Ibiza has a well established reputation for wild nightlife and a thriving party scene, but the Spanish island has hidden talents too, notably its surprisingly fruitful farming industry.
Divert your attention away from the beaches and head inland towards the island's centre, where you’ll find pine forests, dense woodland and rich soil that's well-suited to harvesting home-grown produce. Design Hotels’ farmhouse property, La Granja, embraces the natural way of life and has built its concept around benefiting from and giving back to the land, with an eco-conscious approach.
The hotel is surrounded by 10 hectares of land in Buscastell, a village close to the better-known agricultural area, Es Broll Buscastell. The building itself offers a taste of historical Ibiza as it’s a centuries-old stone building with nine bedrooms, a guesthouse, a pool and a kitchen. There’s a communal table to encourage guests to dine together everyday.
Food is of high importance and the hotel’s full-circle, farm-to-table philosophy is pioneered by head farmer Andy Szymanowicz, who prioritises growing crops that nourish both the body and the soul. He pays close attention to moon cycles and the soil to make sure his crops are provided with the best possible nutrients. There are 30 different types of fruits and vegetables on the premises, from the expected (citrus trees and apples) to the specialist (figs and almonds). Meals are then based around these ingredients.
Guests are encouraged to get involved in the farming process during their stay. It’s considered educational and Szymanowicz sees this is as key to the overall experience. Getting involved in this provides a greater understanding of composting, mulching and harvesting, and emphasises how life can be enriched by locally-sourced and sustainably grown food.
Head chef, José Catrimán, is the creative influence behind the menus and unsurprisingly, the majority of the food he produces, is plant-based. A typical meal includes freshly picked, slow-cooked vegetables and fish which is cooked and shared in the farmhouse courtyard.
Guest and community involvement doesn’t stop at foraging for food. There’s also a weekly schedule of workshops and masterclasses to enrich the experience, from yoga to sun salutations. For those looking to further their understanding of eco-conscious living, workshops about the local agriculture, communal farming and slow food are available, but if relaxation is more appealing, there’s also the option to join sound baths, yoga and enjoy daily live music sets. Diverse in style, these ‘rituals’ are united by their objective to connect people with themselves and the earth.
It’s a modern take on the traditional Mediterranean lifestyle – one that starts with a healthy diet and soil-grown ingredients, and emphasises the importance of spending quality time in the great outdoors. For anyone tempted by the idea of an Ibizan retreat, but who may not be ready to commit to the structured experiences on offer, La Granja offers an authentic taste of going ‘back to basics’. La Granja will ensure that your stay is rewarding, provides you with an educational experience and gives you a feeling of complete immersion in nature.
For more information and bookings visit the website.
Words: Sarah Leigh Bannerman