"Live in harmony with planet earth!" - A guest post by Ina Hiester. During a six-week exploration tour in the Balearic Islands, I was particularly taken with the island of Menorca with its wild beaches and charming towns. Here, Good Travel host Ignasi not only gave me an insight into his accommodations, but also into his philosophy of life.
"I would like to write about you." "When?" - "Um - tomorrow?" "Vale - okay!" From the beginning I liked Ignasi Truyol with his uncomplicated spontaneity. When he laughs - and he often does - he leans his head back a little, as if otherwise overflowing with zest for life and enthusiasm. I meet him at Hevresac in the Menorcan island capital Mahon.
Old and hip, packed and stylish: the Hevresac
The "Hevresac ", the former home of the merchant and captain Joan Roca i Vinent, he and his wife Stéphanie converted it into a very special kind of boutique hotel. The spirit of Captain i Vinent, who died in 1826, who saw the island culturally and economically flourish under English, French and Spanish rule, still seems to have something to do with it. Because the Hevresac cannot be pigeonholed.
Just the word Hevresac, Ignasi explains to me, testifies to the multicultural flair of the place: derived from the German oat sack, British adapted to Haversac, French converted to Havresac and finally called Menorquín Hevresac, this place is packed with all sorts of things that are in their lush Combination represent a work of art in itself. "Almost everything you see here in terms of furnishings is found from other places, other times, another life - my life before Menorca," says Ignasi.
From IT consultant to thoroughbred host
After graduating from school, Ignasi wanted to play it safe. He studied in his hometown of Barcelona Business Administration and then worked as an IT consultant for 25 years. As such, he did not earn badly, traveled a lot, saw the world - and stayed in numerous hotels that were all the same: clean and accurate, standardized and sterile. Nowhere a little corner to feel good, at most a fold to smooth down.
“My father is from Menorca. We have always spent our family vacations on the island. After many years of devoting my career as a consultant, I became 200? my daughter was born. That was a real wake-up call for me and my wife, ”said Ignasi. The couple wanted to get out of the hectic, non-life-fulfilling hamster wheel - and create places on Menorca for themselves and for travelers from all over the world that inspire and slow down, that tempt you to relax, exchange ideas and stay.
"Ses Surcreres": From a candy store to a small feel-good hotel
In 2009, Ignasi and Stéphanie opened their first unique piece in the interior of the island, in the village of Ferreries: "Ses Sucreres ". Once a candy store, the property today surprises with its refreshing contrast between the simple and rural exterior and the chic, elegant sophistication inside. Just like in the Hevresac, all kinds of art and handicrafts can be found here, which give the six rooms a special touch without being obtrusive - the result is a feel-good place with a minimalist, contemporary and personal touch.
Ignasi, who also lives in Ferreries with his family, tells me: "Ses Sucreres" is often visited by families or couples looking for relaxation and tranquility. At the same time, it is the ideal location for exploring the island: both the old island capital, Ciutadella in the west and Mahon in the southeast can be reached in about 30 minutes by bus or car. "
Art everywhere: an affair of the heart
The Hevresac, on the other hand, with its central yet quiet location in Mahon, has a faster pulse. Hardly anyone comes here to have some peace and quiet - most of the guests here are looking for exchange, debate, games, inspiration and company in a stylish, cozy living room atmosphere. While Ignasi leads me through the premises, his gaze keeps catching on a picture or a sculpture and he tells me an anecdote about the respective artist: in.
“I've always had a big heart for art, and if I hadn't been so focused on financial security at a young age, I might have chosen to study art. Since I've been living in Menorca with my family, I've been able to live out this passion to the full: I give artists whom I value an exhibition platform by equipping our accommodations with their works. They can be purchased by the guests - I don't charge a commission for them, ”says Ignasi.
Excellent: Menorca Biosphere Reserve
Both the hip "Hevresac" in Mahon and the tranquil, stylish "Ses Sucreres" in Ferreira are certified partner of the Menorca Biosphere Reserve. Only accommodations and businesses whose products and services have a positive ecological, cultural, social and economic influence and thus contribute to the sustainable development of the island as a whole are allowed to use this sustainability label.
Ignasi and Stéphanie have lovingly renovated their accommodations using natural building materials such as cork, cellulose and wood, prepare their water themselves with the help of an osmosis filter system, avoid plastic and unnecessary packaging where possible and pamper their guests with a delicious breakfast made from regional and seasonal dishes Ingredients.
Better together: hierarchy was yesterday
And it goes without saying that they lend a hand everywhere: setting the table, making coffee, tidying up - working with your employees is more like a happy family household in which you support each other. “In business people are trained so that we need clear roles and areas of responsibility for everything. But too much specialization makes our mind sluggish. The more different things I do and the more different people I surround myself with, the livelier I feel, ”says Ignasi as he and his assistant Helena clear the dishwasher in the kitchen. I watch the two of them chatting animatedly, and there it is again: this laugh, this one overflowing with energy. Ignasis' life and work here in Menorca - his second life plan - suits him very well.
Ina's final tips:
- Getting around: Most of the larger villages and towns in Menorca are accessible by bus to the Public transport services tied up. However, many of the beautiful island's beaches can only be reached by bike or on foot. But let's be honest: I never missed a single day on Menorca that was built up beach promenades, which unfortunately are often found in Spain. Do you want to explore the island on foot? The 185 kilometer long Long-distance hiking trail "Camí de Cavalls" leads once completely around the island.
- Shopping: Guests at the "Hevresac" will find several organic shops in Mahon: Món orgànic just a few streets away as well as Essència Bio and Bio Magatzem, which are also in the old town. It is worthwhile to buy fruit, vegetables, Mallorcan cheese, sausage and souvenirs Visit the daily Sa Plaça market in the courtyard of the Claustre del Carme monastery.
Ina is a digital nomad and lives on one Sailboat in the Mediterranean. When there is a doldrums, the frees avowed minimalist Bays and Beaches of plastic, is on the lookout for special places for Good travel, photographs and writes articles on environmental and sustainability topics of all kinds.
Photo credits: Ina Hiester, Brittni-Moffatt (Ina profile picture)