A Local’s Mallorca: Jacinto Solivellas de Oleza’s Guide

Born in Palma, Mallorca, Jacinto Solivellas de Oleza can trace his roots here back to the 13th century, when his ancestors arrived with King James I of Aragon after the conquest of the island; it is nearly impossible to find a Mallorca insider with deeper roots. After 20 years in investment banking, he took a “leap of faith and dove into interior decorating,” and is now working on projects in the U.K., Paris, Madrid and Mallorca—and also tries to visit the island every four to six weeks. While on the island, Jacinto stays at his family’s 13th-century country estate in the mountains of Tramuntana, but he knows every hotel intimately. Here are some of his top island recommendations.

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Palma’s Top Restaurants

Celler Pages is a quintessential Mallorcan tavern. Bar Bosch, for savoring a llagosta, a typical Palma sandwich made with llonguet bread. Canela is a tiny spot on the town’s most beautiful street with simple, uncomplicated cuisine. El Txoko de Martin, by Spanish chef Martin Berasategui, is one of my favorites and great for families and young people.”

Afternoon Break

“In Palma, Hotel Cappuccino has a lovely terrace and a delicious Barman Special, with strawberries, banana and a hint of mint. Can Joan de S’aigo, for the best ice cream and ensaimadas (pastries). Can Miquel, for ice cream—specifically toasted almond. Fornet de la Soca is an absolute marvel. Their pastries come from centuries-old recipes.”

Staying In Palma

“The best hotels are outside of Palma; however, here are two I’d recommend: Hotel Sant Francesc, the best in town is a beautiful house right in the old town. The interiors are elegant (if a bit boring) but well-appointed. Can Bordoy has Palma’s best garden—truly whimsical.”

Where Else To Stay: Six Favorites

La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel: The island’s best hotel. Magical views, food, service, a rugged beach club; the décor is unpretentiously chic.”

Grand Hotel Son Net: “This used to be my great-great-grandparents’ summer house and is newly refurbished by Lorenzo Castillo—very chic.”

Ca’s Xorc: “A gem in the mountains on the way from Deià to Sóller.”

Son Brull: “A grand hotel outside Pollença in a 16th-century monastery (pictured right). Spartan yet beautiful interiors and an excellent restaurant.”

Can Simoneta: “My favorite on the east coast. Everything is sublime: the house, the views, the gardens and the quiet interiors.”

Finca Serena: “If one likes cycling, this is the place—on Tramuntana’s lowest slopes.”

Top Day Trip

“I love the Serra de Tramuntana—from Puerto Andratx to Cabo Formentor, either by boat or by car. If you drive, stop in the delightful villages: Estellencs, Banyalbufar, Valldemossa, Deià, Llucalcari, Sóller, Fornalutx, Biniaraix, the mountain lakes, Lluc and its monastery, Pollensa and Formentor.“

Dining Outside Of Palma

U Mayol, in Cala San Vicente by chef Santi Taura, for exquisite arroces (rice dishes) and fish. In Deià, Cas Patró March is the chicest place in Mallorca, right on the water and known for its gambas de Sóller. Bodega Barahona Casa Manolo in Ses Salines: caldereta, arroces, ensaimada!”

Top Shops


For Espadrilles: Alpargatería La Concepción

For Homewares: Bazaar Palma

For Delicatessen:La Pajarita is fantastic. Opened more than a century ago, it also has sensational décor.”

For Fashion:Piluca Osaba is the best shop for caftans, jewelry and cashmere shawls. La Principal is the best clothing store with a je ne sais quoi touch. Its own brand, Mews, is sensational. Cortana, an absolutely divine new shop in Calle Montenegro for dresses.”

For Unique Treasures:La Pecera carries anything from furniture (designed by my friend Marlene) to vintage finds and leather goods by Carmina, fourth-generation shoemakers. Visit the shop in Palma or the factory in Inca.”


Pickett’s House, in Deià, is a treasure trove for decoration junkies. La Luna delicatessen in Sóller is the island’s best food shop. Con Alma Design in Binissalem, for furniture made of olive tree wood.”

This article originally appeared in Indagare Magazine’s Summer 2023 edition, available exclusively to Indagare members.

Published onJuly 11, 2023

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