Ibiza has long been known as one of the world’s party capitals, but thanks to some high-end hospitality newcomers, the destination is rapidly growing its reputation as a wellness hub.
“Ibiza used to be just Ibiza, fun partying and all,” said Virginia Irurita, founder and executive partner at Spain-based travel agency Made for Spain and Portugal. “Now, there are two Ibizas. You have all the party stuff and discos, and then you have [another] side with beautiful boutique properties very focused on lifestyle, food, hiking, biking, etc.”
Irurita cited the 152-room Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, which opened at the southern end of Ibiza in 2017, as one such example. Joanna Ramonell, director of marketing and communications for the property, said the pandemic played a key role in influencing the Spanish island’s larger pivot toward wellness.
“In a way, Covid led people to rediscover Ibiza,” Ramonell said. “The clubs were shut for around two years. And when the regional market started opening back up and people started to travel, they couldn’t go to Tulum or L.A., where they had previously been going to find wellness experiences. So, they had to find them closer to home.”
The Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay responded to this shift by retooling some of its programming, launching events like rooftop yoga sessions and a series of Holistic Hikes retreats, developed in collaboration with local tour operator Ibiza Hike Station.
“People weren’t clubbing, and so it gave us an opportunity to develop something different and show people the undiscovered Ibiza,” Ramonell said.
Ibiza’s club scene may now be fully reopened and thriving, but wellness has proven to have staying power at the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay. This spring, the property partnered with on-demand mental health service Self Space to launch a “personal growth retreat” called Grow Through What You Go Through. According to the hotel, the three-day retreat, which is priced at around $1,720 per person, is designed to “provide guests with the valuable tools needed to cultivate self-love and positive mental health.”
As part of the Self Space partnership, the Nobu is also hosting 90-minute Decompression Sessions (roughly $27 per workshop), offering guests the chance to learn simple techniques to reduce stress.
Additionally, the hotel has extended its Holistic Hikes program (around $1,260 per person) into this year. The three-night hiking retreats promise to combine adventure and wellness, with breathwork meditation and shout therapy incorporated into the hikes. Post-hike, attendees are treated to an hourlong massage at the property’s Ibiza Bay Spa by Six Senses (Six Senses is the spa partner at the Nobu Ibiza).
“Our May Holistic Hikes sold out, and we’ve got people asking when they can do the next one in September,” Ramonell said.
New breed of traveler
IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Six Senses brand expanded its presence in Ibiza in a big way with 2021’s opening of the Six Senses Ibiza.
The 116-room property set a benchmark on the luxury wellness front on the island, debuting its RoseBar “longevity club” earlier this year.
The 5,000-square-foot club, which claims to combine elements of “science and spiritual well-being to enhance human health and lengthen lifespan,” offers a wide range of treatments, including full-body cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions, IV infusions, red light therapy, cold plunges and shamanic healing as well as specialized retreats.
The venue’s inaugural retreat, held in mid-June, was led by physician and author Dr. Mark Hyman and included organic, anti-inflammatory daily meals and an array of treatments and activities, including yoga, bodywork, cryotherapy and ozone therapy.
Made for Spain and Portugal’s Irurita credits the Six Senses resort with helping to cement Ibiza’s status as a wellness destination and, consequently, attracting a different type of traveler.
“The local tourism community is looking for visitors who will take care of the island,” said Irurita. “And we, as a country, are looking for a more upscale crowd.”
Max Aniort, co-founder of luxury villa rental specialist Le Collectionist, has similarly noticed a shift in Ibiza’s clientele. The company, which has more than 200 Ibiza properties within its global portfolio, has operated in the market for approximately 20 years.
“While Ibiza still attracts its fair share of young travelers seeking an exciting nightlife experience, we have noticed an increase in different demographics,” said Aniort. “Ibiza [has] reinvented itself as a multifaceted destination that caters to all different needs, from travelers seeking to rejuvenate with yoga retreats, healing centers and wellness establishments to travelers wanting to organize corporate events, weddings, family gatherings and romantic getaways.”