Gran Hotel Montesol: An Ode to Ibiza's Heritage | White Ibiza
Published by white-ibiza.com, September 2017
Few conversations about Ibiza pass without reference to its glorious past, those erstwhile days when free-spirited souls roamed the dusty, untouched lands. Back then it was a seemingly simpler age when creativity flowed freely from the veins of the island’s inhabitants, parties coincided with magical full moons and groups of great thinkers converged en masse to discuss topics of the time at places like Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza. Today under the guidance of Curio Collection by Hilton, when it first opened in 1933, Montesol claimed the title of Ibiza’s oldest hotel, and now, thanks to the pivotal role it’s played as an observer of the island’s history, its most iconic.
With its reputation as a significant Ibizan relic, Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza is immediately recognisable to many of the island’s devotees. Its beautifully crafted façade of walls that whisper sorbet-colours and majestic arched windows tower over Ibiza town’s most famous (and now pedestrianised) square, Vara de Rey, and thanks to a recent renovation courtesy of famed Spanish designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, it looks as stunning and glamorous today as it did when it first flung open its doors back in the 30s, both inside and out.
Boasting 33 immaculate rooms, designed to provide sanctuary for guests amid the hustle and bustle of the town, each transports you back in time to a captivating bygone era. Décor takes inspiration from the luxe style of cruise ships (think Titanic), featuring whitewashed walls, varnished, decked flooring and circular mirrors rimmed with gold. Beds are dressed in light-as-a-feather white linen while the majority of rooms have balconies looking out onto the busy square below. Be sure to reserve one of the hotel’s three exclusive suites to secure spectacular vistas of Dalt Vila, a Unesco World Heritage site, to the right, and the busy international harbour to the left.
Downstairs in the lobby it’s an equally elegant affair. The ground floor takes its cue from New York’s clandestine prohibition days, with Art Deco influences peppered throughout. Plush velvet poufs contrast with symmetrically patterned floor tiles, while Colonial-style soft lighting illuminates the spectacular bar – it’s all about the details here. As you’d expect, expert mixologists are on hand to whizz up a classic Tom Collins or something slightly more adventurous, dependent on taste. And this is where the hotel really comes alive at night, when locals stop by for after work aperitivos and tapas, or on Fridays, to welcome the weekend among friends and first-class cocktails.
For dining, you’re spoilt for choice, with the adjoining Café Montesol boasting both an alluring alfresco terrace and a lavish interior restaurant. Outside, you can watch the world go by during breakfast, lunch and dinner, while inside there’s a more intimate ambience, aided by soft lighting and relaxed, fawn-coloured chairs. The menu boasts northern Spanish influences so the Galician-style octopus is a must, while the sea bass and steak will similarly tempt and delight. Equally, you can stop by simply to take time out, with a newspaper under arm and a freshly brewed coffee in hand.
To this day, Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza remains an ode to Ibiza’s hippie heritage – it serves as a place for locals and tourists to rendezvous, all in surroundings unmatched by any other venue on the island, while still excelling in the gastronomic stakes, and providing an extravagant place to rest weary heads. The spirit of Ibiza’s rich, tapestried past is alive and well within its walls.