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Swimming pool in a hotel set into a cliffside photographed at sunset

Hot hotels: cliff-edge hangouts

There’s a clutch of unique hotels worldwide that perch on clifftops. Some hide in Caribbean caves, while others peek from tree-covered California hillsides. All of them, however, have one thing in common: jaw-dropping sea views

01/07/2022Updated 10/05/2023
Looking down on a boat in a clear sea from the top of a cliff

Cap Rocat, Mallorca

Cap Rocat is an ancient military fortress-turned-five-star hotel suspended on a dusty headland sprinkled with palm trees near Mallorca’s Palma Bay. The fairy-tale boutique hotel, almost invisible from above, comes with a dramatic drawbridge entrance, original 19th-century sandstone walls, and romantic sunken patios galore. Guests potter between infinity pools with knockout views and private daybeds (with more knockout views), occasionally stopping by the spa – located 12m below ground – for a hammam treatment or a four-hand massage. Sportier folk mosey around the surrounding 30-hectare nature reserve, snorkel along the marine-protected coast or slide around the clay tennis courts. Food lovers, on the other hand, prop themselves up at the open-air Sea Club restaurant, gorging on fresh seafood and crisp white wine as the sun sets behind boats bobbing in the distance. 

This clifftop hideaway has only 24 rooms, some in former barracks, others in old munition stores. Sentinel suites (opening image) are perhaps the best and come with private pools, and terraces chiselled into the cliffside, treating guests to spectacular views across a turquoise sea. Rooms, decorated in earthy hues, soft furnishings and marble floors, are dappled in warm sunlight as standard.

Wander the grounds, exploring the labyrinth of tunnels, staircases and patios. All paths lead to La Fortaleza to dine on a lofty rooftop under the stars in summer or to the softly lit former soldiers’ mess during colder months. Must-try tasting menus, designed by chef Víctor García, showcase classic Mallorcan dishes championing local ingredients. 

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