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The smallest island of the Balearics, in Spain, Formentera lies at the southernmost point of the archipelago, and provides a mellower vibe than its lively neighbour. It takes about half an hour by ferry to get here from Ibiza – and when the tall pines, jewel-toned waters and rocky coves such as Cala Saona come into view, it feels instantly worth it.
This low-key beachfront retreat hits the sweet spot between a self-catering apartment and a chic hotel. Rooms are modern and spacious but uncluttered, keeping the focus firmly on the coastal scenery outside. Migjorn Beach and its sloping sand dune provide the perfect backdrop for humble brag selfies and wanderlust-inducing Instagram posts. There’s a supermarket on site so you’ll have all the supplies needed to make your own meals, but if you’re not into home cooking then the hotel restaurant – which specialises in Mediterranean food plus a few local favourites – will ensure you never go to bed hungry.
This small, stylish, boutique hotel is adults-only, and makes for the perfect secluded romantic getaway. The five apartments all have full self-catering facilities and furnished terraces, and are decorated in a modern but attractively rustic style. Breakfast is served on a shady terrace in the stunning garden, next to the wood-decked pool area. White-cushioned sun loungers and Bali beds around the pool are surrounded by colourful foliage and cacti, and throughout the garden there are discreet seating areas where you can enjoy a quiet drink. The beauty in this place is its simplistic charm, and the feeling of seclusion, but if you can tear yourself away, Es Pujols Beach is a mere 10-minute walk.
It’s all in the name, with this sleek, all-white, family-run hotel, near to Es Pujols Beach. The large pool is the hub of the Blanco, with a laid-back vibe during the day and nicely lit bar area serving excellent cocktails at night. Although fairly basic in terms of luxuries, the whole hotel is bright and modern, and has everything you need for a relaxed pool or beach-side holiday, with a pretty decent restaurant to boot. Rooms are on the small side (but do have king-size beds), and there are no baths in the ensuites, but as with the rest of the hotel, everything is pleasingly white and contemporary, and superior rooms have their own sun terraces.
This very family-friendly aparthotel is a 10-minute drive from San Francisco Javier, Formentera’s main town, and a stroll to the beach. Classic rustic-chic in style, with whitewashed walls and slatted shutters, there are 29 apartments all set around lush gardens. There is a decent sized pool and hot tub, as well as six more luxury bungalows, with private outdoor spa tubs. Bali beds are spread out through the hotel’s gardens, and there are outdoor tennis courts and an excellent restaurant if you tire of self-catering facilities.
With over 300 guest rooms, the Hotel Riu La Mola is one of just a few big chain hotels on the island. This whitewashed complex tiers down a pine-covered hillside overlooking the picturesque eastern end of Migjorn Beach. It features everything you’d expect from a resort-style property, with two swimming pools, kids’ club and spa facilities, plus a choice of on-site dining. Splash out a little more for a sea-view room and you won’t be disappointed.
The Hotel Casbah is set in a lovely secluded pine-scented forest and is only a 10-minute walk from the wilder west end of gorgeous Migjorn Beach. The hotel comprises a charming collection of whitewashed cuboid blocks, with interior design following a tasteful Moroccan theme. The 29 rooms are rustic-chic in style, all air conditioned and with terraces overlooking the pretty surrounds. There’s also a peaceful outdoor swimming pool, and the hotel is known to have one of the best restaurants in the area. A poolside bar and cosy indoor bar complete a superb boutique property.
The marina-side Hotel Bahía is only a five-minute walk from the ferry terminal, so ideal if you’re hoping to catch an early ferry. In terms of facilities, it’s a little on the basic side, but is comfortable and clean, with bright modern rooms, many of which have views of Ibiza. On the ground floor, the restaurant serves traditional Mediterranean cuisine out on a large terrace overlooking the marina. The lack of pool is a downside, but the hotel’s location makes it easy to take boat trips around the island, and the famous Ses Illetes beach is only a short drive away.
This large hotel has 333 rooms, and puts you in a fantastic location overlooking the beautiful Migjorn Beach. The guest rooms and studio apartments are all airy and modern, with balconies or terraces boasting spectacular sea views. With three pools (two outdoor, one indoor), a spa, sports facilities and a kids’ play area, there’s no shortage of things to do for all age groups. The beach club attached to the hotel has a great restaurant and beach bar to make the most of in the evenings.
This is an updated version of an article by Leon Beckenham.