Actress Alexandra Rapaport filmed ”Mother Goose” (Gåsmamman) in Mallorca with her childhood friend Linda Torkelsdotter Flytström as one of the assistants. 

– We are each others’ lifeline to the past, and love being together on the island.

We have decided on meeting on a modern and elegant restaurant terrace at Iberostar Grand Hotel Portals Nous. There are big lounge chairs in the a beautiful white ambiance, and a fabulous breeze from the beach next door manages to cool us a little in the sweltering July heat. 

 Alexandra Rapaport looks stunning in an airy white and blue summer dress. Her sporty friend Linda Torkelsdotter Flytström is chic in a blue mini. The two of them became great friends when they were just six years old, and spent nine years in the same class at school in Sweden.

– We are more like family, really, says Alexandra Rapaport.

– It’s such a luxury to have a great friend who has been in my life so long, says Linda.

Alexandra became a famous actress in Sweden in 1999 in the film ”Tsatsiki Morsan och Polisen”Since then she has had many successes with TV-series such as ”The Sandhamn Murders” and ”Honour”. 

Penoza became Mother Goose

A few years ago, when Endemol was being launched in Sweden, they wanted to do a remake of the Penoza series in Sweden. Alexandra Rapaport asked if she might be involved in presenting the Swedish version, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

 – I became a mixture of a dramaturge and an editor, says Alexandra.

 When the series was adapted to Swedish circumstances, Alexandra showed the buyers how the story could be told, and suggested that the main character would be called Sonja. When the viewers get to know Sonja Ek in ”Mother Goose”, she is living a normal life enjoying her existence with her beloved family. Her husband Fredrik secretly brings in a little extra on the side to keep the family prosperous, selling marijuana. Suddenly the bubble bursts, and in order to keep her children safe, Sonja is forced to play a dangerous game with organised crime on one side and the police on the other.

– I suppose we have a strong sense of family in common, says Alexandra Rapaport. 

– My family’s holidays together are holy, for instance. I love enjoying Mallorca with them. We make lots of tapas at home and don’t go out much. 

 Alexandra and her director husband Joakim Eliasson are in Mallorca relaxing with their two children Blanca,10 and Elmer, 13, staying in her husband’s family’s apartment near Palma. The kids have a stand up paddle board each, and love bobbing up and down on the waves. Alexandra enjoys taking it easy, sometimes with her friend Linda Torkelsdotter Flytström. But not so long ago they were working together on the island. 

Mallorca became Colombia

– We had some scenes to film for ”Mother Goose” in a Colombian atmosphere for the fourth season of the series, and it seemed like a good choice to do it in Mallorca, and Linda came along to assist us too, says Alexandra.

 – ”Mother Goose” is my baby – it’s my favourite project so far. We ”created” a new airport in Palma at the ferry terminal in Porto Pi, filmed at Hotel Feliz and turned a lovely Mallorcan finca into a Colombian hacienda where one of the characters in the series ”got an eye taken out” in the story…. 

 The idea of filming in Mallorca again appeals to both Alexandra and Linda. 

 – I would love to film more in Mallorca, says Alexandra Rapaport. 

 – It would be nice to be a film crew assistant over here again, says Linda, who normally works with design.

If they come back to film ”Mother Goose” in Mallorca it will certainly be a family project. Alexandra’s husband Joakim Eliasson has taken over as the director of ”Mother Goose”, Alexandra plays the lead and is the executive producer of the series too.

 – When we were searching for a new director I was a bit doubtful at first when my husband’s name was mentioned, says Alexandra. 

 – It’s really important to get the vibe and temperament right. The drama is really strong and there are lots of feelings involved in the series. Eventually the choice did seem logical, as Joakim has been a part of ”Mother Goose” through me. He really has made the TV-series pop now. I am very proud! 

Said ”I do” on the island

Linda and Joakim are both proud of all of Alexandra’s achievements too. Not only does she have prominent acting parts in several TV-series, she is debuting in a film by Martina Haag as well, and she is the executive producer of the TV-series ”Honour” as well. 

 – When Calle Jansson, formerly the head of Discovery Networks Channel 5, asked me to start a production company with him, my husband said ” Congratulations – he is fantastic”, says Alexandra. 

 Alexandra’s and Joakim’s kids have banned all ”shop talk” at home. But it’s getting harder for them to keep the promise as Joakim Eliasson is taking over the director’s chair for the TV-series ”Honour”, where Alexandra plays one of the leads and is the executive producer as well…

 – We have been together for 16 years and married for 12 years and are learning how to talk about work away from home, says Alexandra. 

 – We had a small wedding by the sea here in Mallorca, actually, so this place is more than special to us in many ways! 

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engström.


Palma’s new pride and joy is an ex soap factory, originally built in 1576, with stunning vaults in the ceiling.
Golden stone, brass walls and green tiles – a sublime Scanditerranean style – shows off the brand new Hotel Concepció by Nobis.

The concept of the elegant boutique hotel Concepció by Nobis in Palma was born on the day the building was purchased in 2016, when around 3.000 pigeons had made it their home. Today the birds have flown away, and 31 elegant hotel rooms have being deliciously decorated there instead. The Dux beds are tucked in with first class Egyptian cotton sheets and the elegant furniture has been shipped from Denmark and Croatia. 

Mysteriously some Mallorcan newspapers recently reported that Hotel Concepció was going to be taken over by the Marriott chain. That rumour is untrue, says Nobis Group.

Nobis owned – and nothing else

– Nobis does collaborate with Design hotels,and that company was bought by Marriott recently, but Hotel Concepció belongs to Swedish Nobis hotels and is going to continue to be run that way, says Ralf Thalén, head of business development at hotel Concepció by Nobis.

Ralf Thalén is a former restaurateur in Stockholm who co-owned restaurants such as Grodan, Victoria and Biblos. He started J Restaurant and Hotel J in Nacka Strand before he joined forces with Sandro Catenacci at Nobis and sold J Restaurant and J Hotel to him.

Nobis CEO Sandro Catenacci, owns seven other hotels of varied sizes in Scandinavia – one of them, Nobis Hotel Copenhagen, is in Denmark, and the rest – Stallmästaregården, Hotel Miss Clara by Nobis, J hotel and restaurant, Blique by Nobis, Nobis Hotel Stockholm, Hotel Skeppsholmen by Nobis, – are all in Stockholm.

Hotel Manager Jonathan Liu.

This is the first hotel for the Nobis Group outside of northern Europe. The Mediterranean flair of Palma palaces has been paired with cool Scandinavian elegance, and the result is warm, elegant and inviting.  Concepció by Nobis is conveniently located in the centre of Palma de Mallorca, offering air-conditioned rooms, a fabulous pool terrace, a 24-hour front desk and proximity to popular attractions like Plaza Mayor, Avenida Jaime lll, Palma Cathedral and lots of bars and restaurants.

Danish furniture

– Come and try this chair, says Ralf Thalén, and points to an interesting looking brown leather chair in the hotel’s impressive lounge area.

 – This is the Spanish Chair, designed in 1958 by Börge Mogensen from Denmark. It is one of my favourite items, the patina of the leather just gets better the more you use it. 

It’s comfortable, and it’s pricey. 4500 euros per chair. Within the hotel, restored spaces are united with materials that will age gracefully through the years such as wood, leather and wool. The Swedish architecture firm Wingårdhs brought a lot to the table, along with local eye-catchers, such as the cream and bottlegreen floor produced by the Mallorcan ceramic tile company Huguet.  

 Restaurant Xalest has a fitted all-day bar . There is a long table for both meetings and meals is in place connected with a large lounge, and outside there is outdoor and indoor dining in front of the hotel for 40 guests, as well as on the pool terrace. Chef Xema Àlvarez’s cuisine embraces the Spanish sharing concept in everything from pintxos to tapas, appetizers and entrées.

Now that we have completely fallen under this gorgeous hotel’s spell, Ralf Thalén drops a new bomb on us. 

Planning yet another hotel!

 – We have had the go ahead signal for a second Palma Nobis hotel just five minutes away from Hotel Concepció in Palma’s Old Town, he says. 

 – The new Can Oliver Hotel will perhaps be even more spectacular than this. Many have tried to get permission to build there, and have failed. We got it thanks to the Spanish architectural firms Jordi Herrero Arquitectos och Eduardo Garcia Acuna Arquitecto.

Two large patios and a 120 square metre salon that measures 9 metres from the floor to the ceiling, certainly does sound like spectacular material for a promising new hotel. 

Will the Nobis owned restaurant and night club Café Opera in Stockholm get a Palma branch at Can Oliver?

– That would be really cool, says Ralf Thalén.

Ralf Thalén.

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engström.

Cecilia and Dennis said “I DO”!

Booking a wedding during the Covid pandemic has been a risky business for many.
Cecilia Niklasson Österberg and Dennis Adali from Stockholm had many a scary moment during the planning, and for a while it looked grim.
But love conquers all! On June 12th their big day came, and it was so beautiful!

Mallorca is a favourite location for weddings, and the wedding trade was booming until the Covid pandemic came and the subsequent restrictions put a spanner in the works for the industry.

In 2019 about 30.000 couples got married in the Balearic islands. Last year that number was supposed to have been 3.000, but for people in the industry that sounds like a lot of tiny weddings without parties, as the rules for weddings were very severe, which made the business lose 95 % of its turnover.

Lots of weddings were rescheduled first from 2020 to 2021, and then to 2022 as well. Some couples decided to go to the Spanish mainland instead, as 500 guests can attend a wedding in some places there.

Cecilia and Dennis were made of sterner stuff. They had booked the iconic venue Son Marroig in Mallorca and wanted to have their wedding there despite the many obstacles they encountered. 

First it looked as if the curfew might put a stop to the wedding, next it was the guest numbers that might not be allowed, then it was the number of guests allowed at each table and after that the no dancing policy before the ”end the party at midnight” came along.

In order to allow for lots of scenarios the couple’s planners had differents set ups and flower decorations at three different venues, where some of the venues could cope with an earlier time table.

The season started with strong restrictions for all private events in Mallorca and the rest of the Balearic Islands at least until the end of May when only 15 people were allowed at an indoor setting at 30 outside. Not knowing how to plan ahead has probably been the hardest thing for all couples to cope with.


Being patient and positive through the process has been very important. Recently the rules changed to allow a more interesting 50 guests outside, and 10 people per table instead of just 4, and that was what Cecilia Niklasson Österberg and Dennis Adali had been hoping for. 

– We are so glad – the venue is even lovelier and greener than I thought it would be, says Cecilia. 

 – And we got the place of our dreams! 

 The guests were invited to a lovely ceremony by the Swedish priest Carin Saracco from the Swedish Church in Palma, and then they had a fun cocktail followed by a stunning sunset and a gorgeous fairy light lit dinner with dancing under the stars (in masks of course!).

Congratulations, Cecilia and Dennis, you give us hope and we wish you the best of luck. It is wonderful that the weddings have begun again. The vast majority of professionals working in this sector, such as photographers, organisers or decorators, have closed their premises to cut costs and the most powerful companies are surviving thanks to ICO credits. 

The young couples wanting to start their new life have been hard hit as well. So many of them have had to reschedule their Big Day, which is very stressful. Seeing Dennis and Cecilia enjoying what they had planned and longed for with their loved ones was an immense pleasure. 

 From now on 120 guests can come to Mallorca to enjoy a wedding here, and all of them have to take an anti gene test before the wedding, or have must had two vaccinations. 

With some luck the Covid rules will soften as we go along. Hopefully the party will soon be allowed to go on a little longer, and masks outside may perhaps also not be mandatory. 

Long live LOVE!

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz
Photo: Thomas Engström


One day, in April 2020, when Covid-19 was paralyzing the world, Katarina Mannheimer Ahlström looked in the mirror and caught sight of a lump on her left breast.

It was a malignant tumour. Katarina decided to do everything she could to heal. 

 – When I was operated on 12 days later, the tumour had weakened to a degree of 90 percent, says Katarina, who has written a book called ”I will get through this”.

She is a picture of health today, with her blonde hair, slender frame and blue eyes, that reflect both sparkling boisterous light and deep sincerity at the same time.

Katarina Mannheimer Ahlström and I are sitting at a café outside her lovely Palma apartment in Santa Catalina, talking about her healing journey. She has just finished writing ”I will get through this”, a very interesting book about tapping into our inner powers to heal. It is a book that all fellow human beings can be inspired by.

 Like so many of us Mallorca lovers, Katarina feels the pull of Mallorca’s strong energy, and has had a love affair with the island since she was five years old and was taught how to swim here.

 – Mallorca’s wonderful sunshine makes us all feel fantastic, she says.

 – In April last year I actually felt fine too, despite the lump in my breast, but the doctor I went to did an ultrasound and made a biopsy, and recommended that I have an operation whatever the result might be. Just six months earlier I had had a mammogram. I couldn’t help wondering how that lump could just have showed up so quickly out of nowhere.

Journey of the heart 

Katarina works as a conversational therapist and runs an education company called Academy Compassion. She has a Doctor’s degree in Clinical Social Work, specializing in Psychology, at the University of Chicago. 

She knows hypnotherapy and has 15 years of experience in visualization techniques and meditation. Katarina has explored spiritual and mystical traditions, and her first book ”Journey of the heart” was a personal reflection about moving from ego consciousness to the seat of the soul. This knowledge was very valuable during Katarina’s healing. 

 – The week after I had the biopsy, the news was all about the increasing amount of corona deaths in the world, and we were told to keep the distance and wash our hands constantly. I thought I was OK, but I had grade 2 breast cancer on the so called Elstron scale. I heard the warm and kind doctor telling me that this type of cancer is hormonal and easily spreads to first the lymph nodes, then to the brain and the bone structure. He said he wanted to make sure things hadn’t progressed, and wished to remove some lymph nodes.

Katarina’s cancer had been found at an early stage. She was lucky, and got an appointment to have the cancer tumour removed less than two weeks later. Friends were calling to say ”You can do this! If anyone can, it’s you”. 

 Katarina went to work as usual in a small apartment where she had a patient booked for a hypnosis session. She enjoyed the healing energy and the creative flow of the hypnosis, and was just about to leave when her husband called. 

 – Darling, he said to me, I think I am coming down with a cold, says Katarina. 


They both thought of Covid-19, of course, and Thomas suggested that Katarina be quarantined to avoid picking up something that might prolong or adventure her treatment. 

 – I decided to stay in quarantine in my work apartment and to concentrate on myself and my healing at least leading up to my operation, says Katarina. 

 – The thought of assisting myself and my healing process was amazing. I wanted to tap into all the resources I could imagine that might help the surgical procedures as much as I could possibly do by myself. 

 Eating a healthy diet and skipping meat, fish, dairy, gluten, alcohol and sugar became an important step in the process. Eliminating all forms of stress was another. Making these choices could greatly reduce the level of inflammation in the body. 

 – I wanted the cancer to feel uncomfortable, says Katarina. 

 – I decided to eat tasty, colourful and anti inflammatory food, such as red, green and yellow peppers, spinach, broccoli, red onion, celery, beets, red cabbage, tomato, wild rice, chickpeas and beans, served with spices such as garlic, rosemary, basilica, ginger, turmeric and chili. Because of all the retreats, meditations, hypnosis sessions and a lifetime of studies, Katarina already knew that one of the most important things she could do was to meet any fears that she might be feeling. 

Facing the fear 

– I really made it my mission to meet my feelings head on, she says.

 – Every time I felt the fear approaching, I invited it in and let it soar like a tornado until the feeling just left as suddenly as it had arrived, and I felt calm once more. 

She also intuited that keeping a sense of being at peace would be the most beneficial to her. 

 – I knew that feeling safe and calm, as if I could be healing, was the most important thing I could do in the long run, she says.

 – I concentrated on that above all else. Meditation became more important than ever to me. Katarina wore soft sweaters to feel cared for, went for nice long walks in nature and watched a couple of episodes of ”Friends” every day. The TV-series was a way of laughing a lot, that Katarina’s children had suggested. 

 – I began to realize that I hadn’t been very good at taking care of myself before, and that I had avoided letting my most feminine side blossom, always prioritising a male perspective. 

 – I needed to do something about this imbalance. And in my meditations I felt that the Universe was supporting me. 

Katarina is convinced that we create our lives from the perspective of the thoughts we have and the attitude we live by. The effect a placebo pill has when we believe it is capable of healing is well known and documented. Katarina has seen it proven again and again in her work with hypnosis meditation too. 


– As you relax you can convince your subconscious that you are being healed, she says. 

 – Our outer reality reflects our inner focus in many ways and ”brainwashing” can actually be used for good purposes too. When we tell ourselves something we wish would happen has already happened, and are grateful for that, we can move mountains.

Healing frequencies became the next big part of Katarina’s healing. Sound frequencies of 444 Hz are not comfortable for cancer cells. 

 – I turned up the volume and used a loudspeaker from my headphones with the very loud screeching sound directed onto my cancer lump. I felt the effect immediately. The tumour started itching and felt like it was healing. I decided to do this morning and night.

Katarina’s operation came and went, and she continued her life in quarantine a little longer, to keep the healing focus during the radiation therapy too. 

Two weeks after the operation she went back to the doctor’s office again. 

 – We can tell you that your lymph nodes were fully healthy, said the doctor to Katarina. 

 – Your prognosis is actually much better now. We don’t really know what happened. Your tumour had hardly any cancer cells left when it was removed during the operation. The tumour actually shrank from 8 to 1% – that means it shrank as much as 90%! ” 

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engström.


Stunning rows of superyachts and plenty of fun and games with foils and sea scooters. Palma international Boat Show is back after a pandemic pause. 

 Urban Glinning from the glitzy diesel super tender Performance Ribs Mallorca discussed fuel with Martin Gustavsson from the all electric and sustainable Xshore. 

Trouble watching the video on a smartphone or tablet? Use this link:

 – Yours are the future – but our ribs are 22 knots faster, says Urban, with a laugh. 

It wasn’t really a pissing contest, but comments passed just for fun 😉

Urban Glinning showed us Performance Ribs Mallorca’s exhibiting super tender at Palma International Boat Show – it is 13,5 metres long, packs 1050 horsepower, an has a cabin, a toilet and a small kitchen. Absolutely ideal for assisting the large yachts, of course, but also for scouting out locations, doing rescue missions or just going for fast spins at 55 knots… 

 – It takes an hour to go to Ibiza using our super tenders, says Urban, and his colleague Fabri interjects how he was caught in a 40 – 50 knot storm in Ibiza last summer and had to wear snorkelling gear to be able to breathe while driving. 

During a normal high season just one of the three super tenders gets requested between 60 and 80 days.

100 percent electric

Moored right next to Performance Ribs Mallorca was Xshore’s 100 percent electric rib. Martin Gustavsson and his colleagues have sold 40 of them and are in Palma to find more parties that might be interested in selling the all electric boat too. 

 – We do 33 knots as our top speed and are better for the environment, says Martin. 

 – We carry a lot of weight with the batteries and engines, though, which is the only problem we have. The actual charging works the same way diesel fuel does. A meter tells you when you need to fill up, and you can plan this easily. 

 The two competitors Performance Ribs Mallorca and XShore are both interested in environmentally sound solutions and projects, and agreed that they love sustainable options and welcome lots more on the market. 

 Estate Mallorca Magazine is eager to join forces with Ocean Warriors, an environmentally sound initiative Urban and Fabri at Performance Ribs are running. We will organise beach cleans in Mallorca at the end of the season. Watch this space! 

 Ultra cool Awake were showing off their fun foil toy, and Osium had what they described as a scooter, but it looked more like a surfboard with a handlebar. Loads of laughs! 

Live radio broadcasting 

Over at Estela Yachting’s stand among the superyachts,  Melissa Martínez was drawing visitors with her captain’s hat and poses. Cati Moreno was playing live radio there for Who Electronic Radio, collaborating with Radio Italiana Mallorca, and she interviewed Estate Mallorca Magazine regarding our fab new online magazine about Mallorca, ofcourse. 

Yes, you should head over to see all the new global scale boats and nautical equipment. Exhibitors finally get to present their offer in person after several months of business done virtually. The fair includes the Palma Superyacht Show, the exhibition of large yachts with lengths over 24 meters, and a new designed Refit & Repair area, which is specifically aimed to nautical professionals.

To avoid crowds at the boat show, the number of people who are visiting the fair at the same time is limited. There are temperature controls at the entrance gates too. And the tickets – daily pass and professional pass –  can only be bought online at Palma International Boat Show website. 

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engström.


Lockdowns have made the world value life more.
Many of us seem to ask ourselves ”where do we really wish to be?” 
 – People take out their savings to use them on something they can really enjoy – such as a home in Mallorca, says Hans Lenz, Managing Director of Engel & Völkers, Mallorca Southwest.

At the top of the real estate tree on the Balearics, Engel & Völkers have a large network of offices and agents. They reside in elegant modern offices with white facades, and the staff is friendly and efficient. 

 Estate Mallorca Magazine met one of their newest agents, Bela Almström Alonso-Castrillo. She was recruited just a few weeks ago, and already she is showing clients amazing properties, such as a round penthouse with 360 degree views at 11,8 million euros.

Bela Almström Alonso-Castrillo.

– My office has a great team of professionals who want to help others. I felt at home here immediately, says Bela. 

 Hans Lenz, Managing Director of Mallorca Southwest in Puerto Portals, the area that sells many of the the most expensive Mallorcan properties, has welcomed Bela with open arms.

 – We have properties in all price ranges, but it is true that we have some expensive estates for sale too, some of them are finca mansions, and most of them are secret estates, says Hans. 

Not only are there some stunning places on the market, but people are buying them too. The average sale at Engel & Völkers was 1,6 million euros in 2020, that is more than the 1,5 million euro average in 2019. Sales went up during the lockdowns, contrary to speculation. 

– We had less activity in 2020, but we had a higher closing rate, explains Hans Lenz. 

– Our clients come out of lockdown deciding that life must be enjoyed. Savings should be used. Now that we are seeing an increased number of flights arriving to the island, we expect more people to follow. We have 3000 listings, but they are decreasing rapidly and people who own properties seem to be hanging onto their homes too … 

The Germans are buying more than other foreigners at around 50 percent, the Brits are buying about 20 percent of the properties, and the Scandinavians 10 percent. The rest of the foreign market is a mixture of different nationalities. 

The property market is making positive noises, but most other business sectors are sadly struggling. 

– The hoteliers in the ”German” areas of Mallorca sound a lot more positive about business than the ones around Santa Ponsa, for example, who have a lot of British clients, says Hans. 

Hans Lenz.

– Tourism and retail are business sectors that have been severely shaken up. We have an opportunity now to reinvent ourselves and to push towards a new future. Repositioning the island is what many business sectors are talking about. 

– We need to ask ourselves if we want more and more people at larger and larger airports, or if we want to create a different future, says Hans.  

Can you give us an example of how the property market can adapt to a different future?

– We are working on several hybrid forms of real estate and tourism, for example, where a hotel can be owned by many people,who each own a room or a suite that they use at leisure. When the room is free it can be rented out as part of the hotel business, operated by the hotel. There might be a 51% owner of the hotel, and the rest of the rooms are sold to people who use them as they wish, and earn money on their investment when they are not there. 

 This is not time sharing, as the owners of the hotel rooms actually own the rooms and can sell them if they wish. 

 – Another example of fractional ownership would be to have four families with 500.000 euros, who either know each other or not, come together and buy a 2 million euro finca to share. Agreements would be organised on who goes to the finca at what time, and the owners can sell their share when they wish. 

Mallorca is in need of affordable housing, especially for younger people on the islands. Are some older hotels possible for projects like that? 

– There are a lot of social housing laws that haven’t changed here since 2007, says Hans. 

 – It’s a hot potato that gets passed around. Developers would like to contract housing at affordable prices, but it is economically impossible to build at prices round 200.000 € with the current cost of land and the existing building parameters. Politicians are screaming for money, but I think there will be an opening for foreign investment. 

 – The hotel sector is opening up to transforming third and fourth line hotels into affordable housing projects. We also have a lot of new types of tourism such as winter tourism, health and treatment tourism and tourism for the third age. We need to think out of the box to create a new reality. First the pandemic put us in a state of shock, then we began to feel hope and next we have reached reality where we need to deal with the new situation at hand.

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engström.


Simon Rees has a luxury hotel in Mallorca – for dogs!

A glass of delicious-looking cava started it.

– Two friends had bubbly at Hotel Bendinat and sent me a photo. I decided Mallorca was irresistible, says the owner of Pooches Luxury Hotel for Dogs in Molinar, Simon Rees, with a chuckle.

Simon, originally from Wales, has been living on the island for a little more than three years now. Anyone who visits loves the stunning views of the turquoise sea from the luxurious penthouse at Simon’s Pooches Hotel. As we approach, we can see the sleek grey and clear crystal of the stylish facade, and hear the pitter patter of tiny paws, followed by some sweet yelps. 

Luscious kisses

– Come in and join the crazy crowd, says Simon, and one by one six little doggy darlings approach the entrance to shower us with kisses.
There are two golden-haired spaniels, Kanga and Roo, who are just about to check out of the hotel. They have had a great holiday. They are bursting with energy and doggy love. Little Teacup is shy, and very cute, with a natural coat of brown and white, and loves getting attention. 
Hooper is black and brown and looks a little sleepy in front of the telly. Definitely the relaxed vacation mode going on there. Remo, on the other hand, a gorgeous golden brown bundle of joy, bounces about a lot, as if she was in charge of the aerobics. Meanwhile, little Mallorcan princess Fudgie, the only permanent visitor at the hotel, likes to tell the other dogs who’s boss…WOOF!

Garden strolls and snuggles

Like the hotel director he is, Simon Rees uses just the right tone of quiet authority as he steers his clients, and the reigning diva duchess, about among the fancy facilities.
Downstairs the TV-room is full of lavish lounges and comfy dog beds, all meticulously cleaned every few days or so. If the hotel guests feel so inclined, the decorative garden next to it is available for strolls and sniffs, or even for a snooze in the shade.
Upstairs bedrooms, with real beds and dog beds, are ready for when the guests wish to get tucked in. Some dogs even get to snuggle under covers… 

The Balinese Dog Bed

But long before then, the pièce de la résistance, the party area on the third floor beckons with treats and gossip. The penthouse provides panoramic views, a Balinese bed and a lovely sofa area, and lots of opportunity to watch dogs and people passing by. 
What a wonderful existence, I can’t help wishing I was a dog that could check in too.

– Dog rates are 25 to 30 euros for 8 hours of day care and 40 euros including an overnight stay (pups are 50 euros), says Simon. And no, I have never regretted liking the look of the cava my friends were drinking in the photo they sent from Hotel Bendinat. I am so glad I came to Mallorca – I love my life here with the dogs! 

Property development

In London Simon Rees worked with first banking, and later in property development in the northwest, buying properties, working on architectural aspects and seeing if the properties could be made better. 
– I had a super life in London driving Bentleys and living in super glamorous homes, says Simon, who spent 25 years there before he decided to retire and enjoy life, just before turning 50. 

 – When Brexit was about to happen the economic climate was changing. and I needed to do something else. Mallorca provided a great opportunity to do that. When the last dog I owned, a chocolate coloured lab, died, my mother said I should never have another, but I missed having dogs in my life, and I know it is much easier to meet new lovely doggy people when you have dogs too. I decided a Luxury Hotel for Dogs might be just the thing for me.

International owners

Simon has two dear friends staying in houses some 20 metres away on each side of Pooches Hotel. Friends often come to see him, and bring their dogs over too. Thanks to Facebook and Instagram people with semi permanent or permanent homes on the island from Switzerland, Spain, Scandinavia, France, Germany and Britain have found Pooches Luxury Hotel for Dogs. 
Most days there are 6 or 7 doggies staying there, and despite the time it takes to feed and entertain the clients, Simon has started a charity sideline as well.

– I wanted to give something back, Simon says. There are rescue dogs who badly need new homes, and I like to help provide dogs like that with good homes. We have placed 7 dogs so far, and have handed out lots of blankets, doggie beds and other dog items. 

One of the dogs who needed a new home was lovely Fudgie, who actually spent two months with me as well, in my perfectly non-luxurious ordinary home in the centre of Palma, when her former owner had to go to hospital in the UK. Later, Fudge’s owner came back to Mallorca and Fudge returned to him. Eventually he had to take care of his health again in the UK, and Simon Rees opened his generous arms to include Fudge as a permanent resident at the marvellous Pooches Hotel.

 – I absolutely adore her, even though she is bossy, says Simon, with a laugh, and whispers that she has got a boyfriend now too. 
And guess what, it’s one of the frequent hotel guests…. 
It’s Kanga Spaniel ! Ooo, we love a bit of romance….

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engstrom.

To contact the Luxury Hotel For dogs check out 


Palma’s amazing Cathedral, La Seu, should not be able to stand upright.

Scholars at the Balearic university made the calculations, and found that the Cathedral is a mathematical impossibility.

But the legendary Cathedral still stands! And there are lots more exciting and little known facts about La Seu…

When king Jaime I of Aragón came by ship to conquer Mallorca from Arab hands, he encountered a most terrible storm. He fervently prayed to the Virgin Mary promising to build a cathedral in her honour if he and his noblemen survived. The ships landed on the beach of what is now the town of Santa Ponsa, about 22 kilometres west of Palma.

They dined well 

They continued on horse arriving late at night at the old Bendinat Castle, where they were well received. Legend has it that there was no food to eat so the desperate cook took the one single garlic head he had and roasted it for the conqueror. Jaime I divided the head into small pieces and handed them out among those at the table. According to legend, when they had finished eating it, King Jaime said “Ben em dinat” which in Catalán means “We have dined well”, and hence the name of the castle nowadays: Bendinat. Today this small beautiful neo gothic jewel situated in the Bendinat neighbourhood is in private hands, and you can catch a glimpse of it while driving on the highway from Palma to Portals Nous. 

After the conquest was successfully completed in 1229 work on the Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary was started by King Jaime. It was built right on top of an old Mosque, and for this reason it is the only Catholic cathedral facing directly in the direction of Mecca. Once consecrated, it became the official Cathedral of Mallorca and the temple of Santa Eulaliawhich had previously been the Cathedral was “demoted” to just a plain church. Santa Eulalia is also beautiful, but very small and is situated around the corner from Plaza Cort in Palma where you can also enjoy the beauty of the Baroque building housing the Palma Town Hall , built between 1649 and 1680. Before becoming the seat of the Town Hall in the 18th century, this building was used first as a hospital and later as a university. 

The rosette window

Construction on the Cathedral started around 1229 and was completed circa 1630. At the Cathedral of today you can enjoy the incredibly spectacular rosette (rose window), the largest in Gothic style, measuring 13 metres in diameter. It is true there are others measuring 15 metres elsewhere, but they are not Gothic, rather Neo-gothic. Curiously, it including a typical Jewish six-point star of David diagram, and it has 1.115 individual pieces of coloured glass, most of which are almost paperthin, being only 12 mm thick and therefore very delicate. This is the reason that in modern times the yearly firecracker show on 24th June San JuanSaint John’s day, was moved over to a new venue over at the far pier, where it can be enjoyed from on top of the wall over the Parc de la Mar in front of the Cathedral, without endangering the rose window. As the rosette is situated to coincide with the winter solstice sun rays penetrate it twice a year, on the 2nd of February and on the 11th of November. The light crosses the whole of the Cathedral and reflects a perfect image of the rosette on the opposite wall, thus creating the figure of an 8 – the number of the Infinite. One part of the eight being the actual sun rays coloured by the rosette glass, and the other being a reflection. Both events are open to the public. Another wonderful light effect is produced thanks to the Cathedral’s 61 stained-glass windows which is the reason this church is also known as The Cathedral of Light. 

Art and reforms

Famous artists have participated in the decoration or renovation of the Cathedral, the two most famous being Antoni Gaudí (creator of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona), and in modern times Miquel Barceló has contributed art work to the inside. 

At one point in distant times, there was an architect commissioned to carry out some renovations at the Cathedral. The night before the Archbishop was to inaugurate and bless the completed work, the architect checked over his calculations and discovered he had made a terrible mistake which meant that when the sacks of sand holding up the completed flying buttresses were removed, the whole thing would collapse. Distraught, he committed suicide without telling anybody about the problem, just leaving a note in his books. 

An act of God’s will

The sacks were removed, the Archbishop came and blessed the temple, and nothing happened. The Cathedral remained in its place. In the 90’s mathematicians at the Balearic university analysed his calculations and confirmed that the Cathedral is a mathematical impossibility and it can therefore be assumed to be standing only as an Act of God’s Will. 

In recent years it has become possible to visit the upper external terraces of the Cathedral, standing over the flying buttresses and offering spectacular views of the sea and old Palma Town. Reservations needed.

Text: Astrid A. Möller.
Photo: Thomas Engstrom.


The Photographer himself with wife Erika. They got married in Mallorca.
Photo: Daniel & Davina Photography.

Top photographer Victor Lax and his amazing photographer wife Erika Biarnés Osorio, took these fabulous wedding photos at Hotel Castell Son Claret in Mallorca.

Their super power comes from always finding a new way to describe the obvious. 

– V and F’s was one of the best weddings I have ever experienced, because it had so much passion and craziness, says Victor.
Victor Lax’s photographic style is very documentary and arty rolled into one.

It is easy to see why his wedding photos have won fabulous awards – they are so different – both soulful and passionate, and have lots of depth, colours and contrasts.

Victor Lax started his career as a photojournalist at a small newspaper, and worked hard for 10 years documenting the world, before he stumbled on his first wedding.
– Back in 2008 we experienced the crisis severely here in Spain. I was offered a job as an assistant wedding photographer, and took it, says Victor.

– I had never even thought of doing weddings before. But I immediately loved it! One wedding led to another and eventually I started working with photographer Erika Béarnes Osorio, who is now my wife.
Nowadays Victor and Erika always work together in many exotic places worldwide.

Bride of the century

– Every wedding is a new adventure for us, says Victor. We never get bored because all the wonderful places are different, the couples have such varied personalities and seeing all the corners of the world is very inspiring.

Victor and Erika live just outside Barcelona with their young son Leo who will be two in 2021. They photograph 30 weddings a year – travelling constantly.
When Erika and I capture a wedding I believe we give people memories and a little bit of art too, says Victor Lax.

– At V and F’s wedding we were floored because there was so much passion, partying and craziness times 10! We were allowed to spend hours with the bride and her friends during the unforgettable preparations – laughing the entire time! V will go down as the bride of the century!

The three party days started with a lovely pre party at a restaurant by the sea. There was dancing on the tables and a frolicking tone was set for the coming days.
Victor remembers lovely extras surrounding the wedding at Castell Son Claret too.

Light Art

– We loved the way the various spaces changed from the garden where the ceremony was to the cocktail by the facade and the gorgeously decorated patio for the dinner. The planners at Magicmed introduced us to Stefan Hollenberg, the light artist, and we experienced his fantastic art for the first time. After dinner all the music,acrobatics, dancing and fun began, all blended in with the light art. It really was so wonderful and crazy!

– The following day the garden was transformed into a country market scenario with rustic market stands for cava sangría, tapas, suckling pig and lots of show cooking. – And afterwards the crazy pool party began with a band, DJ and more acrobatics!

The fruit of Victor Lax’s and Erika Biarnés Osorio’s labour on those crazy days is presented in the stunning photos in the gallery on these pages.

What advice would you give aspiring wedding photographers?

– One – have lots of patience. Two – work hard. Three – have more patience and four – get yourself a good mentor to look up to. Another good piece of advice is to get a good relationship with the people you are taking photos of. It is important to understand when you can walk up to people and when you can’t. Sticking to that will help you immensely!

Top Wedding Photographer Victor Lax’s Awards

Fearless Photographer of the year, 2016, 2018 & 2019
Best of the best by Junebug weddings 2016
Photographer of the year WPS 2017
Photographer of the year Unionwep 2019
Photographer of the year The Exception Photographers 2020.

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Victor Lax.


In Palma he is known simply as ”Miguel”.

The owner of La Paloma restaurant speaks Spanish like a native. Mikael Appelqvist from Sweden bought a Palma palace 30 years ago and became a local.
– I never wanted to make Swedish meatballs at my restaurants, explains ”Miguel”.

La Paloma’s creator is now the owner of not only La Paloma in La Lonja, but of restaurant Chez Camille around the corner, and imports and sells Kamado Monolith grills in Spain.

– Thirty odd years ago people used to drink a lot on their holiday, says ”Miguel”, as he shows us around La Paloma with its stylish blue velvet chairs, beautiful old stone and cosy wooden beams.

– At that time there was a restaurant in Palma with typical Swedish food, where people were always very drunk. I didn’t enjoy that kind of situation much. I really prefer the Spanish style of going out, where people eat, drink and are merry without falling over… So I decided to adopt the Spanish style food and ambiance.

Nowadays he still serves local fare such as pa amb oli, patatas bravas, pata negra ham, baby squid, beetroot tartare, spare ribs, octopus taco and beef tenderloin.

”Miguel” was the first of a long line of successful Swedes doing business in Palma. Ola and Grethe Holmgren, who founded Palma Pictures, were pioneers also, then came Micke and Johanna Landström of the Portixol Hotel group, Mats Walhström, who once started Purobeach and Puro hotel, Barbara Bergman and Klas Käll who created Rialto Living, the former part owner of Hotel Tres, now part owner of Hotel Cort, Ture Stendahl, Gran Casa Can Bordoy’s owner Mikael Hall, and many, many more Swedes have become prominent Swedish figures in Mallorca’s business world.

Mikael Appelqvist was never considered Swedish in Palma, however, he was ”Mallorquin”. 

But ”Miguel” was born on a Swedish island called Gotland in 1962. Interestingly, Gotland is almost the same size as Mallorca, and island life has always attracted him.

His first professional education was that of a foreman, specializing in the art of cutting meat. Butcher by trade, he branched out, and explored the food business at Hotel Reisen in Stockholm, and as a chef at a famous restaurant in Göteborg called Johanna, where the well known chef Leif Mannerström presided.

Crazy breakfasts

– In those days we worked very hard, and used every penny we earned on travelling, says ”Miguel”, who was about 19 years old at the time
– I went on one of my trips, and ended up working at the old luxury hotel El Encanto in Santa Barbara,California, where California’s founding father, the Jesuit priest Junipero Serra, born in Mallorca, once lived.
– The famous cooking teacher Julia Child visited ”El Encanto” while I was there and signed her cookery books at the hotel.

– Every two weeks all the chefs had breakfast duty – what a nightmare that was! Imagine keeping track of all the different ways Americans want their eggs done, and in record time as well! Not just the soft boiled 3 or 4 minute eggs, but all the ”over easy”, ”sunny side up”, ”hard scrambled”, ”soft scrambled”, ”poached”, ”shirred”, ”baked”, ”basted” ”ranchero” and so on … Tough while working against the clock.

After the US, ”Miguel” travelled to a very large island called Australia – and from there he decided to visit his brother Putte ”Pablo” Appelqvist, who was working on the island of Tenerife, one of the Spanish Canary islands.

Canaries next

–  Our grandfather had been one of the very first Swedes to visit the Canary Islands, says ”Miguel” Appelqvist. So we decided to try our luck there too.

–  It was crazy – but good. Not being able to speak Spanish was hard, and everything took forever. I remember we needed to wait a whole year to get a phone installed. And afterwards we noticed there was not much point in having it. No-one else had one, so there were no calls!
”Miguel” and ”Pablo” worked at Ferdinand restaurant in Los Cristianos, Tenerife.

– After a while, just working and being on a banana island so far away from Europe, started getting to me – I missed the seasons of the year too. I did some research, and decided to give sunny Mallorca a try instead.
When he arrived on the island, the luxury port Puerto Portals was just being built.
– I worked for a retired English footballer at his bar ”Fat Sam’s” in Portals at first. He had lots of contacts and it was a great way to start.

A shady part of town

For a while, ”Miguel” had an evening job at the bar, and a dayjob at a real estate agency. In the early nineties parts of Palma’s amazing Old Town areas were still rather suspect. ”Miguel” Appelquist went for a stroll in one of the most central parts of the Old Town. Very close to the bar Abaco, popular then too despite the murky corners around it, he saw a stunning 15th and 16th century palace that was for sale.

The stalls from the old bordello, that had been lodged there, were still upstairs, says ”Miguel”, shaking his head with a laugh.

– The location was great. My imagination of how it could be transformed got going.

A lot of work was needed. ”Miguel” initially planned to live on the second and third floors himself with his wife, the corporate and private event planner Camilla Alverus, whom he had met in Palma. The entire bottom floor of the palace was already a Spanish style restaurant called ”La Paloma”, that had been founded in 1938, and the logical thing to do was to keep the name and upgrade the kitchens and the décor. Later, Camilla’s event company got the name La Paloma too.

– I don’t remember the exact price I paid for the La Paloma building, says ”Miguel”. – But yes, real estate was a lot cheaper then.

Great prices

”Miguel’s first line apartment in a brand new building in the popular beach resort Illetas, just outside of Palma, was just 72.000 euros in 1989. Looking at some of the old newspapers ”Miguel” has, that originate from 1975, long before his time in Mallorca, a central large Palma apartment with many bedrooms, a salon, a dining room and bathroom was the equivalent of just 6.000 euros to purchase!!!

– Once we got started, La Paloma worked better than I expected, says ”Miguel”.

– We had to wait until 1993 to open our doors. But when we finally could begin it was so crowded! People didn’t mind if they knew each other or not. They just sat down together and chatted and enjoyed themselves anyway. When it got jammed, plates of tapas were passed over people’s heads until they reached the right table!

Staying away from serving Swedish meatballs turned out to be a really good idea. A lot of foreigners and locals loved sampling Spanish specialties, and on the whole people vere very merry and behaved themselves really well at La Paloma.

Through the course of about 28 years there have been many more refurbishments and a lot of investments made. Beautiful old stone walls, wooden beams and gorgeous floors from the 15th and 16th centuries are now visible in the palace. ”Miguel” created a fabulous event space on the second floor and offices too. Today there is a mixture of classic Palma palace style and new design there, courtesy of Swedish designer Yvonne Börjesson at La Paloma.

–  Take a look at this old photo from 1948 – one of the children standing outside La Paloma actually celebrated his 70-th birthday in our party room, says ”Miguel”.

–  It’s hard to remember all the celebrity visits we have had through the years.The Swedish film ”Jönssonligan på Mallorca” was partly recorded here. The golfer Seve Ballesteros dined here, as did several famous British footballers, the art collector Baron Thyssen’s wife Carmen Servera visited us, as did Sweden’s Princess Birgitta, businessman Stellan Lundquist, the Swedish musician Sven Erik Magnusson, radio profile Kent Finell, DJ Clabbe af Geijerstam, drag show artist Lasse Flinckman and many more.

Movie set

Catering to the movie industry became a side business for La Paloma, and film crews such as the one from ‘‘Vendetta” ate spare ribs, croquettes and tapas from his palace in Palma. In the stunning upstairs party zone lots of event planners have held memorable fiestas for their conference groups and birthday parties. Guests from Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Russia, the US, Canada and many many more countries have enjoyed themselves there over the years.
– On occasion we have even had traditional Swedish Christmas food ”Julbord” served at exclusive events in the party room, he confesses.

A few years ago ”Miguel” added Chez Camille to his portfolio, and his Palma Old Town empire expanded.
– To me there is no better place to survive Covid than in Mallorca, says ”Miguel”.
–  When things pick up we will be among the first to feel the benefits.

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engstrom and La Paloma.


Salsa, disco, house, jazz or free dancing – do whatever you love!

Dancing is amazingly beneficial. Exercise can be FUN, and it can be done anywhere.

– Dancing creates such zest for life, says psychotherapist and dancer Mari Ljungqvist.

Getting fit doesn’t necessarily have to happen in a gym, nor does one have to be a social animal to achieve it. 

Most of us want to get ready for the bikini season, or tone up to pull on that special pair of jeans. This time of year it’s high time to have a good wellness plan. One great way to work out, and improve fitness levels with lots of enjoyment, is to start dancing.

Sunday Dancing

Tuning into a podcast is a great way to get going. Every Sunday Mari Ljungqvist organizes a Dance & Movement ceremony between 16.00 and 17.30 (GMT+1)

– We do online dancing where I choose lots of different kinds of music and guide the participants to find their own movements with lots of rhythms, says Mari, who takes us on an embodied healing journey to liberate and cure ourselves with movement.

– We all seem to love dancing to drums! We encourage everyone to participate. Some of my dancers prefer to dance lying down. I guide people to use muscles and body parts that they might not use if they were dancing by themselves. It’s fun to explore things together, and I find that the participants are much more stable emotionally and intellectually, as well as physically, after dancing for a while.

Mari has been working with conscious dancing for 21 years now, combining her work with Open Floor dancing with that of a Psychosynthesis therapist since 2003. Hers is not the most vigorous dance style, but she sees lots of benefits all the same. 

– In Open Floor dancing we combine dancing with therapy in motion, says Mari.

– Ours is a body based movement practice to cultivate embodiment and presence where leading psychological concepts are integrated with emotional and energetic transformation.

Gain strength

The more you dance, the better your endurance levels will be. Your muscle strength will improve and the more you dance the longer and more intense your dance sessions will become.

Yes, we all get out of breath when we begin, but after a few dance sessions you will be able to stay on your feet longer. You will also be able to do more difficult dances as you learn more. Like yoga, dancing creates better all-round muscle tone as it is a full body workout.

Slim down

Exercise and healthy eating are both key if you are trying to lose weight or hoping to stay at your current weight. Dancing is a great way to keep those extra kilos off as it burns a lot of calories. The more active the dance type you choose, the more calories you’ll burn. But even calm and relaxed dance forms are still effective.

Improve balance

Even if you struggle with maintaining your balance initially, dancing is a great way to improve your spatial awareness. As you practice dancing, increased balance will happen naturally. And it also improves your bone strength and helps prevent osteoporosis.

Mental wellbeing

All exercise releases endorphins, which boost your mood, so you will experience better psychological health with the dancing as well. Your body will feel more relaxed too, making it a great way to unwind. Dancing also helps you work out stress and feel a lot calmer. Learning a new skill is also likely to make you happier as you achieve new things and improve your moves-

– Be yourself! It doesn’t matter what you are wearing or how you look, says Mari.

– I pick a theme for the dancing – for instance the different elements of nature. and we all dance to music that sounds like water, reminds us of air, fire and earth. The drumming seems to ground us, and makes us stable body and soul. We get happy and healthy!

A healthy heart

Researchers have compared the results from 11 surveys that include a total of 49,000 people. The investigators compared the health effects of walking and dancing, and found that moderate-intensity dancing was associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease.

Dancing is good for getting your heart rate up and keeping you active, but it may also help to sharpen some of the thinking skills that tend to deteriorate with age. In fact, no matter how old you are, dancing may be a good way to keep fit and stay sharp, and even get your creative juices flowing.

Burning calories

Whatever kind of you dancing love, it’s great exercise. Just about any dance style can rev your heart rate, burn calories, and tone muscles.

A 65 kilo person will burn approximately 240 calories per hour while dancing. Dancing can have the same health benefits as a treadmill, but it’s more fun.

Ageing well

There is a silver tsunami coming. People who want to be well as they age are lining up to dance well into their 90’s. They want to remain physically and mentally active as they age.

– My oldest client from Houston, Texas, is over 90 and likes to join us online, says Mari Ljungqvist.

– She stands up for some of the movements, and dances from her chair too. Bringing art, spirituality and emotions into people’s lives through activities, including dancing, offers an added dimension to how we can improve physical and mental health as we grow older.

Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz.
Photo: Thomas Engstrom.


Dance & Movement ceremony with Mari
Date: Every sunday
Place: Online – Zoom
Hours: 16.00 – 17.30 (GMT+1)
Registration to:
Investment: 14 Euro.