Mallorca is renowned for its luxurious shops, with top international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Cartier, Loewe, Carolina Herrera, and Pinko all having stores here. Mulberry and Michal Negrin also recently opened their first boutiques in Spain in this elegant waterfront capital. Shop… The best shopping streets are the colonnaded Jaime III (home to one of the citys two El Corte Inglés department stores), the tree-lined Borne, and Unió, but the shaded narrow lanes leading off the Borne are also lined with boutiques and galleries. As well as designer boutiques and chain stores, there are plenty of independent retailers. Here are four you shouldnt miss in Palma de Mallorca: Rialto Living Housed in the former Sala Rialto cinema and theatre, this Swedish-owned lifestyle store is the epitome of cool design. They sell high-quality furniture and home accessories, fashion, art, books and gifts. Fashion brands for men and women include Acne, Hartford, Jil Sander, Michael Kors, and P.A.R.O.S.H. Theres also a mezzanine art gallery, and a café serving home-made cakes and lunch dishes. Publishers te Neus included Rialto Living in its coffee table book Luxury Stores: Top of the World. Dont miss it. Ecologic by Linda Nicolau British-born Linda Nicolau founded her natural cosmetics business in Mallorca in 1993, having worked for Max Factor and Estée Lauder in the UK. Today, the company manages some 17 branches of U Spa by Barceló throughout Spain, and the Prestige Spa in Ibiza. Their range of more than 30 organic facial and body products made locally and mainly from Mallorcan ingredients is sold at the Ecologic by Linda Nicolau store, which also offers a choice of pampering treatments. Top As Launched in 1982, Top As has had several upscale womens shoe boutiques on Mallorca, but only recently opened in Palma (opposite the citys main post office). Shoes are from designers Stewart Weitzman, Belen Donate (Spanish), Mania (Italian), and the proprietors own brand Heaven on Earth designed not just to look great, but also to be comfortable, and manufactured on the Spanish mainland. The boutiques stock ranges from casual flats to killer heels, and there are also covetable handbags and belts. bconnected Its worth making the short walk across the city to the bohemian district of Santa Catalina (jam-packed with eateries and an indoor market frequented by yachties), where the German-owned company bconnected has several stores and a real estate agency. The company has a large new furniture store, a concept store (great for unusual accessories and gifts), mens and womens fashions, and a vintage boutique, where its possible to pick up some fabulous designer fashion bargains (often hardly worn). …and stop Palmas newest place to stay is the Calatrava Boutique Hotel which has 16 spacious rooms (of which 10 are suites with private balconies overlooking the Bay of Palma). The carefully renovated 19th Century building houses comfortable contemporary interiors and a small spa (sauna, Jacuzzi, contrast shower, and heated relaxation beds), which can be booked for exclusive use. Although theres a busy highway between the large green space of Parc de la Mar (in front of the hotel) and the Mediterranean, the rooms are blissfully quiet. Breakfast is served on the roof terrace, with a backdrop of the bay, the arc of the citys seafront, and neighbouring rooftops. Theres no formal restaurant here, but theres an attractive ground floor café/bistro serving drinks and upmarket snacks, such as Iberian Joselito ham, Norwegian salmon carpaccio, or Torta del Casar cheese and 24-hour room service is available. The hotel is in a surprisingly tranquil tree-lined square in Sa Calatrava one of Palmas oldest districts and close to the original sea walls. Even laden with the spoils of a shopping trip, its a pleasant scenic walk back to the hotel, where the ever-smiling reception manager Carlos and his colleagues enhance the appeal of this urban retreat. Bags deposited in your room, you could enjoy a glass of cava on the terrace outside the hotel or on the rooftop and plan your next days shopping…Island capital Palma de
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