Torralbenc, Menorca

Torralbenc, Menorca

rugged red coastlines to bleached white-sand beaches,
unspoilt landscape is as diverse as it is beautiful. Better still,
this demure Balearic island has earned a reputation for looking
after itself, recognised as a UNESCO biosphere reserve for nearly
25 years. There’s something understated yet confident about the
Menorcan way of life, which defies the boisterousness of
neighbouring Ibiza
and Majorca. Just a few days spent drinking in the salty sea air
and peaceful vistas is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed
and revitalised.

Torralbenc, a renovated
19th-century farm house in the south east of the island,
is an embodiment of this laid-back, wholesome lifestyle. Sitting
proudly among newly planted vineyards in an ancient landscape, the
white-washed farm buildings have been restored to the highest
standard while respecting their architectural heritage.


Torralbenc’s 27 rooms and cottages offer a boutique hotel
experience without any pretension. Rustically chic rooms are done
up neutral colours and come equipped with walk-in wet rooms, power
showers and comfortable beds. A smell of rosemary lingers in the
air, as sumptuous toiletries are infused with the indigenous herb.
Sea-view rooms are a treat, but if you want to really push the boat
out the pool cottage comes with it’s own plunge pool.

What’s for lunch and dinner?

An innovative menu combines Menorcan cuisine with contemporary
fare; fresh seafood, locally sourced meats and seasonal produce are
at the heart of the menu. Crispy “cigars” filled with sobrassada (a
spicy, soft, cured sausage), octopus ceviche, oliaigo (chilled
tomato and pepper soup) and Mahón cheese with honey.

Is there a bar?

The best way to start an evening is no doubt with a pomada, the
local favourite. This heady mix of botanical-rich gin and cloudy
lemonade is best enjoyed ice-cold, while watching the sun sink into
the ocean from your terrace. The hotel also has a stellar wine
collection and the option to dine in the well-stocked cellar,
sampling some of their best bottles.


A compact 24-hour gym and outside space for alfresco yoga.
However, it’s their spa that really raises Torralbenc’s wellbeing
credentials; choose from an extensive menu of prestigious Natura
Bissé and SeaSkin treatments. For those who enjoy a dip, a
freshwater pool looks out over rolling fields towards the sea.

Things to do

Saddle up and explore the ancient Camí de Cavalls (path of
horses) that encircles the island. With some historians dating it
back to the 14th century, this 116-mile bridle path connects the
Mars-like terrain of the north to the white sands and wild cliffs
of the south. Originally built as a defensive circuit, you’ll pass
medieval forts and watchtowers from the Spanish Civil War, with
plenty of opportunities to stop in secluded coves for a picnic
lunch – often in places that aren’t accessible by foot or car.
Hiking and cycling tours are also available. Torralbenc is also
starting to produce wine and – on request – you can also visit
their in-house vintner and sample his produce.

What’s nearby?

When you’re not navigating the Camí de Cavalls, the rest of this
30-mile island is best explored by car. Mahón (or Maó) is the
island’s much-loved capital; buzzy, colourful and the epitome of
shabby chic, its streets are lined with British-Georgian
architecture that harks back to its occupation during the 18th
century. Narrow, cobbled alleys are dotted with wine bars, antique
shops and bakeries, while the bustling harbour is where you’ll find
the nightlife. If you fancy lunch overlooking the port, head to El
Rais for thoughtfully prepared food, but if you’re in the market
for a caldereta de langosta (lobster stew), make a trip to the
small town of Sant Climent and visit Es Moli De Foc.

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