New Gran Meliá Hotel Opens As Prototype For Carbon Neutrality In The Balearics

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Gran Meliá has made its entrance to the tiny Balearic island of Menorca with a property that’s set apart by its sustainability efforts and tribute to Menorcan food and design.

Villa Le Blanc, a Gran Meliá Hotel sits shoreside on a section of the south coast just moments from Santo Tomás Beach. White stone buildings set around a cabana-lined pool overlook the ocean and back a coastal path leading through long grass and pockets of woodland to long sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and peaceful bays in each direction. The verdant landscape this island earned its status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for provides a rugged backdrop for it all.

A prototype in sustainability for the family-owned hotel brand, Ville Le Blanc aims to achieve carbon neutrality by reducing its emissions, through its design, integrated technologies and energy efficient operations, by 87 percent and offsetting the remaining emissions through sustainable projects that are in development with plans to be fully effective by the end of the year. The July-2022-opened property is the first hotel on Menorca to become a member of Leading Hotels of The World.

Taking over an existing property, the hotel was transformed by Spanish architect Álvaro Sans to pair Mediterranean architectural elements, including sea-facing terraces and porches, and materials such as stone, wood and clay with a contemporary design aesthetic and predominately white and blue color scheme.

Menorcan arches and whitewashed walls mirror the architectural style that’s seen across the island and sculptures, among other artworks, showcase the skills of local artisans. The hotel’s gardens are then planted with olive, cypress, lemon and pomegranate trees, among other local plants.

In this typically Mediterranean setting, the hotel further reflects its locale through a culinary concept that draws attention to authentic Menorcan cuisine and the island's abundance of locally grown, reared, caught and produced ingredients, which have garnered attention over the past year through Menorca's status as European Region of Gastronomy.

S'Amarador has long been one of the island's most celebrated restaurants for traditional Menorcan cuisine and this new hotel is now home to an offshoot of this famous restaurant. Extending out onto a terrace looking out to sea, the hotel’s S'Amarador outpost offers typically Menorcan dishes such as caldereta de langosta (the local lobster stew) on a menu adapting the traditions of the island’s original fishermen’s taverns.

This new culinary hotspot is joined by the restaurant of Joan Canals, Cru, where local ingredients such as the fish and seafood, served raw, and famous Mahon cheeses are presented alongside signature cocktails. The cocktail creations of Canals are also offered at the indoor-outdoor restaurant Nivi specializing in grilled dishes and paellas.

Completing the hotel experience is the onsite Anne Semonin spa home to thermal facilities and a pool and offering treatments using natural products. The 159-room property’s most covetable accommodation options, the penthouse, swim-up master suite and presidential suite, all come with their own private pools as well as balconies with uninterrupted sea views.

Heightening the local experience its provides, the property encourages connection with the island by arranging cultural experiences such as visits to the 2021-opened Hauser & Wirth Menorca, complete with a private water taxi over to Isla del Rey and tour of the restored site, and sunset sails onboard a traditional Menorca llaüt.

Between its decarbonization efforts and this commitment to connecting guests with the local food, culture and environment, Villa Le Blanc, a Gran Meliá Hotel stands out most for the respect it pays to the small Balearic island it’s now a part of.

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