Son Vell – Menorca, Balearic Islands
Part of the Vestige Collection, Son Vell is a characterful and elegant villa that has been artfully and sympathetically restored and enhanced into a luxurious and one-of-a kind Menorcan retreat. Left to rack and ruin, this 18th century manor house has had new life breathed into it, where guests are ensconced in understated luxury, in between fields and the sea. Inside, you’ll find Venetian style décor blending effortlessly with finca chic.
It sits within 200 hectares of working farmland, formal landscaped and walled gardens, olive and citrus groves, with its own private cala (beach) just a ten minute walk away. Its simple, rural setting, and appreciation of its distinctive heritage, make this the ideal get away for those who love being far from the madding crowd.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For its elegant, palatial and luxurious living, its laid back approach and gastronomic specialties.
Style:18th century Italianate splendour.
Location:In the west of Menorca, 20 minutes from Ciutadella.
Rooms:34 individually styled rooms & suites.
Swimming:A pool and a private beach.
Children:A fabulously family friendly retreat for those with older children.
Accessibility:A fully adapted ground floor room & a lift to first floor rooms.
Open From:April - November
Price:€596 per room, per night.
All stone floored and beamed ceilings, the rooms and suites are flecked with contemporary touches – foxed mirrored doors and granite basins – furnished with antique and modern furniture and decorated in a soothing, neutral palette. The large Deluxe Superior Rooms occupy the main house, whilst the Deluxe Superior Garden Rooms are found in the beautifully renovated old barns, with French doors leading directly onto the estate gardens.
The generously sized Garden Junior Suites have a pretty covered terrace, offering complete privacy, and some come with a sunset view. For families, there’s a two bedroom suite, and many of the rooms come with a sofa bed. The Grand Suite doesn’t get much dreamier, and also has a second en suite bedroom.
The focus here is fresh, local and full of flavour. with ingredients sourced from local artisan producers, fished straight from the sea and grown from the estate’s own gardens. Classic Menorcan dishes are given a contemporary sprinkle, celebrating the heritage of the island’s unique cuisine, with colourful à la carte and tasting menus. Vermell is atmospheric and sophisticated, and Sa Clarisa with its pool terrace is relaxed and informal. The bars – in the main house and by the pool – serve light snacks and tapas.
The location of Son Vell is its crowning glory. Steps from the Camí de Cavalls – the ancient path along the coast – you can escape to little private coves and stunning beaches within minutes. The terrain is ideal for mountain biking and horse riding, or spend a morning cycling around the estate. Head to the pretty medieval port town of Cuitadella, once the island’s capital, with its beautiful old quarter, fish market and gothic cathedral.
The wonderfully helpful concierge team, whose knowledge of the island is both impressive and invaluable, will organise boat charters, sunset picnics, jeep tours and visits to archeological sites. In the evenings, sit back and watch a film in the outdoor cinema, or gaze up at the stars with an astronomer.
There are no specific facilities for little ones – this is a place for families with older children, who love the outdoor life. There are children’s menus and plenty of board games.
For a group that has set out to transform some of Spain’s neglected heritage building, sustainability is at its heart. Much of the restoration has used repurposed local sandstone, and the large kitchen gardens produce much of the food on the menu. Local suppliers are also used extensively. You’ll find no single use plastic here – all bathroom amenities come in refillable bottles and the furnishings are made from natural fibres, using no chemical dyes.
Menorca, Balearic Islands
In the west of Menorca, around 40 minutes from the airport, and 20 minutes from Ciutadella.