‘Sa Fortalesa’ in Mallorca it is being billed as the most expensive property in Spain.
Back in 2006 I reported in The Sunday Times that, were the Great Gatsby looking for a house in Spain, he might be tempted by the Casa La Manzana in Sotogrande, a rather ostentatious villa then on the market for €24 million. If he were still house hunting today, then ‘Sa Fortaleza’ in Mallorca, with a guide price of €125 million (£99m), would be even harder to resist.
Set on its own private headland in the Bay of Pollença, just off the Formentor peninsula in the North East corner of Mallorca, Sa Fortalesa has 9 hectares (22-acres) of land, a castle dating back to 1622, 6 guest houses, 17 bedrooms, 2 pools, and, of course, a helipad. “The property meets the highest security standards, enjoys total privacy, and can only be reached by private road,” says the selling agent Kühn & Partner.
The timing for the sale isn’t great, just as Spain’s housing market goes into a tailspin, but with a target market of international billionaires it probably doesn’t matter. The rest of us might be drowning in the credit crunch and higher mortgage rates, but “the rich are not like you and me.” The global super-rich are just getting richer, fuelling demand for insanely expensive trophy properties in the world’s glamour destinations like Mallorca.
Sa Fortalesa, which means ‘The Fortress’ in English, was originally built to guard the Bay of Pollença from marauding pirates. In 1919 it was bought by the Argentinean painter Roberto Ramauge for 45,000 Pesetas (270 Euros, unadjusted) who did it up and turned it into a jet-set party pad. During the Spanish Civil War it was requisitioned by the Spanish government, but was returned to the family after the war. In 1989 it was bought by the present English owner, who reformed the castle and houses, installed the pools, and built the helipad.
One has to assume that the property is unaffected by the Spanish coastal law (ley de costas), but given the arbitrary way in which the coastal department at the ministry of the environment is confiscating private land near the seafront all over Spain, it’s certainly an issue that any prospective buyer should take a good look at before jumping in.
So if you like space, privacy, and sea views, and let’s face it, who doesn’t? then Sa Fortaleza is for you, assuming you have 125 million Euros in cash lying around. After all, the same money would just about buy you the biggest apartment in London’s exclusive One Hyde Park development overlooking Hyde Park, so seen in those terms, it’s a bargain.