Meliá Hotels International has announced the upcoming opening of Villa Le Blanc Gran Meliá on Santo Tomás Beach in Menorca this summer. Returning to Meliá’s Balearic heritage, the new luxury hotel will be fully integrated with its natural surroundings with sustainability at its heart, while reflecting the Mediterranean essence of the island…
Villa Le Blanc, as the latest addition to the Gran Melia portfolio, is a renovation of what was once the Sol Beach House Hotel, located in an idyllic setting on the Migjorn coast, halfway between Mahón and Ciutadella. The hotel remains a prime location for discovering the island’s cultural and natural attractions of an island which was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993.
The project is led by architect Álvaro Sans and fuses simple and contemporary design with luxury. The hotel will shelter 159 guestrooms, some with a private pool, and is designed to resemble a large balcony overlooking the sea. Predominantly decorated in white and blue, the large terraces and porches typical of Mediterranean architecture blur the boundaries and blend the indoor/outdoor spaces.
“Menorca is the Mediterranean in its purest form and transmits a sensation of peace and well-being that you can only find elsewhere in some of the Aegean islands,” said architect Alvaro Sans. “That’s why we set ourselves the challenge to create one of the best hotels in the entire Mediterranean, and we are making a lot of progress in that direction.”
The project aims to be a prototype for hotel efficiency and respect for the natural environment, with state-of-the-art facilities and technologies that will allow it to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 87 per cent. The hotel will also explore alternatives to offset its remaining emissions and ensure carbon neutrality, one of the objectives actively pursued by the company. Villa Le Blanc will not only improve the island’s ability to attract higher quality tourism but will also make Menorca an international benchmark for efficient and environmentally friendly hotels.
“Villa Le Blanc is a dream come true for our company,” said Gabriel Escarrer, Vice President and CEO of Meliá. “A project like this allows us to move forward towards hotel decarbonisation. It is also in such a special place as the Biosphere Reserve of Menorca, making it one of the most tangible results of our commitment to a hotel model based on excellence, responsibility and sustainability.”
Owned by Victoria Hotels & Resorts, created in 2021 by Meliá Hotels International, Bankinter and other investors, who are customers of the bank, along with GMA acting as the managing partner – each partner involved in the project shares a strong commitment to sustainability, as shown in the clear ethos behind the transformation of this iconic hotel.
“Villa Le Blanc Gran Meliá will be the best demonstration of what the partners in Victoria Hotels & Resorts are able to achieve together,” said Victor Martí, founder and CEO of GMA. “Meeting our objectives of renovating and repositioning very iconic hotels to introduce them to a new stage of magnificence and splendour while increasing the value they create for their shareholders and also for the destinations where they are located.”
The hotel has already received the Rethink Award for the best hotel sustainability and rehabilitation project at the beginning of 2022 from the Habitat Futura Group, and will have an efficient energy management system based on the use of renewable energy such as biomass, solar or geothermal, and home-automation technology reduce consumption of both energy and water. The building’s air-conditioning systems will use seawater to improve efficiency and achieve reductions in electricity use of up to 40 per cent.
The hotel has plans to adopt circular-economy model in its waste management. For example, the residual heat from air-conditioning systems will be used to preheat domestic hot water and the heated swimming pools, backwash water from the swimming pools will be used for cleaning the hotel, rainwater will be used to irrigate the gardens and grey water will be used in the toilets.
Shining a spotlight on place and location, the hotel will also be a tribute to the work of local artisans, whilst simultaneously offering exquisite cuisine focused on local products in the various restaurants. In true Gran Meliá style, the resort hotel has a respect for things well done, and understated elegance in every detail forms part of its hallmarks.
Main image credit: Melia Hotels International