It used to be that the only places we'd lay our heads on Mallorca were either La Residencia, the hillside retreat once owned by Richard Branson, or Gran Hotel Son Net, David Stein's own mansion that he turned into a hotel six years ago. But recently this Spanish island, known more for package-deal resorts than chic hotels, has found firmer footing on its climb to the high end of travel. Earlier this year, Stein brought chef Grégory Goulot to Son Net to rejuvenate the menu with dishes like suckling pig with orange, ginger, and coriander French toast (dinner, $135; 34-97-114-7000; www.sonnet.es). The 10-room Son Gener (rate, $270; 34-97-118-3612; www.songener.com) recently added a spa: Tucked away behind the pool, it's done in local gray stone, dark wood, and glass that complements the hotel's traditional but ever-so-casual feeling. Next year, the shoe company Camper will open a 12-room hotel in Alaró, designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo.
But that's just the half of it: Last fall, the 23-room Son Brull Hotel & Spa (rates, $325-$830; 34-97-153-5353; www.sonbrull.com) opened near Pollenca, where Barcelona architect Nacho Forteza turned an 18th-century monastery into a slick, 21st-century design triumph. Black concrete floors are inset with panels of light, and local art hangs above all-white fireplaces. As a nod to the building's history, the spare, cream-colored bedrooms have exposed beams, and in the lounge, where olive oil was once made, stands a dramatic antique press.
By far the most buzzing addition to haute Mallorca is Mats Wahlström's Puro hotel in Palma (rates, $210-$415; 34-97-142-5450; www.purohotel.com). In the middle of the lively Old Town, surrounded by bars and restaurants, it has become nirvana for trendoids. Even before it opened, four months ago, curious passersby began requesting reservations at Opio, the restaurant where the Swedish chef fuses the Mediterranean with Asia in dishes like foie gras with Japanese rice, avocado, and a honey-soy glaze.
Puro's design is South Beach by way of Barcelona, with an all-white lobby flowing up a flight of stairs to the all-white bar and all-white restaurant, where you dine inside tents adorned with tassels. In the rooms: more white for sure, but also dark granite in the bathrooms, teak sliding doors from Burma, mirror-studded cushions from Rajasthan, and feathered hats from Cameroon hanging on the walls. It's global chic perfected, and it suits this cosmopolitan island perfectly.