Faustino Gran in Menorca: An Immersive Experience of Mediterranean History and Natur

Bathed in the sunny charm of the Mediterranean, Ciutadella hides centuries of history within its cobbled streets, and Faustino Gran reveals these treasures to its guests through four classified palaces.

In the heart of the historic center, this new retreat in Menorca offers 56 elegantly simple rooms and suites, exuding a refreshing ambiance.

Under the creative direction of founder Laurent Morel-Ruymen, the palaces dating back to the 16th, 17th, and 19th centuries have been transformed into captivating houses where art and nature take center stage. Can Faustino, the first Relais & Châteaux in Menorca (opened in 2014), marked the beginnings of Faustino Gran. It is now joined by Cal Bise, Can Llorenç, and Can Sebastiá to create an entirely new destination.

Waking up in a master’s house or a former episcopal palace, indulging in a massage in an ancient cave or in the shade of pine trees, exploring pristine coves, or simply lounging by the water while savoring local-colored meals – these urban retreats, oriented towards the sea, invite guests to immerse themselves intensely in the Minorcan experience.

THE CONFIDENTIAL LUXURY OF MINORCAN PALACES

At the heart of Faustino Gran lies the residence of “Faustino,” a member of a cadet branch of the Olives family, a prominent Menorcan family that had long inhabited this grand mansion. When Laurent Morel-Ruymen discovered it in 2014, the building was abandoned, yet he recognized its potential, especially the magnificent patio, one of the city’s most beautiful. With a vision of creating an “interior Eden” and preserving the impressive volume, after two years of work, Faustino Gran was founded, and Can Faustino became the first palace.

Can Faustino houses 22 rooms, 2 suites, and a villa, making it the vibrant heart of Faustino Gran. Inside, guests can find the reception with its vaulted ceiling, a bucolic patio garden with a restaurant and a bar, an outdoor swimming pool, and a spa with an indoor pool. Two other adjacent episcopal palaces, Cal Bisbe and Can Llorenç, feature 17 rooms and 2 suites, rising at the foot of the majestic Santa Maria de Ciutadella Cathedral, offering a unique and tranquil setting where nature is omnipresent.

 

Recently, Can Sebastiá, a former 16th-century palace, has been transformed into an intimate and lush abode with 8 rooms. Vegetation abounds, including an indoor pool, meeting space, a grand library, and even a piano for live concerts. The “Suite Vigie,” the largest suite in the hotel, boasts a terrace with an outdoor bathtub, providing a 360-degree view of the historical center of Ciutadella, the countryside, and, in the distance, the island of Majorca.

AN ATMOSPHERE WITH NATURE’S COLORS

To preserve the essence of these four residences, Laurent Morel-Ruymen retained the vernacular architectural codes, impressive volumes, and round arches while embracing the Mediterranean spirit that permeates the island. Complementing this aesthetic, natural materials such as Marès stone floors, raffia suspensions, white lime-washed walls, and an abundance of lush plants merge seamlessly with the decor. The addition of crystal chandeliers, colorful velvet sofas, and contemporary sculptures by Spanish artist Pedrín adds an extra touch of sophistication.

Throughout the property, subtle nods to the island’s culture are discovered, from reupholstered horse saddles, paying homage to Minorca’s equestrian tradition, to custom pottery crafted by a local artisan and photographs of the region by French photographer Nicolas Guerin. In collaboration with landscape artist David Adrienssen, the patios have been transformed into urban gardens, populated with olive trees, palm trees, bougainvilleas, and numerous indigenous plants. Inside, nature continues to flourish through the large vegetal frescoes by artist Delphine Neny, a master in decorative painting.

MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE AS A LANGUAGE

The Faustino restaurant, with its brick floors, raffia suspensions, and marble tables, presents a holiday-inspired Mediterranean cuisine by Chef Matias Salvia. Raised in a family of restaurateurs and influenced by his Italian-Argentinian roots, the 42-year-old chef honed his skills in Michelin-starred establishments like Tierra in Madrid and Anne de Bretagne in France. Matias Salvia elevates local and seasonal products, carefully selecting aromatic herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the Casa de Pau garden, as well as meats and fish from the island, showcasing their flavors through charcoal wood-fire cooking. Notable dishes include the grilled octopus with black garlic and squid ink sauce.

Matias Salvia,  Argentin’s chef from Faustino Gran

In line with the environmental commitment of Relais & Châteaux, the menu also offers a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options. The breakfasts, with a focus on “km zero” products, highlight local specialties and produce such as pure honey, Mahón cheese, freshly baked pastries, and “Pan con tomate” that guests can compose themselves. They can be enjoyed as a buffet in the main patio or served tableside in the gardens of the other three houses.

A PERFECT RETREAT

In the lobby of Can Faustino, La Volière is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink. Inside, one can admire the bucolic fresco filled with plants and birds from the island, created by Delphine Neny, while outside, the white marble bar winds around olive trees.

The menu offers numerous variations of the traditional Menorcan Gin and Tonic. Cocktails can also be enjoyed in the other three palaces, from the library of Can Sebastiá to the intimate garden courtyard of Cal Bisbe and Can Llorenç.

EXPERIENCES BETWEEN LAND AND SEA

The spa, located in the former water reserve of the palace, seamlessly integrates into the surroundings. The wellness area includes a heated indoor pool carved into the rock, two massage rooms, a sauna, and a hammam.

The spa menu offers signature protocols, such as the Botanical Ritual of Minorca, featuring an apricot exfoliation, a relaxing massage with wild chamomile oil, a purifying clay facial mask, and a cream with rose petals. Additionally, facial treatments signed by the Barcelona brand Natura Bissé, such as the Vitamin C treatment, are available, leveraging the antioxidant power of vitamin C to revitalize the skin while minimizing signs of aging.

CASA DE PAU, A GREEN RETREAT

Casa de Pau was designed as a peaceful retreat a few kilometers from Faustino Gran. Vintage Land Rover Defenders transport guests to the pine forest setting in just ten minutes. This chic former “huerto” is a Mediterranean oasis.

Guests can unwind on sun loungers, enjoy a vegetarian table d’hôtes with organic produce from the adjacent vegetable garden, or indulge in a massage under the shade of a tree. Active guests can embark on paddleboarding or kayaking, partake in a game of petanque, or join a yoga session, while others may prefer a boat excursion.

 

SETTING SAIL

Setting As a passionate sailor, Laurent Morel-Ruymen offers Faustino Gran guests the use of three wooden boats moored at Ciutadella harbor, allowing them to explore the 240 coves and beaches of Menorca, some of which are secluded even during peak season. Guests can choose between the 12-meter motor yacht Héloïse, accommodating up to 8 passengers, the 28-meter luxury yacht Ciutadella, or the classic 16-meter sailboat Hermine, which can depart directly from Casa de Pau.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Faustino Gran – Room rates start from 290 Euros
Address: Sa Muradeta 22, 07760 Ciutadella de Menorca, Balearic Islands

 www.mareeterra.com

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