Although her calm, warm and nurturing persona would have you think she’d been born into the spa, beauty and healing industries, it was actually a dramatic life change that saw Ruth Cardà – who hails from Barcelona, but is a long-term Ibiza resident – become interested in spa and alternative therapies around 10 years ago. For the past four of those years, she has been at the helm of the intimate Es Vive Spa, providing much needed balance and care to hotel guests and visitors alike.
How did you first get into spa therapies? I wasn’t always interested in things like this – I went through a difficult period personally with very bad health, and I had to make a change in myself. When I first saw a naturopath, he told me I needed to improve my lifestyle and my diet, and I decided to start practicing yoga. I started to wonder about all these types of things, I found that looking inside myself was a way to really grow and then I started to study therapies, as giving not just to yourself, but to others is so rewarding.
Tell us a little about your experience. I began with a one-year massage therapy course in the Canary Islands, 10 years ago while I was living there for a period, and that led onto studying reflexology and it continued from there, into treatments like Reiki and more energetic work. When I started working within the spa industry, I got trained in hot stone massage, Ayurveda and aromatherapy too. With the passage of time, I also studied beauty therapy while I was living in London, because to work in a spa all day you need to be versatile and offer all types of treatments.
What would you say is your specialty? Definitely massage. I’ve trained in many different types, including Thai massage when I was in Thailand, but what I like to do is a little more instinctive with each individual client and I work on the muscles I feel that need attention. It’s a deep massage, but in a slow rhythm, so the person can be completely relaxed on the table. Many people come back year after year for my massages, even if they aren’t staying in the hotel anymore.
Who are your clients at Es Vive Spa? They vary. I think many of the guests in the hotel are considered ‘party people’ and they love it here because it’s in the middle of town, we have DJs here and it’s close to all the action, but at the same time, these people want to take care of themselves too. They like to eat well when they are here, they look after their skin and bodies, they relax with massages… they’re not party people 24 hours a day!
So you must be an important part of the recovery process for some of them? [Laughs] A lot of time people say their biggest regret is that they didn’t try the spa earlier in their holiday. Sometimes they wait until the last day, and then wish they had time to have another treatment!
You spend so much time taking care of others – how do you take care of yourself? I think I am also very good to myself. I eat very well – I am not a strict vegetarian, but I don’t really eat meat or fish anymore and I have become much more healthy. I practice yoga three or four times a week, I use organic products on my skin… you know, when I first arrived to the island, I went out a lot more, but as time goes on, this happens less and less. I am a very good girl now!
What kind of products do you use in the treatments at Es Vive Spa? I like to use organic products as I think this is best for everyone. I use the award-winning Green People brand, which is made in the UK and very very high quality, giving great results. I also use OPI products for manicures and pedicures.
What do you think makes Es Vive Spa special? It’s not a huge spa, but it’s so completely private and I think these days, when everyone is so busy, it’s very important to take some time to yourself. We are in the middle of Ibiza town, but it’s like an oasis – you step inside and it’s silent and the space is reserved solely for you. You can relax in the Jacuzzi, be alone in the sauna and not have to worry about interacting with any other guests or clients. You can enjoy your treatments, then make the most of the terrace space in private, before going back to the outside world.