Santa Catalina is often described as the ‘Soho of Palma’ but it wasn’t as always as chic as it is today. What once started out as a small fishing village has now turned into a diverse community of interior designers and architects with a distinctive eye for luxury living. This area is a honey-pot for creative business across Europe which has attracted a high-end clientele and created a vibrant space for people to live in. Situated in close proximity to the marina, the area has also proved popular with the sailing community which has helped build an attractive social network.
The main properties on offer are predominantly bright townhouses and exclusive converted apartments. From small studio boltholes for the weekend to grand four-bedroom houses for the family, there is enough variance in style to satisfy every buyer. However, despite plenty of availability, demand is high and prices are continuously rising. The bargains that were snapped up a few years ago are now less common as the market has become saturated with interest on an international scale.
A good place to begin browsing the style of accommodation on offer starts on the roads leading off Plaza de la Navegació which surround the Mercat de Santa Catalina. Beautiful apartment conversions are situated here which are hugely sought-after for their high-beamed ceilings, Mallorcan-tiled floors and original fireplaces. There is equal balance between residential buildings and businesses which gives the area are a good measure of tourist activity without feeling too over-crowded.
However, one or two streets over and there is quite a different story. Santa Catalina is peppered with nightclubs and restaurants which, while add to the vibrant atmosphere, do bring a lot of noise and disruption. Carrer de la Fàbrica has a number of restaurants which particularly in the summer months can bring a lot of loud table talk. Equally, the apartments on Carrer de Sant Magí are susceptible to noise due to the number of clubs and discotheques. Despite this drawback though, a lot of the architecture on these streets is very appealing. Penthouses with roof-top terraces can be found near Hostal Cuba which offer unbeatable sunset views over the marina. Or head towards Palma Tennis Club on Carrer de Sant Magí for converted fisherman’s cottages that promise to be a lot more spacious than they look. While seemingly small, they often have beautiful outside patios and gardens that go far back.
Young families or those after a quiet area in Santa Catalina can be rest assured that Carrer de la Fàbrica, which not to be confused with the pedestrianised section, offers a respite from the hustle and bustle. Or cross over Carrer Comte de Barcelona and notice the architectural shift from traditional flats to designer apartments which offer free access to road-side parking. Further around the bay will give you areas such as El Terreno and Son Armadams which are also quieter and offer free parking. Both are well-known for occasionally throwing a property bargain into the mix, which for only being a small distance away from the centre, is well-worth considering.
Santa Catalina’s vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere is sure to satisfy even the most particular buyer. Newly-renovated penthouses with rooftop views of the marina can be found at the highest prices but that is not to say that there is one single area of exclusivity. Santa Catalina is a wonderfully diverse neighbourhood where the Mallorcan locals happily brush shoulders with entrepreneurs, retired captains and young creatives. It is Palma’s biggest melting-pot of languages and cultures which only heightens its appeal to buy and work here. Furthermore, with all the conveniences a stone’s throw way you can be rest assured that on top of living in Palma’s trendiest neighbourhood, everything you need is on your doorstep.