Floating peacefully in the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea, these European jewels are home to postcard-worthy beaches, bucolic landscapes and a selection of the continent’s most restorative retreats.
Can Ferrereta, Mallorca
The second Mallorcan hotel from the Soldevila-Ferrer family – who also own the urban oasis of Sant Francesc in Palma – Can Ferrereta is a 32-room hideaway set in a meticulously restored 17th-century mansion, with a sleek spa whose treatments use locally grown lavender and citrus fruits. Interiors are designed in a neutral colour palette with accents of untreated wood and local stone, and bedheads woven from hemp rope by local artisans. Many of the suites have private terraces, some overlooking the 25-metre saltwater pool, shaded by olive and cypress trees, and the all-day dining spot and bar, La Fresca, is a go-to spot for colourful salads and chilled rosé at lunchtime.
Price: rooms from €315 a night; hotelcanferrereta.com
Santa Ponsa Fontenille, Menorca
Relax and recharge at Santa Ponsa, a 17th-century palace-turned-luxury hotel, with slow living at its heart. All the rooms are different, but perhaps the most striking is the Superior Deluxe with its arched windows, dark hues and antique mirrors to match the Moorish-style fruit and vegetable gardens just outside. The impressive spa has three treatment rooms, a hammam, sauna, Nordic baths and an underground pool dramatically carved into a centuries-old cistern. In the restaurant, the Catalan chef Albert Riera mixes French and Spanish influences in a menu of delicious tagines, grills and other dishes, such as steamed mussels with fennel, saffron and Fontenille white wine.
Price: rooms from about £341 a night; lesdomainesdefontenille.com
Gecko Hotel & Beach Club, Formentera
An hour from Ibiza by boat, Formentera is the rising star of the Balearics. Its laid-back, hippy vibe is best encapsulated at Gecko Hotel & Beach Club, a boutique property overlooking the glittering water of Platja de Migjorn, the island’s longest beach. This celebrity favourite offers the utmost peace and privacy in its 30 guestrooms, nestled within tranquil palm-filled gardens. The main restaurant is the perfect place for a lunch of fresh seafood and local wine, served to you al fresco as you sink your toes into the powdery sand, before an afternoon siesta on one of the super comfy loungers by the cobalt pool.
Price: rooms from €350 a night; geckobeachclub.com
Six Senses Ibiza
Tucked away on the peaceful northern tip of the well-known party island, Six Senses Ibiza is a magnet for savvy travellers, lured by sophisticated sea-view suites and a world-class spa. If you’re in need of a reset, join one of the brilliant wellness programmes targeting sleep, fitness and immunity, try a sound bath or boxing class in the outdoor ring, or simply sip CBD-infused drinks by the glorious infinity pool. At the newly opened Beach Caves, a luxe lair beneath the main body of the hotel with direct beach and sea access, guests can shop at the electic concept store or enjoy Latin American fare (think oven-baked empanadas served with smoked corn, zucchini and coriander) accompanied by live music.
Price: rooms from €455 a night; sixsenses.com
Es Racó d’Artà, Mallorca
With Mallorca’s star architect Antoni Esteva and the designer Jaume Danus at its helm, Es Racó d’Artà was always going to be a stylish affair. Built on the island’s largest farm estate, amid the wild countryside of the Parc Natural de la Península de Llevant, the hotel boasts an impressive art collection, from Hiroshi Kitamura’s trailing wooden vine and Laurent Martin Lo’s bamboo mobiles to tufted rattan hangings by Adriana Meunié. Start the day with a hearty Mediterranean breakfast, before experiencing one of the activities included in your room rate, such as guided meditation and yoga classes, art therapy, natural perfume making and more.
Price: rooms from about £390 a night; en.esracodarta.com
Menorca Experimental, Menorca
Curated by the French interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon, the 43 playful suites at Menorca Experimental feature her signature clean lines punctuated by splashes of colour, including handwoven blankets made by the cult Morocco brand LRNCE. For the ultimate seclusion, there are also nine separate villas, each with their own private plunge pools. Owners the Experimental Group started life as a group of cool bars, so naturally the cocktail list packs a punch, featuring herbs and aromatics picked directly from the hotel’s own organic garden. Order your favourite, and spend a few blissful hours stretched out on one of the pale peach sun loungers that line the pool.
Price: rooms from about £252 a night; experimentalgroup.com
To call Etosoto a hotel doesn’t really do it justice – it’s more like the private home of a stylish friend, with nine eco-friendly bedrooms hewn from natural materials of stone and bamboo, and decorated with soft linens, shell chandeliers and crocheted hammocks. Originally a ramshackle collection of traditional fincas, the property has been transformed into a soulful sanctuary by the Parisian brothers Julien and Grégory Labrousse; you’ll find healthy dishes in the restaurant and the opportunity to join hikes, yoga classes and other wellbeing activities such as music workshops, to help you switch off from reality.
Price: price on request; etosoto.com
Cas Gasi, Ibiza
Hidden up in the hills, Cas Gasi is a century-old finca, encircled by orchards, olive groves and an organic vegetable garden, where much of what you eat is grown. Ten elegant rooms and two suites are all individually decorated with objets d’art from across the globe, including mirrors from India and Moorish lamps, and most have terraces from which to watch the island’s legendary sunsets. By day, float in the pool or just relax on one of the palatial daybeds among the fragrant lavender bushes. In the evenings, perch at the bar for excellent G&Ts, salted sweetcorn kernels, and great conversation from the charming barmen.
Price: rooms from about £357 a night; casgasi.com
Belmond La Residencia, Mallorca
Honey-coloured Deià in the north-west of Mallorca has long attracted artists, musicians and literati, including the poet Robert Graves, who is buried here beneath a cypress-tree in the village churchyard. He found comfort in this hilltop village where ‘perfect tranquillity reigns,’ and the serenity is evident at Belmond La Residencia. A traditional finca in the shadow of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, it offers faultless, friendly service, sea-facing tennis courts, rooms with original beamed ceilings, a suite designed by Matthew Williamson (who owns a house on the island), and an on-site art gallery. The knowledgeable, local staff can also loan out Vespas and arrange boat trips along the coast.
Price: rooms from £419 a night; belmond.com
Some eight years in the making, Torralbenc is formed from 19th and early 20th-century whitewashed farm buildings that now house 27 suites, a small holistic spa and a well-stocked cellar. Thanks to the hotel’s elevated location in the rolling hills of south-east Menorca, expect panoramic countryside views that stretch right down to the sea, from both the 80ft infinity pool and your room’s shaded terrace. Keep your eyes peeled for the wild tortoises that amble through the rosemary-scented gardens, and don’t miss the chance to sample the excellent six course tasting menu at the restaurant, accompanied by wines from the surrounding vineyards.
Price: rooms from €215 a night; torralbenc.com