Cuban flair of living in Palma

Cuban flair of living in Palma

House lovers can discover real architectural treasures in Mallorca. A great example for this is the Mansion Dux, a villa in Cuban colonial style on the outskirts of Palma.

It is hard to believe that the villa, with its glossy white marble staircase and stucco-decorated, four-meter-high ceilings, had been sleeping for a hundred years. When Arndt and Chantal discovered the mysterious abandoned house in spring 2013, they knew immediately that they had a small architectural gem in front of them. Although the garden was overgrown, rubbish piled up inside and the walls were full of graffities, the architect and the interior designer could imagine what this house looked like in the heyday - and what it could look like again.

Art Deco Palace in Palma

The slightly elevated manor house of more than 800 m2 in one of Palma's district, Son Roqueta was once the residence of the famous General Jaime Garau y Montaner. The residential building built around 1890 was renovated in 1922, at the time when many people were travelling to Cuba and it was trendy in Spain to copy the Cuban architecture. The general also embellished his home in Cuban Art Deco style with a central tower and a surrounding terrace. His house became a prototype of the "Casa Indiana" in Mallorca. The general died decades later and left his seven daughters with the manor. Since the women were at odds with each other, the house remained uninhabited for a few years until Arndt and Chantal seized the opportunity in 2018 and bought the abandoned villa.

Renovation with instinct

They renovated from scratch, always careful to preserve the old elements in the house, such as the marble entrance stairs with Art Nouveau decorative handrails or the stucco moldings on the stately four-meter-high ceilings. All floors had antique tile floors with various floral and geometric patterns from the 1920s. In order to maintain the spacious living environment, Arndt and Chantal made only the smallest modifications. For example, to add an en-suite bathroom to each of the eight bedrooms or to convert a narrow staircase behind a door that employees used before into an entrance to the first floor. In the tower they set up a master suite with a private terrace, offering a view from the sea over Palma to the Tramuntana mountains.

Guest house with a view over the bay of Palma

The heart of the house, which Arndt and Chantal also rent out to guests after three years of restoration, is the large kitchen, where the house residents meet at any time of the day. On the central kitchen island, an all-metal masterpiece inspired by the industrial design of the Twenties, several cooks can comfortably work at the same time. A door connects the kitchen to the terraced garden. Between the palm trees and olive trees there are several patio spaces, one of them with an outdoor kitchen. In front of the house you can find the black tiled lap pool. It is heated and offers underwater music, which General Jaime Garau y Montaner would surely have liked too.

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Daniel Waschke

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