Interview: Nikki Porteus, Spa Manager, Es Vive

Hotel Es Vive Spa - Nikki Porteus, spa manager

Photography by Ana Lui

Make your way past the famous pool, up the iconic stairs, past reception, bypassing the Experience Bar and walk to the end of the corridor at Hotel Es Vive. Behind the magic door lies a blissful spa space, complete with steam room, Jacuzzi, relaxation lounges and above all, a stylish treatment room, where you are in the very best of hands, quite literally, belonging to expert spa manager Nikki Porteus. The warm and friendly British beauty therapist first came to Ibiza on holidays over ten years ago, but moved here permanently in 2008 to run the spa, which – in great news for island residents – now remains open throughout winter, with a new seasonal price list.

How did you get into beauty therapy?
I did work experience in a spa, and I just loved the ambience of being there and enjoyed chatting to clients. Then I studied BTEC Advanced management beauty therapy – which also includes business and finance, anatomy and physiology plus diet and nutrition – and I’ve been working in the industry ever since, including spas in London, Manchester, Blackpool, Australia… and now Ibiza!

Is there much of a difference in working in a hotel spa to a city spa?
People are on holiday here, so they’re much more chilled, rather than the stressed clients you see in city spas. But in a hotel you don’t get regular weekly clients, or get to know their skin types and favourite treatments, though I am seeing clients return year after year. Hopefully this winter will give locals a chance to experience the spa and stay regulars in summer.

Why do you think the wellness scene is expanding so rapidly in Ibiza?
It can be so full on and full of partying in Ibiza, that it’s nice to have an alternative. Obviously Es Vive is very much a party hotel, but we have guests who get all their partying out of the way on the weekend, then book in with me on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to have a completely chilled out experience for the rest of the week. It’s nice that there is this area to escape from the pool, the DJs and the cocktails – somewhere you can just relax and rehydrate and then float out the door after a treatment…

What’s the most popular treatment at Es Vive?
Definitely massages. It’s amazing how many guys have never had treatments before and they’ll say, ‘She’s made me have a massage,’ then afterwards they say they’ll do it again! I also do a lot of manicures for girls who’ve forgotten their nail colour or chipped their polish and relaxing facials too.

What’s your specialty treatment?
I like facials because you can really help people with their individual skin concerns. It’s amazing how many people get to their 20s, 30s and 40s and don’t know how to look after their skin and it’s nice to be able to educate them, not making out it’s a huge routine that takes two hours a day. It can be done quickly in the shower as part of your daily routine. It’s really amazing when people have had an exfoliation and a decent mask – we use Bel Natur products – how their skin looks so radiant and they’re completely chilled because they’ve been laying on the couch for an hour!

What’s your own skincare regime?
I stick to what I tell my clients, though I use Dermalogica products at home. I cleanse, tone, moisturise and use an eye gel every day, exfoliate my face and body quickly in the shower once a week, plus a mask once a month – though I do have beauty nights at home with my husband for that!

Hotel Es Vive Spa - Nikki Porteus, spa manager

Photography by Ana Lui