Ibiza's first hotel gets bohemian refresh from Dorothée Meilichzon
The 1930s Montesol hotel in Ibiza has reopened following a full overhaul of its 30 bedrooms and three suites by Dorothée Meilichzon of French interior design studio Chzon.
Set in the old town of Eivissa, the newly renamed Montesol Experimental has been undergoing a multi-stage renovation since 2021, when it was bought by the Experimental hospitality group.
Meilichzon was responsible for overseeing the whole project, starting two years ago with the Sabbaba restaurant and rooftop bar before finally turning to the rooms. Her aim was to infuse "a bohemian overtone throughout the interior", drawing on the hotel's rich history.
Built nearly a century ago in 1933, the neo-colonial Montesol is widely considered Ibiza's first hotel, and between the 50s and 80s was known for hosting a roster of hippies, celebrities and royals including the members of rock band Pink Floyd and legendary director and actor Orson Welles.
Meilichzon was keen to tap into this bohemian past, layering up an array of fabrics, patterns, fringes and pompoms, used against light woods and textured plaster walls.
"The hotel is a pool of colour to reflect the joy and open-mindedness of Ibiza," she told Dezeen.
Warm yellow hues nod to the building's iconic yellow-and-white exterior, juxtaposed with a variety of green and blue tones that bring in the colours of the Mediterranean sea.
"Solar colours have been adopted in common areas and lunar colours in rooms," she said. "Listening to Ayurvedic principles, we used cooling, calming colours inside the hotel to counterbalance the heat outside."
Tiling, too, brings a cooling element, used in both the rooms and the public spaces.
"Tiles are an important feature in this hotel," Meilichzon explained. "And we have used traditional zelliges to wrap the niches of the mini-bars in a palette of orange, brown and off-white."
A hand-made theme threads through the building, as seen in the many shell-patterned walls that were created by pressing individual seashells into fresh lime plaster.
Arched forms – from room openings to bathroom mirrors to statement headboard – reference the grandeur of the hotel's exterior but in a more relaxed and low-key way.
Circles are another recurring silhouette, found across rugs, arworks and chair backs.
"I enjoyed shaping a lot of curvy, wavy lines around the hotel to add softness to the design," Meilichzon said. "Nothing is sharp in Ibiza, it is a very smooth atmosphere."
The circle idea is continued through the use of celestial motifs, with brass suns and iron moons scattered across the hotel calling to mind the sunny days and celebrated nightlife of the island as well as its more spiritual side.
The bedrooms have a playful feel, with chunky Playdough Stools by Diego Faivre, hand-made masks by Mallorcan artist Anna-Alexandra and wardrobe doors informed by jigsaw puzzles.
"These unique and whimsical pieces bring a lot of character to the rooms," Meilichzon said.
Since founding her hospitality design studio Chzon in 2009, the designer has created a number of interiors for Experimental Group including outposts in London and Menorca alongside the Hotel Il Palazzo Experimental in Venice.
More recently, Meilichzon was also responsible for overhauling a departure lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport, incorporating her hallmark arches alongside fountains referencing iconic Parisian monuments.
The photography is by Karel Balas.