Review: OKU Ibiza, Ibiza
Looking for your next holiday fix? Why not try Ibiza, home to partygoers and nature lovers alike. Explore it all from OKU Ibiza, the hotel offering a luxury experience you’ll never forget.
In recent years the White Isle’s reputation as a hedonistic playground has prevailed, thanks to the superclubs, superyachts and a hardcore partying crowd. But this Balearic Island still has an underlying hippy beat, attracting spiritual yogis to its natural beauty. Inland, there are pine tree-covered mountains and quaint villages to explore; on the coast, quiet rocky coves for refreshing dips in clear waters and swathes of golden sand with chic beach clubs.
Review: OKU Ibiza, Ibiza
A five-minute drive from San Antonio yet a world away, OKU Ibiza is a laid-back hotel with an emphasis on wellness. It’s a rebranding of the Casa Cook hotel (and its sister property in Kos), with minimalist rooms split across three low-rise grey concrete buildings that have been beautifully softened with vertical cedar slats to offer shade and privacy to each balcony. Inside, the pared-back natural palette – simple oak bedframe and wardrobe, jute rug, modular linen sofa – is given a contemporary twist with contemporary black fittings alongside the stone vanity unit in the bathroom and a bold black-and-white figurative painting by American artist Steve Tepas. Sal de Ibiza chocolates and almonds in the mini bar add a local touch.
The social hub of the hotel is the 50-metre pool (the longest on the island), where you’ll also find the glass-fronted gym; early morning classes at the yoga shala; juice bar for smoothies and ‘recovery shots’; and spa treatment rooms. The poolside vibe is buzziest at the end of the afternoon, with guests lounging on day beds under raffia umbrellas and sipping aperol spritz as a DJ spins chilled-out house beats on the decks. There’s also a second, smaller pool for families.
Spend blissful days beach-hopping: head south to Cala Moli, Cala Bassa and Cala Tarida (at the latter, Ses Eufabies restaurant is a lovely shady spot for grilled sardines at lunch), all of which are within a 30-minute drive. The nearest beach is Cala Gracio, a ten-minute walk from the hotel. Inland, the village of Santa Gertrudis is ideal for a morning browsing the boutiques (L’Atelier is full of floaty linen dresses; Siempre is a must for homeware) followed by an iced coffee at a cafe in the pretty square. It’s also worth visiting the fortified Unesco World Heritage-listed Dalt Vila in Ibiza Town; after seeing the cathedral and soaking up the panoramic views of the bay, follow the cobbled streets down towards the port.
Start the day at To Kima for help-yourself breakfasts under a wooden pergola (it’s open for casual lunches too) and end it with dinner at OKU Restaurant. Both are overseen by executive chef Mark Vaessen (ex-SushiSamba) but it’s the latter that’s the star of the show, fusing Japanese gastronomy with Asian and South American twists. The menu is split into sections: sushi and sashimi, tempura, raw, and the robata grill, with must-try dishes such as wagyu gyoza, black cod and honey miso eggplant, all shared family-style.
Elsewhere, the nearby Cala Gracioneta beach club is a chiringuito set in its own gorgeous sandy cove with lights strung up between the pine trees and, often, live music at dinner. Everything is delicious, from octopus on sweet potato mash to crispy chicken with yellow chilli, garlic and ginger.
THE FINAL WORD
A perfectly positioned, design-led hotel for exploring sensational beaches on the west coast.
Rates at OKU Ibiza start from EUR360 (currently approx. £305) based on two sharing on a B&B basis. okuhotels.com
Featured image: Courtesy of OKU Ibiza (c) Georg Roske
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