You get two stays in one with Fontenille Menorca: 18th-century fincaSanta Ponsa with its Moorish gardens and so-dreamy spa, and former watchtower Torre Vella, which has elegant rustic decor, 200-hectare grounds stretching to the coast and gastronomy gleaned from the fertile kitchen garden. Enhance your exercising with a training circuit along cliff edges or yoga on sea-facing platforms, soak in the pool and enjoy Japanese acupressure, Nordic baths and more in the spa. Lofty and luxurious, the Torre sets a high bar for boutique stays.
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A bottle of wine grown at sister hotel Domaine de Fontenille
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in 3pm.
Double rooms from £261.22 (€285), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.20 per person per night on check-out.
Rates typically include a buffet breakfast of fresh juices and local island specialities such as Menorcan cheeses, sobrasada sausage and sweet pastissets cakes.
The French-accented group that owns Fontenille Menorca are old hands at creating daydream-worthy stays, they also own Smith stablemates Domaine de Fontenille in Provence and Les Bords de Mer in Marseille.
The hotel is closed from 8 November until Easter. Torre Vella reopens on 1 May.
At the hotel
Farm animals and acres of olive trees; alfresco massage tables; cliffside yoga platforms; a training circuit that runs through the 500-acre grounds; free WiFi. In rooms: beach bag, Ren bath products, a minibar, free bottled water, a TV and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Our favourite rooms
The Torre Vella Pool Suite – set in an old boyera (animal outhouse) – is ever-so-slightly more luxurious than when the farm’s former residents bedded down here, with an indoor lounge, outdoor terrace and a private plunge pool.
The unheated outdoor pool overlooks the olive groves and farmland. It’s surrounded by day-beds and parasols and, if you fancy a nighttime dip, it’s open round the clock.
Relaxing won’t be an issue in this perfectly peaceful spot, but should you have an errant knot, get it kneaded out on one of the alfresco massage tables, set in the prettiest farmyard settings. For facials, cannabis-laced massages, reflexology, shiatsu, Nordic bathing and spells in a hammam or sauna, toddle over to Santa Ponsa’s spa.
Stash whatever active gear you have in your suitcase: you’ll need it for clifftop yoga sessions, coastal rambles and other heart-pumping pastimes.
One of the Torre Vella Classique rooms is wheelchair-accessible.
Very. The hotel allows dogs in any bedroom for €20 a night and provides beds and bowls for canine companions. However, they must be kept on leads and are not allowed near the spa or pools. See more pet-friendly hotels in Menorca.
All ages welcome. Baby cots (€20 a night) can be added to rooms on request. Children are also welcome in the restaurants at all times, with high chairs available. Chefs are happy to adapt dishes to suit little Smiths’ tastes.
Turn your eyes to the hotel’s gardens to check out its eco-cred. Food is grown on site and in the surrounding orchards where possible, waste is composted and water is recycled for irrigation.
At Torre Vella, the restaurant spills out into the hotel’s centrepiece courtyard – where the hotel’s titular tower stands – creating the perfect backdrop for balmy Balearic nights. You can also request a candlelit dinner by the sea.
As light and bright as the hotel’s boho interiors.
Catalan chef Albert Riera – formerly of Michelin-pipped La Mare aux Oiseaux near Nantes – brings the hotel’s distinctive blend of Spanish and French influences to your plate. At Torre Vella, restaurant Siempre Viva focuses on a healthy-minded menu of upstyled Spanish classics, such as Cantabrian anchovies with wild fennel and Menorquín squid stuffed with vegetables and sobrasada sausage. And, the hotel’s abundance of home-grown vegetables and fruit mean that vegetarians will have plenty to pick from here.
The bar (open 12 noon to 1pm) is beachy and Balearic in style, with a touch of Ibiza in its whitewashed walls, cappuccino-coloured couches and statement lighting. Order a pomada (gin-based cocktail) and settle in like a local.
Breakfast is served from 8am to 12 noon; lunch from 12 noon to 3pm; and dinner from 3pm to 11pm.
Fontenille Menorca Torre Vella is a five-minute drive from the historic town of Alaior and Balearic beaches are a mere 10-minute drive.
Menorca Airport is just a 20-minute drive from the hotel; the hotel can arrange transfers for €50 one way.
There’s just one main road running through Menorca, but we recommend that you take it. You can hire some wheels at the airport and the island – from Mahón in the east to westernmost Ciutadella – only takes 45 minutes to cross from end to end. Parking is free on-site at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Recently Menorca has evolved from a humble agricultural isle and lesser-known beauty spot into the belle of the Balearics as travellers have cottoned on to its revivified fincas, bijou beaches and farm-to-table expertise. Fontenille Menorca puts you in position to tick all of those off. At Torre Vella, take an outdoor massage, get acquainted with the farm’s furrier residents, splash about in the pool and tromp through olive and citrus groves. Its cliffside location puts you in reach of the south coast’s Caribbean-like waters: Son Bou and Santo Tomas beaches are two nearby options (but, with 15 beaches within reach of both buildings, you’re spoilt for choice). A training circuit meanders through the grounds, but you could also explore the island on foot, walking sections of the Camí de Cavalls – a circular trail that loops around the entire coast. Yoga sessions are held at the top of the Med-cleaving cliffs, and Santa Ponsa’s spa is a short free shuttle ride away.
A stylish stay from the French Experimental Group, Menorca Experimental is located on the very same country lane as Fontenille’s Torre Vella, so hop across for food and, of course, drinks, from the cult Parisian cocktail connoisseurs. Another local tip for a lazy lunch is the fishing village of Fornells: the best restaurants are La Guapa, Sa Llagosta (12 Carrer de Gabriel Gelabert) and Can Tanu, all run by sea-faring folk who catch their own menu. The speciality is the caldereta de langosta (lobster stew), so-called for the pot in which it’s cooked, served to two or more. Book in advance – all three get busy.
When you’re not sinking pomadas at Fontenille Menorca, Cova d'en Xoroi is a stylish alternative on the south coast, with tables and terraces carved into the cliffside and DJs who turn the caves into a club after dark. A north-coast option is stylish chiringuito (beach bar) Isabella in Fornells – which opens from sunset o’clock and rolls on until late.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this flirty finca in Menorca’s countryside and unpacked their eco-friendly Avarcas sandals and sobrasada, a full account of their Balearic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Fontenille Menorca's Torre Vella in Spain’s southerly isle…
A former watchtower, luxurious finca Torre Vella still stands sentry in Menorca’s gloriously green hinterland. And, with farmland stretching out for 200 hectares all around, as far as the coast, there’s plenty to look at: mighty oaks, quivering palms, soaring cliffs… it’s a true head turner. Vintage farm features have been enhanced with licks of white paint, driftwood and rattan furnishings and the odd plunge pool. The property is twinned with an 18th-century finca with Moorish gardens and an impressively kitted-out spa, but it’s at Torre Vella where you’ll find the hotel’s staunchly local restaurant serving healthful, veggie-favouring dishes largely composed of garden-grown produce.
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