Escape to the Balearic Island of Menorca for sandy beaches, ancient ruins and lip-smacking Spanish cuisine.
For many, Menorca is a much quieter alternative to its livelier Balearic siblings, Mallorca and Ibiza. That may be true, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. There are splendid beaches – obviously – but Gothic architecture and Roman ruins give this island an historical aspect you might not have known much about. From the cobblestone streets of Ciutadella to rural fincas and farms, there are some fantastic places to stay in Menorca that will give you a flavour of how the locals live. Here’s our pick of the best, all bookable on Culture Trip.
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Peaceful, intimate Hotel Noualt overlooks the old town of Ferreries, giving guests a postcard vista of whitewashed houses with red-brick roofs and a tall chapel presiding over it all. The family who run the hotel promise a neighbourly welcome, plus a daily breakfast of freshly baked bread and local jams. Rooms are finished in natural tones that complement the wooden floors and clay-and-bare-stone walls. From the town centre there are hiking and cycling routes leading into the mountains, where the view will be even more spectacular.
You won’t ever be left wanting at this all-inclusive modern getaway, situated between Son Xoriguer and Cala’n Bosch beaches. There’s a spa with a sauna and whirlpool, plus massage and beauty treatments. When you’re not being pampered or enjoying the pool, you can explore the nearby coves on foot or in the shallows with a snorkel and mask – the clear water is dappled with many hues of blue. And if you ever tire of the hotel’s impressive buffet, you won’t need to wander far to come upon restaurants serving local cuisine, like lobster stew.
This pearly white Menorcan-style resort overlooks a sparkling turquoise bay that you can go swimming in as often as you’d like. Or, soak up the sea view from the pool – the surrounding hills complete the picture and make sunsets even more dramatic. You’ll need to hire a car if you want to visit the island’s top monuments, museums and Roman ruins – but the stunning scenery on the way makes that a no-brainer.
Book a sea-facing room at this contemporary hotel to wake up to views of the circular Cala Galdana Beach every morning. Then head down to breakfast for a generous spread of summery Mediterranean dishes. There are several restaurants to choose from, including ‘The Level’ on the eighth floor, offering older guests the chance to dine al fresco on the beautiful terrace. The hotel has great eco-friendly credentials too; it was awarded the Travelife Gold Seal for its contribution to environmental conservation.
Built in 1811 by a local sea captain, this boutique hotel has been home to several generations of several families over the years. The current owner, a local architect who refurbished the building back in the 90s, has managed to blend unique elements with the existing traditional structure: think vivid-pink walls and charming flamingo figurines, posing under classic gilded ceilings. Take in the views of old-town Mahon from the comfy, cushion-scattered rooftop sofa – and if you really want to treat yourself, book into the cave-style spa to indulge in rejuvenating Menorcan-inspired treatments.
This beachside hotel is ideally located for travellers looking for adventure. You can go kayaking through nearby caves, snorkelling in the bay and cycling in the hills – just book a tour or arrange to hire whatever equipment you need through the hotel concierge. The hotel also boasts its own gym, Menorca’s largest thermal spa circuit, plus rooms with hot tubs. At classy Oliva restaurant, chefs interact with guests to propose a typically Menorcan dish to personal taste, put together using locally sourced ingredients.
An artistic getaway restored from the structure of a 19th-century finca, Menorca Experimental is surrounded by 74 acres (30ha) of tree-lined land. The rooms have uniquely designed and textured bed sheets, bright-tiled floors and large, coloured headboards – but each one has its own distinctive flair. Some even feature private dipping pools. Snag a table on the outdoor terrace or by the infinity pool for dinner – the Mediteranean menu comprises dishes made with ingredients grown in the hotel’s own garden – while the bar delivers what’s promised in the name: a curated list of local wines and a selection of experimental cocktails, mixed together with yet more local ingredients.
Alaior is a small traditional town overlooked by a hilltop church – a scene that’s every bit the opposite of a crowded beach holiday. Valentin Son Bou sits at the heart of it, surrounded by classic Spanish architecture and old-school tapas cafés. Opt for a room furnished with dark wood and decorated with patterned drapes, or something more contemporary, with sleek lights, pastel painted walls and a seaview balcony. To ensure you stay relaxed, there are two pools – one indoor and another outdoor – plus a sauna and a massage room.
Menorca is famous for its beaches and Sol Beach House Menorca puts you within strolling distance of three of the best. Tropical-like Santo Tomas is right on the doorstep, while nearby you’ll find the glass-clear waters of San Adeodato and Binigaus. Make this modern hotel your beach-hopping base for the opportunity to join yoga and pilates classes by day, and enjoy live music at night.
Steal a glimpse of Spanish rural life on this traditional Menorcan farm with renovated buildings dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the hotel offers rooms with drapes and shutters in natural clay tones, hanging wicker lamps and pretty flowers picked from the gardens. Wind down the day with a glass of crisp white wine by the pool, or on your private terrace to watch the sun go down. This is rustic, romantic, rural accommodation at its best.
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