The idyllic Spanish island of Mallorca is the largest of the Balearics – and, increasingly, one of discerning travellers’ most desirable destinations, bagging the number one spot on Forbes‘ ‘Best vacations of 2023’ list. Clearly, more and more are discovering Mallorca for its Unesco-listed mountains, hidden coves and romantic hilltop villages beyond the headline-grabbing Love Island villa and notorious party haunt, Magaluf.
Adding to Mallorca’s must-visit moment is the growing number of new luxury hotels generating international attention, which includes the newly formed Iberostar Selection Albufera resort. A family-focused ‘two-in-one’ beachfront hotel, it comprises Albufera Park and Albufera Playa which together house seven pools, ten restaurants and bars, a kids’ club, and spa.
Iberostar Selection Albufera
Located on Playa de Muro (pictured, top) in the Bay of Alcudia on the island’s north coast, the resort is in a prime postcode that promises white sand, water sports and diverse nature – not least thanks to the S’Albufera Nature Reserve less than a mile away. One of Mallorca’s natural jewels, the wetland area is ideal for exploring the island’s native flora and fauna (which, incidentally, inspires Iberostar Selection Albufera’s interiors) by foot or bike – readily available to hire from the hotels.
The resort itself has been recently transformed to make sustainable practices a priority. From renovating using circular economy principles, with recycled and environmentally friendly materials, to implementing an innovative AI-based food control system to help minimise waste, it aligns with the Iberostar group’s demanding new sustainability criteria – no mean feat for an all-inclusive model.
From the food to the facilities, it’s a family’s paradise, with all conveniences – and indulgences – entirely catered for. Here, gourmet highlights include the IceDream ice cream parlour, naturally, as well as the beach grill buffet, Tamarindos; Spanish restaurant, Martinete; Greek restaurant, Kyknos; and Mexican restaurant, Nopal. Nothing feels mass produced; rather, thoughtfully considered and of superb quality.
In terms of facilities, children will revel in Albufera Park particularly, where within the reception they are greeted by an impressive bird installation and an indoor slide, transporting them towards the kids’ club below. Here, at Star Camp, an extensive children’s activity program – from scientific experiments to DJ’ing – is offered, competing for their attention with the hotel’s outdoor trampoline and renovated children’s pool (mimicking a mini water park) alongside the splash pool for toddlers.
The family suites feel serenely spacious, with a separate bedroom, living room and balconies, while over at Albufera Playa – the hotel better suited to couples – there are traditional double rooms and suites as well as an adults-only rooftop pool and terrace on the beachfront. If you want such photogenic views combined with a family friendly feel, Albufera Park’s rooftop infinity pool too feels endlessly chic (see below).
The facilities on both sides of the resort are accessible to all guests, despite where you stay, which adds to the experience of being able to tailor Iberostar Selection Albufera to your tastes.
If, however, you favour smaller scale luxury – or, perhaps, a set-up better suited to teens who’ve graduated from kids’ clubs – Albufera’s stylish sister hotel, Iberostar Grand Portal Nous, is ideal.
Iberostar Grand Portal Nous
This five-star, sustainably built boutique hotel, nestled into the peaceful cove of Portals Nous – a short walk from the sophisticated Puerto Portals marina in the island’s southwest – boasts radiant views both inside and out. Uniquely art-focused, it’s designed by the renowned Marcel Wanders, with select rooms by British artists Nick Walker and Ben Eine, and exteriors by Brighton-based Dotmaster. It also claims Spain’s first beachside hotel Gallery of New Contemporary Art and Street Art, a vibrant space spotlighting local, national and international urban artists.
The suites are something else, with interiors symbolising the inspiring surroundings, including the high vantage views seen from within of turquoise waters and firey sunsets. Some suites are themed – by concepts like ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Spa’ – to ignite the senses further and elevate escapism.
No family member will find it hard to slip into holiday mode here. The striking rooftop swimming pool, with its mosaic floral floor and feature wall, has floating sunbeds within and loungers with parasols beyond. The spacious spa, meanwhile, is a much darker affair, though just as striking. Inspired by constellations (and in keeping with Wanders’ avant-garde design), it houses hot and cold-water therapies and plush rooms where personalised treatments are carried out using holistic methods. There’s also a wellness bar, cocktail bar, and champagne bar by the sea.
The Astir restaurant is everything you’d imagine from a Mediterranean seafront dining experience; there’s a large terrace with bay views and the freshest traditional cuisine made of local organic produce. A refined menu, though accommodating of requirements beyond it (childrens’ included), expect responsibly sourced seafood, barbecued meat, and decadent desserts. The breakfast buffet – offered in addition to an à la carte menu – is laidback and luxurious in equal measure. But whether you’re visiting morning, noon or night, it’s the warm service that’s just as memorable as the views and food. The staff can’t do enough to make all ages feel welcome, leaving you making a promise to see them next year – and meaning it.
Iberostar Grand Portal Nous can be booked HERE