Experimental Group, working once again in collaboration with renowned French designer Dorothée Meilichzon, have lovingly restored an ex-military compound and created a rural, rustic retreat in the tranquil outskirts of Mahon.
Just twenty-five minutes by car from Mahon airport and you’re in rural Menorca surrounded by acres of pine groves and the sweet aroma of plants and shrubs. Pretty wildflowers line the long and winding lanes through the small town of Sant Llorenç, leading to the secluded whitewashed building proudly standing amidst a picturesque Menorcan landscape. The towns and beaches of Son Bou (10 minutes) and Cala en Porter (20 minutes) are within easy reach by car and there’s a hidden pebble beach a 40-minute walk away.
A mix of classic country farmhouse with moments of sumptuous sophistication. Typical rustic materials: drystone, wood, waxed concrete and terra cotta are used in and around the hotel and beautifully made ceramics add charm to chunky, homely furniture. The pale olive green and dusky pink palette reflects the mesmerizing Menorcan sky and its burnt orange shades of sunset.
Thirty-four classic rooms and suites- some with a generous south facing terrace balcony and billowing canopy- are situated in the main house whilst nine villas with their own private garden or plunge pool offer guests a little more privacy and seclusion slightly further afield. All rooms and villas are stylishly simple and Mediterranean in their design; think terra cotta tiles, luxurious roll top baths and large windows with shutters that can be flung open to welcome in the salty sea breeze and sunshine. Plush towels and a gorgeous bed provide complete comfort, while clever bursts of colour add an element of contemporary design in typical Meilichzon fashion. Family rooms aren’t available, but an extra bed or cot can be added to the suites or villas on request.
The hotel’s only restaurant uses local, seasonal ingredients and herbs and vegetables straight from the gardens. The lunch menu (from 12 noon to 3.30pm daily) serves beautifully prepared sharing dishes such as mouth-watering grilled gambas marinated in harissa and the freshest octopus and tomato salad tossed in olive oil and lemon zest – lovely and light and so full of flavour. An à-la-cart dinner menu offers a fantastic choice of heartier meat and fish dishes from cote de beouf and beef tartare to fresh whole seabass for two which is deboned at the table. Its fresh eggs and pan con tomate along with Spanish cheese, croissants, cakes, homemade granola with yogurt and plump peaches in the morning from 8-11am.
Service & Facilities
At the moment, there’s one really good-sized infinity pool but soon there’ll be an additional pool in the hotel’s new spa area (plus sauna and treatment rooms) which will be developed during the hotel’s annual closure from mid-October to April 2020. Early morning yoga is available and takes place by the pool. There’s also local horse riding and pottery and painting classes that can be arranged in Mahon. Children and babies are welcome at the hotel, but baby-changing facilities are currently non-existent. On the whole, the service was good particularly the front of house staff Paula, Eva and local sommelier Catalina, but as with all new ventures, the team and management will need to find their feet if they are to make guests feel truly comfortable and special in their gorgeous rustic surroundings.
It’s all about laid back living at Menorca Experimental; lazy lunches and days whiled away by the pool. You’ll leave feeling full, calm and contented. A truly serene place for serious respite, it just needs a little refinement.
Rooms at Menorca Experimental start from 200€ per night on B&B basis.