Balearic retreats: The Big Six
Holiday choices on Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza
Saturday 12 July 2014
OD Port Portals, Mallorca
This design-minded retreat opened earlier this year on Puerto Portals – Mallorca's most exclusive port. Situated on the south coast, a short drive from the capital Palma, it's surrounded by celebrated restaurants such as Tristán, which serves marinated scallops against views of the island's jet-set marina. At the hotel, the look is modern Mediterranean, with light, unfussy rooms and mid-century-style furniture in the stylish lobby-bar. The paired-back look continues in the all-white, on-site restaurant and the chic outdoor pool area. Nice touches include late breakfast served until noon and a private chauffeur for guests who book a Junior Suite. The beaches of Costa d'en Blanes and the golf courses of Bendinat are close by.
OD Port Portals, Puerto Portals, Mallorca (00 34 971 675 956; od-hotels.com). Doubles start at €100, room only.
Bougainvillea bushes and a whitewashed façade put a classic Balearic stamp on this rural retreat near Sant Lluís. Situated in the south of Menorca, it features rustic, country-style interiors and luscious gardens that brim with rose bushes. Dating back to the 18th century, when it served as a farmhouse, it was later bought by London-escapee, Sheelagh Ratliff, who craved a change of pace from her career in the fashion industry. Now it has two pools, a 60-seat restaurant and 18 cosy rooms.
Biniarroca, Sant Lluís, Menorca (00 34 971 150 059; biniarroca.com). Doubles start at €100, B&B.
ME by Meliá, Mallorca
Meliá's latest addition opens later this month on Mallorca's south coast. Boasting a beachfront location, it adds a dash of style to the much-maligned resort of Magaluf, with Isla de sa Porrasa the only interruption in its endless sea views. Rooms are decked out in monochrome shades with monsoon showers and Jacuzzi-style tubs. Day beds abound on the terraces outside, twinned with bright, white parasols beside the smart outdoor pool. The SkinC Spa and access to Nikki Beach next door cap off the indulgence.
ME by Meliá, Calvià, Mallorca (00 34 971 123 950; melia.com). Doubles start at €260, room only.
Hard Rock Hotel, Ibiza
The Hard Rock group opened its first hotel in Europe this summer, on Ibiza's longest beach, Playa d'en Bossa. Close to clubs such as Space and Ushuaïa, it offers a lively base, with a programme of open-air concerts this season featuring Ellie Goulding and Snoop Dogg. Inside, public spaces are strewn with the brand's signature music memorabilia, including items once owned by David Bowie and Bob Marley. Rock-star rooms upstairs come with blackout blinds for sleeping off last night's party.
Hard Rock Hotel, Playa d'en Bossa, Ibiza (00 34 971 31 42 10; hrhibiza.com). Doubles start at €240, B&B.
Alcaufar Vell, Menorca
This working farm has been in the same family since the 14th century. In 2006, the present owner updated it with a hotel, revealing 21 rooms with wooden beams, whitewashed walls and stone pillars. Outside, the lovely grounds hide a walled pool and courtyard garden, hemmed by vegatable plots and herb bushes that supply the hotel's restaurant. Donkeys, cows and horses roam the surrounding estate, which reaches down to Menorca's south-east coast, melding the best of coast and country in one retreat.
Alcaufar Vell, Sant Lluís, Menorca (00 34 971 151 874; alcaufarvell.com). Doubles start at €136, B&B.
Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza
Away from the bright lights of the south, "Ibiza's original hotel" has had a makeover. Poised on a dramatic cliff near San Miguel, it has recently been revived by Pablo Carrington, the hotelier behind Menorca's Torralbenc and Mallorca's Cap Rocat. Built in 1971 – when roads, electricity and running water were scarce in the surrounding area – the hotel went on to claim five stars and attract a clientele who craved discreet luxury. Today, it stands restored amid the pine forests and hidden beaches of Ibiza's north coast.
Hacienda Na Xamena, San Miguel, Ibiza (00 34 971 334 500; hotelhacienda-ibiza.com). Doubles start at €225, B&B.
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