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Mallorca…Ibiza’s Classier, More Stylish Sister

Now that the days of summer are soon coming to a close, many of us are left wondering what foreign destinations we should hit to prolong our tans and get our dose of Vitamin D.  Many of my friends are packing their bags for the European islands in September and October.  These are wise choices as the weather is still quite mild, vacation prices dramatically drop from the June to August high season and the often jam-packed tourist spots become more bearable.

When one mentions Spain, people often think of the most popular party-hopping island – Ibiza.  Sure, it’s good enough for Leo DiCaprio and his entourage of hanger-ons and models, but we’re older and wiser and can do without the throbbing progressive house and overzealous kids puking on the cobblestone streets.  It’s like trading up from Cancun in your university days for Cabo in your late 20’s.

Last Fall, I influenced (aka gently pressured) my friend A to take a trip to Mallorca for her 30th birthday.  I consider Mallorca, the up and coming, underrated sister island to Ibiza.  She’s cooler, she dresses better and she doesn’t give a damn if you don’t know it.  According to Conde Nast Traveller (arbiter of taste & style), a more European jetset and stylish crowd come here to soak up the sun in September and early October.  Style.com did a feature on Mallorca street fashion – this consisted of tanned girls in maxi dresses, jewelled gladiators, designer sunglasses and wide-brimmed straw hats.  G-l-a-m-o-u-r-o-u-s!  (Canadian spelling). We stayed in Palma de Mallorca which was like a mini-Barcelona on an island.  You can explore the city in four days but if you want to travel around and enjoy all parts of the island, I would recommend a week stay and a car rental.

Mallorca appropriate? Think Richie Style - maxi dress check! Balenciaga check! suns check!

Mallorca appropriate? Think Richie Style – maxi dress check! Balenciaga check! suns check!

The best parts of our trip were the scenic architecture, the delicious food, the yachts on Palma Bay, the local nightlife and mostly Spanish hospitality.  Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Llado’s Mansion – Tucked within the cobblestone streets of the Old City near the Cathedral, this former artist’s mansion gives you an inside look at what it would be like to live inside a mega mansion a la Romeo & Juliet.  Beautiful paintings hang in originally decorated rooms.
  • La Boveda – This authentic Spanish tapas restaurant gets lined up before the doors open.  Then, it’s a mad dash to find a seat.  But the place makes up for its popularity in swift service, delicious food and live music (Bambo-leo anyone?).  If you’re lovely and sweet, they’ll pour you free shots (vip services!)
  • Passeig Maritimo @ night – I read in Lonely Planet that locals do not hit the bars until 2am.  Somehow, I could not believe it.  Then after a long day of walking and sightseeing, we took a siesta only to wake up at 1am. We decided to put on our best Topshop dresses and stilettos to walk onto the street.  I felt a bit sketchy but in two seconds there were throngs of young people and even more exiting packed buses.  Surreal!  Bar tables and carpets are set up outside while servers take your drink order, local hips sway to salsa and bachatta on the sidewalk!  Crazytown!  Most bars do not charge cover so the crowd hops from one destination to another. The action does not simmer down until 5am when you call it an evening with a nutella crepe and an Extra Strength Tylenol.
The yachts of Passeig Maritimo

The yachts of Passeig Maritimo

  • Puro Beach –  Yes it’s kind of a splurge but you deserve it.  Spend your last day at the spahh, listening to DJ spun chill-out mixes at this day resort which overlooks the Palma Bay.  Wear your sequined tunic and embellished bikini like the girls of MTV UK’s ‘Living on the Edge’.  Nothing beats having a Pina Colada while tanning. Nothing. Oh wait, maybe served by a senor muy caliente (hottt guy).

    Ahhh…It’s like I died and went to Puro Beach. This pretty in real life.

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