a serene and sustainable oasis on the coast of Menorca

a serene and sustainable oasis on the coast of Menorca

a serene and sustainable oasis on the coast of Menorca

    (Grandma Melia)

(Grandma Melia)

When Franco deliberately deprived Menorca of funds for its tourism industry as punishment for the island’s republican position during the civil war, he could not have imagined how terribly his plan would backfire. The unintended result of this is an island whose abundant verdant beauty has remained largely untouched, untouched by the high-rise tourism epidemic seen elsewhere in the Mediterranean. It has since been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, preserving its natural pastoral beauty and making it the perfect place for a relaxing vacation.

Capturing this sweet pace perfectly is the latest addition to the island’s hotel buzz, Villa Le Blanc, the latest property of the Spanish family-owned global hotel brand Gran Meliá. A few steps from the vast Santo Tomás beach, the hotel reflects the essence of Menorca not only in its muted white aesthetic, but also in its environmental vision: it is the brand’s first carbon neutral prototype, with sustainability at the forefront of the its ethos.

Where?

Villa le Blanc is located a few steps from the vast beach of Santo Tomás (Gran Meliá)

Villa le Blanc is located a few steps from the vast beach of Santo Tomás (Gran Meliá)

Located on the Migjorn coast in the south of the island, a wooden walkway leads directly from the hotel to the lovely Santo Tomás beach. Halfway between the capital Mahón and historic Ciutadella, it is an idyllic place to easily explore all that the island has to offer.

Walk a little further down the beach and arrive in Son Bou, a resort on a wooded hill that extends to the longest beach on the island, bordered by sand dunes for more privacy. Villa Le Blanc is also easily accessible from Menorca Airport, just 25 minutes by car.

Style

The minimalism and natural beauty that characterize the hotel echo the charm of the island itself (Gran Meliá)

The minimalism and natural beauty that characterize the hotel echo the charm of the island itself (Gran Meliá)

Enter Villa Le Blanc and it will seem like a breath of refreshing fresh air. Open to the sea, Mediterranean light floods the hotel’s white stone arches as you enter, reflecting off the central pool. The minimalism and natural beauty that characterizes the hotel echo the charm of the island itself: its quiet, sober and tranquil spirit.

Sustainability is at the helm of Villa Le Blanc. The hotel has incorporated state-of-the-art facilities to help improve its carbon footprint with the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality. Green energy management and waste management are the two pillars of this project, for example the implementation of biomass boilers and photovoltaic solar panels throughout the building.

Food beverage

Villa le Blanc's iconic S'Amarador restaurant specifically focuses on one of the culinary highlights of the Balearic Sea: the local lobster (Gran Meliá)

Villa le Blanc’s iconic S’Amarador restaurant specifically focuses on one of the culinary highlights of the Balearic Sea: the local lobster (Gran Meliá)

A cocktail of iron-rich earth, small family farms and the cleanest sea in the western Mediterranean gives Menorca the perfect combination of stellar ingredients to enrich its local cuisine.

Villa Le Blanc’s iconic S’Amarador restaurant is uniquely Minorcan and widely recognized as one of the best seafood restaurants on the island. Famous for a cellar with more than a hundred fine wines, the chefs of S’Amarador work only with the best local products to prepare its delicious rice dishes and seafood bisque. With a terrace overlooking the sea, it focuses in particular on one of the culinary strengths of the Balearic Sea: the local lobster, the star of the Caldereta de Langosta, Menorcan signature dish.

Nivi, the hotel's most informal restaurant for lunches and dinners, offers delicious paellas and magnificent grilled dishes (Gran Melia)

Nivi, the hotel’s most informal restaurant for lunches and dinners, offers delicious paellas and magnificent grilled dishes (Gran Melia)

In addition to S’Amarador, Minorcan restaurateur Joan Canals brings years of experience to Villa Le Blanc with two other restaurants on the site. Nivi, the hotel’s more casual lunch and dinner restaurant, offers delicious paellas and magnificent grilled dishes, as well as lighter salads for lazy days. Few drinks are more Menorcan than pomada, a mix of local gin and cloudy lemonade – for cocktails like this and a variety of fresh local foods, be sure not to miss Cru, the hotel’s poolside restaurant.

Structures

The hotel houses a state-of-the-art spa thanks to Anne Semonin Paris (Gran Meliá)

The hotel houses a state-of-the-art spa thanks to Anne Semonin Paris (Gran Meliá)

In addition to fine cuisine and Menorcan wines, Villa Le Blanc offers a wide range of activities to keep you busy during your stay.

The hotel is centered around a beautiful outdoor pool, complete with poolside food and drink service from the Cru bar. But where Villa Le Blanc really stands out is its rooftop offering. Climb the quintessential white ladder and you’ll be greeted by an exquisite oasis – the only serene adult pool overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean. With the design and furnishings reminiscent of a beach club in the golden years of the Balearic coast, it is the perfect place to admire the famous golden sunsets of Menorca.

For visitors looking to unwind with a wellness-focused stay, in addition to its pools, the hotel houses a state-of-the-art spa thanks to Anne Semonin Paris, with treatments and experiences based on vegan cosmetics and natural products. There’s also a state-of-the-art gym with a separate cardio room and kids’ club to keep the little ones busy while you sweat (or swim).

Extracurricular

House of Hauser & Wirth Illa del Rei is a new cultural hub for the island (Hauser & Wirth)

Headquarters of Hauser & Wirth Illa del Rei is a new cultural center for the island (Hauser & Wirth)

Many tourists visiting Menorca are happy to fall into the holiday rhythm swinging between sand and sea, but it would be remiss not to take advantage of everything the island has to offer. For the more adventurous visitors, it is possible to rent a boat, whether it is a self-propelled kayak or the traditional Menorcan llaut which can be arranged by the hotel, to explore the less accessible beaches or watch the sunrise.

For those looking to cool off with culture, visiting Illa del Rei, a picturesque island in the magnificent Mahón Bay, is a must. Home to Hauser & Wirth, it’s a new cultural center on the island with art exhibitions, events and delicious cuisine, all deeply rooted in the local community. Another option is Lithica in Ciutadella, an artfully repurposed former limestone quarry in an enchanting blend of wild gardens, labyrinths and soaring rock faces.

You’re spoiled for choice for off-site restaurants on the island, but Nonna Bazaar, a farm-to-table slow food restaurant, and Coral, a traditional Menorcan restaurant with the perfect sunset, really stand out.

Which room?

All rooms have quiet private balconies with sea views (Gran Meliá)

All rooms have quiet private balconies with sea views (Gran Meliá)

All rooms have quiet private balconies with sea views and quality room service, the perfect place to embrace the sea breeze. The premium and supreme rooms are the perfect option for those looking for a luxury stay without having to spend so much money.

For those for whom money isn’t an option, check into the hotel’s luxurious overwater suite, with private access to the rooftop pool and secluded terrace overlooking the sea.

Details

Room prices start from 450 euros for B&B in Premium room with terrace view in low season; visit melia.com

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