When we heard supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – who spends a whopping £30,000 a year on her body treatments – was singing the praises of an Ibiza masseur for his signature deep tissue massage, we had to do a little super sleuthing to find out more! All roads led us to Ocean Beach Ibiza, where expert Ibiza massage therapist Ashley Fernando – the man responsible for releasing Rosie’s knots – leads up the Ocean Beach Massage team, set in a cute little hut onsite at the famous beach club, but also available for hotel and villa visits on request.
“It was originally my mum who got me into massage therapy,” says Ashley, when asked about his route into the profession. “She had some chronic pains in her back and had a little knowledge about pressure points, and when I was about 21, she’d get me to help her apply pressure and help with massaging her. She encouraged me to do a course – she thought I had a natural ability – and so even though I wasn’t quite sure about it myself, I did a professional massage course and a holistic massage course… then the path I was on, it seemed like everyone needed a massage, so it grew from there.”
After traveling around Australia and Thailand on his own, in 2011, the desire to move to Ibiza struck Ashley, who drive here on his own from his hometown of London prepared to give it a try. “I’d been to Ibiza a few times on holidays,” he says. “Not just for the party side of things, but I also visited the north of the island and checked out the wellbeing scene, and I really loved it.”
With no previous experience here on the island or any contacts in the local industry, Ashley built up his reputation the best way he knew how – by giving out over 1000 free massages. Of course, good karma ultimately rewarded him, when his talents were recognised (and he was head hunted!) by Ocean Beach Ibiza, where he spends the long summer days soothing sore muscles and reviving tired party people.
“It’s a really interesting environment,” says Ashley. “The biggest difference here, compared to when I practice in London, is that no one is going to work a nine to five job, there’s no negative energy being carried around and everyone I treat is really happy and smiley! There are a lot of nice people to talk to, the beats in the background give me a nice flow while I’m massaging and I feel like I give, and get, a lot of love and respect from what I do.”
Ashley’s extensive experience means he has designed a treatment menu to suit all styles, from holistic and Swedish massage to Anti-Stress, sports massage and his signature deep tissue for tired muscles, to Heated Bamboo Massage, Cold Stone Therapy (with glacial cold lava shells) perfect for steamy summer days, cupping, aesthetic body wraps and more. “Everyone loves my deep tissue massage,” he says, when asked the most popular treatment. “I give the strongest, most thorough treatment – if there are any niggling knots, I can get them out! A lot of my clients book back in with me every time they come to Ibiza, and I have regular clients on the island too.”
“I’m really passionate about my job,” says the always-smiling therapist, who has also recently introduced regular yoga sessions to Ocean Beach Ibiza and is planning the very first Ocean Beach Ibiza retreat for 2015. “After that, I’ll travel and brush up on new techniques and learn new styles of massage and bring them back here for next season.”