Miss W’s blog: Winter rituals – Staycations
Let me let you in on a local’s little secret. When we get the chance to spend a weekend away from home, we’re not always lured by the bright lights of the big city, or the snow-topped mountains of a ski resort. We’ve got everything we need for the perfect mini-break right here on our little Balearic island – so instead of going through the time-consuming process of booking flights, checking in, boarding and waiting for our luggage at the other end, there are times when we prefer to plan our very own ‘staycations’ here in Ibiza.
I do love a staycation. Whether it’s holed up in my own apartment or indulging in a room at a luxurious Ibiza hotel, there’s nothing better than two days off (or more) in paradise where you know all the best places to eat, shop, drink and dance. But since my apartment isn’t really big enough to invite you all here for a long weekend (and my elderly kitty doesn’t take too kindly to strangers), I’ll stick to the luxury side of things for the purpose of this blog.
If you’re a bit sceptical about booking into the island for a full week in winter – despite me gushing at every chance I get about just how amazing it is – a long weekend is the perfect way to dip your toes into the winter scene and live like a local (well, like a local on ‘staycation’). While many of the big hotels have gone into winter hibernation, there are still a few of the best that remain open all year round, and the first step is to choose your favourite and book yourself in.
My personal favourite is Agroturismo Atzaró (pictured top). I have spent many a staycation in their beautiful Ibiza-meets-Bali paradise, and I feel at home from the minute I park the car and stroll into reception. Set in the north of the island, it’s just about as far away from Ibiza town (where I live) as you can get, which is why I instantly feel on holiday. Surrounded by orange groves, boasting a wonderful restaurant and relaxing spa, plus plenty of sun-drenched chill out nooks to siesta in, it’s possible to check in here on Friday night and not leave the complex at all until you check out. If you’re a resident, be sure to check out the ‘romantic packs’ available, including a massage, dinner for two, bottle of cava and more for a great price.
Another fab place to call home for a weekend is Can Lluc (pictured above). Nestled in the heart of the island, just outside of San Rafael – and totally surrounded by thick pine forest, plus ancient almond and olive trees – the beautiful boutique hotel is the epitome of tranquility, with warm, welcoming, family-style hospitality. You can choose between a traditional Ibicenco-styled room in the main house, or opt for a modern ‘villa’, adjacent to the hotel. There are plenty of walking and cycling trails around the hotel and there’s a gym, hot tub and Finnish sauna to soothe sore muscles afterwards. One of Can Lluc’s most hidden treasures however, is the hotel’s in-house restaurant. Set in a separate building, you get the feeling of going out to a posh dinner, without even having to leave your house! And the food is a showcase of the very best local produce – much of it is grown onsite. Can Lluc also put together great packages for residents on staycation, so be sure to ask before you book if you live here on the island.
Just around the corner, in a neighbouring valley, is another little Ibiza gem, one that is much-loved by some of the world’s biggest celebrities – but you’ll never hear the owners bragging about this, thanks to a valued sense of discretion. Needless to say, this is unparalleled luxury – Cas Gasi (above) is a true home away from home where your every last desire is catered to. With a gorgeous spa, an open air yoga deck, a movie room and wonderful in-house restaurant (open to guests only), it is ultra private, super relaxed and oh-so-stylish. Another place where it’s easy to while away all your holiday hours on hotel grounds.
If you’re the opposite to me and want to stay close to the city action, both El Hotel Pacha and Hotel Ocean Drive remain open through the winter months, and are situated in the perfect spot between the buzzing marina area and in walking distance to Ibiza town and the beach of Talamanca. Modern, sleek and stylish, they are both an urbanista’s dream come true. Not to mention an easy walk home from a night out at Pacha!
Once you have your accommodation sorted, all you need to do is plan your itinerary and the best way to do that is by signing up to receive the White Ibiza newsletter of course! (apologies for the shameless self promotion – but it does make sense, I promise). So, following are my top tips for a weekend of living la vida local…
Wake up early on Saturday morning, enjoy breakfast at Passion in Marina Ibiza before hitting the San Jordi flea market, followed by a luxe lunch at La Escollera in Es Cavallet, just around the corner. A little siesta – or perhaps a massage – back at the hotel is in order next, before a late dinner of gastronomic tapas at Sa Brisa in Ibiza town. Then it’s time to hit the Marina area for drinks before dancing til dawn at Pacha. On Sunday morning, the sleep-in is obligatory, then head over to the island’s west side for the awesome Bloody Mary Sunday Brunch at Cotton Beach Club – an ultra late brunch with all the trimmings and live jazz, from midday until around 5pm. If you finish ‘brunch’ early enough, there are some great hikes in the area, and sunset is simply sublime. Then Sunday night, dinner is best enjoyed back at the hotel – whether you prefer in the in-hotel restaurant or room service is up to you – before sinking into your plush hotel bed for the last time and heading back to reality…