The best place to live…in the world

JimDunn - Mallorca - SonNetterrace

IT HAS to be said that you couldn’t always have listed Mallorca, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, as a luxury destination either to holiday or to live, never mind ‘The Best Place to Live in the World’. That however can now be said, very loudly, as only a few weeks ago Britain’s Sunday Times awarded this accolade to the Spanish holiday Island and specifically to its capital Palma.

The newspaper raved about the progress the Island had made over the years. Progressing from the ‘lager lout’ image of the 80s to its position now as a haven for hedonists, like me, who enjoy the good things of life…lovely hotels with every comfort, gorgeous scenery, interesting restaurants, café life and great beaches….bring it all on!

Mallorca even has a divine glossy magazine created by the glamorous socialite Helen Cummins not to mention her own fashion range.

Palma, the Island’s capital is certainly one of the best cities in Europe for shopping. Next time you visit have a wander through the tempting lifestyle emporium Rialto Living It’s 1600sqm, in an old converted cinema packed full of interior decoration ideas, books, art, fabrics, chic clothes for men and women, ornaments, lamps, perfumes and a restful café-bistro to gather strength between purchases.

Swedish designers KlasKall, one of the founder members of the Gantt clothing operation and his wife Barbara Bergman got in early in the renaissance of Palma and snapped up this old cinema slap bang in the centre and keeping many of the original architectural features have developed this beautiful store. I make a dash every time I am in the city to check up on all the latest goods.

Palma has also seen a host of new small hotels opening in many of the old buildings and Palazzos in the ancient town centre. Have a look at, or to name just a few recent openings.

Just a 15 minute stroll along the wide, open, promenade filled with cyclists, runners and walkers is one of my personal favourites Opened by non Spanish, this time Swedish owners, the Art Deco building has great food and the rooms are to die for. It’s also right on the sea in a busy little port and with a great pool. Very Palm Springs.

And this is one of the secrets of the success of the ‘new’ Mallorca. The Spanish have embraced those who come to the Island with good ideas. Germans, Swiss, Swedish and British are but a few of the nationalities to settle in Mallorca and improve the Island by making it their home and opening interior design shops, restaurants and hotels.

Take American David Stein who came to Mallorca more than 25 years ago and bought the ancient Son Net estate only a short drive from Palma. Built in the 17th century Son Net was his home….”but I had too many non-paying guests!” He now operates Son Net as a 31 room and highly successful boutique hotel stuffed full of original features, four poster beds, an Olympic sized pool and a good collection of art….Chagall, Hockney and the like. You can even have a romantic dinner in the newly opened Treehouse with spectacular valley views.


Food is certainly not neglected in this hedonistic review of Mallorca and mouth-watering restaurants and menus abound. In Palma for tapas try Tast Club in the centre and Palma’s latest Michelin star restaurant, Simply Fosh  created by British chef Marc Fosh. Also if you need to work up an appetite, walk from Son Net in the traditional village of Puigpunyent up to the mountain top village of Galilea and meet Alex and Manuela of  and help prepare some delicious tapas whilst enjoying the panoramic views across the island from their terrace. JIM DUNN


JIM DUNN is a writer and PR advisor to the Travel and Leisure industries.
He has written two books. A ‘how to’ book on Successful PR and a memoir “Very Private and Public Relations”. His story of growing up in Scotland in the 1960s and creating a hugely successful PR organisation in London; the book is available now in bookshops or on line.
He lives in Malta, Majorca and London.


  1. Tezi07 says:

    Ahhhhhh!!!!! I want to go!!!!!!

  2. MIZZI says:

    I have read ‘Very private and Public Relations’ A very good read


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