The Menorca Hideaway

Alaior, Menorca, Spain Book from Book from £292 per night

A gloriously restored villa with enchanting gardens, on the edge of the peaceful town of Alaior (sleeps 4-8)
Here is a splendid rags to riches story: a derelict 19th-century manor house is found on an ancient quarry in the heart of Menorca. From the ruins, an inspired British-Spanish team salvages wood beams, stone walls and terracotta tiles. Three years later, this gorgeous rental villa emerges, set in 2.5 acres of beautifully terraced grounds. A contemporary kitchen and living room has been carved out of crumbling sandstone. Stairs that were never completed now climb to 4 bright bedrooms, with windows over a lavender-filled landscape.

The villa is an idyllic family-and-friends retreat. Our children played amongst the orchard trees while we sipped wine on the patios; everyone cooling off in the lovely rectangular pool, a transformed water tank. And who doesn’t love sharing home-cooked meals al fresco? It’s a short walk to the medieval streets of Alaior and a quick drive to the sandy beaches of Son Bou. But we found this enclave so enticing, we were just as happy to soak up long lazy days and starry evenings right here in peaceful seclusion.

Highs

  • A great option for a family (using 2-3 bedrooms) or 2 families travelling together (using all 4, a mix of doubles and twins)
  • We were enchanted by the magical walled gardens filled with wildflowers, fruit trees and friendly tortoises
  • The house is immaculate, beautifully light and airy
  • A great kitchen for self-catering plus BBQs
  • Plenty of terrace space for lounging and alfresco dining

Lows

  • The nearest restaurant and supermarkets are a 10-minute walk away
  • You'll need a car to reach the beach (15 minutes); but this central spot is well placed for exploring all corners of the island
  • There's a TV, DVD and stereo in the living room, but don't expect gadgets galore
  • No aircon in the bedrooms, just ceiling fans

Best time to go

The villa is open year-round. In the hot summer months (June-August), it can be a cool haven from the beach crowds; in the winter it’s warm and cosy, wonderful for a family Christmas celebration. Spring (April/May) and autumn (September/October) can still be warm enough to enjoy the terraces and gardens.

Our top tips

Don’t buy fruit at the supermarket; you’ve got an orchard on your doorstep: cherry, apricot, orange, lemon, pear, almond, fig and pomegranate trees are set throughout the walled garden. Pick and enjoy - some guests have even made their own jam!

There's no need to bring equipment with you; a games basket is supplied, with volleyball, badminton, beach bats, boules, frisbee and fishing nets.

Great for...

Eco
Family
  • Boutique Villa
  • 4 bedrooms
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
  • Weekly clean
Room:

Rooms

There are 2 double and 2 twin bedrooms in the villa - doubles are ensuite, and the twins share a large bathroom. All are clean and simple, with white bedding, wood-beamed ceilings and scatter rugs on tiled floors. The twins are on the middle floor with the smaller double, which has a second door to a small patio. For the couple who likes a bit of privacy, the room at the top - the big, A-frame double - has its own entrance.

Open-plan eating and living areas are on the ground floor. In the lounge, 2 smart sofas face a double-fronted fireplace, shared with the kitchen. Modern, with long, sleek countertops, the kitchen has exposed-brick walls and a rustic dining table for 10. Both rooms have arched French doors onto a stone courtyard with wicker furniture. From here, steps lead up to a terrace with a benched table set under a straw pergola - perfect for a lazy outdoor lunch.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Beach towels
  • CD player
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Tumble dryer
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

The villa is self-catering but the smartly equipped kitchen will delight the cooks in your crew. (A private chef can be hired if they insist they’re on holiday, too). The town of Alaior is close enough for early birds to stroll in and pick up fresh-baked bread for breakfast. Well-stocked supermarkets are on the edge of town.

Most restaurants in Alaior will have a menu del dia for lunch (a fixed price for 2 or 3 courses). Check out lovely Es Festuc, which serves excellent, well-priced, 3-course lunches and dinners, with a takeaway option, and is only 7 minutes' walk away. After the midday meal, the town moves into siesta mode, but perks up in late afternoon - a good time to grab a cold beer at one of the cafés on lively Placa Constitució.

For a casual supper, tapas bars abound in town, or for more upscale fare, drive 15-20 minutes to restaurants in Son Bou or Mahon. Return to Alaior for ice cream at one of the artisan parlours around pretty Placa del Ramal.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Head to the beach – a short drive to the south are the white sands of Son Bou and Binigaus; the northern beaches of Algairens, Pilar and Pregonda are about 45 minutes away
  • Hit the water – snorkelling, diving, paddle-boarding, windsurfing and kayaking rentals are available, or set sail from Fornells harbour on a ‘llaut’, a traditional Balearic boat
  • Take a hike – the ancient bridleway Cami de Cavalls encircles Menorca and walking its paths is a wonderful way to explore the island’s terrain and its intriguing Bronze Age stone monuments
  • Tour a winery - Binifadet has a terrace for tastings, Binitord is family-owned and the Hort Sant Patrici also produces award-winning cheese
  • Stroll into town – Alaior is a charming medieval town with shops and cafés dotted around winding streets and cobblestone squares
  • Chill out – the lovely pool and tranquil gardens are alluring enough for days of just taking dips and watching butterflies

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are welcome at the villa - it works well for either 1 or 2 families, with 2 twin and 2 double rooms, plus a cot or extra bed by prior arrangement. High chairs, junior chairs and child-size cutlery can be supplied, and there's a small pool (unheated) with a code-locked gate. The villa's garden is a natural playground, our little ones loved exploring and searching for roaming wild tortoise. Teens may find the location rather quiet, but there are activities including horse riding and watersports nearby.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool (unheated)
  • Gardens

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Clay-court tennis club in Alaior
  • Children's play areas in Alaior
  • Horse riding
  • Watersports

Families Should Know:

There are no stair gates. The swimming pool has a code-locked gate.

Distances:

  • Shop: 10 mins' walk (Alaior)
  • Chemist (multi-lingual): 10 mins' walk (Alaior)
  • Beach: 15 mins' drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

The house is on the edge of Alaior, a small town in central Menorca. It's a 10-minute walk to its shops, restaurant and bars, and a 15-minute drive to the nearest sandy beach, Son Bou.

By Air:
Mahon (15 mins by car) is Menorca's only airport, well served from UK and other European countries. We'd recommend hiring a car to explore the island and do your shopping. There's secure parking for 2 cars at the villa, with good night lighting and more on-road spaces outside.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Mahon 12.0 km MAH

Other:

  • Beach 9.0 km
  • Shops 0.6 km
  • Restaurant 0.6 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
10/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We had a great stay at the menorca hideaway villa. The gardens are stunning and the pool is so pretty. The villa itself is nicely done, whilst the bedrooms are on the small side they were all clean and comfortable. There were quite a lot of mosquitoes which we weren’t prepared for but the villa management kindly got us some new plug in repellents which helped. The outdoor areas of the villa were a real highlight and the location is great - in Alaior village where there are shops restaurants and bars. Would highly recommend.

10/10,

The Villa is beautiful and well appointed and the garden particularly gorgeous, although not all of it accessible. The separate 4th bedroom is lovely and spacious but is blindingly hot even with the fan on and both windows and door open. The other 3 bedrooms benefit from being smaller and therefore easier to cool with a fan! With 8 adults in residence more outdoor seating would have been nice, both around the outdoor dining table and on the terrace.
Alaior is very very quiet but the recommendations to eat at El Festuc and Chavencourt were spot on.

8/10,

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