Menorca Experimental, Sant Llorenç, Menorca

Menorca Experimental, Sant Llorenç, Menorca

Often considered the sleepy counterpart to bougie
Mallorca and badly behaved Ibiza, Menorca Experimental brings a
touch of flirty sophistication to the sleepy Balearic

This article appears in Volume 29: The Taste

Of the Balearic triplets – bougie Mallorca, badly behaved Ibiza
and bohemian Menorca – the latter has always been the somewhat
sleepier sister, pottering along at a tractor’s pace while her
siblings supercharge into a glitzy future. However, the opening of
Experimental Group’s most ambitious project to date in the middle
of the rugged Menorcan countryside signals a new chapter for the
island, albeit one being written at its own, sun-drowsed speed.

Experimental has imported its insouciant Parisian signature to a
revamped 19th-century finca amid pine-scented wilderness, combining
nine villas and a grand main house in which curtains flutter like
flirtatious eyelashes from the balconies. Inside, the emphasis is
on local textures and traditions, Dorothée Meilichzon’s interiors
combining terracotta tiles and natural wood with pops of
pink-lacquered wardrobes, sage-green shutters and Majorelle-blue
vases by Marrakech-based designer LRNCE, whose tongue-in-cheek
ceramics and embroidered throws are scattered throughout.

Conceived as an “artist’s retreat”, the hotel offers yoga,
pottery and painting classes alongside ample space for
contemplation and creation. Days are equally well spent drifting
off by the pool to a soundtrack of cocktail shakers or following
the well-worn camino past bushes shivering with lizards to a
bleached pebble beach. Further afield, boat or bike hire can be
arranged to explore the coastline and crags of this Unesco
Biosphere Reserve.

Long al-fresco lunches of octopus with sweet tomatoes, tabbouleh
with Menorcan chickpeas and skewers of soft calamari with tzatziki
are elongated with glasses of sangria or rosé, while the evening
menu uses produce from the on-site fruit and vegetable patch for
simple dishes such as feta fattoush salad, tuna carpaccio with
slivers of dried apricot, and aubergine in a smoky tahini sauce.
Wash the lot down with a craft cocktail befitting of the brand’s
boozy heritage, such as the punchy eucalyptus negroni with Mahon