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Menorca beaches are beautiful but the spas are splendid

Menorca beaches are beautiful but the spas are splendidHolidays are made for relaxing, and the Balearic island of Menorca is known for its peaceful breaks. And while Menorca beaches are beautiful and a great spot for rest and relaxation, sometimes we love nothing better than time at the spa for the most indulgent of days.

While we hadn’t visited Menorca with the spa on our minds, it didn’t take long for us to find the most relaxing spot on the island.

There’s little more restorative than spa time. I love the gentle stretch, flex and pummel of muscles, the opening and closing of pores with the alternation of heat and cold. But best of all I love leaving the spa feeling like I’ve left the world, and my cares behind – either through exfoliation, detoxification or pure close-out-the-world rest.

And I have plenty of experience of what makes a good spa day. It’s also a good change of pace to those lazy days on Menorca beaches, and better for you than all that time in the sun.

We were staying at Menorca’s Artiem Carlos III hotel in Es Castells, just a few kilometres from capital, Mahon. The hotel has a new spa and the convenience of having it right there in the hotel couldn’t be underestimated, but it is a little on the small side. It was also clear that for the full spa experience we really had to visit another hotel in the group.

The Artiem Audax is set in the pretty bay of Cala Galdana in the south east of the island and is known across Menorca for its large spa.

Settling on a bubble bed in the spa’s hydro massage pool my zen kicked in

Artiem Audax Hotel spa, Menorca

The adults-only Blue Spa promises 700m2 of “wellness culture” as Menorca’s largest day spa. And for Menorci’s I can imagine this is a great resource, however for anyone used to the extensive spa facilities at other hotels around the world (I’m particularly thinking of the likes of Austria’s large hotel offerings in particular), it is a little on the small side and has only one steam room, a Turkish vapour bath, and a Swedish sauna, plus heated thermal beds.

Thermal circuit pool at the spa at Artiem Audax Hotel, Menorca

Temperature is rising in Menorca

But combine this with experience showers and a bucket shower (my personal favourite in a bid to get the shock of having cold water thrust at your clammy body) and a 12C plunge pool and you have a great thermal circuit.

Before jumping at the heat and cold however, I made for the spa’s water zone, donning a delightful mandatory swimming cap. This seems to be the rules of the spa in Spain, so I went with the flow even know the fashion conscious side of me suggested it wasn’t a great look.

Not so sure about the bathing cap at Artiem Audax spa, in Menorca

I started with something which was slightly against my better judgement – the footbath compostela – a pathway of pebbles that are sprayed with water as you walk. It’s supposed to be a relaxing moment of reflexology. But as has happened when I followed this pebbley path elsewhere before, it was more a moment of agony as I realised my feet (perhaps, nobody’s feet) are made for walking barefoot over stones.

Footbath at Artiem Audax Hotel spa - a little sore for my feet would've been better off on the sand of Menorca beaches

Settling on a bubble bed in the spa’s hydro massage pool, though, my zen kicked in. Bubbles hissed and fizzed beneath me, buffering my body and pounding muscles which ached from exploring Menorca’s towns and countryside.

My mind drifted, any stresses and strains in my body floating away on a sea of bubbles.

An hour or so later we landed back into the world with a mild bump, the kind you feel when you’ve been beautifully zoned out of it for a while.

And then came a hunger for something altogether different. I don’t know if you find this, but spas leave me hungry. It’s as if all that detoxing has somehow taken a little energy out of me as well.

So we made our next stop lunch, rounding off our perfect lazy day in Menorca at Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol, in Sant Lluis, in the heart of Menorca’s countryside. Though the restaurant feels more upmarket than a country kitchen, its fresh, local ingredients certainly made it feel like we were enjoying the fruit of the land.

Lunch at Sa Pedrera d'es Pujol, in Menorca

Sobrasada croquettes with spicy pepper marmaladeMenorcan mushrooms cooked with Menorcan sausage and slow cooked eggLemon cremouse with red fruit mouse

But Sa Pedrera d’es Pujol handles those ingredients with finesse and presents them in dishes with style. My top tips from a stand-out menu? Sobrasada croquettes with spicy pepper marmalade, Menorcan mushrooms cooked with Menorcan sausage and slow cooked and a looks-as-good-as-it-tastes dessert of lemon cremouse with red fruit mouse, served in old-fashioned jam jars to add a little home-cooked comfort to proceedings.

It wasn’t like I needed any more comfort though, Menorca had already relaxed me, wrapped me in cotton wool, and made me feel like new once more.

I visited Menorca as part of a project between iambassador and Tourism Menorca. As always, all opinions and self indulgences were my own.


LiveShareTravel's founder and editor Sarah, has long been passionate about luxury travel and, with a nose for a deal, has helped many friends book trips as affordable as they are stylish. As a journalist and travel magazine editor with expert knowledge of shared ownership, starting LiveShareTravel was a natural progression. She can't live without her smartphone, loves dancing (especially salsa), wine and massages; and is never happier than when she's wandering the world. She is co-author of The Luxury Traveller's Handbook.

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