This summer, Elldrew spent a week in Ciutadella, a historical city situated on the west coast of Menorca. Having enjoyed breaks in Ibiza and Mallorca we were excited about experiencing our last unvisited Balearic Island (Spain) so we booked ourselves in for a week’s much needed R&R at Hotel Can Faustino.
Opened over two years ago and promoted through the hotel member group Relais & Chateau, this tranquil oasis was once a run down palace, dating back to the 16th century. The owners have painstakingly converted the palace into a boutique 5-star hotel that overlooks the port of Ciutadella. With just 21 rooms and 3 suites it’s small and intimate and evokes the ethos of providing guests with a warm atmosphere likened to a large family home.
The hotel is exquisitely designed with a perfect blend of classic and contemporary furnishing. Sprinkled throughout are sculptures by Pedro Rodriguez who also has a gallery in Menorca if, like Elldrew, you are tempted by his art. Actually we could retell our experience of being stopped at customs and having to prove we had not raided the islands antiquities, but we wont…thankfully a positive outcome.
The hotel comes equipped with a wonderful spa and treatment rooms, with a stunning indoor pool and steam room (Hammam) in the palaces ancient grotto’s vault. Perfect when wanting to escape the Mediterranean sun and refresh the senses.
The patio at the rear of the property presents beautifully manicured gardens (where they even grow herbs for the hotel restaurant), with comfortable seating to relax and enjoy a cocktail or simply soak up the sun with a spot of alfresco dining. It’s perfectly peaceful with only the rumble of a scooter every now and then to remind you that you are in fact a stones throw from the ancient town centre.
And we must not forget the charming outside pool area where we spent most of our days. A salt-water pool is the focal point and is as inviting as it looks. There are only 10 sunbeds but for some reason we never had a problem lying around the pool as guests tend to come and go throughout the day. There is also a bar and table seating area for drinks and a bite to eat.
In terms of food and drink, for a 5-star hotel prices were incredibly reasonable: €15 for a bottle of rosé around the pool meant we never needed an excuse to venture any further (clearly our liver wasn’t getting a break this holiday). The poolside-dining menu is limited but equally affordable, so if you’ve overloaded on the in-house baked pastries (the croissants are the best we have tasted outside of France) and fresh eggs from the “Egg Bar” at breakfast, then really a small snack is all that’s required to tide oneself over between siesta and dinner time. We didn’t try the main restaurant in the evenings.
Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Well we do like to write fair and honest reviews so our only criticism would be that the bar & restaurant staff possibly tried a little too hard (if that’s even possible). Whilst attempting 5-star silver service at what could be deemed as a resort style hotel, it’s better to scale the service back to complement the relaxed atmosphere. As an example; when having lunch, in one’s swimwear (upper body half covered of course) at the restaurant outdoors seating area next to the pool (as opposed to dining from the poolside menu), white tablecloths, amuse bouche and silver service are totally unnecessary.
All the staff however were amazing, happy to help with any request, recommend local restaurants (more on the Ciutadella dining scene to follow), organise hotel transfers in one of their silver Land Rover jeeps, or even book us for a morning out at sea on one of the hotel boats…and can we just say, if you get the chance to take the boat out and swim in clear turquoise waters, do it! The hotel doesn’t promote this on their website but they offer a three hour boat hire for €120 per person, which is a reasonable rate if there is only two of you. We suspect this is only available when boats are not pre-booked. And whilst you might share the privilege with fellow guests, you could also be lucky like Elldrew and have the boat completely to yourselves (with a captain of course and well stocked minibar). We went out on ‘Heloise’ (ironically built in Cowes, UK) that perfectly accommodates six people. What a way to spend the morning, we want one!
We unfortunately didn’t get to venture to their new Beach Club – the hotel purchased a private beach with an old fishermen’s shelter several kilometres up the coast that they are looking to open, hopefully, in 2017 – we believe they will provide transfers for guests looking for some Med and beach time, but we can’t imagine not coming back to Hotel Can Faustino for another week of bliss so we might just get to go after all.
Thanks Sara and staff for making our relaxing week totally relaxing, it was perfect and exactly what we were looking for. We also met some lovely guests from around the globe, it was great swapping stories with fellow travellers, and we even exchanged contact details with a few. I think we just got out of town in time as the famous St Joan festival galloped into gear; when the town swells from 30,000 to 100,000+. We hope to be back soon.