Stay Here: This Spanish Retreat Is Full of Rustic Charm

Acting as a low-key alternative to its raving neighbour Ibiza, Menorca is a mellow member of the Balaeric Islands that has remained virtually untouched by the mass of tourists who flock to Spain each year in search of the perfect summer. From sun-kissed sandy shores to pastel-hued port cities, Menorca has completely won us over and we're planning our next trip as we speak. In our summer dreams, we'll be staying at Menorca Experimental, a boutique hotel that is everything we imagine a picturesque Mediterranean escape to look like. The 19th-century finca combines the best of the untouched, UNESCO-listed landscape with contemporary luxuries and interiors that will leave you speechless.

From first glance, the whitewashed estate has been carefully restored to give it a fresh lease on life as the most popular spot to rest your head on the trending island. With thirty-four guest rooms and nine private villas (with their own dipping pools), Menorca Experimental has an overall cosy feeling with a focus on connection and sharing amongst its guests. A great way to live like a local here is to immerse yourself in one of the many activities offered by the hotel that include pottery and painting, as well as horse riding and yoga. Dinners are spent alfresco style around a thirty-person table to take full advantage of the warm breeze and magnificent rugged landscape while sharing tales and travel tips. The design of the hotel, beautifully executed by Dorothée Meilichzon of Chzon, is truly a work of art. In fact, the entire hotel feels like a creative retreat where the likes of Joan Miró would come to hibernate and appreciate the complementary colour scheme and quirky graphic details throughout. It takes a highly-trained eye to carry out a refurbishment that's completely one-of-a-kind, playful and functional at the same time. 

Drawing on the rustic setting in which Menorca Experimental sits, Meilichzon has incorporated structural ceiling beams and floors laid with local wooden planks for a soothing and relaxed ambience. Amongst eye-catching curved doorways and wall niches that display gallery-worthy ceramics and ornaments, glazed terracotta tiles and waxed concrete walls further establish the handmade touch that makes this place so special. Inspiration for the colour palette—which is both restrained and bold at the same time—was found in the breathtaking skies that move through phases of peach to burnt orange and powder blue throughout the idyllic island days. Every now and then your eye will catch sight of a royal blue vase or sage green curtain that lets you know that nothing is taken too seriously here. 

As the day transitions into night on another gorgeous twenty-four hours in Menorca, you can choose to take a stroll through the abundant wildflowers and fragrant juniper shrubs to discover a secluded pebble beach where a swim in the crystal clear waters will be sure to rejuvenate your mind and body. Afterwards, it's straight to the outdoor lounge that overlooks the luxurious infinity pool where the toughest decision to make is what local wine you'll try first.

Images courtesy of Dorothée Meilichzon. Photography by Karel Balas.

If you loved this, take a look inside the uber cool Kelly Wearstler-designed hotel everyone is talking about.

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