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Where to stay in Mallorca (and where not!)

Families on Puerto Pollensa beach

Mallorca is the biggest island in Spain, so it has a lot of variety in resorts. From loud all night resorts to upscale, relaxing holiday destinations, you can find it all here. Just make sure you pick the right holiday destination for you and you are sure to have a great holiday in Mallorca.

Best hotel & destination for you in Mallorca

I visited over 200 hotels during my time in Mallorca in over 20 of the major resorts. Here is my selection of the best holidays, keeping in mind both the quality and offer of the hotel, but also the surrounding area and resort. If you spend most of your time in the hotel and don’t care too much about the surrounding resort, I advise you to look at my list of the best hotels in Mallorca.

For the mentioned hotels below I provide affiliate links to Booking.com for more pictures and pricing.

Beach holidays

Mallorca has very few hotels directly next to the beach without crossing a road or something first. The best destination is Playa de Muro, where you can find many of the frontline hotels connecting directly to the beach without any interruptions.

Zafiro Bahia has everything for those looking for a beach holiday. This hotel is located in the quiet part of Playa de Muro and is directly next to a stunning beach. Iberostar Playa de Muro is also a great option if you want to be a bit more centrally located in Playa de Muro. Secrets Mallorca Villamil in Paguera is also a great option. It is a 5-star luxurious hotel and one of the only ones in this area located directly next to the beach.

Family holidays

Mallorca has lots of great family holiday destinations and hotels. However, not all resorts in Mallorca I would advise for a family holiday. For example, Magaluf and El Arenal, I would not recommend for this. While Puerto Alcudia, Palma Nova and Cala Millor are the most family-friendly. If you want a family-friendly resort with a bit less choice but at the same time quieter, then Cala Bona and Playa de Muro could be great. Palma Nova might be the best choice for those who have small children as it is closest to the airport.



Keeping this all in mind, I can highly advise Viva Blue with lots of pools and fun kids stuff in Playa de Muro and Protur Safari in Cala Bona. Also, most of the Zafiro hotels in the places above mentioned are great options. Like Zafiro Palmanova in Palma Nova and the newly constructed Zafiro Palace Alcudia in Puerto de Alcudia.

Luxury holidays

Most people look at the star rating to define luxury in a hotel. But this does not always show the whole picture. True luxury, in my opinion, is more than just the star rating the hotel has. It is also about location and surroundings.

Protur Biomar Gran Hotel and Spa in Sa Coma is a great option for those who want a luxury holiday with small children. Grupotel Parc Natural in Playa de Muro is an excellent option for those who want luxury right next to the beach as well. Finally, Lago Garden in Cala Ratjada is ideal for those who are looking for a unique and relaxing luxury holiday in Mallorca.

Holidays without a car in Mallorca

If you are not renting a car during your holiday in Mallorca and still want to explore some of the islands with public transportation, then it is best to stay near Palma as most of the public transportation leaves from here to all over the island.

In case you are not renting a car in Mallorca and want to stay in one of the more complete resorts with many things to do and see nearby, then Playa de Palma and Palma Nova are your best choice.

Adults-only holidays

More and more hotels in Mallorca have changed to offering adults-only holidays, so now there is a large offer in Mallorca, where before adults-only was nearly non-existent in Majorca.

Iberostar Cala Millor I will mention first. This is a new modern hotel located in the quiet dunes area of Cala Millor, but still just a short walk away from all the bars and restaurants. If you want to be in a more lively place, Sol Beach House Cala Blanca, right next to the beach in Palma Nova, is a great choice. But also, the Pure Salt Garonda in Playa de Palma is a great option. If you want to get away from it all, then Vanity Suite in Cala Mesquida is a good choice.



All-inclusive holidays

Before 2008 almost no hotels in Mallorca offered all-inclusive, but nowadays, nearly all of them seem to provide the option of an all-inclusive package. But which are the hotels that do it well? Besides good drinks and food, there should be plenty of space around the pool and things to do in the hotel.

In general, Zafiro, Viva and Iberostar are the hotels that do the all-inclusive best on Mallorca. Picking one of each hotel group, I would say Viva Cala Mesquida, Zafiro Can Picafort and Iberostar Cala Barca. These are the bigger ones of each group with the most to offer in Mallorca.

Nightlife & party holidays for young adults and couples

The best nightlife for clubbing and parties is in Magaluf, Cala Ratjada and El Arenal in Mallorca. Magaluf is mainly aimed at English-speaking nationalities, El Arenal at German and Dutch speaking and Cala Ratjada at German and Italian people. If you want to be close to all the nightlife but still want some quiet and peaceful time, then book a hotel in Playa de Palma right next to El Arenal or Palma Nova right next to Magaluf. Like this, you are close by but still don’t have to be right in the middle of it every night.

Budget holidays

There are not really any budget destinations in Mallorca. But if you are looking to have a cheaper holiday, it is best to stay close to the airport as this will save a lot on taxi or shuttle buses. The small resort of Can Pastilla is a great option here that is still close to many of the attractions and nightlife in nearby El Arenal and Playa de Palma. Also, on the island, you can find many all-inclusive hotels with outstanding deals at the start and end of the season. The all-inclusive is often much better on a budget than dining in restaurants in Majorca, even though you end up paying a bit more upfront.

All the resorts in Mallorca

South of Mallorca

El Arenal

El Arenal beach

Closest to the airport in Mallorca, you will find the resort of El Arenal.  This resort is connected to the neighbouring Playa de Palma and is well known for German and Dutch-speaking tourists.  Mostly a younger generation that likes to party and be noisy. Mallorca is trying to change this image but is not very successful at this yet, but they are making progress.  

Playa de Palma

Playa de Palma has a long lovely white sandy beach and offers many clubs to party in the evening and nighttime in nearby El Arenal. More and more upscale restaurants and clubs are starting to pop up here in the last couple of months.  Also, El Arenal and Playa de Palma are popular with tourists in winter, but the whole area is much quieter and less busy.

Best places to stay in Playa de Palma
Adults only – Pure Salt Garonda
Luxury – Grupotel Playa de Palma Suites
Family – Iberostar Cristina



Can Pastilla

Can Pastilla beach

If you want to be close to all the parties and nightlife in Playa de Palma and El Arenal, but away from all the crowds and loudness a bit… then Can Pastilla might be something for you.  Just keep in mind that this area is closest to the airport and might have some noise from planes landing and taking off.

Best places to stay in Can Pastilla
Boutique hotel – BQ Aguamarina Boutique

Palma

Palma is much about culture but also has an active nightlife and clubbing scene.  There is a beach here but not necessarily the nicest one. If you want to be near Palma but a bit outside the city with more beautiful beaches, look at the resorts of Illetes, Cala Major and Portals Nous in Mallorca.

South-West of Mallorca

Palma Nova

People on the Palma Nova beach

Close to Magaluf, you will find Palma Nova.  Palma Nova is the more family-friendly one of the 2. It has some excellent beaches and loads of restaurants, shops, bars and pubs.  All of these are aimed at English, Irish and Scottish people and Swedish and other Scandinavian people like to come here. 

Best places to stay in Palma nova
Adults only – Innside by Melia Cala Blanca
Luxury – Zafiro Palace Palmanova
Family – Zafiro Palmanova

Magaluf

Coastline of Magaluf

Magaluf is in many ways the same as Palma Nova but more about clubbing, late nights and party.  Mallorca and Magaluf are trying hard to make this area more upscale and classy, but progress is slow.

Cala Vinyes

Cala Vinyes beach with palm trees

Cala Vinyes is a tiny little holiday resort with just a few hotels.  If you are looking for peace and quiet around a small little beach, then this might be an excellent destination for you.



Santa Ponsa

Santa Ponsa people swimming in the sea

Santa Ponsa is similar to Palma Nova but more chilled and relaxed.  There are fewer hotels here and spread out over a more extensive area. The beach is pretty nice here as well.  Santa Ponsa is getting more popular with German-speaking nationalities, and some areas of Santa Ponsa are now very popular with the upper class living in Mallorca.

Best places to stay in Santa Ponsa
Family beach holiday – Fergus Style Cala Blanca Suites
Adults only – Sentido Fido Punta del Mar
Luxury adults only – Iberostar Selection Jardin del Sol Suites.

Peguera

Paguera beach info sign

I think Peguera is one of my favourite areas here in the West of Mallorca.  You will find a mix of nationalities here but also many typical German snack places and restaurants.  Some people call this “little Germany” due to the majority of German businesses and holidaymakers in this part of Mallorca. They do an excellent job of keeping cars and noise away from the beaches here, and many parts of town are restricted to traffic. However, keep in mind that this area is quite hilly, so for people with babies or disabilities, maybe not the best choice.

Best places to stay in Peguera
Classical style beach holiday – Secrets Mallorca Villamil
Family holiday – Valentin Park Club hotel

Cala Fornells

Cala Fornells is a small resort just outside of Paguera.  There are just 2 or 3 hotels here and a very nice beach just in front of them.  From here, you can walk into Paguera in about half an hour. It’s an ideal destination for a quiet and relaxed holiday.

North-West of Mallorca

Puerto de Soller

Port the Soller is one of the only resorts in the West. It’s pretty nice here and much more green and lush than some of the other destinations in Mallorca.  However, it has lost some charm in recent years because of the many day tours visiting this area every day.  This is not much of a problem most of the time, but in high season can become a bit too much. If you want to see and do stuff on the island of Mallorca, this might not be the best place for your holiday as it is hard to get anywhere else on the island. 

North of Mallorca

Cala San Vincente

Cala Vinyes coastline

Cala San Vincente is one of the smallest resorts in the North, with just a few hotels.  It has a lovely beach, but at the weekends this can get a bit too busy. Don’t expect any clubs or nightlife here; it’s primarily residential in this area.



Puerto Pollensa

Puerto Pollensa has to be one of my favourite destinations in the North of Mallorca.  This holiday destination is a collection of primarily small and boutique hotels and a harbour and town area that remains very authentic to this day.  This is not a place to visit on a budget, but it’s not expensive here either. It’s somewhere in the middle. Very popular with English people, especially in the somewhat older generation.

Best places to stay in Puerto Pollensa
Authentic Mallorcan luxury – Hotel Illla D’Or & Club
Beach and location – Marsenses Puerto Pollensa

Puerto Alcudia

Busy beach of Puerto de Alcudia

Puerto de Alcudia is a typical family holiday destination for all nationalities. It’s big and has a nice family-friendly beach.  The area is split up into two zones. The “greasy mile” is a collection of hotels and restaurants that cater to budget holidaymakers and the harbour area is a bit higher in budget and has loads to do and see in the evening.  There are a few clubs but mostly bars and pubs that make up the nightlife here in Alcudia.

Best places to stay in Puerto de Alcudia
Family – Zafiro Tropic
Adults only – Viva Golf
Budget bungalows – Seaclub Mediterranean Resort
All inclusive luxury – Zafiro Palace Alcudia

Playa de Muro

Restaurant in Playa de Muro

If you want to be in the North of Mallorca, in a popular resort with families of all nationalities but not too busy, the resort of Playa de Muro might be the right choice for you. It’s like Puerto de Alcudia, but less busy, lovely beach and a bit more upscale.

Best places to stay in Playa de Muro
Family – Prinsotel La Dorada
Relaxing beach holiday – Iberostar Playa de Muro Village
5-star beach holiday – Grupotel Parc Natural and Spa

Can Picafort

Can Picafort beach club

Can Picafort is like a mix of Alcudia and Pollensa but most popular with German and Dutch-speaking holidaymakers. It’s a family holiday resort with primarily small, boutique-style hotels close to the beach and sea, which keeps it pretty authentic.  The more prominent hotels are a bit more in the back of the resort.



Best places to stay in Can Picafort
Beach – Ferrer Concord
Families – Zafiro Mallorca
Adults only – THB Gran Playa

East of Mallorca

Cala Mesquida

Cala Mesquida is located close to Cala Ratjada but much smaller, with just a few hotels.  From Cala Mesquida, you can walk into Cala Ratjada in about 30 minutes to an hour over the mountain. There are also easy bus connections to Cala Ratjada, or a taxi will take you there in about 15 minutes.

Cala Ratjada

Sailboat in front of Cala Ratjada beach

Cala Ratjada is located in the East of Mallorca.  This resort has two excellent beaches, a great harbour area, and an extensive array of restaurants and bars.  In the evening there is also lots of this to do. There are many clubs and beer gardens all over the resort.  Cala Ratjada used to be aimed at German tourists, but recently you can also find many Italians here.

Best places to stay in Cala Ratjada
Luxury – Lago Garden Apartsuites & Spa
Families – Protur Turo Pins

Font de sa Cala

This resort is located just outside of Cala Ratjada. There are just a few hotels and a still very authentic Spanish feel. The main beach in the centre of the resort is a nice white sandy beach. Just a short walk away, a bit on the outside of the resort, is a more rocky-style beach ideal to do some snorkelling.

Cala Bona

Cala Bona beach

Cala Bona is located next to Cala Millor, but a smaller-scale version of it.  You can easily walk from Cala Bona to Cala Millor.  Both have lovely white sandy beaches.

Cala Millor

Cala Millor peddle boats on the beach

Cala Millor is similar to Cala Ratjada, Alcudia, Can Picafort and Playa de Palma.  You can find all kinds of nationalities here, a fantastic beach, active nightlife, and a large shopping street.



Best places to stay in Cala Millor
Budget family – Marins Playa
Adults only – Protur Playa Cala Millor

Sa Coma & S’illot

Sa Coma coastline

Sa Coma is within walking distance from Cala Millor through the dunes area. That’s a pretty nice nature walk. Sa coma is very similar to Cala Millor, just not that busy and also, the beach of S’illot next door offers an authentic Spanish-feeling beach resort.

Best places to stay in Sa Coma
Luxury – Protur Biomar Gran hotel
Adults only – Hipotels Mediteranneo

Cala d’Or

This resort is located far away from everything else on the island. It has some nice sandy little beaches spread all over the coastline of the resort. There are some hotels here but also many villas for rent. So if you are looking for a “get away from it all” kinda holiday but still want a large choice of restaurants and bars nearby, then this might be ideal for you.