Ibiza may be known for its glamorous party scene, but far from the crowds in the northern tip of the region, is a peaceful, nature-bound respite that celebrates the beauty of its surroundings—and feels miles away from any bustle. Upon arriving at Six Senses Ibiza, one will experience an escape to the crystalline Cala Xarraca, flanked by beautiful caves and an imbued sense of deep spiritual healing rooted in the local culture that has become synonymous with the island. The new opening by the luxury wellness group Six Senses Hotels & Resorts will be a secluded, stunning resort dedicated to holistic practices and the serene beauty of the archipelago. In anticipation of Six Senses Ibiza’s opening on July 10th, we speak to Anna Bjurstam, wellness pioneer at Six Senses Spas and Wellness, on what to expect as a guest, including new retreats and sustainability at the resort.
What was the incentive behind opening this resort? Six Senses Ibiza was a match made in heaven between the visionary of the project, Jonathan Leitersdorf, and Six Senses. When Jonathan discovered the property perched on a hill overlooking the sparkling Xaracca Bay in the spiritual North of the island, he saw the unique potential of what kind of place it could become. As a far-seeing real estate entrepreneur, Jonathan is passionate about modern sustainable development and in combination with his personal passion for wellness, he knew Six Senses would be the perfect partner to bring his vision to life. Together, we wanted to capture an authentic Ibiza experience of community, spirituality, and celebration in a sophisticated yet quirky setting that is so unique to Six Senses. It is also an inspiration for future retreats to offer a different kind of luxury experience, a place where people come together, laugh together and grow together.
Can you tell us about the setting for Six Senses Ibiza and why this natural paradise environment is important for healthy holiday hunters? Six Senses Ibiza feels a world away from the bustling South with its world-famous party scene. You will find us on the northern tip of the island, overlooking the tranquil Xarraca Bay. With plenty of hidden spots to discover and a vibrant spiritual community Ibiza’s North has kept its old island magic. We believe that nature is the greatest healer and here, guests find an ideal environment to reconnect with themselves, with nature, the present moment and with their fellow travellers.
Your resort will be open year-round with very special wellness retreats during the cool season (October to March). Could you tell us about these retreats? With Six Senses Ibiza full of such good energy, the idea is for everyone to tap into it. We want people to come together, grow together and raise their vibration together. Tangibly, this takes the form of our curated Signature Immersions, initially yoga, detox and fitness, as well as retreats hosted by Friends of Six Senses, external experts on specific topics such as shamanic healing.
One of the biggest hesitancies for someone going on a retreat for the first time is will I fit in? At Six Senses Ibiza, we go together so you do not have to be afraid of going alone. You are cool as you are, so you come as you are. Beyond the theme, such as Yogaflow or Bodyflow Detox, there is purpose, going deeper and finding more. Whether you feel a little listless and uninspired, stuck in your daily routine, struggling with health imbalances or habits that do not serve you well, our Signature Immersions have been designed to bring back your sense of lightness, curiosity, and love of life. There is a lot of group work, understanding nutrition, meditation, and many other things together. You find a tribe, friends for life. For retreat returners, what is unique about the vibe at Six Senses Ibiza is that it is a lot more fun and celebratory than elsewhere. There is self-discovery and introspection, but transformation happens when many things come together in perfect harmony to enable it.
What makes Six Senses Ibiza unique? I feel we have come together in perfect harmony, with a visionary like Jonathan, in a unique place like Ibiza and at a time when people are even more mindful of how precious health and happiness is. Ibiza is such a magical island with such strong transformational energies. It’s obvious why so many energy workers, teachers and healers feel so attracted by it and choose to live and practice here. People who cherish the beauty in life, tuning into themselves deeply and sharing the journey with others. For decades, people have gathered here for sharing and singing circles, cacao ceremonies, dance, yoga, meditation and all kinds of practices that help feeling purpose, strength and happiness and see the beauty in life. We want to encourage our guests to come together in an almost “Ibiza tribal way”, intertwining and inspiring Ibiza locals into the fabric of the resort, inviting them to hold classes and be part of us in a variety of ways.
We are creating the first full-service hospitality experience on the island offering luxurious accommodations and one-of-a-kind amenities across a sprawling 20-acre site while fully embracing sustainable practices, wellness, music and art, playing homage to the island’s bohemian vibe.
When you feel unfocused or overwhelmed what do you do? When you feel overwhelmed, you really need to take a pause. The best way to relax is to take off your shoes and walk barefoot in nature. What helps me in moments like this, is to sit down in nature and take some deep breaths. Breathing practices and a short meditation session are very simple yet powerful tools to calm your nervous system and regain perspective and focus. After some breathing, I make a list of everything that overwhelms me and then think of a plan on how to deal with each step by step. Research has shown that when we write things down, our brain actually thinks it is done. So connecting with nature and writing things down are my medicine in times of stress. Regular meditation also trains your mind to be more resilient and deal with daily challenges in a better way.
What can a guest expect during a stay at Six Senses Ibiza? Six Senses Ibiza will be like no other Six Senses resort. Again, the focus is on community and celebration. There are so many things happening, so many adventures coming up! We have a big marketplace, a great selection of live music. We even have a recording studio, a guitar studio, a sweat lodge and spa with unique experiences such as those offered as part of Rose Bar, our cutting-edge longevity programme. Activities range from cliff jumping, sound healing to ecstatic dance to fire ceremonies. Here, we create a higher vibration than in other properties, where the focus is more on relaxation and being quiet.
What does true balance look like? In my personal view, balance does not exist. There are so many things in our life we cannot control so it is more about developing stoicism and resilience to be able to deal with stressful situations in a healthier way. It is about simply being mindful, non-judgmental and happy no matter what life throws at you. Even if our outside circumstances are not what you would like them to be, you can learn how to make your inside circumstances stronger and less affected by the outside.
How does Six Senses Ibiza incorporate sustainability into its practices? At Six Senses Ibiza, our commitment to sustainability guides all of our actions. It underpins the decisions we make every day, both large and small, and at all levels, from how our land is used to grow food or how we manage our energy and waste. It informs our efforts to conserve water and source local and seasonal ingredients for the resort’s menus, as well as the promise we made to our local community to employ hosts from the island. By focusing on renewable energy production, such as geothermal and solar photovoltaic technologies, we reduce our carbon emissions by almost 40%. We invest in a full time Sustainability Manager dedicated to driving our sustainability efforts. By filtering and bottling our own still and sparkling water, we reduce the carbon footprint associated with the packaging and transporting of drinking water. By using only glass water bottles, we eliminate all plastic bottles from resort operations, part of an effort to be plastic free by 2022.
Our hosts are trained on relevant themes such as zero waste, microplastics and recycling. We want to provide them with tools not only to help us achieve our goals and improve our performance as a company, but also for improvement of their personal life impacts. Six Senses Ibiza runs a dedicated Sustainability Fund which supports local organizations and
companies that make a positive social and environmental impact. A fixed percentage (0.5%) of the total resort revenue goes into the Sustainability Fund, as well as guest donations. For example, we support a local hedgehog sanctuary that takes care of the spiky little animals populating the island when injured or in need. To celebrate the local hedgehog, a hedgehog soft toy created by local artists is placed in every guest room. It can be purchased and by buying it, guests also contribute to the sanctuary through our Sustainability Fund.
There will be great focus on locally-grown and harvested dining straight from the onsite farm. Could you tell us more about this and its nutritious values? Located 15 minutes from the resort, near the village of Santa Gertrudis, The Farm is a true labour of love. Healthy and organic foods are grown here and delivered fresh to enjoy in the resort’s restaurants. To help vegetables and fruits grow in a healthy way, we produce our own natural fertilisers and herbicides. The composting site feeds The Farm’s soil and educates children and grown-ups about the importance of composting their own green waste.