“A cool townhouse hotel with a pretty walled garden and small pool”
A simple yet funky look transcends the 6 rooms: all-white walls, original tile floors and rustic wood doors, accented by apple-green rugs, hot-pink armchairs and reclaimed glass jars. Refreshingly, there's total freedom from technology - unless you’re in a suite, in which case you get iPod speakers.
The 3 street-facing Suites have grand proportions; we loved our first-floor version, with original wardrobes, huge sash windows (with shutters) and twin basins. The top-floor suite has a generous welcome hall and skylights which pour light through the beamed ceiling (though no views). The first-floor Family Suite overlooks the garden; along with the kingsize bedroom, there’s a second, narrower room where 2 single beds can be added (it's also the only room with a bathtub and shower). Budget-conscious visitors will love the smaller rooms. There’s a characterful second-floor Double Room with an open-plan bathroom and pool views, and a more modern Basic Room tucked at the end of the walled garden, with its own little terrace.
In the morning, breakfast awaits on the shady garden terrace (or indoors during the cooler months). Like the décor, it’s simple yet endearing and authentic. Coffee, teas, juices, Menorca jams (fig, orange or melon and pumpkin!), fruit, pastries - we loved the chocolate-dipped croissants - and Menorca’s favourite savoury options: bread with fresh mashed tomato and sea salt, local cheese and sobrasada cured meat. You can also order fresh orange juice and eggs for a small additional charge.
For other meals, Mao has a wealth of restaurants, including buzzing tapas bars, family-friendly eateries or something more upmarket. Nina is a mine of local information.
Tea and coffee are available all day in the ground-floor lounge, as is the honesty fridge, where you can get pizzas to heat up yourself and delicious Menorcan wines (we enjoyed our award-winning and reasonably priced Binitord Blanc 2013, near Ciutadella).
Petit Maó's independent atmosphere would suit a relaxed family looking for a homely town base.
Children (4-12 years)
The first-floor Family Suite can sleep up to 4 (plus a baby) in one double bed and 2 single beds in an adjoining room. Suites can fit a single bed or baby cot. Note that no family-friendly rooms have a bathtub.
The pool is unfenced so you'll have to keep a close eye on little ones.