As readers of my blog would know by now, I live within the beautiful ancient fortress walls of Dalt Vila. And I love it. But I have to admit, there is one thing that my esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site address is missing… and it’s something I can’t live without.
A swimming pool! But of course, I’m not planning on moving… err, EVER… so over the years I have learned to compromise! Sure, I know the beach is great, the beach is close by and Ibiza’s beaches are among the best in the world, but let’s face it – some days you just don’t want to get sand in your shoes (and the rest!). Surprisingly, there are very few swimming pools in Ibiza that are open to the general public (with the exception of the child-filled, over-chlorinated public pools that I wouldn’t dare dip my toe in!)… but there is one, that is considered an islander’s best kept secret, an oasis in the middle of the countryside that I make a point of visiting as often as I can.
Ladies and gentlemen, without any further ado, I give you… Agroturismo Atzaro!
What? I hear you think. Isn’t that just for hotel guests? No my friends, Atzaro is for everyone! All you have to do is ask*… (click here to request time at the Atzaro pool through White Ibiza) And the best part is, it’s not just one pool you get to use, it’s TWO!
I love Atzaro. To me, it is pure and simple Ibiza magic. As I start driving up the dusty camino that leads towards the hotel, I feel as if I am on holiday. And sometimes, despite what people think, here in Ibiza, we need a holiday from our daily lives!
So it was a sunny Ibiza Saturday when chief White and myself (plus little miss mini-White) decided we were definitely in need of some sun, a good healthy meal and all-round relaxation, so we made ourselves a booking and made haste to San Juan! We could even use the excuse that we were there for research, checking out the location of our upcoming fashion show on July 23!
First stop: Atzaro Spa, where we collected our towels and locker keys and grabbed ourselves the premium spot on the oversized cushions at the end of the pool (well, it’s my favourite of all the day beds, anyway – you can choose your own!). From here, you get a birds eye view straight across the beautiful, glimmering lap pool, finishing with the blaze of bougainvillea that covers the hotel walls. Not a bad place to set up camp for the day, especially once I had a strawberry daiquiri in my hand!
After a quick dip to cool off (high summer is well and truly here now), we basked in the sunlight for an hour or so before our tummies (and our little person) reminded us there was a restaurant awaiting our arrival, so it was off to La Veranda – which now has a much-appreciated cover over the terrace for those who (like us) love an alfresco experience.
Our starters arrived first, a pretty little jar of beetroot gazpacho, a millet and red pepper salad plus a smoked tofu dip with homemade bread – having walked past the Atzaro vegetable gardens just a few moments before, we knew the ingredients were as fresh as they could possibly be, having been plucked from the earth that very morning!
For the main meal, a melt-in-your-mouth ravioli of artichoke and ricotta, with fresh rocket and a coconut brown rice risotto with fresh boletus mushrooms. We were served beautiful flavoured water, with cucumber, strawberry and mint but since it was a Saturday and all… we ordered a lovely bottle of icy cold rose to wash down our meals.
Just for the record, our mini-me tucked into the kid’s menu special penne Napolitana and gave it her mini tick of approval. With a chocolate shake, which, by the sounds of the slurps coming from our little companion, was pretty tasty indeed.
Dessert was a delicious mango mousse, with a side of fresh berries and by this stage I was feeling a serious need for a lie down. Lucky we were just metres from the hotel swimming pool… where we took the closest three sun loungers and proceeded to drift off in the warm late afternoon sunshine (after a hefty application of sunscreen of course).
I cannot tell you enough how much I love this pool. It instantly transports you to that holiday feeling, an escape from reality and has an instantly calming effect on me. Surrounded by beautiful palm trees, with the sounds of frogs in the lily pond, sheep in the field and Balearic music playing on the cabana bar stereo… there’s just something about it that you can’t get anywhere else. Not even Dalt Vila.