It’s not everywhere we go that we’re invited to close our eyes, take a minute to gather our thoughts and set an intention for the rest of the day. And it certainly has never happened to us upon checking into a hotel – that’s until recently, when we paid our first (but not last; that much we can tell you already) visit to the Six Senses Ibiza, the Balearics’ most exciting new opening in years and one of those rare resorts that understand people don’t merely travel to see someplace that isn’t home, but also to look inwards. That said, its holistic undertones don’t cancel out a breath of hedonism that makes life on the White Isle so worth living.
Perhaps it was the sage-infused intention setting ceremony at welcome, or the unexpected rays of sun breaking through a day of thick cloud cover in the late afternoon, but our stay at the Six Senses Ibiza seemed blessed from the moment we walked up to the resort’s front entrance. The tiles below our feet, some terracotta, others white or teal-coloured, were sourced and up-cycled from a small-scale hotel that once stood in this very spot: a location as privileged as they come in Ibiza, offering expansive views over Cala Xarraca, near the village of Portinax and the spiritual epicentre of the island. But the tiles aren’t the most impressive remnant from the region’s past. That title goes to a cat called Mimi, who roamed the Six Senses during construction and has laid claim to its communal areas. ‘She just never left’, explained the hotel’s sustainability manager, ‘so we built the hotel around Mimi. You can’t argue with cats’.
Accommodating space for local wildlife (yes, that’s how we’ll put it) is only one of the resorts’ many conscious credentials. For one, the Six Senses Ibiza is the first and only BREEAM-certified place to stay in the Balearics. Its smart architecture by Jonathan Leitersdorf combined with high-tech features from solar panels to a retractable glass roof in the lobby and main restaurant reduce energy consumption. Meanwhile, soil from the hotel’s 20-acre grounds has been resourcefully baked into its buildings to help them blend into their natural setting. And on a smaller (and spikier) scale, the Six Senses also supports local hedgehog sanctuary Can Hog, a lifeline for Ibiza’s dwindling hedgehog population. Welcome as those endeavours towards greater sustainability are, there’s more here to get the heart racing.
Our Sea View Premium Junior Suite, for instance, was nothing short of a show-stopper. An ecru-coloured space with caramel amenities that appear to have an Ibiza weekender tan, the suite featured contemporary art, natural fabrics throughout and a general air of generosity, brought about by large surfaces, uninterrupted lines and an open space that extended all the way through our private rooftop garden terrace overlooking Xarraca Bay. We appreciated how every piece of furniture and detail seemed to have been custom-made for the space; from a wooden cabinet home to a minibar in which every glass had its own, designated and perfectly sized spot (curiously satisfying!), to a desk that was just the right size to get some work done… but not too much.
Of the 116 villas, suites and residences to choose from at the Six Senses Ibiza, the resort’s beachfront caves are perhaps the most remarkable accommodation option, putting guests right below the main pool and steps away from the boho-chic Beach Caves Bar & Restaurant, as well as the hotel’s night club and recording studio. We’d like to think of this as a nod to Ibiza’s ‘del Mar’ culture, allowing you to smell the salt of the sea with every breeze wafting in from the bay. But far from merely being ‘chilled-out’, this part of the Six Senses is in fact representative of the property’s 360-degree take on wellness: relaxation isn’t reserved for the spa here, it’s built into every aspect of your stay.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
A trip to the Six Senses’ Experience Den is a must. The friendly staff here will get you up to date with all the happenings around the resort. We signed up for a leisurely e-bike tour to Ibiza’s northernmost tip and sat down for a talk by star photographer Jimmy Nelson. If you’re in luck, they’ll also be hosting eco-activities like beach clean-ups or planting trees during your stay. Every helping hand is welcome!
For us, this meant unwinding in our rolltop bathtub (in a bathroom, mind you, that took up half the indoor space of our suite) or enjoying a moment of calm during intimate sunset ceremonies with an in-house shaman, sanctifying us with a few whiffs of Palo Santo in the golden glow – or maybe they were trying to exorcise our inner demons. Either way, you can always sweat the remainder of these out in the resort’s subterranean spa, a space so soothing on the eyes, you’d half expect to bump into Gwyneth Paltrow measuring out the hammam room to check whether she can replicate it in her Montecito monastery. Despite there being a RoseBar longevity lounge, a steam room, a sauna, hydro-therapy and a number of massage rooms (our kneading session was quite simply divine), the spa is fairly small and will inevitably be busy when the Six Senses is booked out. But, as we said, there are restorative wellness experiences to be had across the hotel.
Perhaps that’s also why the staff look noticeably healthy. We’ve found service to be not only attentive, but furthermore aimed at offering ultimate personalisation. This was especially true during dinner at The Farmers’ Market, when we’d ask for off-menu vegan dishes while browsing a selection of garnishes to have with our sparkling water (it’s that combination of lime and mint for us). As with other Six Senses hotels, the gastronomic offering is geared towards health and wellbeing, helping guests feel and look their best on vacation. To some, the menus curated by Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani might be transformative, while relative health nuts like ourselves will simply cherish every last bite. As herbivores, we often find ourselves disappointed by the unoriginal, plant-based afterthoughts served at other hotels: much to our delight, the Six Senses Ibiza knows exactly how to grill a peach, mash a Jerusalem artichoke, and create vegan options that are not just nutritious, but exciting, too.
This arguably goes for the entire resort. The whole property is ‘nutritious’ in the way it invites guests to partake in wholesome activities like natural cosmetics-making workshops or walking tours that can help free up head space and offer a chance to learn, reflect and be inspired. But the hotel doesn’t constitute some low-fat diet version of Ibiza. Our stay here was packed with rich flavour each time we sat down for a social dining experience at HaSalon, where ‘the beautiful people’ and international tastemakers rub shoulders with local ‘hippie-rati’ on a quest to find the White Isle’s latest place to party. For a resort so new, we found it astounding how eclectic of a scene there is already. It’s indicative of just how much demand there was on the island for a property like the Six Senses. With its arrival, Ibiza veterans will doubtlessly return to the isle, to find something as fun as ever, but all grown up.