I’ve just arrived back at my desk from an amazing October staycation in Ibiza. At the end of every season, I always try to take a little time off to enjoy the island while the sun is still shining and all the best places remain open. To experience Ibiza like a holidaymaker rather than a resident is something I highly recommend to anyone who lives here. Leave your responsibilities at home – even if it’s just for two days – and ask your best pals to feed the cat while you switch off your phone, iPad, laptop and any form of access to social media and just get out there and enjoy our island. Although I must admit, when it rained for the majority of my pre-planned getaway in the north of the island, it wasn’t so easy to just ‘get out there’. Anything that would normally be open closed up shop early due to lack of customers (and excess water!) and things you might normally enjoy, such as beaches, walking trails or sunsets, become quite a chore when you’re sodden. While most readers of my blog know I love to wax lyrical about Ibiza in the rain, when I was put into the position of tourist on a rainy day this week, it felt like the shoe was on the other foot for a change. The one that stepped in a puddle.
But rather than let the rain put a dampener (sorry!) on my little escape, I simply chose to embrace it. So what if we weren’t watching sunsets or picking wildflowers in the countryside? After a long summer of working hard, playing harder and entertaining friends and family, perhaps the universe was trying to tell me it was time to cocoon (and I don’t mean Sven Väth style). And so I retreated into the cosy walls of my home-away-from-home for the holiday, The Giri Residence in San Juan, wrapped myself up in the white waffle robe and settled in. Oh – did I mention they have Netflix? I know, I know. Everyone has Netflix. You all have Netflix. My friends all have Netflix. My mum even has Netflix. My uncle’s cousin’s brother’s sister’s best friend’s dog has Netflix. But somehow (I don’t know, maybe I was busy enjoying Ibiza life or perhaps I was glued to my computer writing blogs and magazines and sleeping in between, whatever) Netflix kind of passed me by in the last couple of years. I DON’T HAVE NETFLIX. So the novelty of having ALL THE TV AND MOVIES IN THE WORLD at my fingertips suddenly made me pray for even more rain.
So where was I? Right, I had checked into The Giri Residence, wrapped myself up in the waffle robe, angled the TV out from the wall for the perfect viewing position and sunk back into the bed ready to catch up on all the TV and movies in the world and the next thing you know… it was 9pm! That big, plush comfy bed and those plump-yet-firm pillows and that super warm duvet were like a lullaby to me. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and slept harder than I’d slept all season. I may have even drooled a little on the crisp Egyptian cotton pillowcases (sorry housekeeping!) so deep was my sleep. There are some people who can’t bear to miss any waking hours of their holidays. You know, the ones who need to be up at the breakfast buffet the minute it opens and out the door to make the most of the daylight hours, then stay out until the last possible minute at night before doing it all over again. These people are doers. I am not a doer. So for me, having an unbroken six-hour siesta was my very definition of holiday heaven. And I still hadn’t even gone beyond the Netflix menu screen yet.
As the weather was still pretty grim (to the joy of my inner non-doer) when I looked outside (and boy is it cold up north already!), I opted to dine in the hotel’s in-house restaurant – which is basically a private chef who is on call to whip up almost anything you can dream of. I’d been thinking of Thai curry earlier that day (there’s a Thai restaurant in neighbouring Cala San Vicente I’d been hoping to try, but you know, rain) but when I found out I wouldn’t even need to de-robe to eat my dream dinner, well… it was obvious I was going to stay in for the night. “Would you like us to set a table in the dining room for you Miss W?” the lovely team enquired when I placed my order. Errr… actually, I’d prefer to eat from the comfort of my bed. Would that be a problem? Turns out, nothing is a problem at The Giri Residence and not only did they bring my meal to my room, they even lit the fireplace in my bedroom to make it even more cosy! After devouring an amazing homemade Penang curry while tucked into my bed, it was straight back to snoozetown for me. I swear, in the first 24 hours of my holiday, I slept for around 18 of them. After a serious 12-hour sleep session, I finally managed to get around to watching some TV (don’t worry, I won’t bore you with the details but how cool is Jessica Jones?), took a soak in the ridiculously deep spa-like tub (from which you can see the TV!) and contemplated actually getting out there in the world. The rain had stopped, some birds were tweeting and I did feel a little obliged to explore at least once – plus, that would mean housekeeping could plump up my pillows and build me a new fire!
Driving the mammoth distance of 14 minutes, I arrived at Los Enamorados – Ibiza’s newest boutique hotel, restaurant, bar and boutique (pictured above) in Portinatx, literally the end of the earth on this island – and fell in love at first sight. It was like stepping back in time to the 70s (my favourite era), all carpets and indoor plants and coloured glass and glossy green tiles and mismatched wicker furniture and coffee table books and macramé and candles and kitsch decor – oh my! And that view – wow. Perched straight over the sea, with the magical sunset unfolding before you very eyes, delicious cocktails and ceviche to die for. Wow. Worth getting out of bed for, that’s for sure (as long as it’s not raining). But Netflix and that amazing bed was calling, so by 8pm I was already asleep again before the urge to eat took me next door to The Giri Café (yes, I did get out of the robe for the occasion) for dinner, before retiring to that magical, cosy, wonderful amazing suite for the night. And – to cut what could potentially become a very long, boring and repetitive story short – so went the rest of my staycation. There wasn’t anymore sightseeing. There wasn’t any sunbathing. There were no massages or treatments. No hikes or sunsets. No socialising. No wild nights out. It wasn’t quite the staycation I’d been expecting, but it was a staycation that was the most relaxing experience I’ve had in years. So thank you universe (and The Giri Residence!), for turning on the waterworks. I couldn’t have enjoyed Ibiza any more!