You know how sometimes you just know you are going to love a place? That was us with Menorca, and we were right. From the moment we arrived, it was just as we thought it would be: wild, varied, historic, and just plain beautiful. Menorca, it took us awhile, but it was well worth the wait. We love! The smallest of the Balearics, they say they have more beaches here than Mallorca and Ibiza combined, and from what we saw, they were right.
A labour of love for the two owners – London/Menorca dwelling Sean Branagan (Manchester born with Irish blood) and his Slovenian Philosophy PhD wife Mojca Mohoric – this five-bed abode is in the old town, Ciutadella, in what used to be part of the 200-year-old ancient palace.
This hotel works hard to fit into its surroundings – blink and you’d miss it on the street – but step inside and it’s apparent that one of the owners is an artist. Contemporary, carefully curated pieces of artwork (some of which are for sale upon enquiry) and furniture complement the UNESCO World Heritage Site backdrop. It really feels like the perfect mix. The space is light and breezy and there’s a real flow between inside and outside.
Every room here has been individually designed with care. Highlights include the Spinning Plates room, which has huge windows that look out onto the courtyard, a small terrace, a mini Smeg fridge and a lot of space. This is one light, bright, feel-good space. Yoga in the morning? You can do that here. The Night Swimming suite is the one to book if you’re on a romantic mini break. With low ceilings, a standalone in-room tub, and a terrace with sunset/old town views, it’s a special spot. All rooms also have top tech: Bluetooth speakers and smart TVs. The furniture throughout has been carefully selected and UJ loved the Venetian terrazzo floors.
They’re very on top of eco-everything here, so rooms come with water (that they bottle themselves – no plastic!), organic La Bruket products, COCO MAT mattresses, and notes on ways to conserve everything, which is helpful (turn that air con off when you’re not around).
Food and Drink
Their restaurant is currently not open – they did well to get the rooms built this year, so the restaurant will come next year – but they still serve breakfasts and have a great bar, with an extensive gin selection and some craft beers. Offering something different to the usual Spanish breakfast, here they serve fresh fruit, muesli, salmon and cream cheese, avocado and poached eggs, which is a nice change when you need a break from bread everything. The bar is great, and they serve Climson&Sons coffee. There’s taste – in menus and décor – in abundance here and they try their best to have a ‘zero km’ policy, meaning their menus showcase the best that Menorca has to offer.
Sean and Mojca. Having them around – for tips, company, good vibes – makes this place. They really know this island, so if you have a question, ask and they’ll point you in a great direction. We were beyond happy with every one of their recommendations. The location can’t be beat either – it’s nice being in town: beach by day, town by night.
A lot of people come here to hike, and we thankfully packed a pair of hiking shoes. What we didn’t have, however, was a hiking route book. This wasn’t really a problem, though: after some quick research, we chose a route which was reasonably well marked (just hug the coast!). Do bring water though – there was a long stretch (12K) of walking with nowhere to stop and buy supplies. But get organised, and a walk around is a superb way to see remote beaches, including some with goats!
Do rent a boat. We had our eye on Iguana – boats you can drive without a licence. They didn’t look that speedy but they did look fun (book in advance). Do check out one of the urban beaches (five mins from the hotel); it’s shocking how nice these are, and you skip the parking/transport issues. For a local scene, the hopping spot in town seemed to be the chicken shop. Do come here for a tapas start to the night. Lastly, if you’ve been scared off renting a car from driving in Mallorca, rest assured it’s quite flat here, and driving seemed okay. Next time we’d get a car for sure, as it quickly gets expensive getting a taxi everywhere. And they aren’t that easy to come by.