Once upon a time, a family by the name of Guasch lived in a typical Ibiza finca set on acres and acres of beautiful, thriving farmland and orange groves in San Lorenzo, in the island’s north. Over time, the family grew, and with each new arrival – and as is the Ibicenco tradition – the farmhouse was extended to accommodate the ever-expanding brood. Five generations of Guasch family occupied the finca (most of them were even born in the house) over the years, witnessing the evolution of Ibiza from a quiet Mediterranean island into a hippie paradise, followed by the cosmopolitan holiday destination it has become today.
Little would the original Guasches have known, that their much-loved finca would go on to become one of the most iconic buildings in Ibiza and that their family legacy would be talked about all over the world, with people flying in from all corners of the globe to visit the place where their ancestors had lovingly tended the groves. Fats forward to 2004 and farm life was no longer a daily reality – most of the current generation of Guasch children had gone on to successful careers in the construction, design or property industries – and the finca that had been such an important part of their family was ready for a new lease of life.
At that time, Victor Guasch spotted a gap in the market for luxurious holidays that promoted the rustic authenticity of the island he was born and bred on. His idea to transform the finca into a five-star Agroturismo hotel, with beautiful gardens, high-end restaurants and a heavenly spa was brilliant, and perfectly timed – fast forward 15 years and Agroturismo Atzaró – the new incarnation of the Guasch family finca – is one of the island’s leading resorts. Having expanded exponentially since the early years, the hotel is now just one arm of the Atzaró Group, which also includes a bohemian beachside restaurant and chiringuito, Atzaró Beach, a healthy farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of the island, Aubergine Ibiza, a luxury events production agency, and even an incredible authentic Phinisi yacht in Indonesia, the Prana by Atzaró.
This week, the hotel that started it all celebrated its 15th anniversary, with a glamorous party and catwalk show held on the grounds at sunset and into the night. On an island like Ibiza, where businesses and people come and go so quickly, an accomplishment like this is something that truly deserves to be celebrated and the who’s who of Ibiza, along with the UK fash-pack (and me!) set came together beneath the stars to do just that. The opening of Atzaró was just one year before my time in Ibiza, and since then I’ve been to many a glamorous ‘do on the grounds but there was something about this particular night that felt a bit like stepping back in time…
Perhaps it was because absolutely anyone and everyone you’d ever met in Ibiza over the last 15 years (a little less if you’re me – just jumping on the bandwagon) and there was a real feeling of nostalgia on the steps leading down from the main chill-out area, La Verandaand The Orange Tree restaurant as people caught up, mingled, and introduced their partners and offspring to those they may not have seen in many years. It felt a little bit like all the tribes of Ibiza had come out to play – north, south, east, west, the townies and the Santa G-eezers all came to pay their respect to what has become such an iconic Ibiza brand.
After drinks at the bar, some snacks from the food stalls, and a wander around the photography exhibition of the Prana by Atzaró yacht (no prizes for guessing where all of the island’s gypset will be headed on their winter vacations this year), we took our pre-allocated seats (FROW-ing! Thanks Atzaró!) for the highlight of the night, the catwalk show. Over the past decade, Atzaró really has become known as the home of fashion in Ibiza, hosting some of the biggest catwalk events and style launches the island has ever seen. For its 15th anniversary, the brand pulled out all the stops, with 10 designers – most from Ibiza and a few special guests – invited to present their collections on the gorgeous poolside runway.
When it comes to Ibiza fashion, it doesn’t get any better (in my opinion, for what it’s worth) than World Family Ibiza. I had the honour, the privilege and indeed, the joy to interview the brand’s founder and matriarch Merel for Issue 4 of WHITE Ibiza Magazine(go get it! Click here to order it now and read all about her amazing life!) and let me tell you, I am now a World Family fangirl for life. Anyway, I digress – it was World Family Ibiza who opened the show and as songs about love floated over the airwaves, a lookalike John and Yoko walked down the runway as if it were the most normal thing on earth. Afterwards, a bevy of beauties in the most incredible bohemian ensembles started to strut their stuff, with the entire World Family clan – all the children, the grandchildren and even Merel’s 80 mother, who was being spun around in joyously circles in her streamer-clad wheelchair… honestly, I’m starting to tear up now at the memory. It was such an emotional parade to watch…
The show went on for about 90 minutes – it was like a non-stop fash-athon – with other iconic island names like Victoria and her La Galeria Elefante brand and label of the moment (and all the models’ fave) De La Vali, plus UK ‘it’ label Rixo London, Isabel Moore and Yasmine Eslami. Then show progressively went from flowy boho to beachy, then sexy, sassy and sultry, with lots of 80s-inspired metallic pieces making me wonder if I DO actually want to go our clubbing this season after all… Fortunately after the show, each of the designers had a pop-up boutique in the fashion market for all the girls in the audience who had the exact same thought as me!
As much as the show was wonderful, I have to say, in the end I preferred the sport of crowd watching – there were just so many interesting people in attendance! Of course, there was a gaggle of socialites you’ll probably know from the UK papers (but I didn’t because I live here in my press-less bubble), there were some actresses, some singers, there were hair and make-up artists galore, and there were all the key business owners from Ibiza, along with all the well-known multi-generational Ibiza families, which of course, includes the Guasch family. What an incredible legacy, and what an amazing achievement. Happy birthday Atzaró – here’s to the next 15 years!