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Finca Cortesín has become an award-winning property in Málaga, Spain. But its operator will need a fresh playbook to draw guests to its new 17th-century palace in the mountains of Mallorca.

The new Grand Hotel Son Net, which opened last month, is set at the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains on the island of Mallorca — and does not want to be referred to as a boutique hotel. Nor does it consider itself a resort.

“It is a 31-room-and-suite palace hotel, in a beautiful place, but not boutique,” said René Zimmer, managing director at Finca Cortesín Hotels & Resorts. “For me, a boutique hotel is a word that has been used too much. The same with ‘luxury.’ Everything today is luxury, and everything is boutique.”

Located within a 17th-century former palace, Grand Hotel Son Net is the second hotel venture from the team behind the 67-room Finca Cortesín resort in the Málaga province of Spain. They’ve honed that style concept at Finca Cortesín, which won Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards in 2022 for the top resort in Spain & Portugal — beating properties like Six Senses Douro Valley.

When Javier Lopez Granados (president and CEO of Single Home S.A. and Finca Cortesín) and The Stein Group acquired Son Net back in 2020, they decided to make a clear style pivot from their first hotel venture. 

“At Finca Cortesín we are Andalusian in the south of Spain, so it’s a different architecture,” said Zimmer. “It’s a bit more hacienda style. And here in Mallorca, it’s a palace. It’s a Mallorcan mansion, and it has a bit of Italian influence.”

While Finca Cortesín has won fans thanks to its oceanside locale and golf course (it’s the host site for the Solheim Cup in September), Grand Hotel Son Net will need to find its own way to attract loyalists willing to pay premium prices.

“We obviously have high rates — our rates are high at Finca Cortesín and Son Net — but we think we can give this really sophisticated service with special attention to detail,” said Zimmer.

A recent Saturday night in late June at Grand Hotel Son Net recently started at about $1,160 (about €1,056) a night.

interior of a grand son net suite in mallorca source
A suite at the Grand Hotel Son Net in Mallorca, Spain. Source: Cortesín Hotels.

Making It in Mallorca

The name Son Net has its roots in Mallorca: Son is the name for a big house or palace, and Net is the name of the original family who lived at the palace 300 years ago.

The palace hotel has undergone a two-year renovation, dragging it into the 21 century, with additions you’d assume, such as reliable Wi-Fi and up-to-date air conditioning. Its upscale-meets-traditional interiors were created by the Spanish interior designer Lorenzo Castillo.

History also runs down, literally, into the property’s roots. The hotel has its own one-hectare vineyard, which was planted in 2006, before Finca Cortesín and its investors purchased the property. “The 2022 vintage is a nice, fresh, dry white wine from a grape called Malvasia grape, which is very typical in Mallorca,” said Zimmer. “We have over 2,500 bottles nearly ready to go.”

And while they have a mountain backdrop, it’s also beach-accessible.

“In summer time, you can go to the beaches near Palma, you are back at the hotel in 20 minutes, so it’s a good base,” said Zimmer. 

Still, many visitors who come to Mallorca might expect to be walking distance to the water. It’s a potential hurdle they’ll have to overcome, making up for it with experiences and service (and again, the chance to stay at a palace) and playing up that it’s an opportunity to escape the beachside hustle and bustle.

Besides the spa, which opens within a few months, it has an on-site farm, complete with donkeys, ponies and sheep, as well as a vegetable garden.

SON NET The Suites
A suite at the Grand Hotel Son Net in Mallorca, Spain. Source: Cortesín Hotels.

Palace Hotel With a Local Feel

The team behind Grand Hotel Son Net is also hoping its focus on keeping things local will resonate with guests. 

“The roots are here,” said Zimmer. “The staff 90 percent are Mallorcan, we are trying to have a wine list with mainly Mallorcan wines, and primarily using food from around the island,” said Zimmer. 

“In Mallorca, our clientele will be coming from German-speaking countries, as well as from the UK and U.S.” said Zimmer. “A lot of Americans are coming to Mallorca.”

They want to take advantage of the direct flights from Newark to Mallorca, which United launched last year.

The service style they are trying to achieve walks the line between friendly and formal. “You don’t want to give an appearance at the hotel where the staff thinks they’re better than the clients. We would love to have the clients feel like being at home,” said Zimmer. “We don’t want to be too stiff.”


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Tags: future of lodging, independent hotels, luxury hotels, mallorca, spain

Photo credit: The chimney room of the Grand Hotel Son Net, a palace hotel that opened in Mallorca in May. Source: Cortesín Hotels.

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