Words Patrick Hamilton Courtney
The charms of Ibiza’s northern countryside are undeniable. Far removed from the noise and vulgarity of club-land, the area north east of Santa Gertrudis provides a haven for travellers looking to relax in sun-drenched, clear skied bliss. Almost certainly, the most beautiful sanctuary in rural Ibiza is boutique hotel Ca Na Xica.
More like a millionaire’s private residence than a hotel, Ca Na Xica is built around a traditional white-washed villa that greets guests after the half hour drive from the airport. A series of lounge nooks spill out onto the property’s pièce de résistance: a magnificent T-shaped swimming pool flanked by chic divans and two rows of perfectly symmetrical Mediterranean pine and olive trees. The effect is mesmerising.
Ca Na Xica’s abundant, luscious vegetation against the drought ridden Ibizan earth creates the feeling of being nestled in a dreamy oasis. Guests luxuriate under the Spanish sun knowing an ice cold cocktail or freshly squeezed juice is never more than a few moments away.
Ca Na Xica boasts 20 guest rooms and suites, outdoor breakfasts, an exquisite open air restaurant, a spa, pool-side bar service, and even a man-made beach chill out zone. The vibe here is luxurious but never flashy. Nature has been incorporated into the design as often as possible. Well-tended flower beds brim with plant life and exotic grasses, and huge cactuses that bloom pretty yellow blossoms are spaced around the site. When we visited the hotel was surprisingly free of annoying mosquitos, midges, and flies, but more welcome wildlife flourished. Sweet little birds flutter between trees and cool off at the pool’s edge, while geckos dart across paths.
Décor is a flawless transition between the traditional Spanish villa and the contemporary architecture of the spa, restaurant, and suites. Warm beige and soft white ruled the interior designer’s colour charts with excellent results.
The spa is small, but perfectly formed. It’s complete with sauna, steam room, ice cold plunge pool, relaxation room, and heated outdoor hydrotherapy pool. A series of massages, facials, and beauty treatments are offered for those ready to enter a state of complete serenity.
Ca Na Xica has 6 guest rooms and 14 premier suites. If your budget allows it, plump for one of the fabulous suites. Spacious and airy, they are housed in a series of white contemporary lodges. Each has a huge private terrace that overlooks the Ibizan countryside. Inside are super-king size beds and large seating areas finished in the hotel’s calming colour palette.
Bathrooms include showers with glass fronts that separate them from terrarium-like gardens, giving guests the sense of washing outdoors. Appropriately orange-scented Campos de Ibiza toiletries and big fluffy towels complete the pampering experience.
The Instagram ready pool has enough comfortable day-beds to maintain an atmosphere of quiet privacy even when fully booked. Guests are serviced by a pool bar next to the spa. It offers an array of drinks and varied food from the restaurant’s menu.
The stone used around the pool area remains cool even under the most ferocious mid-day sun: no burnt feet here. The water is a little on the cold side, but given the temperatures Ibiza can reach it offers a welcome chance to cool off. There are also four shady Bali beds for mid-afternoon siestas.
Located up a wide pathway is the hotel’s restaurant Salvia, an open air space that overlooks the pool, olive trees, and grass fields. The setting is tremendously romantic and draws in a healthy local crowd; by all accounts Salvia is a destination in itself.
The menu is mainly modern Spanish with various exotic and international influences. We ate dishes such as charcoal grilled octopus with Iberian pig jowl, risotto with wild quail and tagliatelle of fresh local vegetables. Lastly, a juicy lemon and herb Ibizan chicken prepared in the restaurant’s own Josper oven. The cooking was mostly excellent and flavours were rich and indulgent. We tried various puddings but one stood out: a “Pina colada” of ripe pineapple muddled with sweet cream in a martini glass. It was topped with whipped coconut milk and shards of garden mint flavoured ice. Delicious.
Breakfast is also served at Salvia and makes use of the back terrace of the restaurant which gazes over the nearby tree-covered hills. There’s a selection of high quality freshly squeezed juices, tea, and coffee, alongside a buffet of cheeses, meats, pastries, quiches, fruit platters, and yoghurt. A cereal bar offers generous health conscious toppings including bee pollen and chia seeds. Various egg and bacon dishes can be ordered a la carte.
Rooms from around £1,003 for three nights, canaxica.com