Santa Ponsa, Fontenille – Menorca
We love this hotel because it is beautifully Colonial in style and perfect for grown ups
This gorgeous old 17th century palace is situated in 100 hectares of luxurious gardens, strewn with olive, palm, pomegranate and fig trees, fruit gardens and surrounded by a wonderful quietness, this was once the residence of British aristocracy. Close your eyes and think of 1001 Arabian Nights, and this is just a hint of the look and feel of Santa Ponsa. Much of the old details are still in evidence, giving this retreat a truly mystical air. Santa Ponsa is one half of the two hotel experiences that makes up Fonteneille Menorca. This is a unique concept created by two French men, Guillaume Foucher and Frédéric Biousse, whose design and hospitality pedigrees are renown, allowing guests to stay in either Santa Ponsa or Torre Vella, the sister hotel, yet benefit from both
With only 21 rooms and suites, split between the main manor house and converted barns in the grounds, each is individual in style, with a distinctly colonial twist. The classic rooms can be either a king or twin and are in the main house with views over the luxurious gardens. All the Superior Deluxe rooms are located in the old stables, with a private terrace except for one which is located on the second floor of the main house and enjoys a beautiful view onto the luxuriant garden and a large living room. These can either be set up as a king or twin as well. The Prestige Suite, is spacious with a sofa bed in the living room as well as two large terraces. The signature suite duplex has a large terrace with a beautiful view of the garden and is split over two floors. There is a bedroom, living room and bathroom on the ground floor with a second bedroom on the mezzanine which is perfect for 1 or 2 children. If you are after total privacy stay in the independent ‘Casita’ which is equipped with a kitchen, small living room with a sofa bed and a king or twin bedroom. Located in the middle of the luxurious gardens with private terrace and access to the gardens it is perfect for those looking to be completely alone.
Santa Ponsa’s restaurant Nura (meaning ‘Island of Fire’) is a delicious fusion of flavours from Spain and the Middle East. Ingredients are sourced either from the hotels gardens (80%) or from local suppliers so the menu changes frequently depending on what is in season. The focus is all the product and making this into something delicious with freshness and texture. Guests can expect to see tagines, grills and a variety of other dishes that have been influenced by the different cultures that have formed Menorca’s palette and history over the years. When the weather is nice, guests can eat on the terrace overlooking the gardens and under the majestic oaks. The bar at Santa Ponsa is eastern and colonial style décor and will transport you back to a different age.
Guests staying at Santa Ponsa can get the free shuttle across to eat at Torre Vellas restaurant Siempreviva. This restaurant is not open to the general public and has a smaller menu with a focus on naturalness so vegetarian and healthy dishes with fresh salads sourced from the garden or locally caught fish can be expected to be seen on the menu.
Santa Ponsa has a more grown up feel but will happily take children and has cots and high chairs available. Whilst there’s not a children’s menu, the chefs are more than happy to prepare something a bit more simple for a younger palate. The larger suites or the signature suite duplex are good accommodation options for those with children.
Built into an ancient cistern, the Spa has three treatment rooms, hammam, sauna and an underground pool. Guests can indulge in a range of treatments and therapies, many of which use ingredients from the estate. Al fresco treatments can also be taken in the grounds under a shady tree, and there are morning yoga classes open to everyone.
Take a look at Torre Vella
Hotel Type: A peaceful retreat with luxurious spa. One of the fincas of Fontenille Menorca, a Relais & Chateaux hotel
Destination: Set in magical gardens and grounds resembling Arabian Nights. Santa Ponsa is a 5 minute drive from the neighbouring town of Alaior and some of the islands best beaches. It is located a 20 minute drive from Menorcas airport near Mahon
Style: A unique rebuilt 19th century aristocratic house. Beautifully colonial.
Rooms: 21 individually styled rooms and suites
Ideal For: Adults looking to explore all that Menorca has to offer whilst escaping it all in their very own naturalistic sanctuary.
Swimming: There is an outdoor unheated pool open 24 hours a day as well as an underground spa pool in an 18th century cistern. Visit Torre Vellas pool for a change of scenery.
Dining: Restaurant Nura means ‘island of fire’ and is based on the theme of tagines, grills and a variety of other locally sourced dishes that have been influenced by the numerous cultures visiting Menorca over the years. Santa Ponsa has a sophisticated ground floor bar with views across the gardens. Guests can also go and eat at Torre Vellas restaurant, Siempreviva, which is equally as delicious.
Activities: Involve yourself with the agriculture, Yoga, Meditation, visit the spa, explore the caves of Santa Ponsa, cycling, running, take a boat out locally, head to the beach, go horseriding, walk along the coastal path and discover the island.
Spa: There is an impressive new spa at Santa Ponsa. It has 3 treatment rooms, hammam, sauna and underground pool. The products used are organic with the emphasis on them being home grown on site.
Low season price from: €170 per room per night B&B
High season price from: €350 per room per night B&B
F&P Must Do: While away the afternoon with a cocktail in their magnificent tranquil gardens. Make the most of the free shuttle bus and head to Torre Vella to take part in some cliff top early morning yoga.