“I never wanted to come to Mallorca! It was ‘The Party Island’” Christiane begins with mock aghast. “Whereas I was already living here,” Norbert continues, “and I had to show her the beauty of it.” Unsurprisingly, this didn’t take long. “The first time Norbert showed me the island, I fell in love,” Christiane admits.
We’re sat in the courtyard of Can Estades, the hotel Norbert and Christiane run. It’s a wonderful, typically Mallorcan honey-hued finca originally built in the 16th century, but with roots likely trailing back to the Moors. An enviable hilltop setting provides superb sweeping panoramas of the surrounding scenic Calvià countryside.
Finding ‘the one’
“In Munich I was a quality manager in an insurance company,” Christiane explains, “but it was always my childhood dream to have a hotel.” The idea appealed to Norbert, too, and the search began. Two years passed until one day their eyes fell on some photos of Can Estades, and they both immediately knew “that’s the one!” “Neither of us were experienced in the hotel business,” Norbert admits, but the couple’s naturally genial bearing helped things to click easily into place.
Their approach was to simply welcome guests to their hotel as they would visiting friends. “We’re not just renting out rooms,” they explain, “we want you to feel totally at home.” And they’ve made a lot of new friends through the hotel, while their numerous repeat guests “are more like members of the family!”
Spiritual pursuits and new horizons
While Covid forced them to close, it also gave them time to pursue other callings. Christiane had been drawn to Akasha, the belief in a spiritual essence of universal memory in which everything we are – in this life and the afterlife – is contained. “It helps if you’re open to reincarnation or the spiritual world,” Christiane admits. The pandemic gave her the chance to
thoroughly study the phenomena, and she has since become a medium and guide in the practice. “For example, one of our guests who’d sadly died came to me,” Christiane recalls, “and I passed on a message to her husband.”
Norbert was also spurred to pursue a project dubbed ‘Cha, Cha, Cha’ or ‘Changes, Challenges, Chances.’ He is keen to find a repository, whether a book or even a podcast, for the broad range of knowledge he’s gained over the last 40 years – in business, his work in events, and moving to Mallorca. “I want to share my experience and advice with the world,” Norbert explains, “or at least with my children, and my children’s children.” While following their individual passions, it feels that it’s through running Can Estades together, Norbert and Christiane have truly found their place in the world. “If you have hospitality in your heart, it comes naturally,” Norbert smiles.