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Es Príncep links Palma’s historic centre with Es Portixol fishing district

written by Xisco / February 13, 2018

It's the only hotel in the city’s old quarter overlooking the sea

In recent years, Palma has become a premium tourist destination, one of the most sought-after in the Mediterranean. The city's tourist boom has led to an increase in hotel accommodation. Most of the new hotels have appeared in the old quarter and the buzzing part of the city. They are often high-end, boutique hotels located in emblematic buildings, such as carefully restored majestic palaces.

But out of them all, only Es Príncep Hotel enjoys the privilege of standing in the heart of the old quarter facing the sea. Having assimilated the majesty of the old Baluard de Es Príncep (Prince’s Bastion), which it has been named after, the hotel looks out onto the sea and Es Portixol fishing district from the majestic La Calatrava district in the heart of the city's old quarter. Guests can alternate between strolling along the streets in the centre and walks in the salty air through the coolest, most picturesque fishing district where locals go when they want to unwind.

La Calatrava, the district where Es Príncep Hotel stands, is the oldest in Palma. It grew up around Almudaina Fortress, on the left bank of the Torrent de Sa Riera stream, which used to run along Passeig d’Es Born boulevard until the 17th century. For centuries it was and still is the city's majestic district. Wondering through its streets, visiting its courtyards and enjoying its monuments, which include La Seu (Cathedral), Els Banys Arabs (Arab Baths) and s’Ajuntament (City Hall), is one of the first routes tourists take when they visit Mallorca.

If La Calatrava represents the oldest, most architectural and majestic part of the city, the Es Portixol district is synonymous with leisure, bustling activity and the sea. Es Portixol in Palma is where you feel most in contact with the Mediterranean: Mallorca at its best. It used to be a small fishing village far from the city centre until Palma expanded out of its mediaeval walls and absorbed it. While La Calatrava is probably the most visited district in Palma, Es Portixol is largely unknown to most tourists travelling to Mallorca.

Out of all the hotels in the historic centre, Es Príncep is the closest to Es Portixol. It’s a link between two opposite sides of Palma: the majestic, historic centre and the fishing district, overlooking the sea. They are joined by a magnificent promenade running along the sea. The marvellous location of Es Príncep invites guests to combine two sides of the same Palma. In just a five-minute walk, you can swap the spectacular architecture found in the centre’s alleys with views of a picture-perfect round harbour. Fully integrated in the district and making it special, the harbour is the home of the Yacht Club d’Es Portixol, which is popular with Mallorcans.

Es Portixol is synonymous with the sea, bustling activity, leisure, sport, salty air and life. It is unusual, picturesque and utterly delightful. In the past, nobody wanted its small, low fishermen houses because they were exposed to the wind and flooded easily. Now these houses are the most sought-after in Palma. Most of them have been exquisitely restored and overlook the two harbours in the area: Es Portixol and Es Molinar (whose name comes from the old flour mills—molinos in Spanish—that used to be here). Both have kept the essence of the old fishing harbours and are suitable for simple, shorter boats. They are also both the social hubs of the district and they exude a simple, authentic and seafaring festive atmosphere all day long.

A wide range of food and drink is on offer in Es Portixol, which takes full advantage of its closeness to the sea. Classic restaurants serving fresh fish mix elegantly with vermouth bars, tapas bars, cocktail bars, ice cream parlours and establishments specialised in exotic and international cuisine. Stopping by for breakfast, a snack, lunch or dinner at any time of day in any of the eateries overlooking the sea is a priceless experience. One of the locals’ favourites is Es Vaixell, whose menu lists sandwiches made with llonguets, which is the name given to the most characteristic bread rolls in Palma. And seeing the light shine on the houses as the sun rises and sets and feeling the Embat thermal wind, which only affects certain very specific points on the island and starts to blow around midday, are also hard to beat.

In Es Portixol there is also a small beach and Es Born d’Es Molinar, a tree-lined avenue leading to the streets and squares in the old fishing district where can you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Here you will find the majestic Parish Church of Nostra Senyora del Remei, built in 1928 on what used to be Remei Chapel, built in 1850. If you continue walking along the sea you'll reach the Ciutat Jardí beach, a favourite of the residents in the districts forming Palma Bay.

Es Portixol gets busier at dusk when the Embat wind calms down, especially in months when the weather is good or in winter on a sunny day. Es Portixol is one of the favourite places for Palma residents to relax after work, drink a beer while eating tapas or do sport. Returning to the centre of Palma from Molinar at the end of the day is one of the locals’ favourite routes. The views of the city as the sunset lights up its rooftops, the bell towers of its oldest churches and cathedral, and Bellver Castle is a sight that no visitor to Palma should ever miss.

In short, Es Portixol is a district enjoyed by locals and which tourists and guidebooks usually ignore. Es Príncep Hotel invites our guests to visit, experience and savour this district: to enjoy the luxury of simplicity. 

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