It took me five trips to Ibiza before visiting my first nightclub there. It’s a fact that surprises those who consider the Balearic Island a stopover for nightlife and hedonism rather than a destination for world-class gastronomy and paradisal chill.
I first arrived in Ibiza to explore the slower side of the island. In the midland towns surrounding Santa Gertrudis, a growing agriturismo industry has ushered in a farm-to-table movement built upon locally sourced ingredients and seasonal harvests. Cas Gasi, a farmstead finca-turned-boutique hotel, has become synonymous with the haute-hippie lifestyle of the island, combining a love for the pastoral with the picturesque. “There is this incredible creative energy change you experience straight away,” says owner Margaret con Korff. “Those who come, attracted by it, bring renewed lateral thinking and ideas that continue to nurture the creative foundation of the island.”
Cas Gasi is a hideaway in the heartland and home to a biodynamic restaurant highlighting the region’s best flavors: salt-cured anchovies soaked in homemade olive oil, brined manzanilla olives, and plated of freshly foraged garden greens. There, melodic birdsong replaces the persistent hum of EDM, and the air wafts with hints of almond and fig growing in nearby plots.
Ca Na Xica
Further north up the road is Ca Na Xica, a sprawling luxury resort blending old world charm with contemporary comforts. Ca Na Xica’s minimal, modern suites overlook the verdant fields of the Ibizan countryside—a restful retreat nestled between centuries-old olive trees. The main attraction is the saltwater swimming pool, a turquoise blue expanse designed to accentuate the property’s palatial architecture. Spacious day beds situated alongside the pool nod to vast stretches of the day spent soaking in the Spanish sun, chilled sangria in hand.
Walk, swim, or sail to Casa Jondal
Mealtimes are always the high point of the day. On an island where simple and savory foods reign supreme, the best meals are found by the beach. Since opening in 2020, Casa Jondal remains the island’s runaway hit, racking up a devoted list of diners securing reservations far before the spring and summer seasons start. Jondal’s space is elegant but understated, situated on a stretch of pristine beachfront; many guests dine barefoot and take a few laps in the sea between courses. The menu, envisioned by Spanish chef and owner Rafa Zafra, embraces a fresh approach over a fussy one, serving seafood hits like charred pulpo a la plancha, herbed mussels in a marinara bath, and caviar-capped boquerones paired to perfection with crisp white wines from France’s most lauded cellars.
As Ibiza’s tourism evolves, a wave of socially conscious, luxury hotels have opened their doors, catering to a well-heeled, wellness-focused traveler. Six Senses, located on the northern tip of the island, has become the destination for the jet-set, offering an amenity list to meet the demands of the most discerning traveler: sophisticated spaces for socializing or seclusion, a state-of-the-art spa, and, as of last summer, a robust nightlife venue focused on art, music, and live performances. Recognizing a gap in bridging culture and programming, Six Senses tapped hospitality maverick Ben Pundole to envision Beach Caves, a “hotel within a hotel” concept spanning six expansive oceanfront suites, a restaurant, bar, dining room, nightlife venue, and recording studio.
The Beach Caves is the first concept hotel of its kind, creating a dialogue between the local community and its international guests. “The objective was to create something that resonated as much with the local community as it did with visitors,” says Pundole, who has been visiting the island for decades on his own, after being exposed to its siren call as a youth on trips with his family. “I knew exactly who I wanted to work with on this project,” says Pundole, “My friends Diego Alonso and Alexeja Pozzoni, at locally based AD Studio, brought pure magic to the project. Working with local artisans, artists, galleries, and designers, they brought the spirit of Ibiza into the hotel. Together, we created a narrative that celebrates Ibiza’s community and culture.”
This reverence for community and culture is what Ibiza’s magic is all about. It’s easy to see how summer love can turn into a permanent move, swayed by a simple lifestyle scored by beauty, light, and the rhythmic sounds of Ibiza’s seasons.
What to Pack
Don’t overdo it. Pack these island-bound essentials and you’ll have everything you need.