Villa Le Blanc, a 5-star luxury resort operated by Gran Meliá, has officially opened one of Melia Hotels International's most environmentally responsible hotels. Located on Santo Tomás Beach, the 5-star property is a great location for discovering the cultural and natural attractions of the island of Menorca. The energy-efficient carbon neutral hotel was built with a strong focus on environmental responsibility to the island, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993.
The hotel offers 159 guestrooms, which are designed to complement the natural Menorcan environment and all feature private balconies with city or sea views. Included in the 159 guestrooms are 45 luxurious suites, with a variety of upscale amenities ranging from private pools to secluded rooftops with uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The hotel's dining outlets pay homage to local products, with exquisite cuisine in each restaurant, using the finest, fresh ingredients from the island farms. Located on the first-floor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, Villa Le Blanc will be home to the newest location of S'Amarador, widely recognized as one of the top seafood restaurants on the island. The restaurant works with only the best, local produce to prepare its delicious rice dishes and seafood bisques, accompanied by the freshest fish from the local market, with a particular focus on one of the culinary highlights of the Balearic Sea: the local red lobster. The restaurant preserves and adapts all the traditions of the ancient fishermen's taverns that used to be located throughout the port area.
The renovation of what was once the Sol Beach House Hotel was led by architect Álvaro Sans and combines simple and contemporary design with luxurious details. Decorated predominantly in white and blue, with large terraces and porches that illustrate Mediterranean island architecture, the common areas throughout the resort are designed to achieve a seamless blend of outdoor and indoor spaces. The hotel faces the Mediterranean and reflects the traditions of local architecture, with abundant natural light flooding its spaces through large arches. The white stone construction allows it to blend perfectly with the natural environment on the south coast of the island.
"Villa Le Blanc is inspired by the vernacular architecture of the island villages. Among other features, special prominence is given to the Menorcan arches and the whitewashed walls so distinctive of local houses. From a technical point of view, we have rescued the traditional use of tiles, which have been used down the ages in Menorca to combat the rainy winters and which traditionally were always painted white to reflect the heat in summer", said Álvaro Sans, from the ASAH studio, architect of Villa Le Blanc.
Villa Le Blanc opens with the goal to serve as an international benchmark for efficient and environmentally friendly hotels. The hotel's sustainability project aims to achieve a carbon neutral footprint by incorporating facilities and technologies that will enable it to reduce its scope one and two emissions by 87%. In addition, the hotel will explore alternatives to offset the remaining emissions and thus ensure its full carbon neutrality status (net zero), contributing to the Company's decarbonization objectives. The hotel has also adopted a circular-economy model in its waste management, aimed at reducing waste to a minimum by reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products. Residual heat from air-conditioning systems will be used to pre-heat hot water and heated swimming pools, water from the swimming pools will be used for cleaning the hotel, and rainwater will be used to irrigate the gardens.
"Villa Le Blanc is a dream come true for our company," commented Gabriel Escarrer, Vice President and CEO of Meliá. "A project like this allows us to move forward towards hotel decarbonization. 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".