May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
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I admire commitment to a theme when it comes to design, and Hotel Blanco – a glossy beacon of design on the hippie-chic island of Formentera – has that in spades. You won’t be surprised to know the theme here is colour (or lack of it): even the cava bottles are white.
There are no five-star hotels on Formentera, a quirk of planning controls rather than service levels, and finding any room in peak season can be a struggle. However, new to the scene, and certainly the most slickly modern, is Hotel Blanco, on the outskirts of Es Pujols.
An island regular told me that the Italians – who make up a large majority of summer visitors – think of Es Pujols as ‘towny’ and to be avoided, but I think that’s underselling it. In the evening, with little stalls lining the beach wall and sun-tanned holiday makers strolling around in sandals and their summer dresses, stopping to decide where to eat and drink that night, it has plenty of charms.
Everyone bar no-one hires a scooter to zip from beach to hotel or villa and back again, but there’s something nice about being able to walk to dinner, which makes Hotel Blanco’s location, a slow, seven-minute wander from the action, just perfect.
We spent days at the beach, a different one each time, followed by late afternoons watching the sun set from a sun-lounger at the edge of Blanco’s pool, with a glass of (white) cava in hand; and then evenings eating dinner in Es Pujols.
There are 102 rooms and suites at the hotel – large by Formentera standards. The superior ones with their (white) four-poster beds, (white) Nespresso machines, and (white) terraces, were sold out months before we thought to book, but while the regular double rooms might miss some of the above, they’re the same internal footage, with generous balcony (and there’s plenty of white cava in the mini bar!)
There are a few slightly odd styling details – the wall-sized photo of a woman lying in her bikini in the reception area, for instance (really not want you want to see when you’ve spent 40 minutes blitzing the generous breakfast bar) – but the crisp, clean design of the property is the perfect foil to the dusty tracks that lead to the many gorgeous beaches that edge the island.
And while Blanco has favoured sharp and chic design over the boho styling you find elsewhere on Formentera, the poolside pop-up, selling kaftans, jewellery and baskets, saved me more than one repeat trip to the famous Hippie Market in La Mola, and plenty of colour and trinkets to offset all that white.
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