The Spanish retreat of one of Europe’s most glittering families has hit the property market. Helmut and Danna Swarovski, of the Austrian crystal empire, are selling their magnificent villa in North Mallorca, Can Botana.
Situated in the secluded, pristine countryside between the enchanting Tramuntana Mountains and the deep blue waters of the Cala de Sant Vicenç, Can Botana is the perfect refuge away from glitz and limelight. Built some 400 years ago, it is a classic stone finca with white shutters and colourful bougainvillaea draped around the wooden front door. When the Swarovskis bought it in 2000, it was in need of some tough loving care, so much that Helmut made the purchase before Danna even had a chance to see it because, she says, the prospect of restoring the house would have been so daunting that she might have gone “on strike.”
After a careful restoration process spearheaded by the family with help from leading Spanish architect Sergi Bastidas and developer Wolfgang Siegfried Wagner, it is now an oasis of calm and sophistication.
“They did a marvellous job of converting the original spaces, with their primitive walls of field stone caulked with sand and grass into comfortable rooms of great charms,” Danna explains.
As befits a country escape, the interiors are imbued with subtle, understated luxury, reinterpreting the villa’s rustic origins in a stylish contemporary key. So beams are left exposed but painted in restful neutral hues, the original floor tiles have been rescued and are now the counterpoint to exquisite rugs, the stunning farmhouse kitchen features typical stone basins alongside cutting-edge appliances. And in the Moroccan room, which pays homage to the house’s Moorish origins, an arched fireplace and wall benches strewn with cushions create an exotic yet thoroughly modern look.
But perhaps the best ‘rooms’ are the outside sitting and dining areas, which take in verdant views of meadows, tidy fields and the wood-encrusted mountains beyond. The large, palm-fringed swimming pool enjoys an equally breathtaking panorama. Lovely gardens and grounds for a total of just under 305 acres surround the Swarovski villa, offering plenty of opportunity to relax and spot the local wildlife (birds are especially interesting).
“Lots of wonderful friends have stayed at Can Botana: all agreed that it is a most private and restful home, with many places to lounge during the different times of the day,” says Danna.
It’s hard to believe anyone would ever want to tear themselves away from such a private paradise but after years of nature walks, spectacular sunsets and even a spot of pig rearing (the family used to keep a small herd of Mallorcan cerda negra), the Swarovskis have decided to put their villa up for sale because their commitments are such that they don’t get to go there often enough.
“Our family has grown and is involved in projects in Austria, London and the United States, and we all have little time to spend at Can Botana,” explains Danna. “And thus we have decided to try and find a nice family to make it their vacation idyll. It deserves to be lived in.”
Can Botana is for sale through Hampton International.