There’s a singular slice of Mallorca where a mini-mountain range splits the terrain into Grand Canyon-like vistas on one side and Tuscan valleys on the other; that’s where Mats Wahlstrom’s private farm mansion sits.
And the Swedish entrepreneur and hotelier wants to share his part-time residence with discerning travelers interested in a stay that looks like home (if you’re a millionaire) but acts like a luxury boutique hotel (because who wants to lift a finger on holiday?). The place has already drawn Karl Lagerfeld’s leadership team for a stay, as well as star soccer players, entertainers, business owners and families.
Its name is Son Fuster, its history dates back to 1350 and its 40-hectare estate locale makes it a hideaway in the truest sense.
“It’s a little bit like a medieval feel to it exteriorly, interiorly it’s all modern and floor heating and all that kind of stuff,” Wahlstrom tells WWD Weekend from his boat in the bay of Sa Foradada, Mallorca. That combined with the location, he says, is what he loves most about the property. “Every time you step outside you have amazing views and spectacular scenery.”
Son Fuster, a 14th century finca that was originally a manor house, sits on a working farm at the foot of the Alara and Serra de Tramuntana mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (For those who geek out on history, UNESCO says the landscape “exemplifies the interchange between the Muslim and Christian cultures, which is representative of the Mediterranean area, in the combination of the Arabic water harvesting and management technology with the agricultural know-how and the territorial control system introduced by the Christian conquerors, who took over the island of Mallorca in 13th century AD. By this cultural interaction, a terraced agricultural landscape was created, featured by an articulated waterworks network, orchards, vegetable gardens and olive groves…”)
In other words, it’s easy to understand why olives and oranges are ripe for the picking at Son Fuster. The aim is to add a black truffle farm to the estate, and it’s just the right backdrop for a tomato girl summer, too.
Running completely on solar power with an on-site solar park and a saltwater pool, sustainability is also a focus here. As Son Fuster’s business development manager Olga Pavlova explains, “The way that it was built and redesigned is to just leave as little of a mark as possible.”
The pool’s positioning puts the mountains in splendid view, and ample poolside loungers plus an adjacent lawn make the area perfect for parties— family-friendly or otherwise. Patios feature shaded nooks ideal for leisure reading or little naps, as well as long tables for family-style dining under the stars. There are gardens to stroll, a helipad landing, horses on site, a patio gym for the fitness seekers and a spa area complete with steam bath, sauna and treatment rooms where ordered-in technicians will work their magic. An old water tank has come to serve as a multipurpose room, with staff converting it into a meditation space, a children’s play area or a nightclub depending on guests’ requests. A Berber-style nomad camp, which looks like its name, with floor pillows and an overhead tent, is a great spot for morning yoga. Thanks to conference rooms and screening rooms, it’s also well-suited for corporate retreats.
Inside, the 10-room house that sleeps up to 20 guests on king-size beds is seriously considered. Each room has an en-suite bathroom with spa-like serenity, living rooms are cozy with plush couches and modern art, there’s a cinema room for movie nights, a Geneva sound system throughout, and the olive press room was actually once a site for turning the small fruit into oil.
But it’s the service that’s among the biggest draws.
“The staff come mainly from the yachting industry,” Pavlova says. “The reason for this was the style of service that they’re able to deliver is very professional but at the same time it’s quite friendly, it’s very adaptable. [If] you have up to 20 people here, people are doing different things at different times, and they’re very much able to cater to that.”
At Son Fuster, concierge service runs 24 hours a day. An international chef comes with each booking and can tailor meals to guests’ needs, though there are menu suggestions to make things easier. On offer? Items like seared salmon served with tomato tartar and sourdough croutons for lunch, and salt baked sea bream or vegan cauliflower steaks with tahini sauce for dinner. All meals and drinks — alcohol, too — are included with the stay. There’s also a master of wine who can do tastings on the property or take guests into town for an immersive wine tour.
For those looking to explore more in Mallorca, Son Fuster’s concierge can book boat charters, hikes, golf rounds, everything for a vow renewal, for example, and they can even bring nannies in house, to name just a few options.
It’s the kind of experience that increasingly appeals to the discerning traveler.
“This is part of a broader trend that we’re seeing, particularly at the high net worth and ultra-high net worth end of the market, this move away from the hotel experience — even the five-star hotel experience where the swimming pool is shared with other hotel guests or the public spaces, the restaurants are shared — through to this, in essence, private hotel experience,” says Nick Westwood, managing director of villas at luxury travel company Red Savannah, which counts Son Fuster among the properties it works with. “We’ve noted that Red Savannah bookings into this level are up 225 percent on 2019 levels; this is pre-COVID[-19]. So there really is a notable increase in demand for this type of experience amongst the high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients.”
Nightly rates for Son Fuster start at 12,000 euros based on 10 guests and go up to 14,000 euros a night, depending on the season. And with direct flights into Palma de Mallorca Airport from New York City and key cities in Europe, plus a 25-minute ride from the airport to property that’s coordinated on guests’ behalf, getting there is almost as easy as being there.