Hotels in Menorca
Menorca certainly has a very strong impact on visitors. The "minor" island, as it was called by Romans, has an almost virginal interior (compared for instance to the "major" island, Mallorca) and shows interesting remains of its old history. On the other hand, there are beaches and lonely bays around it at a length of 216 kilometres. An ideal resort for all those who are looking for true relaxation.
Menorca may well be the second largest Balearic island, but it certainly lags behind Mallorca and Ibiza when it comes to development. Over the years this has worked very much in its favour; the island has been bypassed by the ravers and party crowd and has become a truly family orientated holiday spot. There are plenty of options in terms of accommodation; there are masses of mediocre hotels, and an abundance of self-catering villas and apartments, but really good hotels are slightly harder to find.
The beaches are quite unspoilt and images of clear blue waters and swathes of white sand are certainly what you will find here. Menorca has more beaches than both Mallorca and Ibiza put together, and whilst many have been developed and have plenty of facilities on site, you can still find a few with no hotels, apartments or bars and cafes. If you want a perfect beach with all facilities try Arenall d'en Castell, but for something off the beaten track we'd suggest Cales Coves - a trip for the adventurous with numerous Bronze Age caves, some of which are still inhabited by would-be hippies.
Of all the south-eastern retreats, the one that hits the balance between style, comfort and country charm most successfully is Alcaufar Vell. Centred on a handsome and impressive big house, this 21-room hotel has a rambling, aristocratic feel to it. The palm- and almond-shaded gardens are lovely, the bedrooms mostly large and light-filled.
In the south-east - handy for Maó and the southern beaches - is one of the original hotels rurals, Biniarroca. Run by two English women (a painter and a former fashion designer), it is still a bijou charmer, with its colonnaded swimming pool, verdant gardens and warren of bedrooms, each a unique assemblage of antiques, sunny floral fabrics and artworks.
Sant Joan de Binissaida
Not far away, Sant Joan de Binissaida is decorated in a rather attractive Med-Scandi style, and run along professional-hotel lines. But it is perhaps a little too manicured and doesn't feel particularly rural.