island time

marlien rentmeester

I feel like I just returned from a far, faraway planet, where everything is exactingly perfect from the saltiness of the sea to the zest of the fruit to the crimson sunset hues. This otherworldly place is the Balearic Islands. My first stop was Binibeca, Menorca, where we rented a whitewashed bohemian-chic villa, just steps from the ocean. Menorca is known to be the sleepiest of the Balearics, sprinkled with medieval port towns and sandy deserted beaches. We were anything but sleepy, however: we zipped around non-stop, boating, touring Hauser + Wirth, downing tapas, and bobbing in the Med as often as possible. After a few days and multiple pans of paella under our belt, we buzzed over to Palma, Mallorca, where we circumnavigated the island on a 60-foot catamaran. To say it was an adventure would be an understatement. Check out all the highlights and details below! 

My morning run in Menorca typically trailed off at a swimming hole near our house, above, or with a dip into the balmy sea, below. Navigating the sharp and treacherous lava rock in bare feet was also a work out. Success, below! (My pink bikini is by Hunza G. I also have this standout by J.Crew in terry cloth!)

marlien rentmeester

The house's beautifully-accessorized outdoor sofa, above, hosted me daily for a siesta and/or a bowl of gazpacho (or three). I loved our rental's cool Ibiza-raw vibe, gorgeously decorated with earthenware and linens made by local artisans and Zara Home, including this, this and this.

The color of the water in Menorca is officially my new favorite color: a mix teal, turquoise, aquamarine and sapphire. In short, stunning. What's more, the locals accessorize this colorful sea with the most complimentary, eye-popping buoys.

Of course, we went to Isla del Rey to check out the recently-opened Hauser & Wirth, which comprises an airy exhibition space for contemporary art, an outdoor sculpture trail, an olive tree-filled garden designed by Piet Oudolf, and a delicious restaurant called Cantina, where we feasted on grilled fish, clams and pan con tomate. The dessert was also off the charts.

marlien rentmeester
One day we boated up the west side of the island to Platja de Son Bou, which is not only the longest beach in Menorca (3KM) but boasts the finest white sand (along with a clan of unrepentant nudists). I flouted the beach's dress code, above, in a one-piece is by Follow Suit. Necklaces by Adina Reyter, Maison Mayle and Lisa Statt.

After working up a giant appetite from hydro-foiling and swimming, we dug into humongous pans of paella, above, on the boat. Then we hit the tapas and fish market in the port town of Mahon after, where, I promise you, there's no such thing as choice paralysis. 

marlien rentmeester

Our dinners in Spain typically occurred around 9 or 10PM-- my bedtime in LA!- but somehow I was always up and primed to go! Above, I'm wearing lace-trimmed Soler London maxi, which brilliantly doubles as a beach cover-up. 

One night we hit Cova d'en Xoroi, a natural cave bar perched on a steep limestone mountain cliff, one hundred feet above the ocean. I recommend making a reservation for the sunset sitting to avoid the long line to get in. It's pricey but you get a million money shots in return! 

marlien rentmeester

On our way into the cave to get said money shots in a Marysia skirt and a cropped, hand-beaded Doen knit tank. My friend Alessandra is wearing a cute Matin Studio mini (on sale!) and Amanu sandals.

Once we had our fair share of cave-spelunking, we moved on to Mallorca and a Lagoon Catamaran that slept all seven of us, plus the captain and crew. It was a spectacular way to see the island and temper the sweltering heatwave. (P.S. The white button-down shirt, pictured, was a savior on the trip--a buffer against the sun plus a stylish cover-up! A must for all future holidays!)  The first night on the island took us to Cap Rocat Hotel, a masterfully renovated ancient military fortress with secret watchtowers and canon embrasures transformed into rooms and an epic seaside restaurant carved into a rocky bay.

Our first boat stop: Gran Folies, a hip beach club and restaurant overlooking the pristine turquoise waters of Cala Llamp near Port Andratx. I seriously never tasted a better gazpacho, and the avocado and tomato salad is beyond delicious.

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Nautical stripes are always stylishly in line. Mine are from H&M, but these by Rebecca Taylor, Lisa Marie Fernandez, and Ulla Johnson also work on a tender and then some.

No Mallorca trip is complete without lunch and a dip at Cala Deia.

marlien rentmeester

It should come as no surprise that I packed more swimsuits than underwear! My favorites on the trip: the Follow Suit (also here) above, this statement Valentino (that I also wore with a midi skirt and denim shorts), this striking Maaji bikini and this mismatched Hunza G.

Dresses that made the cut into my carry-on had to meet a wide range of criteria: day to night ease, comfortable and lightweight, and pretty AF. Some of the winners: this sheer crochet Doen, this Charlie Holiday, this Zimmermann, this Amur and this floral Reformation. Full disclosure: I also brought along a roomy Rothy's weekender bag that not only helped me circumvent the "one-carry-on and-personal-item" rule but accommodated nearly another suitcase-worth of swimsuits, plus scored multiple compliments

Topping my list of favorite spots was Sa Calobra, above. I actually never even stepped foot on the remote cliff-flanked beach called Torrent de Pareis or the surrounding hiking trails (shame!). The lustrous U-shaped cove was bewitching enough with its underwater caves, clear turquoise waters, and soaring-mountain backdrop. Heaven on earth, truly.

Thought I'd end this post in the way all my days ended in the beautiful Balearics: with a breathtaking, ball-on-fire sunset!

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