlier than we had planned) we were greeted with politeness and courtesy, but our room, the “Handel Suite” was not quite ready so went for a walk around the Cathedral, which is literally 150 metres around the corner. The famous Arab Baths of Palma are a similar distance in the other direction.

The Handel Suite is at the end of the corridor on the second floor of the hotel. It has a small reception area as well as a bedroom with a large cabinet containing the Bang & Olufsen TV, the fridge, the safe and some room spare for storage. There’s an antique table and chairs in the corner and a sofa bed, to allow for guests with young children. The bedroom is small with a wardrobe, a very comfortable king-size bed but no TV. Most of the rooms at the Palacio cas sa Galesa have a TV opposite the bed. The bathroom is large, with a bathtub and integrated shower, heavy cotton bathrobes, towels and if you need to call downstairs a Bang and Olufsen telephone as well.

Probably the most unique and special part of the hotel is the first floor where you’ll find the old dining room, reception rooms, kitchen and garden. It’s as if it’s still used as a private home, with a particularly homely kitchen which is available for guests to come in at their leisure and tea time to help themselves to tea and cake. After a sweltering afternoon sunbathing on the roof terrace, a cuppa is a very welcome respite, and popular with guests. The kitchen opens out to the garden where you can sit and enjoy the tranquillity of the fountain and the cool air generated by the plants and trees. You can then admire the stained glass windows and the grandness of the main reception room, or relax with a magazine in the sofas of the living room. A PC is provided for those wanting to keep in touch with the real world.

No doubt many of you reading this article would also check out the reviews on Tripadvisor, or other review sites. The picture the reviews paint is mostly one of overwhelming approval, but there are some out there who don’t appreciate what the Palacio ca sa Galesa has to offer. It’s not by any means a particularly affordable hotel, so guests looking for a conventional hotel with all its facilities should look elsewhere. It is however, something special with an unbeatable location, great views from the roof, excellent service, bags of nostalgia, and above all, discretion for all us famous people.

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