Megan Archer soaks up the sun at the slick and stylish Barceló Hamilton Menorca - and leaves a changed woman...

ARRIVING in beautifully-sunny Menorca during the early hours of the morning, I hardly had a moment to whip out my sunglasses or take in the stunning blue sky before I was whisked off for an afternoon's sea kayaking.

Having had minimal sleep the night before due to an early flight, my first thought was paddling about in the choppy Spanish ocean would be the last thing my tired body could handle.

But after donning my lifejacket and a swimsuit that hadn't seen the sun since since last year's holiday, my kayak tour instructor pushed my little boat out onto the deep blue water, and I changed my mind.

What better way to wake up then through a paddle along the Menorca coast? We explored caves, pushing ourselves into the depths and darkness further than we dared, screeching as we were immersed into blackness. We powered our way through the blue waters, with nothing but tall white cliffs and miles of ocean and sunny sky all around us.

And all of a sudden - despite my worrying I couldn't handle it - two whole hours had flown by, and we were being called to head back to the bay.

But what a fantastic first taste of Menorca. Forget a walking tour, a coastal kayak tour is the best way to explore any island.

A short drive back to our hotel, the funky and urban adults-only Barceló Hamilton Menorca, and we were welcomed with fresh strawberry water (served in little bags, no less) and a soothing facial treatment on the rooftop pool area.

I was led, in a dreamy-like fashion, back to my seat after my face massage - my skin feeling like silk - to await dinner.

The fun thing about Barceló Hamilton was that I found everything fascinating. The menu informed us we were having 'Breakfast for Dinner' that evening. What might that include; eggs, bacon, sausages?

Far from it. We were served miniature burgers with fruity chutneys, chocolate cupcakes, delicious wholemeal salmon sandwiches. And to finish - a sour blue ice lolly in a generous glass of gin. Why can't they serve breakfasts like this in England?

It's safe to say I slept well that first night.

The following day was probably my absolute favourite (if it is even possible to choose). I woke up at leisure and instantly went to soak up the sun on my in-room balcony. A quick breakfast outside and I padded downstairs to the U-Wellness hotel spa, for a Menorca wine experience massage.

I would have fallen asleep had the massage gone on any longer, and I left in a delicious daze. The perfect start to a Sunday morning - the therapist soothed my back with warm cream made from the same grapes we would later see growing in the Binifadet Winery, just a short drive from our hotel.

After an exceptionally pleasant afternoon sunning myself on the hotel rooftop, pausing now and then to cool off in the jacuzzis, we indulged in a gorgeous tapas lunch before heading out to the Winery, our skin still glowing from our earlier massage.

Having never been wine tasting before, it's fair to say I had my eyes firmly opened.

Swirling the glass and smelling each bouquet as instructed, I tried a rich red Merlot, a sweet white, and a fruity and delicious rosé. And more food was served to accompany our glasses - a rich display of cheese, biscuits, fruit, and even omelettes, tomato bread and miniature cheesecakes.

Making the most of every second in Menorca, we soon were on our way to nightclub and bar Cova d'en Xoroi - the perfect place to watch the sunset over the ocean.

Perched on the bright white steps aside the cliff, overlooking the ever-darkening water, we watched the sky turn from orange to pink to red, as we sipped glasses of fizz.

Each day exploring Menorca was one packed to the brim, and I fell into my bed each night deliriously exhausted.

Our final day, the best Monday I've had in a long time, saw us speed through the ocean on a popular Yellow Catamaran boat trip, taking in more of the island's sights and history, and even getting to view some of the underwater wildlife through the boats's famous glass bottom.

A quick tour through Menorca's capital, Mahon, allowed us to visit the thriving market in the Town Hall.

An abundance of colours, sights and smells - we very eagerly piled into little local ice cream shop La Case Del Gelato, where the proud owner allowed us to gorge ourselves on fresh homemade icy treats.

The most outstanding one, by a mile, was his Mojito ice cream. Served in a cocktail glass and with lashings of rum and lime juice - we were scraping the glasses despite the fact it was not yet noon.

The final day raced by far too quickly, as I predicted the entire three days would. Of course, we were whisked back to our hotel and after a brief but sensational lunch and a heartfelt goodbye with the wonderfully friendly staff, we piled into a minibus for the final time and headed towards the airport for home.

I had never visited Menorca before this trip and I am already desperate to return so I can explore the tranquil island some more. And what I wouldn't give to be lying peacefully on one of those Balinese beds back on top of the hotel rooftop again.

The essentials:

  • Rates at Barceló Hamilton Menorca start from €102 (£87) per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis. For further information or to book visit Or call +34 971 362 050
  • Monarch operates year round flights to Menorca from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports starting from £39 one way (£70 return). For further information or to book please visit