Sporting an altogether more laid-back beat than its infamous Balearic neighbour, beautiful beaches and upscale hotels are luring a sophisticated insider crowd to Menorca these days.
Punctuated by the historic twin towns of Mahón and Ciutadella which are endearing in very different ways, not to mention a plethora of Neolithic monuments scattered across the island, Menorca is the place for a relaxed G&T with friends in a small bar overlooking the Med, rather than an overpriced bottle of vodka and banging house music. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the common language, Ibiza and Menorca couldn’t be more different if they were thousands of miles apart.
6km from Menorca airport, in the very centre of Mahón, uber-cool five-bedroom Casa Telmo occupies a pretty 19th century townhouse, and has been designed to welcome visitors from all over the world who want to enjoy the relatively unspoilt Spanish paradise isle and its Caribbean-like beaches.
The boutique hotel’s millennial owners (twenty-something interior designers from Barcelona and founders of Quintana Partners Studio), based their design aesthetic on the antics of a fictional globetrotting traveller named Telmo, whom they imagined had roamed the world before landing on the island of Menorca. The décor of each guest room reflects a stop on his journey and the end result is wonderfully colourful, fun and eccentric.
Despite the complete overhaul of the three-storey building, its elegant bones and original features still remain, most noticeably traditional terracotta tiling and chunky oak beams. But now they are skilfully offset by a variety of objets d’art and kitsch paraphernalia which its owners look to have picked-up in Europe’s flea markets, all of which have been employed to great effect.
Of the five quirky guest rooms, M is the one to book. Sporting a retro pink-tiled rain-shower room, tartan chaise, unpainted plaster walls and a floor-to-ceiling antique sideboard filling a whole wall and serving as a headboard, M couldn’t be further from Ibiza if you tried.