“Palma used to be a city with its doors closed. A decade or more ago, walking through the Old Town meant walking past palatial Renaissance homes that hid behind metal gates and wooden doors. Occasionally you might catch a glimpse over somebody’s shoulder as they retreated into their private courtyard – a snatched peek of a pale stone staircase or ornate balustrade – but generally you were locked out, exiled to wander the narrow streets run a permanent state of speculation.”

A few years ago I declared in the Times that if I had to leave the UK to live elsewhere, that the city I would choose to live in would be Palma.

I have long loved the Mallorcan capital’s tangle of cobbled streets, vibrant culture and fab food – not to mention its warm year-round weather – but I also often left the city feeling disappointed. Because much of its most beautiful bits seemed to lie behind closed doors.

No longer. Two new hotels have recently opened in the Old Town, both offering the chance to stay in grandeur, bedding down in opulent mansions and sashaying down marble staircases.

On my most recent visit I stayed at the wonderful Can Bordoy and the gorgeous Palacio Can Marques. And I certainly did plenty of sashaying.

Read my piece on Palma for the Times here