As the months get colder and the over indulgence of Christmas/winter leaves us sluggish we find our minds wondering and day dreaming of warmer climates, a little zen and a more holistic environment. Ibiza perhaps shouldn’t be a first choice, given it has historically built its reputation as the destination of choice for clubbers hell-bent on destruction. Yet, there is something in the allure of its white sandy beaches, shiny celebrity fincas and acres of fertile olive grove that has seen it ascend into becoming a modern haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for sunshine and well, yoga. Furthermore, the number of wellbeing retreats on offer have increased rapidly over the years.
Speaking of retreats, we thoroughly enjoyed one last year. It was founded by former city banker Elinor Evans, a convert to the transformational benefits of yoga and exercise in the search for mental and physical wellbeing but, who is also of the very sensible attitude that you can still have some fun and enjoy a night out or two. You can see why we bought into her brand of retreats – we’re big fans of balancing naughty with nice.
Her newly-launched Mind Body Retreat puts these worlds to the test. The minimalist white Ibizan villa where this takes place is set in acres of hundred-year-old fragrant pine, punctuated by colourful bursts of bougainvillea and hibiscus. By day, those who have come together as new friends on the retreat can socialise whilst enjoying meditation, sound meditation and twice-daily intensive yoga whilst replenishing lost nutrients with a fresh and surprisingly delicious and innovative vegan diet brought to you by Vegi Tales (we’re not vegan you see so that’s why we were surprised).
Our Yoga teacher was Sara Fakih, some of the attendees knew Sara from London and were particularly keen on her Buti Yoga classes. A new addition to our Yoga repertoire, we found Sara’s style fun and engaging set to a great soundtrack.
At our week retreat we also had a few scheduled excursions including a sunset hike to Es Vedra – possibly one of the main draws for us as well as a trip to the legendary local hippy market at Las Dalias. There was also a scheduled group dinner at the end of the week Sunset Ashram but be warned this is not included in the package.
Keen to add to our zen mindset we also made a trip to the local beach for a paddleboard session with Luke who like many others on the island left his corporate life behind and took to the White Isle. He set up his company only recently but Paddle Ibiza is going from strength to strength. Luke is a fun and honest guy who is a very good paddleboard buddy (especially if your plus one would rather sunbathe!)
The retreat felt balanced and it’s up to the individual to get what they need from it to some extent. I allowed myself the odd glass of champagne at the local beach, ice cream and cheetos (well, we were on holiday after all). The thing that appealed was that there wasn’t any judgement, each and every person had their own personal goal of what they wanted both physically and mentally so as long as you’re being true to that goal there’s no harm in a little treat. What we will say is the experience isn’t as luxurious as we expected. It’s very decent but that was the one thing we all thought was missing or perhaps was a little misleading.
We celebrated the end of our wholesome week with a very opulent lunch at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay in Talamanca Bay. When we say this place is enticing it’s an understatement. The views, the food, the service, everything is as you’d expect but also so much more. It’s no surprise that it’s popular with international guests and locals. Under the direction of Chef Giacomo Notarbartolo, Nobu makes for the perfect venue for a lazy boozy lunch, whether it be a chic lunch with friends or an evening of new-style Nobu fusions of Japanese and South-American flavours. Inspired by the beauty of Ibiza, the menu includes classics and little nod’s to the island, including Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, Black Cod Miso, bento boxes and colourful plates of sushi and sashimi. The backdrop of the island is an added bonus to the dining experience. Everything about this place was dreamy and for us a perfect start to the next phase of our trip. We were more than ready to indulge ourselves with delicious cocktails and if we’re honest some meat again in our diet. We had the foresight to book a daybed so after lunch we enjoyed the food coma by the pool sipping delicious cocktails. Total bliss!
Following the retreat we had booked a few extra nights for pure indulgence, which began with Nobu and continued at Pikes Ibiza, via STK Ibiza and a bonus evening of Cabaret. Plus, a divine sunset view dinner at Hostal la Torre the following night, before we continued into the early hours at our old favourite Pikes where sleeping is cheating.
Having done the calm we had earned ourselves a party but, note to self, maybe do it the other way around next time!
Mind Body Retreat for more details and bookings contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Rates at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay start at €630 (approx. £550) per night, based on double occupancy. The hotel is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. For more information and/or to book please visit here